HDR’s Ross Miller Receives Prestigious AIA Award

Ross Miller, Assoc. AIA, designer/project coordinator for HDR’s architecture firm in Omaha, has received the 2016 AIA Associates Award—the highest honor an individual associate AIA member can receive from the American Institute of Architects.

Ross is part of a group of six individuals chosen for this honor because they best exemplify the highest qualities of leadership, according to the American Institute of Architects. They have demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to their component or region's membership in the community, in professional organizations, and/or in the design and construction industries.

“The most enjoyable part of Ross’s personality is the enthusiasm he brings to bear on whatever we ask him to do,” writes Brian J. Spencer, AIA, president of AIA Omaha in his nomination letter. “I can think of no better person for this award…I’m sure you will see what we see here in Omaha—a good man.”

As not only the first HDR employee to receive this award but the first Nebraskan as well, Ross is thrilled to be honored. “While this award recognizes me, in reality it has been a team effort among many individuals,” he says. “Without their support, mentorship, and guidance, the meaningful initiatives that I’ve been fortunate to be part of would not have been possible. I am excited for the future of the profession.”

As AIA Omaha’s Associate Director, Ross leads the chapter’s annual speaker series. He is active in recruiting new members, and his penchant for advocacy has led, in large part, to U.S. Rep. John Ashford’s (D-NE) co-sponsorship of the National Design Services Act that was introduced to Congress last summer. As the current at-large-director and former regional associate director representing the Central States Region for the AIA National Associates Committee, Ross has made it his mission to ensure that all 18 committee members contribute to ArchiPAC—and he has met that goal several years in a row.

Selected by 2014 AIA President Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, as an inaugural member of the Culture Collective, Ross worked with other influential leaders from across the nation to support the AIA’s repositioning efforts. With a seat in the Collective’s Exemplary Public Outreach Group, he helped steer efforts to boost the AIA’s public perception and social media profile through successful campaigns such as the #ArchSelfie challenge.

An award-winning designer, Ross joined HDR in 2010. He has taken the lead on an array of building types and projects, from AIA Nebraska’s new office to a wood palette-clad pop-up dining experience and a 612,000-square-foot cancer center. In his spare time, Ross is a volunteer teaching assistant at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He also volunteers for architectural summer camps and the Boy Scouts of America.