Affiliate Member Spotlight: Robin Rieck, Affiliate AIA Chicago
Affiliate members are invaluable to the architecture community. Contractors, insurance agents, product representatives, manufacturers, real estate professionals, and more make up this group of individuals and firms that support AIA Chicago's tours, programs and parties.
Introducing Robin Rieck, Affiliate AIA
Project Executive, Norcon, Inc.
Tell us about what you do at Norcon. How did you find yourself in this profession?
I studied Civil Engineering at Villanova University which led to an internship one summer in construction management for a property manager. I have been hooked ever since! I started as a Project Manager with Norcon in 2001 when the company had been in business for about 1 ½ years. I’ve managed construction projects in most sectors- commercial, education, hospitality, retail, healthcare and high end residential. Now, as a Project Executive, while still involved in project management, I also manage our business development, our staff training program, our recruiting efforts and I oversee our marketing.
How did you hear about Affiliate membership? What types of benefits have you seen from being an AIA Chicago member?
The majority of our work is based on the relationships we’ve built in the architecture community so Norcon has been a long time supporter of AIA Chicago. We joined as a company affiliate which includes membership for 3 of us. Joining AIA Chicago has helped all of us get to know and support the architecture community better. Personally, it has kept me incredibly informed about architecture around the city. The opportunity to attend events, often led by some of the most talented architects in the world, is something we are fortunate to have in Chicago. But, even from my office, I can learn something new just by reading newsletters, emails or the website.
What are some of your favorite AIA events?
I think I’ve only missed one AIA Designight in 17 years- to be my cousin’s confirmation sponsor which was held on the same night. It is my favorite event of the year- a chance to see many of the people I’ve worked with over the years and to celebrate their work. I also really enjoy the holiday party in December as another opportunity to connect with old friends.
Where in this city do you feel most like a Chicagoan?
I’ve trained for 10 half marathons along the lakefront and have many favorite spots between Oak Street Beach and Fullerton to stretch my legs or rest in front of the city skyline. That is my favorite part of Chicago.
What are some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?
I’ve worked on some incredible projects around Chicago, but the schools have been the most rewarding for me. I was the Project Manager on Christ the King College Jesuit Prep School on the west side and Gary Comer College Prep on the south side. It always means a lot to see the end user use their new space for the first time, but watching kids on the first day at a new or renovated school is extra exciting for me. I don’t think there are many professions out there that have such tangible job satisfaction as architects and construction managers. We start with something old- or maybe just an empty lot. And we create a structure or a space that has purpose.
In your opinion, why should individuals engaged in affiliated professions join AIA Chicago?
Anyone who is interested in Chicago architecture will benefit from joining AIA Chicago. It is a wonderful community, an incredible resource of information and learning opportunities and a great way to support the future of our city.
If you had any other career, what would it be and why?
I’m a little hesitant to say Travel Agent because travel and people can be so unpredictable, but I’d love to continue traveling the world and help other people experience new cultures and find adventure!