About Synthesis

Our Leadership

We have a two-tiered Leadership Team at Synthesis. Our Operational Team consists of Directors who report to the President on daily operations. Each offers insight and expertise from an average of 30 years of experience. 

Our Strategic Leadership Team includes our Operational Team plus studio staff who are associate leaders. This team establishes the overall short/long term initiatives and strategies for Business Development, Finance, and Studio endeavors.

A different approach to leadership


Jenelle Smagala, AIA

President and Founder

Jenelle is an experienced architect and leader of nearly 34 years. Driven by her collaborative spirit, she takes pride in providing the best design outcomes possible through synthesizing information from a variety of sources. As founder and president, her goals include developing new relations with clients and consultants, leading and mentoring a talented studio, and ensuring the highest quality in every project. In 2016, Jenelle was recognized by the IBJ as a Woman of Influence for her extraordinary commitment to the City of Indianapolis through her work with clients like the Indianapolis International Airport, Eskenazi Health, 16 Tech, Eli Lilly and more.  


Greg Perkins, AIA

Creative Director

Greg is passionate about advancing thoughtful design that makes a statement, has longevity, and inspires civic pride in our clients and communities. His 10 years of creating education, civic, and multi-family projects have nurtured his passion for impactful design. In addition to his design leadership in the studio, Greg also enjoys his role in our business development team and is focused on civic, multi-family, and mixed-use markets. Outside of the office, when he is not designing and building his own custom furniture pieces, Greg enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids, hiking, and generally being outdoors.


John Gilligan

Director of Finance

John leads the company’s financial reporting, accounting, and related internal controls functions. John's passion for closely-held business management can be traced back to his nearly 30-year tenure at Haney CPA Group, where he spent significant time consulting with small and medium-sized business owners. He also moonlights as our go-to “IT guy”.  Outside of the office he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and riding motorcycles. 


Todd Carlson

Director of Studio Operations

Todd’s experience over the last 35 years has afforded him the opportunity to work on over 200 projects of various scope and complexity. He believes providing excellent architectural design services relies accurate determination and documentation of the client's needs and desires to achieve a pleasant and well functioning design.

Todd leads teams that creatively develop solutions to complex programs and space limitations. He is dedicated to providing you with the highest level of service in all phases of the design and construction process.


Kevin Austin

Director of Business Development



Ryan Mills

Director of Studio Culture

Ryan Mills, AIA, NCARB, CDT has been with Synthesis Incorporated for nearly 11 years. He earned his Bachelors of Science in Architecture and Masters in Architecture at the University of Cincinnati. With experience in diverse project types, Ryan leverages a wide knowledge base to bring comprehensive and strategic architectural solutions to client’s complex problems. Outside of the office he enjoys catching shows at several theatres in and around downtown Indy. One of his favorite events of the year is the IndyFringe Theatre Festival every August.

Ready to Begin?

Whether you need a single building or a complete master plan for your campus of specialized building, reach out to the experts at Synthesis to ensure the success of your project.
We are committed, To you and the end results.