Each month, the AIAS highlights the outstanding dedication and accomplishments of one of its members. The Chapter Leader of the Month can be a Chapter President or any member who has shown tremendous leadership.



Tommy Hernandez is currently a fourth-year architecture student at NewSchool of Architecture & Design in San Diego, California. Tommy is one of the university ambassadors, served as the Chapter Vice President in 2017-2018, and is currently serving as the Chapter President for the 2018-2019 year.

Tommy was fortunate enough to be introduced to AIAS by their previous chapter president. He quickly learned that leadership, communication, and trust were important aspects to portray to maintain active members. After being elected President, Tommy took these traits very seriously. He wanted his members to feel that he had their best interest at heart, as trust in his little chapter was fading. To prevent this, he needed to show his members that they can rely on him to be knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and, more importantly, trustworthy. In doing so, Tommy and his team provided their members with various opportunities for networking (firm tours, AIA Gala invitations, and collaboration with AIAS Woodbury), leadership skills (attending FORUM and opening up various committee chair positions), as well as professional development skills (establishing “Architech Talks” and our first architectural debate podcast to be released later this school year).

West Quad Director Dominic Armendariz says that Tommy’s passion and dedication to his fellow students have been crucial to the reinvigoration of the NewSchool Chapter and their subsequent success in the Membership Month Growth Challenge! “His humble demeanor and commitment to the tenants of the AIAS are exemplary of a true leader,” says Dominic.

The feedback from his members at their last meeting was well received. In fact, he has members discussing their chapter to such lengths that they have welcomed a couple more members since their Bulk-Up Challenge victory. Tommy feels that their chapter has the strength and the drive to push forward and achieve greatness. Their members are excited and look forward to the events that they have scheduled for the spring semester. Tommy’s hope is that one day his members will say that their success and professional skills began when they joined AIAS at NewSchool of Architecture & Design.

What Benjamin Moore® color best represents your personality and why?

I believe the best Benjamin Moore color that represents my personality is “Silver Lining”. Silver has been my favorite color because of its metallic shine and ability to accent other colors — more importantly, it reminds me of hope. During difficult situations, I remind myself that these seemingly daunting tasks will pass; and when they do, I will have gained something more from it. Whether it be a new friend or a new opportunity, a silver lining will present itself in any difficult situation (regardless of how challenging it may be to see it). This hope reminds me to keep pushing forward and to never give up because another great moment of life is on its way.



This ‘Chapter Leader of the Month’ feature is sponsored by the Benjamin Moore.