Bouchard, Koulbanis, and Masi Promoted to Principal

Michael Bouchard, Begum Koulbanis, and Alexander Masi Promoted to Principal

We are excited to start 2021 with the announcement of our latest promotions. Congratulations to SMMA’s newest principals, Michael Bouchard, Begum Koulbanis, and Alexander Masi.

Michael Bouchard

Over his 20 years at SMMA, Michael Bouchard has demonstrated a devotion to the firm and his proficiency as a Project Architect and Building Enclosure Group Leader has greatly benefited the Corporate and Commercial, Higher Education, and Science and Technology studios. After completing multiple co-ops at SMMA, Bouchard graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology and was hired full-time to the SMMA team. Since then, he’s had the opportunity to contribute on a wide range of project types and clients.

"Developing longstanding professional relationships with numerous SMMA clients such as Waters Corporation, Providence College, and The Gutierrez Company has been extremely rewarding for me," Bouchard said. "All the people we work with at the end of the day are excellent, and we all are just trying to create the best finished product for their organization. Providing them with what they need is something that I always try to ensure.

Bouchard prides himself and his team on their devotion to providing first-class design services for every client. His emphasis on collaboration ensures that all elements of a project are successfully navigated and has allowed him to plant the roots of his career in an uplifting environment:

“SMMA has always been like a family to me. Starting my career under great mentors provided a strong foundation for me to build upon," Bouchard said. "Throughout my career at SMMA I’ve been fortunate to be part of many great opportunities. I can’t say enough about the people at SMMA and the role many of them have played in my success."

Bouchard is a certified Building Enclosure Commissioning Process Provider and a member of the AIA, Boston Society of Architects, and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.

Begum Koulbanis

After graduating from Boston University with a master’s in economics, Koulbanis joined SMMA as a Financial Analyst. In the 20 years since then, she has grown to become a Controller in SMMA’s accounting department, and a mainstay and leader at the firm.

“From the start, I realized that SMMA was a firm that supported new ideas, initiatives, and continued career growth,” Koulbanis said. “This was especially true within our Accounting group where Geoff Neale was a big supporter of any initiative that resulted in efficiency. I embraced that culture and made it my mission to streamline accounting processes with a focus on continuous improvement.”

Over her years at SMMA, Koulbanis has helped implement new technology that transformed SMMA’s accounting database into a tool that benefitted other departments like project managements, marketing, and human resources. Her efforts have advanced the firm’s success and have helped surround herself with a community of friends and family.

“I have grown to perceive SMMA not just as a place I work, but as my extended family. Many fond memories revolve around the friendships I built at SMMA, and some of my closest friends are current and past employees. It is hard for me to differentiate between work and family. They are the same.”

Alexander Masi

Since starting at SMMA more than 12 years ago, Masi’s expertise as an electrical engineer has proven invaluable over a variety of projects ranging from Higher Education to Science and Technology and he has built strong relationships with clients along the way.

“The Dell EMC data center and lab project was one of my first large projects to work on at SMMA, Masi said. “It was really technically challenging, and we had a great team on it. Since it was built in 2010, we have continued to modify and upgrade the lab and data center spaces. It’s been fun and rewarding to see our original design evolve while maintaining relationships with the client.”

As Chief Electrical Engineer, Masi helps to ensure a high quality of work for the department, as well as the development of the team: 

“Working as the chief electrical engineer has been rewarding because I have the opportunity to review almost every project that our department works on. I help all the staff members with training and solving any technical problems they might have, as well as maintaining the standards of our department.”

Masi is LEED certified, a Certified Building Commissioning Professional, and Professional Engineer. In addition to engineering design, he is also the Electrical Commissioning leader at SMMA and has been involved with SMMA’s commissioning group since its inception over a decade ago.

“We are proud to announce this exceptional class of principal promotions,” SMMA Chairman and CEO Ara Krafian said. “Begum, Alex, and Mike represent the very best of SMMA. Like so many SMMA leaders, all three have grown up at the firm from staff to the highest level of leadership. They embrace our values, embody our diverse practice, and have earned the respect of their peers and partners with every opportunity to collaborate. We are so pleased that they chose to entrust their careers to SMMA and thrilled to know that they will make the firm better for generations to come.”

Congratulations to all three of these distinguished members of the SMMA family. We are proud of all you have accomplished and excited for what the future holds.