AIAVT Announces New Executive Director


The American Institute of Architects, Vermont Chapter (AIAVT) is pleased to announce the selection of Sarah O Donnell as its new executive director. Sarah, a Jericho resident, combines a background in fine arts with experience working in the film industry, art galleries, and most recently, non-profit management  experience gained while in the position of Director of Programming and Member Engagement at the Burlington Business Association (BBA).

In her role at the BBA, Sarah was responsible for a variety of services, including events and programming, membership management, communications, working with volunteer committees, and managing special projects. During her time at the BBA, Sarah spearheaded several key projects, including new initiatives such as the Adopt Your Sidewalk campaign and related seasonal downtown cleanup events, redesigning the BBA Waterfront Map, launching and growing the downtown holiday lighting pilot project, and initiating and leading “Pub Talks”, BBA’s young professionals group. During her time at the BBA, Sarah worked to cultivate and strengthen relationships with members of the business and non-profit communities, and expanded the organization’s social and educational events.

Sarah earned a Master of Fine Arts degree as a University Fellow at The Ohio State University, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Sarah has been awarded several prestigious accolades for her artwork, and continues to maintain an active studio practice, exhibiting her work both locally and nationally in venues such as The Bronx Museum of the Arts in N.Y., The BYU Museum of Art in Provo, Utah, Burlington City Arts in Burlington, Vt, and The Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, Pa. From 2015 to 2018, Sarah held an active leadership role in Overnight Projects, an exhibition initiative she co-founded to host art exhibitions in vacant and “non-traditional” spaces throughout Vermont.

Sarah is excited to connect with AIAVT’s members and colleagues, and to work together with AIAVT’s board of directors to ensure AIAVT’s future successes. Sarah assumes executive director responsibilities from Charlotte resident Carol Miklos, who retired after 9 years of service to AIAVT. Megan Nedzinski, AIAVTBoard of Directors, President said, “ We are excited to welcome Sarah to our team, and are enthusiastic about the energy, fresh perspective, and provocative ideas that she brings to our organization as we look ahead to new possibilities and refreshed opportunities. Due in large to the work of our departing executive director, Carol, we are fortunate as an organization to have grown and matured over the past several years, and to find ourselves on solid footing. We stand as a strong organization serving our members, professional colleagues, and the state. Sarah will continue to carry this torch on our behalf, and as an organization we are inspired to reach higher and go even further. We believe that Sarah's unique combination of skillsets, from her professional experience as an artist, through working with non-profits in a leadership role, and with community activism, will serve us well now and long into the future. We couldn't be more enthused as we dive into our next era as an organization.”

AIAVT, the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects since 1948, is an organization of architectural design professionals dedicated to enhancing the quality of our built environment, and thereby the quality of life. The Chapter endeavors to bring together and serve all who are interested in the art and science of architecture. AIA Vermont aspires to increase the public’s knowledge and understanding of the architectural profession, expand the knowledge of all participating in the architectural process and improve the quality of services provided by architectural professionals.