Past Presidents of the AFC

Since its creation in 1982, there have been 21 individuals who have served as President of the Board of Trustees and set the direction of the foundation. Each of these individuals is listed below, and significant accomplishments that were realized during their tenure are listed helping to demonstrate how the AFC has evolved since its inception.

1982-83           Robert Dorsey, FAIA

  • Led the effort to create the AFC with fellow collaborators Woodie Garber, Gavin Gray, Gary Herfel, Loren Poff, Bob Robertson, Tom Tilsley, and Robert Williams and became the first President of the Board of Trustees.
  • Created a collection of architectural drawings by distinguished local architects and contributed them in the Cincinnati Historical Society Library, which cataloged and preserved the collection.

1984                Robert Robertson

1985                Robert Gramann, FAIA

  • Established an architectural bookstore in conjunction with AIA Cincinnati located on the skywalk in the 580 Building.

1986                Loren Poff, AIC

1987                Tom Tilsley, AIA

  • Published its first book, Architecture and Construction in Cincinnati: A Guide to Buildings, Designers and Builders in conjunction with Cincinnati’s Bicentennial celebration.

1988-89           Gary Herfel, Esq.

  • Curated an architectural exhibit at the Westin atrium in conjunction with the Cincinnati Bicentennial Celebration.
  • Sponsored a film with WCET-TV entitled Bricks and Mortar: People and Dreams, the stories of local construction projects and the individuals who built them.

1990-91           Donald Junker, AIA

  • Grew the AFC to 160 members including individuals, businesses and family entities.

1992-93           Jack Hodell, AIA

  • Created initial Apple Award program to recognize the contributions of individuals or entities in improving the built environment of the Cincinnati area.
  • Apple Award Honorees:
    • 1993:
      • Carl A. Strauss, FAIA
      • Frederick A. Hauck
      • James C. Perin
      • Hope Taft
      • John Smale
      • Fred Lazarus III
      • Nell Surber

1994-95           John Bentley, ASLA

  • Provided grant to support the Architecture By Children program developed by Michael Schuster Associates.
  • Developed fund raising program to create financial resources to allow AFC to carry out its mission.
  • Apple Award Honorees:
    • 1994: George and Joan Rieveschl
    • 1995:
      • The University of Cincinnati
      • The Belvedere Corporation
      • Michael Graves, FAIA
      • The local AIA Fellows

1996-97           Michael Schuster, AIA

  • Adopted the Architecture By Children program as part of the AFC.
  • Joined the Cincinnati Design Awards program to present the Apple Award.
  • Apple Award Honorees:
    • 1996: the Aronoff Center for Design team:
      • Jay Chatterjee
      • Peter Eisenman
      • Senator Stanley J. Aronoff
      • Lorenz & Williams
    • 1997: the Hamilton County Library

1998-99           John Rogers, FAIA

  • Published a pamphlet, Architecture Cincinnati: A Guide to Significant Buildings in conjunction with Cincinnatus. The guide documented seventeen significant historic and contemporary projects in Cincinnati, using photographs by environmental artist Alice Weston and text by Walter E. Langsam.
  • Apple Award Honorees:
    • 1998: Neil Bortz
    • 1999: Dick and Lois Rosenthal

2000-01           David S. Ross, AIA

  • Initiated research for Architecture in Cincinnati: An Illustrated History of Designing and Building an American City
  • Increased AFC programming by holding monthly lunch events to discuss important architectural topics in the area.
  • Created the current AFC brand identity.
  • Apple Award Honorees:
    • 2000: Jack Rouse
    • 2001: Alice and Harris Weston

2002-03           Richard Mellott, AIA

  • Apple Award Honorees:
    • 2002: Robert Richardson
    • 2003: David Niland

2004-05           Jay Chatterjee

  • Brought the Apple Award back to AFC, created a Gala event to present the award in a celebratory fashion, and created a financial resource to support the foundation’s activities.
  • Published Architecture in Cincinnati: An Illustrated History of Designing and Building an American City by the Ohio University Press.
  • Apple Award Honorees:
    • 2004: Dale McGirr
    • 2005: Buck Niehoff

2006-07           Michael Moose, AIA

  • Organized and participated in two Over the Rhine design charrettes to help develop a vision for the future.
  • Initiated the Hammer Award to recognize the efforts of a practitioner.
  • Apple Award Honorees:
    • 2006: Stan Kaplan
    • 2007: Tom Schiff

2008-09           Christine Schoonover

  • Established the first AFC office at 127 W. Ninth St.
  • Published the Biographical Dictionary of Cincinnati Architects, 1788-1940 on the AFC website.
  • Apple Award Honorees:
    • 2008: Arn Bortz
    • 2009: Manny and Rhoda Mayerson

2010-11           David Arends, AIA

  • Redefined the role of the Executive Director and recruited a new candidate to serve in that role.
  • Relocated the AFC office to a storefront at 811 Race St. and created the AFC Gallery.
  • Apple Award Honorees:
    • 2010: The School for Creative and Performing Arts team
      • The Corbett Foundation
      • Tom Klinedinst
      • Norma Peterson
      • Erich Kunzel
    • 2011: John Barrett

2012-13           Michael Kelley, IIDA

  • Created the first public Great House Tour of the Hanna Residence.
  • Assumed responsibility for the Architecture By Children program from AIA Cincinnati and renamed it Design LAB: Learn And Build.
  • Apple Award Honorees:
    • 2012: Pete Strange
    • 2013: Tom Humes

2014-15           Jay Schuermann

  • Hired an Education Director to run the Design LAB program and a new Executive Director.
  • Increased the number of Great House tours.
  • Apple Award Honorees:
    • 2014: 3CDC
    • 2015: Willie F. Carden, Jr.

2016-17           Robert Grace

  • Created the first walking tour app, ArchiTour Cincinnati.
  • Initiated the first Doors Open event in Over the Rhine and developed the Doors Open OTR app.
  • Apple Award Honorees:
    • 2016: James T. Fitzgerald, FAIA

2018-19           Lauren Della Bella, LEED AP 

  • Redefining Trustee responsibilities.
  • Creating a more sustainable financial model for the AFC.
  • Apple Award Honorees:
    • 2018: Otto M. Budig, Jr.