AIA Grand Rapids names board president for 2020


Matthew Christie Courtesy Ghafari Associates

A local architect was appointed president of AIA Grand Rapids.

Ghafari Associates Project Architect Matthew Christie, AIA, LEED AP, recently was appointed president of the American Institute of Architects Grand Rapids chapter for the 2020 term.

The local chapter serves over 200 members within the greater Grand Rapids area.

“It is a great honor to be elected to serve a three-year term on the AIA Grand Rapids board,” Christie said. “Our mission is to provide value to membership through continuing education, outreach and engagement within the community, peer to peer connection, and support for our emerging professionals, among other initiatives. This upcoming year is exciting as we strive to further expand AIAGR’s effectiveness and reach.”

The three-year term includes one year as president elect/vice president, one year as president and one year as past president.

Christie brings 13 years of experience with a diverse array of domestic and international projects across the aviation, commercial, education, single-family residential, institutional and industrial sectors.

A Michigan native, he practiced architecture in Ghafari’s Chicago office for eight years prior to relocating to Grand Rapids to raise his family.

He holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor of Science in architecture from Lawrence Technological University.

Christie previously served as vice president for the AIA Grand Rapids in 2019 and assumed the role of president last month.

This is the second year in a row a Ghafari team member has held this position: Andrew Eckert, manager of architecture at Ghafari, served as AIA Grand Rapids president in 2019.

“Matt will make an excellent leader for the AIA Grand Rapids. He is passionate about design and the Grand Rapids community,” Eckert said.

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