Randy Lavigne, longtime executive director of the Nevada chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), has retired. In the 26 years she served in that position, she helped take the Las Vegas, Nevada, chapter from a small, nearly dormant group headquartered in a tiny office at the top floor of Houssels House, on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus, to one of the most active and respected components of the national organization.
Lavigne was hired on as a part-time executive secretary in 1994, and took over executive duties for the state group one year later when the organization was reactivated. Under her direction, AIA Nevada went from fewer than 100 members in the 1990s to a statewide membership of more than 700. The chapter chooses a new president each year and operates under the guidance of a Board of Directors, but Lavigne stands out as a tireless and well-loved constant in the chapter’s growth and success.
“Lavigne has been the glue holding together AIA Las Vegas and AIA Nevada for a quarter century,” said Eric Roberts, current president of AIA Las Vegas and president/CEO of KNIT Designing Community. “Under her leadership, the Las Vegas chapter was able to successfully host two national conventions for the AIA. These events welcomed over 50,000 people to our city and helped reinforce Las Vegas’ place on the architecture world stage. Her efforts will positively impact Las Vegas and Nevada for years to come.”
The Nevada chapter of the AIA monitors legislative and political issues that affect the profession, and Lavigne has led the efforts to strengthen protective legislation and work alongside legislators. As both a spokesperson and coordinator, Lavigne has advocated on behalf of AIA members at a state and national level. Lavigne has been deeply involved in educational efforts, such as establishing an AIA archive with the Architecture Studies Library at the UNLV School of Architecture and helping UNLV earn its first National Architectural Accrediting Board accreditation in 1998, as well as its subsequent accreditations. She also worked on the AIA Las Vegas High School Design Awards for the last 20 years.
Her drive to forge connections for AIA Nevada has led to countless valuable partnerships over the years. Lavigne’s skill in orchestrating successful events has been a key to the growth and success of AIA Nevada. Lavigne has managed the Western Mountain Region (WMR) Honor Awards Program and served as the Council of Architectural Component Executives (CACE) representative for the WMR council as well as CACE executive director.
“My whole life she has worked very hard, and people have often told me that if I’m half the hard worker that she is, then I’m very well off indeed,” said Lavigne’s daughter, Kelly Lavigne, who currently serves as the director of operations at AIA Las Vegas.