Northern Ireland | Architectural Technologist
I am a Chartered Architectural Technologist and a Practice Principal and currently hold the positions of CIAT Vice-President Practice and Chairman of the Northern Ireland Region.
Those who know me know I am passionate and proud of my Institute and my profession. This passion is a huge motivator and is the reason why I give my time so freely to the issues that are close to me.
We are forward thinking modern professionals, we’re ambitious, we’re driven and we must be adaptable to keep up to date with the future trends while we practice – in which most times can be a demanding environment. For some these demands can take their toll and can detrimentally manifest themselves in many forms. It is absolutely incredible to know that the Society is here to offer help and support to those in our profession who may be experiencing difficult times. For this, I shall continue as always to promote the incredible support that ABS offers to our architectural professions.
I joined the ABS in 2001 as our Finance & Property Manager and became Chief Executive in February 2013. I previously worked for Upkeep, a charity providing building maintenance training courses. My principle goals as Chief Executive are to ensure that the Society is fit for purpose both now and in the future and continues to improve on the quality and range of services it provides to the wider architectural profession.
Chief Financial Officer
Admin & Property Officer
Wellbeing Programme Lead
I am an advocate for creating safe, mentally healthy workplaces and passionate about raising awareness of the importance of mental health to enable everyone to thrive via practical actions and steps to improve working culture in the architectural community.
I was previously responsible for supporting the delivery of the RIBA’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy by working with the organisation and its members, to become a more inclusive and diverse organisation and profession. I am part of several EDI related committees, panels, forums and networks, including the Mayor’s Greater London Authority Diversity Sounding Board, Architects’ Council of Europe’s Women in Architecture Taskforce; Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum and Women in Architecture UK.
I am also a Mental Health First Aider.
Supporter Engagement & Events Officer
Marketing and Communications Executive
Mark Grzegorczyk studied architecture at the Bartlett and became a chartered architect in 1983. Mark has over 30 years experience running his own practice specializing in the residential sector and the conservation of listed buildings. He now divides his time between London and the Isle of Wight providing consultancy and advisory services. Mark became a Trustee for the Architects Benevolent Society in 2015 and was appointed Honorary Secretary in 2019.
After more than 35 years in public and private practice as a chartered landscape architect, Nigel is now full-time Director of Studies for the School of Horticulture, Landscaping and Garden Design at Capel Manor College in north London – helping to train new recruits into the built environment profession.
John has been a Trustee since 2017 after being inspired to join ABS by his dad, a Trustee for a small local charity for over 40 years, and his good friend Simon. Simon, his wife Kacka and their youngest child Amelka died in tragic circumstances some years ago. ABS stepped in and provided much-needed support for his two eldest children and their grandmother.
“I always wanted to show my gratitude to ABS by helping them support other Architects in times of need” – John.
Karen is an architect with over 30 years of experience across a range of complex building types working in multi-disciplinary teams delivering integrated design solutions.
She is a currently working with Ekkist, a consultancy supporting designing building to support health and well-being to the international WELL standard as a project manager.
Previously, she was a Project Design Executive at Canary Wharf, and first made the transition to the client side working as a Design Leader in the team delivering the new Terminal Two project for Heathrow Airports Limited.
Before joining Heathrow, Karen was at BDP for 10 years where she was an Associate Director in the Living and Learning Studio.
Karen studied at the Welsh School of Architecture. She was on RIBA council from 2005-2009, when she joined the RIBA Building Futures steering group. She was also RIBA Honorary Treasurer from 2007-2009.
She was a member of the Women in Architecture Group and has recently joined the steering group of the Equilibrium Network working with an influential multi-disciplinary women’s group working across the built environment. She is a fellow of Royal Society of the Arts and member of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects.
Sumita is an award-winning architect, academic and author. Sumita received the UIA:UNESCO International design, Women In Business and Atkins Inspire awards.
Sumita setup Architects For Change, the Equality forum at RIBA and is past Chair of Women In Architecture. She is a non-executive Director of Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Sumita is a trustee of the Commonwealth Association of Architects. She is the founding director of Charushila, an international design charity for community projects.
Sumita has taught architecture in the UK and abroad. She is the author of several books and a popular speaker.
Richard Brindley is a Chartered Architect with additional qualifications in business and project management. He has over 30 years’ experience as a practicing architect, successfully developing and leading a range of large, medium and sole-practitioner practices; including Operations Director for a multi-disciplinary design consultancy and Chief Architect for a major residential developer. He was RIBA Director of Practice then Executive Director of Professional Services at the Royal Institute of British Architects for 12 years from 2003 to 2015, responsible for RIBA’s practice policy and membership services for Chartered Architects worldwide. He is now lead Director of ‘R Brindley Consult Ltd’, an independent consultancy company providing strategic management advice and project delivery support to professional membership and educational bodies. He is a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects, part-time post graduate lecturer and course director on clients, appointment contracts, professionalism and practice management at the Bartlett UCL and Architectural Association. He currently chairs the working party organising Teambuild UK and trustee of several charities including ABS. He is proud to be able to apply his overview and passionate support for the UK construction industry professions for the ABS and its welfare committee.
Aled Rees is an Associate Director with over 15 years’ experience successfully developing and leading a range of project from domestic, commercial, social housing and healthcare, becoming a Chartered Architectural Technologist in 2016. He is currently the resident Chair of the Wales Region for CIAT and undertakes mentoring of future applicants and undertakes Professional Interviews as part of the Chartered application process. He also visits universities speaking to students about being in practice. He is looking forward to providing his support for ABS and moving them forward in the future.
Scotland | Architect
Andy is an Architect, running a practice in Scotland. Though he had been aware of ABS, it wasn’t until he suffered an accident in 2014 that he truly appreciated the value of the support ABS provides.
“[ABS] were of great moral and financial support to myself but more importantly to my family immediately following my accident and during my recovery. It is a privilege to now be an ambassador for this fabulous society and be able to share my experience from my family’s time of need and what the ABS can offer us all” –Andy.Read Andy’s Blog Posts
Scotland | Architect
Rick is an Architect with 20 years of experience in private practice, owner and director of Smith Scott Mullan Associates in Edinburgh. Now a trustee, Rick has been an ABS ambassador since 2018.
“This is a rewarding role. I use my time and contacts to spread the word about the work ABS does and the support available for people in our profession. It is great to give back to the industry and use my personal and professional experience to help others, delivering professional development to other practices, fundraising and participating in workshops” –Rick.
Rick was honoured to represent ABS at the Queen’s Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in 2019 as a guest of our Patron, His Royal Highness Duke of Gloucester.Read Rick’s Blog Posts
Sangeeta is an architecture professional and works for FBM Architects on award-winning projects in the public & private sector. She is currently a volunteer at the Islington division of: Keep Our NHS Public, looking after long and short-term IT needs. She has also been a committee member at GSS UK for three years.
“I joined the ABS team as a Trustee because it gives me great satisfaction to contribute to worthwhile causes, and I believe I could add value through my diverse experiences. I enjoy meeting new people and forming meaningful connections. ” –Sangeeta
North East | Architect
As an Architect I have known of ABS for some time but following an ABS presentation at a local RIBA health and wellbeing event I discovered the extent of support they provide. This inspired me to become an Ambassador and help to raise awareness in the North East region of the amazing work done by the Society.
I am passionate about the mental health support ABS provides, enabling people to gain access to therapy during difficult times. Having someone to turn to, who can provide advice, through often short periods of difficulties can facilitate returning to work and allow careers to continue and flourish. ABS provide such support and I am keen to help spread their message.
As Principal Architect at JDDK Architects I have worked on many community projects for a range of charitable organisations who are driven to change people’s lives for the better. It is humbling to work with these people in such settings and as an ABS Ambassador I hope to be able to make a contribution to such change.