SMMA Announces New CFO and Director of Architecture

SMMA has announced two promotions to senior roles in the firm: Begum Koulbanis as Chief Financial Officer and Nick Koulbanis as Director of Architecture.

The promotions were announced at SMMA’s annual New Year’s Toast, along with a separate announcement of four new shareholders.

“I am thrilled to announce the promotion of Begum Koulbanis to CFO,” said Ara Krafian, CEO and President. “Begum has flourished at SMMA over a 22-year career. The confidence she has been able to establish among colleagues through her talent, competence, and charm will serve the firm well for years to come.”

Begum began working in SMMA’s accounting team in 2000 and has managed the department since 2008. She takes over the position from longtime CFO Geoff Neale, who will remain at SMMA as a mentor and co-leader of the department. 

Begum’s transformational contributions to the firm include a focus on business analytics such as data-informed staffing, fostering collaboration between project managers and department managers, and working closely with project managers on forecasting project profit and loss statements. She has served as mentor to countless young professionals at SMMA seeking to improve their skills in accounting and business sense.

Begum earned an MBA from Boston College in 2008 and is an active community member with Cambridge Public Schools.

“Nick Koulbanis’ promotion to Director of Architecture assures that our largest discipline is in great hands,” said Krafian. “He is a progressive leader who understands both the craft and business of architecture. We recognized that Nick is the right person for this moment as SMMA carefully plans for growth and lasting success as we approach our 70th anniversary.”

An SMMA “boomerang”, Nick began his career at the firm in 2004. After several years away in a critical business role, Nick returned in 2017 to help lead the development of SMMA’s projects across a broad range of markets including Life Science, Higher Education, and Commercial.

Nick recently served as president of AIA Rhode Island, stepping down from the role in December 2022. He was also honored with the Morse Stone Fellowship in recognition of his contributions to the Rhode Island chapter as an architect and a mentor.

Congratulations to Begum and Nick on their promotions!