Ara Krafian


Chairman | President | CEO


  • Joined the company at age 28 and has worked in several leadership roles; named CEO & president in 2007, Chairman of the Board in 2008
  • Advises clients on project development, cost control, and creative options for alternative approaches
  • Leads SMMA's strategic growth and development
  • Strengthens SMMA’s studio culture by encouraging continuous learning, professional development, and community involvement
  • Advocates cross-discipline collaboration and integrated project delivery to achieve the full benefit of a quality design
  • Actively directs corporate, commercial, and technology projects

Design Thinking

"The tradition of cross-discipline knowledge and informed idea-sharing has deep roots in our firm. SMMA was founded as an integrated firm sixty years ago. Since then, we have only grown to appreciate what the founding partners envisioned: a team approach and collaboration that is today proving to be an ideal match for complex, multi-discipline projects."

“We strive every day to advance a vibrant studio culture at SMMA; one built on knowledge sharing, lifelong learning, and community engagement.”

Starting Early

Ara began learning entrepreneurial and client service skills at a young age—working alongside his dad, Yervant “Eddy” Krafian, a custom shirtmaker who founded and ran Eddy’s Fine Men’s Shirts for 50 years on St. Catherine Street in Montreal, Newbury Street in Boston’s Back Bay, and Washington Street in Newton.

"His success was built on an incredible work ethic and taking care of people," says Ara. "He showed me the value of repeat business and the dedication required to earn it."