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Alicia Pughsley and Charlie Abram are two of Birchfield Penuel's prized emerging leaders--both of whom joined the BPA family upon completing their respective internships with us through Auburn University's Urban Studio. Both Alicia and Charlie lead by example with grace and a strength that does not command respect but receives very much of it nonetheless.


Alicia PughSley, AIA LEED AP

  • This is Alicia's 10th year at BPA! Alicia was welcomed to BPA in 2008 and has, over the course of the last decade, grown from being the youngest ever licensed female architect in our office to being an completely invaluable Senior Associate!
  • Alicia has also served AIA Birmingham's Executive Committee (EXCOM) for 8 years in several capacities: Councilor, First Year Director, Second Year Director, and currently as the Secretary.
  • In the office, in addition to being a stellar project manager, Alicia serves as a member of BPA's Future Business Advisory Group - helping to usher in vision and strategy for our BPA family for years to come! Additionally, Alicia is the mama bear-captain-extraordinaire of our in-house Digital Marketing team. She has used her passion for design in all areas and skill to form our team and continues to lead our crew through always-developing and growing ideas and techniques!
  • Alicia is the proud wife of Kevin, a middle school science teacher and coach, and also the super mom to two adorable boys: Maddox, 5 y.o. and Ian, 2 y.o
  • In the free time she has, Alicia is involved in her church, has a stationary company-side hustle, loves practicing her water coloring skills, and enjoys taking all three of her boys on adventures around the city, to the Birmingham zoo, or neighborhood park.
"I love problem solving.  Something about trying to figure out a problem or floor plan for a client is like a puzzle for me….and I love puzzles."
"I decided to join the BPA team full time after my co-op with them during my time at Urban Studio.  I loved the people.  I instantly felt part of a team and a family.  I also loved that I was included in project conversations and design from the start  instead of being pigeon holed doing stair details."
"I love going to various spots around town with my husband and two boys – whether it’s the zoo, the park, or various festivals and events.  Birmingham always has something fun going on.  I also love to take drawing and painting classes here in town when time allows."

Charlie Abram, Assoc. AIA

  • Charlie graduated from Auburn University's Urban Studio in 2015 and over his last 3-4 years at BPA has been a steady treasure - offering both dependable and inventive ideas and contributions on project teams and the variety of committees and groups he serves on.
  • To play along with the 2016 election year, Charlie was elected as BPA's "Chief Intern." And while the title might be slightly in jest, his role is certainly not. Charlie keeps all of our BPA Emerging Professionals tethered to their goals of passing their respective ARE tests and meeting milestones for licensure while also encouraging their participation in the profession as a whole. 
  • Charlie serves in this capacity not only inside our office, but also within AIA Birmingham as Emerging Professionals (EP) Director. As the EP Director, his responsibilities include facilitating the development of the EPs and serving as an ambassador and liaison between the young professionals of the AIA and the broader organization.
  • Don't let his exemplification of men's professional style confuse you, Charlie is an outdoor junkie. He loves to hike Ruffner and Red Mountain or go on an evening jog around Railroad park. Charlie is also very involved in his church community and can therefore be found around the city proselytizing about one of his three loves: Jesus, Birmingham, or Beyonce. 
I love SO MANY things about BPA, but the thing I appreciate most is the opportunity and encouragement to cultivate the career I truly desire. It is very important for me to have balance between professional development and civic involvement. I’m able to pursue interests outside of the office [and the profession], without being expected to compromise my growth as an architect or the project teams I’m able to work on."

"Since my first day at BPA, I have been encouraged to immerse myself into every project I have an opportunity to work on—whether it was going to last for 3 days or for 3 months. It became immediately apparent that new ideas were enthusiastically welcomed and were not considered a hindrance. Listing all of the things I learned during my Urban Studio co-op would take an extremely long time. But, the lasting impression that made me eager to return is just as true as it was three years ago: BPA believes that people are its greatest asset."

"My absolute favorite thing about Birmingham is the prevalence of great outdoor spaces within quick access of downtown. My ideal Saturday includes a few hours with a great book, under a shady tree in Railroad Park."

At BPA we believe our greatest asset is the people on our team. We pride ourselves on honing our design talents and empowering team members to grow as leaders during every phase of their respective careers. We’re extremely proud of Alicia and Charlie and grateful for the way they represent BPA so well!