Ontario Association of Architects announces John K. Stephenson as President for 2017

John Stephenson, Architect OAA, MRAIC President
John Stephenson, Architect

The Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) welcomes John K. Stephenson, OAA, MRAIC, as its new president for 2017.

As President, Mr. Stephenson is committed to building a strong profession that is valued and empowered to serve the public interest through excellence in design and professional practice. “Key to achieving this goal is recognizing that effective project and risk management is central to the architect’s role today”, he says.

Mr. Stephenson joined OAA Council in 2013. He had originally served a term in the early 1990s and continued to volunteer with the Association. Since then, he has participated on several committees and served as Senior Vice President and Treasurer for the past two years. During this time, he has taken part in several new and ambitious initiatives including:  the review of the path to licensure for Interns; the OAA Headquarters Renew + Refresh project; re-imagining the OAA Honours and Awards program; a new media content creation and communication strategy; and the modernization of OAA governance addressing inclusivity as well as reflecting the diversity of the profession.

Mr. Stephenson is passionate about continued OAA advocacy and engagement on issues of public interest where the contribution of architects can help make our communities better places for people. Look for the OAA to continue to talk about climate change and the benefits of low carbon building design, effective procurement of public buildings, housing affordability, and join in new conversations about First Nations community building, among other issues.

Mr. Stephenson is a founding partner of FORM Architecture Engineering, the largest entirely local, architectural practice in Northwestern Ontario. John’s extensive experience with publicly funded institutional projects has given him the ability to manage the process of design decision making and approvals by a wide variety of public and regulatory agencies.

After studying at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Architecture, John worked as an intern architect in Toronto before relocating to Thunder Bay in 1980 where he worked with Graham Bacon Welter Architects & Consulting Engineers. John started his practice in 1986 as Kuch Stephenson Architects and then Kuch Stephenson Gibson Malo Architects & Engineer, both of which are predecessors to his current practice.

Mr. Stephenson has been an active volunteer in his community serving with several Thunder Bay organizations including the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, The Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society, The Green Building Working Group of Earthwise Thunder Bay as well as the Earthwise Steering Committee, and The Eco Superior Board of Directors.  He has also volunteered for various local United Way campaigns and capital fundraising campaigns for Confederation College, the Children’s Centre of Thunder Bay and Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation.  He is a member and past resident of the Rotary Club of Thunder Bay – Port Arthur.

Mr. Stephenson is a frequent public speaker about sustainable design for the built environment for local, regional and provincial audiences.