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Updated: July 24, 2023

Maine's largest architecture firm designs succession plan

Side by side portraits of a woman (left) and man (right) Photos / Tim Greenway file and Provided Ellen Belknap, who has led Portland-based SMRT Architects and Engineers since 2004, will be succeeded as president by Bradley Hodges as of Jan. 1, 2024. She will stay on with the firm.

Under a leadership succession plan designed by Portland-based SMRT Architects and Engineers, Bradley Hodges will succeed Ellen Belknap as president at the start of 2024.

Belknap, who joined the firm as an intern architect in 1986, has served as president since 2004 and will continue at SMRT after stepping down as president. She was honored as a Mainebiz Woman to Watch in 2014 and told Mainebiz in 2018 that "I get my energy from watching people grow."

SMRT Architects and Engineers, which traces its roots to 1883, tops a Mainebiz list of the state’s largest architecture firms ranked by number of Maine architects, and then by number of .Maine employees. The most recent list was published in the print edition of Mainebiz out today.

The firm's portfolio includes WEX Inc.'s global headquarters on Portland’s waterfront, Tyler Technologies Inc.'s Orono office and the L.L.Bean's revamped corporate headquarters in Freeport. 

Besides its Portland base at 75 Washington Ave., SMRT has offices in Bangor; Schenectady, N.Y.; and Andover, Mass.

'Keen strategic thinker'

Hodges joined SMRT in 2001 and leads the firm’s science, technology and manufacturing practice.
“He has ably grown our science, technology and manufacturing practice nationwide and established our Massachusetts office in 2007," Belknap said. "Brad is a keen strategic thinker, bringing sound business and technical acumen. He is committed to both building the firm’s future and developing opportunities for every employee, while using design to solve complex problems.”
Hodges is credited with growing SMRT’s practice delivering 24/7 facilities for industries including life sciences, microelectronics, indoor aquaculture, battery manufacturing, defense/aerospace and nutrition. 

He is a member of SMRT’s board of directors and a graduate of the Wentworth Institute of Technology, a private university in Boston.
“I’m humbled to have the privilege of leading such a talented and creative group of design professionals,” Hodges said. “Ellen’s leadership has set the firm on a growth trajectory, with a strong culture rooted in transparency and developing opportunities for our employees at every level. I look forward to working with my colleagues to amplify these efforts and reach ever higher, delivering design solutions to move our clients’ businesses forward.”

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