AFCI Board of Directors
Independent Board Member since 2023
Mark L. Smith, AIA, LEED AP, Senior Vice President Architecture, Director of Florida Operations, with GHP, Inc. which is an Architectural, Environmental Consulting, and Construction Services design-build firm based in Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Smith is a 1978 graduate of Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, who has over 40 years of experience in the building construction industry and has been a Registered Architect since 1985 with licenses in over ten states.
Mark began his career in Chicago, Illinois working on high-rise office and residential building projects with Fujikawa Johnson and Associates. He moved to New York City in 1985, where he managed a sole proprietorship practice for seven years working on residential and small commercial projects. He relocated his practice to Kauai, Hawaii in 1994. Mark began working with GHP in 1997, working on projects in Nashville, Tennessee for the first thirteen years of his tenure at GHP and then moving to Florida in 2010 where he has since managed the Florida operations for the company.
Mr. Smith has an abiding interest in combining the consulting expertise of GHP’s Architectural and Environmental studios to create sustainable and enduring design solutions on various institutional healthcare and senior living projects, as well as educational and high-tech projects designing complex laboratory facilities. He has succeeded in assisting in the development of the Construction Services business unit for the company implementing several multi-million-dollar design-build projects for various national clients. Mr. Smith is a member of American Institute of Architects (AIA), the US Green Building Council (USBGC), as well as National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE). Mr. Smith is also certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).
Fortunately, Mark was raised by parents who were faithful followers of Christ and who were always active in the church. He was the third of four boys. As a youth after giving his life to Christ at age 6, he was active in church attending all the youth activities that were available, and helping with Vacation Bible School, singing in the choir, etc. Unfortunately, from his college days and for a period of time after college, he lived his life by the world’s standards, and found himself divorced from his first marriage and distanced from his relationship with God. In his early-30s he rededicated his life to Christ and began seeking to live a life in relationship with Christ becoming active again in the church. Soon he met and married Neuzi in 1994 in the church where they were members. They spent the first 18-months of their marriage in Kauai, Hawaii and while there they became acquainted with their pastor Stan Hankins, who is now an itinerant minister with AFCI. Mark was able to develop a close relationship with Stan, which has endured for the many years since that time.
After returning to the mainland US from Hawaii, Mark was hired by GHP and has worked with them for over 25 years. During that time, he discovered his calling to be a Christian volunteer serving as a founding board member for a Christian Non-profit, Providence World Ministries (PWM), with the goal of building an Orphanage in Honduras. He was involved on that board for approximately nine years. It was the fulfillment of a dream to use his God-given talents as an Architect to advance His Kingdom on earth. His involvement with PWM included specifically the development of La Providencia, an orphanage, medical, and educational complex, in Siquatepeque, Honduras. He served as chairman of the board for PWM for six years while they initiated the development of this 80-acre orphanage project that included a 12,000 S.F. multipurpose medical clinic, which has two (2) surgical suites, a community center, and three orphan family homes as well as the initial planning for a K-12 school.
In 2016, he began work on a church project on the Ile de la Tortue, Haiti. This project involved the design-build construction of a Church building on a rocky site on the southeastern end of the island off the northern coast of Haiti. This project is ongoing; however, has been stalled due to the uncertain political and economic strife in that country.
Mark has also worked with Engineering Ministries International (EMI) as a volunteer, which has included architectural work on the design and development of a ministry complex in Santiago, Dominican Republic, and consulting on various other projects.
Over the past eight or so years, he and his wife have been active church members as part of Family Church in West Palm Beach, Florida. As a member of the church, he has served on the Finance Committee and has been a member of the Leadership Council for the church. He has also served as a leader of small groups focusing on Christian Financial Management and has been a team leader for their church’s First Impressions Team acting as a regular greeter during the weekly worship services. He has had the opportunity to develop an enduring personal relationship with his pastors at the church, who have been influential in his walk with Christ. Additionally, he has grown his faith through regular prayer and Bible study individually and in small groups.
As he and Neuzi approach their retirement years, they are looking to serve the Lord according to His calling and are continuing to seek to serve Him as he leads in the years ahead. This calling includes serving on the AFCI Board and working with EMI on various projects where Mark may be able to serve. They also look to living part-time in Brazil, Neuzi’s country of origin, enjoying family and seeking opportunities that may arise in ministry there.