From Jim Bell Architectural Design Inc. to Bell+Associates Architecture

If you’ve been following us for a while you will have noticed that our name has changed. The new name and branding reflect the growth of our team and three Associates, including Maria, our Associate Architect OAA, our Associate, Tim and our Associate and Production Manager, Amie. The depth of Jim’s experience is the foundation of our design portfolio and he remains our President and team leader.

Who are we? We’re a team of professionals with a passion for designing beautiful and purposeful residential, retail, office and commercial spaces for families, businesses and organizations. We take our responsibility to our clients very seriously, but we like to have fun while we work and love to collaborate with people who have a sense of humour and seek to enjoy the journey. For Jim, and for our entire team, the design process is always about fulfilling our clients’ vision and designing spaces that will function exceptionally well for their day-to-day lives.
Jim Bell – President and Architectural Designer

Our founder and Architectural Designer, Jim, has over 35 years of experience designing for a wide variety of residential and commercial projects. He knows design and construction so well that we sometimes have to remind him that it’s not all that common to be able to visualize an entire house in your head. Jim loves designing waterfront homes – some people call them cottages, but if you take a look at our portfolio, you will probably agree that his designs are far beyond the typical cottage. He has no aspirations to produce grand architectural statements that don’t meet our clients’ needs and are difficult to construct. And he doesn’t chase industry awards. His best reward is a client saying they love living in their home or cottage… and they wouldn’t change a thing. When he’s not coming up with creative solutions or meeting with a client, you will find Jim with his family at his favourite place in the world, his waterfront home on the Ottawa River.

Maria Beauchemin, Architect OAA, Bell+Associates Architecture
Maria Beauchemin – Associate Architect OAA

Maria graduated with distinction from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Architectural Studies and a Master of Architecture and is a registered Architect with the Ontario Association of Architects and a member of the RAIC. With a smile and optimistic view of the world, she enjoys collaborating with clients to create exceptional commercial and residential spaces with a particular specialization in commercial buildings and modern residential projects. During her time at two Ottawa architecture firms, she has collaborated with clients and colleagues on numerous commercial projects, including a major drive-through recycling facility, the Green Roof for the Ottawa Courthouse, retail locations, and government facilities. A highlight of her residential experience, she designed a unique, off-grid, contemporary-style, island cottage that fits seamlessly into the surrounding natural environment.

Tim Gilchrist – Associate and Senior Architectural Technologist

Tim is an Associate and Architectural Technologist extraordinaire. He is the longest-standing member of our design team, aside from Jim, of course. You’ll find him in our Pembroke office creating accurate, detailed drawings and providing excellent customer service for our Pembroke-area clients. Tim is down-to-earth and always enjoys a good laugh. When he’s not at the office, you may find him out and about on his motorcycle exploring remote sites in the Valley, teaching carpentry and construction courses at Pembroke’s Algonquin campus, or hanging out with his lovely wife and two grown daughters at their unique rural home — designed by Tim, of course!

Photo of Amie Cybulski, Sr Architectural Technician and Production Manager, Bell+Associates Architecture
Amie Cybulski – Associate and Production Manager

Talk about down-to-earth! Amie is the only team member who could survive in the woods for months at a time, and still find a way to complete your drawings. She keeps all of our residential and commercial projects on track and co-ordinates the design team’s activities. Whether you are a residential or commercial client, you will have the pleasure of communicating with Amie when you begin the design process. She is also our rendering guru, producing many of the photo-like renderings you see on our website and social media. A highly-experienced Senior Architectural Technician she continues to update her knowledge with the latest courses. We joke with her that she must be close to completing all of them by now (there are a lot of them!). She’s quick to smile and is one of the most pleasant people you’ll ever meet. She works out of the Pembroke office and when she’s not creating detailed drawings for clients or awesome renderings, you’ll find her enjoying the outdoors and learning something new… like how to make her own shoes!

Amey Taylor – Senior Architectural Technologist

Yes! We are fortunate enough to have two fabulous women named Amie/Amey on our team! Fortunately, they spell their names differently. Amey joined our team in 2021, bringing with her extensive experience as an Architectural Technologist. Amey graduated with an Advanced Architectural Technologist Diploma from George Brown College. She brings a unique set of skills and perspective to every design, made possible because of her deep knowledge of the industry. You will also find that she is one of the calmest people you will ever meet — nothing flusters Amey! When she isn’t working, she loves to be outdoors camping, hiking, spending time on the water and spending time with her fiancé and their five children.

Hannah Sample – Sr Architectural Technician

Hannah joined our team in April 2022 as an experienced Senior Architectural Technician. Hannah has wanted to design homes for as long as she can remember and has a real passion for custom homes. She works with our design team to prepare drawings, technical specifications, and documents from preliminary design through to permit application and construction administration. A graduate of Algonquin College’s Architectural Technician program, Hannah worked at an Ottawa architecture firm, gaining experience with a wide range of residential, commercial, and institutional projects.

A Leader of the Richmond 4-H Club and a Director of the Richmond Agricultural Society (Richmond Fair Board), being involved in the community is important to Hannah. When she isn’t working or volunteering, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family and her golden retriever, Bilbo, and stays active with running, camping, hiking, kayaking, and traveling.

Erin Cassel, Jr Architectural Technologist, Bell+Associates Architecture Inc.
Erin Cassel, Jr Architectural Technologist

Erin graduated with honours from Sheridan College with an advanced diploma in Architectural Technology. She is passionate about sustainable design practices and is enjoying both custom residential and commercial architecture as she quickly develops her knowledge and expertise working with our team of experienced technologists. Erin worked in industrial sales during college, gaining knowledge of the supply chain and operations in a wide range of industries.

In her free time, Erin loves to be outdoors, landscaping and creating her own backyard paradise, as well as exploring new trails with her dog. Her happy place is in her kitchen baking desserts and having friends over for appetizers and game nights.

Jay Renaud – Technologist

Jay supports the design team, working from the Pembroke office, producing as-found and other drawings, specifications and documents throughout the design process. He holds a diploma in Architectural Technology from Algonquin College. Good natured and quick to smile, you will find he is a true team player, always willing to jump in and help other team members and clients. A Canadian Forces Veteran of 14 years, Jay was injured in Afghanistan and is one of very few Canadians who has received the Military Medal of Valour from the Governor General of Canada. Released from the forces, he went back to school at Algonquin College in Ottawa to study Architectural Technology. A happy husband to Chahrazade, and father of three, he enjoys spending his time in the country, hiking, exploring, cross country skiing, fishing and camping. Future goals include hiking Patagonia, Iceland and New Zealand and climbing mountains in the Yukon.

Stephanie Robertson – Director of Marketing and Communications

Stephanie is often the first person you’ll chat with when you contact us about a new project. She is our marketing and social media guru and “Jill of all trades”. In addition to her educational background in Industrial Design and Business Administration, she has extensive marketing experience in the high tech, financial and small business sectors. When she isn’t engaging with new clients, updating this website, photographing homes, or posting the latest project on social media, she is spending time with her family or capturing nature’s beauty through her camera lens.

Valerie Thibault – Administrative Assistant
Valerie Thibault is our Administrative Assistant. Those who inquire about our services will have the opportunity to chat with Valerie and she will take care of scheduling consultations, sending out proposals and contracts, as well as supporting the team with a variety of admin duties. Always ready with a friendly smile and “how can I help?” attitude, she is enthusiastic about keeping everything and everyone organized. Valerie studied Business Management & Entrepreneurship at Algonquin College and developed her administration skills through progressive experience in retail and restaurant service, quickly working her way up to retail management roles. When she isn’t working, Valerie loves to spend time in her kitchen, baking delicious treats and sharing her culinary expertise with family and friends.
Julie Noel-Johnson – Business Manager

Julie looks after everything financial and is the person to contact if you have questions about arranging payments or other account inquiries. She has over 30 years of experience supporting small businesses and has a strong focus on customer service. She has a great sense of humour and tells it like it is with the team. You can always count on getting a direct answer from Julie. When she isn’t working, her happy place is at the cottage with her family and friends.

Steve Bromley – Business Advisor

Steve provides invaluable financial and strategic advice to Jim Bell and his team. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Certified General Accountant (CGA) with over 30 years of leadership experience in private and public companies at both management and board levels. Most recently he served as the CEO of SunOpta Inc., a leading integrated, global natural, organic and specialty foods company, where he spent 15 years in a variety of roles including CFO and COO. Prior to SunOpta he fulfilled a wide range of financial and operational roles at both Natrel Inc. and Ault Foods Limited. When Steve isn’t leading business growth, he enjoys relaxing at the cottage with family and friends.