ABS Profile and Team

ABS Architects continues to be successfully managed by Jay Schwarz, AIA, NCARB with talented Principals Angela Phelan, AIA, and Bill Williams, RA.

Today ABS is one of the premier architectural practices in the Chesapeake Bay/Washington, DC region. Their residential work is focused on creating extraordinary town and waterfront residences with elegant interiors, architectural casework and exquisite kitchens. Their business and commercial expertise has developed into creating signature corporate and institutional buildings. Both residential and commercial projects are met with the highest caliber of client care that can be delivered.


Jay Scharz

Jay Schwarz, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP

Managing Principal

Jay Schwarz is a founding principal of ABS Architects. Jay is equally comfortable designing and managing the large commercial and institutional projects in the firm as well as the plethora of smaller scale residential additions and renovations. Additionally, Jay believes it is important to be involved with the community. He has been a member of the City of Annapolis Building Board of Appeals since 2005, sits on the Friends Board at St. John’s College, and is a life long supporter of local Chesapeake Bay driven environmental causes and concerns.

Angela Phelan

Angela Phelan, AIA


Angela earned her Masters of Architecture in 1991, and Bachelor of Science in Architecture in 1987 from University of Maryland while working in the field of graphic design and rendering. She began her architectural career as a residential designer in Washington D.C. with award winning firms and became a Registered Architect in 1995. She was offered a position in Project Management for a medical facility master plan with a firm in Baltimore. Along with interior fit out, Angela developed expertise in the facility planning and programming aspects of architecture and was elevated to a second Principal of the firm. She directly managed the system integrations of hospital functions during design through construction as well as the reconciliation of whole project costs. Angela began working at ABS Architects in 2003 with a primary focus on residential architecture with light commercial renovation. She engages in the design process from the feasibility concepts through the development of contract documents. She especially enjoys the challenges of understanding and interpreting city or county codes. Angela is a people person and team player, always eager to take on the opportunity to work with clients and contractors to bring a concept design through construction administration.

Bill Williams

Bill Williams, RA, LEED AP


Bill Williams is a lifelong City of Annapolis resident. Bill earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Catholic University, 1985, and a Master’s Degree in Architectural Design from Clemson University, 1991. He received his architectural license in Washington DC 1989, and Maryland 1994. Additionally, he is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited – LEED AP, 2008 and LEED AP BD+C 2010. With his projects located in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC, Bill has wide reaching experience and a varied career in large and small commercial and institutional development projects. An important in-house manager of ABS Architects’s commercial and institutional teams – and as Project Architect for 25 years, Bill’s experience includes the Historic SJC Carrol Barrister House, Annapolis Recreation Center, Severn Bank Corporate Office Building, 35,000 seat Naval Marine Corps Memorial Stadium renovations and additions, and the USNA – Ron Terwilliger Center for Student-Athletes at Ricketts Hall. Bill – an avid fan of the history of Annapolis and the area – serves on the City of Annapolis Historic Preservation Commission which reviews all construction proposals within the Historic City of Annapolis.

Sarah Favrao

Senior Associate

Sarah Favrao’s primary focus is Concept Design and Design Development for residential projects. Sarah is particularly adept and exceptionally strong in developing a project’s parti and form language. Coming from a family of architects and artists and growing up in a mid-century modern house, Sarah discovered her love of design at an early age. She earned a B.S. in Architecture from the University of Virginia, with an emphasis on preservation and adaptive reuse. A stint in Italy studying Andrea Palladio cemented her lifelong respect for history and for the relationship of inside and outside spaces. She earned her MArch from Virginia Tech’s Alexandria Center. With over 30 years of experience in both large and small firms, she continues to delight in helping clients realize the homes that they imagine. In her off hours, Sarah is grateful for friends and family time, traveling, playing tennis, and gardening.

Peter Tokar

Peter Tokar, Architect / Associate

Project Manager

Peter earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the New York Institute of Technology in 1981 and became licensed in the State of New York in 1983. In the years that followed he was employed by several prominent residential architects on Long Island, and eventually established his own firm located in Westhampton Beach – specializing in custom residential housing in the prestigious Hamptons. Peter has over 30 years of experience and is the recipient on numerous awards and accolades. With ABS since moving to Maryland in 2018 he has now become an important residential team leader. Peter is responsible for coordination and developing the Architectural Concept Design, Design Development through Construction Documents Phase as well as the management, coordination and Administration of the Construction Phase.

David Ferrara

David Ferrara, Associate

Project Architect

David Ferrara earned a Bachelor’s in Architecture from the Catholic University of America and graduated with honors. With more than 18 years of experience, Mr. Ferrara has earned numerous Computer Aided Design Certificates and 3D Rendering Certificates. Dave is responsible for developing architectural components for both commercial and high end residential projects. He efficiently manages client details and coordination among all disciplines to effectively meet project deadlines. His role at ABS Architects includes executing Initial Code Research Reports, Feasibility Studies, Site Selection Reports, Project Material Research, and reviewing all Architectural Shop Drawings.

Michael Ogle

Michael Ogle

Project Architect

Michael began an early career in construction, working on many projects in historic Annapolis as a carpenter’s apprentice. Michael then moved on from carpentry to study architecture in Rome and New York, where he earned a five-year Bachelors of Art and Architecture with a concentration in Historic Preservation from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. He also holds an Associate’s degree in Architecture from Anne Arundel Community College. His combined carpentry and architectural work history stretches over three decades of high-end residential work. An integral part of the small projects team at ABS – Michael is adept at the development and coordination of the design and document components of both residential and commercial projects.

Viraja Raavi

Viraja Raavi

Interior Design

Born and raised in India, Raavi’s family manufactured flooring and wall tiles. This helped Raavi developed interest in Design at a very young age. Raavi graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Interior Design in 2017. She also has Bachelor’s and Master of Fine Art in Interior Design from Jawaharlal Institute of fine Arts in Hyderabad, India. During her time at Atlanta, she worked on a feature film as an Assistant Set Designer. This proved to be an important internship as she focused on the different facets of design which she now uses favorably in her work. Raavi was fortunate enough to work with a nationally recognized Interior Designer straight out of college. Socializing with some of the important designers in the industry, Raavi was given an early insight into the makings of successful Interior Design firms. With experience in both residential and commercial project genres, she’s proven herself as an innovative designer. A childhood in India and time spent studying and working in both India and the United States have given Raavi a dynamic personality and the ability to communicate in five languages. That alongside a diverse set of design influences and a unique understanding of cultural issues, has made her a recent but important part of the team at ABS Architects. Apart from work, Raavi also has many varied interests. She’s an amateur photographer and jointly runs a successful website – as well as developing social media for ABS.

Colin J. Smith

Colin J. Smith, Associate

Project Architect

Colin received a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Lehigh University and a Master of Architecture from Virginia Tech. With over two decades focusing on residential and private club design, he is known for his hands-on approach to architectural design and construction administration. Colin is responsible for bringing designs to life by developing architectural drawings and details, coordinating product specifications, managing design consultants, reviewing shop drawings and submittals, and working with both owner and contractor to resolve unexpected challenges. Among other talents, Colin has a deep understanding of how seemingly insignificant details come together to produce thoughtful designs that are well-suited to client goals and beautiful projects.

Jeff Renshaw

Jeff Renshaw

Project Architect

A native of Maryland, Jeff spent twenty years in the residential construction industry before turning exclusively to architectural design in 2002. He owned and operated a design/build company in Texas before returning home and co-founding an architectural millwork company specializing in period design.

Jeff has worked for various firms in the Annapolis market in the last twenty years, including an eight-year stint with ABS Architects from 2006 – 2014. He rejoined ABS in early 2022 and brings to the firm decades of hands-on experience in design detailing.

Fe Seganfredo Cavaignac

Fe Seganfredo Cavaignac, Architect

Project Architect

Michael Portillo-Alberto

Graduate Architect