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AIA Wisconsin News Release

Wisconsin Architect Joseph H. Flad, FAIA, Selected
to Receive the 2008 AIA Wisconsin "Golden Award"

FladMadison (April 15, 2008) — Madison architect Joseph H. Flad, FAIA, (1922 - 2004) has been selected to receive the 2008 “Golden Award” from AIA Wisconsin , the state society of The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The Golden Award is the highest honor that the state architects society can confer upon a member architect. Flad is being recognized posthumously for his dedicated service and significant contributions to the profession and practice of architecture during his distinguished career. Taking on many key leadership roles, he advanced the profession of architecture, inspired his fellow practitioners and demonstrated a genuine commitment to the well-being of his community.

Joseph Flad is the twenty-first Wisconsin architect to be honored by AIA Wisconsin with the Golden Award. Representatives of the Flad family will accept the 2008 Golden Award on his behalf at a special awards luncheon on April 30 at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center in Madison. The event is being held in conjunction with the 2008 AIA Wisconsin Convention & Expo. The first Golden Award was presented in 1986.

“The legacy left by Joe Flad continues to underscore the valuable role that Wisconsin architects play in improving our built environment and enhancing the quality of life in our local communities,” said Lee Connellee, AIA, an architect in Appleton and the president of AIA Wisconsin. “The Golden Award honors his proactive leadership that for more than three decades helped guide and advance our profession at the local, state and national levels. We have all benefited from his many contributions and volunteer service on behalf of the architects and citizens of Wisconsin.”

About Joseph H. Flad

A life-long resident of Madison, Flad received a business degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1946, graduated from architecture school at Iowa State University in 1950 and became a registered architect in the state of Wisconsin in 1952. Throughout his career, he practiced at the firm founded by his father; and he became a partner of John J. Flad & Associates in 1954. His strong work ethic and leadership was instrumental in growing the firm into the largest architectural practice in Wisconsin by the mid-1960s. As president, Joseph Flad provided the firm with an innovative combination of leadership and marketing skills that elevated Flad & Associates to national stature in the 1970s. Examples of the firm's projects during this period of time include the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), Wisconsin Telephone Company headquarters, Sentry Insurance headquarters, the Vilas Communications and Center for Health Services buildings on the UW-Madison campus, and Wisconsin Electric Power Company headquarters in Milwaukee. When he retired as president and chief executive officer in 1985, Joe Flad had set the foundation for the firm that continues to thrive today as an award-winning architectural firm with offices around the country.

In addition to growing a successful architectural practice, Flad also is remembered for his exceptional service to the profession of architecture in key leadership roles for The American Institute of Architects at the local, state and national level over the course of his professional life.

Commitment to the Profession

Flad's commitment to serving the profession of architecture began early in his career. In the mid-1950s, he was an officer of what was then called the Western Section of the Wisconsin Chapter of the AIA, serving as president of the local section in 1956. In 1958 and 1959, Joe Flad served as the president of the statewide Wisconsin Chapter of the AIA. Under his leadership, many of the operating procedures of the organization, which is now known as AIA Wisconsin, were refined to better respond to the professional needs of its growing membership and state legislation was approved to strengthen the responsibilities of architects in protecting public health, safety and welfare. As chair of the state chapter's education committee, he was a strong advocate for establishing a School of Architecture in Wisconsin, which became a reality in 1969 at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

In 1967, Flad was appointed to the national AIA Board of Directors, representing architects in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. During his service at the national level, he helped to guide the development of important AIA policies related to project delivery and standards of professional practice. In recognition of his “notable contributions to the advancement of the profession of architecture,” Joseph Flad was elevated to the College of Fellows of The American Institute of Architects in 1969, which is an honor reserved for only a small percentage of AIA members nationwide.

Flad also inspired other architects by his commitment to public service. For example, he served on the Mayor's Committee on Redeveloping Downtown Madison, which produced a comprehensive study of downtown redevelopment, and as a member of the Governor's Task Force for Reorganizing State Agencies, which developed recommendations for streamlining the state's building program process with meaningful architectural result. In addition, he actively participated in several fraternal, civic and religious organizations in Madison, including the West Side Businessman's Association, Mendota Gridiron Club and Edgewood High School Athletic Association, and served as a member of the board of directors for M & I Bank and the Knights of Columbus.

“Architects who believe they're too busy to participate in their professional organization and the civic life of their communities should take a closer look at the career and contributions of Joe Flad,” according to Connellee. “Thanks to his vision and leadership, we are a stronger profession and a better state today.”

About AIA Wisconsin

With 1,500 members, AIA Wisconsin is the statewide professional society representing architects, architectural interns, students and allied design and construction industry leaders. AIA Wisconsin members include architects in private practice, business, industry, government and education.

Media Contacts

William Babcock, Hon, AIA,
(608) 257-8477

Lee Connellee, AIA
(920) 751-3298

John J. Flad
(608) 833-8100


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