Contact: Shannon Calder
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AIA California announces new officer in Professional Practice

VP of Professional Practice<br> Carina Mills, AIA
VP of Professional Practice
Carina Mills, AIA

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The American Institute of Architects California (AIA CA) welcomes Carina Mills.

Mills is a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona’s BArch program and began her service to AIA as soon as she moved to Long Beach and joined the local chapter. She served for only a few years on the local Board of Directors in the roles of Director and representative to AIA CA, before serving as VP/President of the AIA CA’s Academy of Emerging Professionals.

Over the last 2 years Carina’s perspective on practice issues has shifted as she took on roles of VP of the AEP, and Senior Director of Talent Management for a medium size firm in Long Beach.

Mills began her career dedicated to developing her skills as a technical architect, but she has taken on leadership roles to support practice improvements in each firm for whom she has worked. She is an exceptional communicator who often jumps in to help translate across stakeholder lines, and this strength has increased in value as she advances through leadership roles. Mills has a deep love for the profession coupled with a tenacious commitment to change aspects of it. She harbors a genuine belief that everyone should have ample opportunity to find joy, reward, and life-balance in their career, and her work in AIA has often focused on empowering emerging professionals. In her term as VP of Academy of Emerging Professionals, Mills challenged common assumptions about mentorship and culture being tethered to in-person office work. This was also in direct response to the COVID pandemic as firms had no choice but to work remotely.

As VP of Professional Practice, her primary ambition is to see an understanding of mentorship and culture evolve to be more inclusive of younger generations while honoring traditions of the profession that still serve us well. This is motivated by a passion for making the profession more inclusive and equitable, and understanding that junior talent pools have been increasingly diverse while leadership ranks remain mostly homogeneous.



The AIA CA represents the interests of more than 11,000 architects and allied professionals in California.  Founded in 1944, The AIA CA’s mission supports architects in their endeavors to improve the quality of life for all Californians by creating more livable communities, sustainable designs and quality work environments. Today, The AIA CA is the largest component of the national AIA organization. For more information, visit

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