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Administration

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Christine Benson

Bensonwood Co-Founder

Christine’s roles at the company have been many and varied since she was a “kid” just a few decades ago. She was there in the 70’s, living in a cabin with Tedd, helping him build a woodworking business that evolved into the state-of-the-art design/build firm it is today. Christine’s responsibilities have changed with the continued expansion of products, services, and facilities. She has a played a key role in shaping our evolving models of teamwork participation and management, open books, profit sharing models, employee ownership, informative group decision making, financial analysis, health benefits, and more. Beyond all this, she wins the Grammy Award for singing grandson, Karl’s praises—and when not on play dates, or sewing and knitting the boy’s clothes, you’ll find Christine chasing after Tedd on her road (and off-road) bicycles.

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Tedd Benson

Author, Founder of Bensonwood

Since 1974, Tedd Benson has been the founding owner of Bensonwood. During that time, Tedd has championed high-performance, sustainable homebuilding—always with an emphasis on innovation, quality, and social responsibility. He and the company have been featured on a number of shows in the PBS series, This Old House, as well as Good Morning America, and the Today Show. In addition, Tedd has authored four seminal books on timberframing, the first of which, Building the Timber Frame House, (Scribner’s Sons, 1980, Simon & Schuster, 1995) was instrumental in the revival of this centuries-old form of building with heavy timber. Over the past decade, Tedd’s unwavering search for new and better ways to build has resulted in an exclusive design/build system called Open-Built®. In honor of Tedd’s pioneering contributions, Unity College, “America’s Environmental College,” asked Tedd to deliver its 2008 commencement address at its Unity, Maine campus. He received an honorary Doctorate of Environmental Sustainability from the college on May 10, 2008. In 2009, Tedd was a featured Speaker at the Greenbuild Conference in Boston. When he’s not on his bicycle, he’s at work.

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Kevin Bittenbender

Company Steward, Head of Production

After studying economics at Middlebury College, Kevin took a “sabbatical” to work on his MBA (Masters in Big Air) in Breckenridge, CO. When the mountain closed, he took a carpentry job and discovered his passion for building homes. Speaking of passion, he also met his wife, Peggy, during this four year ski bumming stint. The two of them have since co-authored Gus, Beatriz, and Georgia, the brightest-eyed trio we know. This sweet family has moved into the oldest timberframed home on Pratt Road. Kevin is retrofitting the home with the foundation it has been missing for more than two centuries. They are wicked busy, but never too busy to share a beer and a laugh.

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Chris Carbone, PE

Company Steward, Head of Engineering

Chris leads the design team at Bensonwood — scheduling and managing the production work flow through the office. Licensed as a Structural Engineer, he’s ultimately responsible for the structural integrity of our projects. As an undergraduate at Dartmouth College he majored in engineering and minored in studio art. His first few years here he apprenticed under Ben Brungraber, PhD, PE, and learned how to efficiently design beautiful structures with celebrated wooden and steel joinery. Additionally, with a Master’s of Science in Building Technology from MIT he has the ability to quantitatively analyze building’s energy performance and is constantly staying current with innovative construction techniques. Chris’ broad spectrum of knowledge about buildings, their systems, and the way they work (or don’t) has enabled him to contribute across the spectrum at Bensonwood. He’s been a fan of architecture ever since he was a a little kid, and loves working hard to meet the needs of various architectural styles with efficient structural design. Chris is also his own guinea pig; he built his own house and carport in the nearby town of Langdon, and now lives there with his wife and daughter. Their super-insulated, passive solar house employs an early version of Bensonwood’s OB Plus wall. He heats with a Masonry Wood Heater, which burns cordwood (about 2). Chris is always looking for the next challenge; give him a call if you think you have it.

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Bob Oberlander

Comptroller and Company Steward

A dentist in his former life, “Bob O” extracted himself from crown building to cement his bona fides as a homebuilding accountant. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Ithaca College, Bob O is married to  Maria, and  has a  teenage daughter, Mikaela. As an avid skier, mountain biker, road biker, and backpacker, it’s not surprising that Bob O has lived in Telluride, CO, Killington, VT, and Keene, NH — and has traveled throughout Europe, South America, the Middle East, and ski country USA. As a construction accountant, Bob will keep Bensonwood’s projects on track and on budget.

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Hans Porschitz

Company Steward, Head of Project Management and Product Delivery

After graduating in 1998 with an engineering degree in Wood Technology from the University of Applied Science in Rosenheim, Germany, Hans worked as a Research and Development consultant for several German prefabricated housing manufacturers. In 2000 he joined Bensonwood Homes in Walpole, NH. As a member and coordinator of the collaborative “Open-Prototype Initiative,” he participated in a number of projects including the Net-Zero, LEED Platinum, Unity House and BrightBuilt Barn, as well at the renowned Loblolly house. Hans is the Project Management team leader at Bensonwood and involved with development of new and improved systems and products for the construction industry. He enjoys the outdoors, skiing, biking, and traveling. Emily, his wife teaches at Keene State College, and his young son, Karl operates a large fleet of Matchbox trucks & cars.

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Randall S. Walter, AIA, LEED AP

Company Steward, Head of Architecture & Design

Randall joined Bensonwood after graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture and French from Carnegie Mellon University in 1992. Randall has spearheaded the development of a 3D design system for residential design and construction, which has been his focus during the last 10 years, resulting in the Open-Built design/build system to allow for rapid design exploration with predictable results. Randall’s designs have appeared in This Old House Magazine, Fine Homebuilding, Architectural Digest, and American Bungalow, and he has served residential clients from California to the United Kingdom. Since 1997, Randall has been an adjunct professor of Architecture at Keene State College and has developed and taught design studios, architectural history, and a biennial design/build practicum. Randall lives with his wife, Marni and their two daughters, Carina and Natasha, in a beautiful Bensonwood home, which was cut, raised and finished with the help of our Bensonwood community of employees and friends. He enjoys skiing, auto restoration, carving, furniture design/build and is an avid ice hockey player.

Building Systems

Seth Ashworth

Building Systems/Roof Shop

Seth grew up in Acworth and now lives in Troy, NH with his wife, Frannie and their three kittens. Seth and Frannie enjoy gardening together and Seth also likes to hunt and fish when he finds time. Having been on the road in South Dakota and Colorado for most of his memorable experience, Seth considers coming to Bensonwood one of the best decisions he’s ever made. As for the future? Some day, he says, he’ll get to Disneyland!

John Bayles

Building Systems

Proving that life is a circuitous path, “Johnny,” as his friends call him, has pruned and grafted fruit trees on several farms, maintained green houses, worked in a fine jewelry woodshop, and was a weatherization technician for SEVCA, helping people cope with high home heating costs through improvements to the home’s thermal envelope. But with the common themes of “wood,” and “energy efficiency” throughout his work experience, it was inevitable that an employer with “wood” in its name and “energy efficiency at its core,” was destined to be his new home. Johnny grew up living all over the U.S., from Florida to California to Washington State. He also spent a couple of years as a child living abroad in Japan with his mother. His hobbies include hiking, disc golf, playing in a band, skateboarding, gardening, and mycology, among many others.  Johnny says he’s learned through practice and many great teachers, and he’ll get plenty of both at Bensonwood.

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Paul Boa

Panel Designer

Paul found out about Bensonwood while living in Toronto with his wife, Kathryn. He signed up for one of our seminars in 1987 and liked it so much he never left. Paul has worn many hats at Bensonwood. He got his start in the timberframe shop where he worked as a job captain for four years. In Paul’s former life in Canada, he owned a small cabinet shop so when our woodworking department was born, Paul moved on to this new department where he headed up the crew. The company continued to grow and when the Building Systems shop was conceived, Paul was up to the challenge. Most recently, Paul has taken on the development of a new facet of Building Systems – Mechanical Systems. Paul, Kathryn and their two beautiful daughters live in a timberframe home in Alstead that they built with the help of all of their friends.

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Iver Bowen

Builder

A New Hampshire native, Iver grew up in the south central town of Hancock. Prior to joining Bensonwood’s Building Systems department, Iver served in the military, afterwards, worked on the railroad, and later in carpentry — which is where he got his discipline, punctuality, and craftsmanship, respectively. In his off time, Iver likes to hunt and fish.

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Shawn Brown

Builder

Shawn (aka “Junior”) Brown built his first post and beam structure while still in high school in Jaffrey, NH. As a junior, Shawn had elected to take a Building Trades class where he took to the noble profession of building — so much so that in his senior year he earned the Conant High School “2013 Builder of the Year” award, and with it, a Makita skill saw and drill. Shawn’s previous work experience includes three years at KDI Landscaping, so one could say he learned the construction business from the ground up. With Bensonwood’s culture of continuous learning, Junior’s learning curve will undoubtedly continue. He resides in his home town of Jaffrey.


Philip Garrison

Building Systems

Phil was born in Rhinebeck but lived in Hyde Park NY for most of his life. It was during his time at FDR high school that he first was introduced to the world of carpentry working after school for local contractor D.F.Craft Construction. He continued working while going to college on holiday and summer breaks until his graduation from SUNY Purchase with a Bachelor of Liberal Studies: Fine Arts degree. He’s lived in New York City and has traveled all over the country on multiple road trips to take in all America has to offer. A Renaissance man of

sorts, Phil loves soccer, hiking, camping, cooking, reading, all types of IPAs and is an artist of traditional and digital media.

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Adam Gunn

Builder

“Gunner” went to high school in Bellows Falls, VT, and later studied Civil Engineering in college. Prior to joining Bensonwood, Gunner worked for various small contractors doing carpentry and roofing. A lifelong resident of Vermont, Gunner has traveled the East Coast as far down as Florida, and plans to travel across the country when possible. He likes spending time with friends, hiking, doing crafts, and going to musical events.

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Justin Killeen

Building Systems Specialist

Justin joined us with a background in building log homes. He first heard about Bensonwood while helping out with the Monadnock Habitat for Humanity Blitz Build, a 2007 project where a 2100 SF home was built for a needy family of 10 in just eight days. Justin has a brother, Ryan, a sister, Rhiannon, and an Australian Shepherd named Brownie who will effectively herd its own shadow. Justin went to the University of New Hampshire where he earned a BA in psychology. Though he’s been a Granite Stater for most of his life, he’s lived in Maine and Oregon and traveled throughout Mexico and the Caribbean. In his spare time Justin can be found playing guitar, DJ-ing, skateboarding, snowboarding, hiking, and yoga-ing when not curating his extensive collection of vintage boomboxes.

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Zach Kurimay

Builder

Zack came to the company via Keene State College and following a stint in bartending. Zach lives in Stoddard NH and has traveled throughout the Northeast, the Caribbean, and Glacier National Park. In his off time, Zach enjoys snowboarding, fishing, fine culinary arts and his house — all activities that are close at hand.

Jared Leblanc

Builder

Jared had taken a Building Trades class in high school with now Bensonwood associate, Shawn Brown, and found that he was not only interested, but driven by the challenges of the trade. After high school, Jared landed a job at Gordon Services, a landscaping company, where he learned about walkway and retaining wall construction. While there, he heard from his old classmate, Shawn, of a job opening at Bensonwood, and he jumped on it. When he’s not continuing to learn about Bensonwood’s montage building methodologies, Jared enjoys being outdoors with friends hiking, kayaking, fishing and shooting.

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Jay Lepple

Building Systems Team Leader

Jay joined our Building Systems department with previous building experience. He’s a great team player, both on the job and on the volley ball court. Whether working at the company, at home, or for his friends, Jay enjoys tackling challenging building projects. When not building, Jay loves spending time with his wife, Tina and their two sons, Sawyer and Reid.

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Adam Myers

Building Systems

Adam came to Bensonwood with a background in woodworking and carpentry. Prior to that, he studied building and construction at New Hampshire Tech Community College. Adam has a wife, Heather, and a dog, Juno, one of whom likes to hunt and fish with him. The other stays at home to guard the nest. Adam has traveled to California, Italy, and the Dominican Republic.

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Nicholas Nash

Builder

The youngest of 3 children, Nick’s diverse education includes welding, fiber optic technology and a pilot’s license. When Nick isn’t operating our Speedcut machinery, he enjoys snowshoeing and flying planes. And while many of his fellow Beam Teamers own their own snowshoes, Nick owns his own airplane (a 2-seater aerobatic aircraft) — and, if no one’s looking, he can do short-field takeoffs and landings on local cow pastures. With his plane’s limited range, Nick has remained a New Hampshire resident, never flying far from the nest: his garage in Acworth, where he parks his plane.


Patrick Neal

Builder

“Project Pat,” as he wants to be known around here, earned his BS in “Safety Studies” at Keene State College, where he also played his favorite sport, baseball. Just prior to college, Patrick’s summer league baseball team made it to the Sr. Babe Ruth World Series placing 3rd in the country: the highest a team from NH had ever finished. He still plays baseball during the summer, and also enjoys the “safer” game of golf. Prior to joining Bensonwood, Patrick was a Senior Technical Recruiter/Recruiting Manager at New Era Recruiting in Scottsdale, AZ, where he lived for the past 7 years. He’s traveled extensively throughout the US as well as to Italy and Greece. 

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Jeffrey Starratt

Procurement Agent

Although his hometown is Meriden, Connecticut, Jeffrey has lived in several states, including California, Arizona, Montana, Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont before finally landing back in New Hampshire with his wife Debbie and his daughter Mazie Grace. They are a family that loves listening to and playing music, traveling, cooking, fishing, hiking and camping. Jeff says that a simple twist of fate brought him to Bensonwood—he can’t explain it—but he’s thankful that it did.

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Kevin Stowell

Building Systems

Although Kevin grew up in Keene, NH, he spent about 12 years on the NH seacoast honing his carpentry skills. Kevin grew up with a couple of our associates which made him feel right at home when he began working here. Kevin enjoys mountain biking, going to the gym, riding his motorcycle, and working on his truck. He envisions owning his own home “with a garage that’s bigger than the house.”

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Tobey Wandzy

Builder

Tobey grew up in Connecticut, where he always knew he wanted to build and create things with his hands. After high school, Tobey took a job in the manufacturing field where he worked until his wife, Tristan, had their first child. Figuring it was now or never, Tobey used this period to begin realizing his dream of becoming a builder. After a 3-1/2 year stint working for a small, but successful, family-owned building company in Connecticut, he and his family decided to fulfill their other dream of moving up north. While on a visit to Vermont, a local timber framer recommended he check out Bensonwood—and the rest is history. Tobey enjoys watching NASCAR racing, fixing his truck, being outdoors, and playing with his kids, Payton and Lucy. Tobey and Tristan bought a house in Westminster, Vermont where they plan on staying until they can build their own home from scratch.

Design

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Chris Adams, RA

Architect

Chris was raised in this area, so taking his fresh architecture degree from Roger Williams University to Norway seemed to make sense to him. Subsequent jaunts included working in a schooner galley off Maryland’s coast. When the mood finally hit Chris to use that degree, he decided to return to New Hampshire. Once on a “settling in” roll, Chris was tough to stop, so he went on to marry Laura Malinoski, and now they live with their daughter, Bryn in a charming antique home in Walpole.

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Curtis Fanti

Designer

While designing custom homes in Boston, Curtis heard of Bensonwood through contacts at a premium wood flooring supplier. Seven years in the big city seemed sufficient so he moved to New Hampshire with Lauren, his high school sweetheart, and their Labs, Bailey and Beau. His surfboards are still dry, but he also has some serious bicycles which fit in nicely around here. Curtis figures the company culture is why he’s here, especially “the quality and integrity that our work represents.” Curtis has a long commute from Francestown, NH, where he lives with Lauren and their 2 daughters, Lola and Somine.

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Jenny Fulton

Interior Designer

Jenny joined the Bensonwood design team following a 15-year career designing for theater, dance and film. She received her MFA from Yale University School of Drama and worked professionally as a designer and project manager in New York City, Boston and the northeast, and toured internationally with Paul Taylor Dance. She has also taught at Hunter College/CUNY, the University of Vermont, Mt. Holyoke College, and elsewhere. Outside of the design studio her passions include travel, textiles, gardening, and village libraries.

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Bill Holtz, AIA

Architect

This suburban refugee now hangs his hat(s) at the Beamery. An architect and planner—be it cottage or manor—he strives to make dreams materialize. Bill also has a penchant for polygons and towers. He maintains an arsenal of potato launchers; and is prepared to show them to you. Bill is probably our most energetic prankster. He and Patty live in a landscaping project and gardening wonderland at the end of Pratt Road with the one-and-only Redheaded Rebecca (not W.P.H.VII). Bill has also showed up at our parties in lederhosen – and worse.

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David Levasseur

Drafter

A native Vermonter, Dave came to the Beam Team with an interest in timber framing and timber frame structures. He graduated from Vermont Technical College in 2000 with a degree in Architectural Engineering. When Dave first met his future wife, Ellen, he knew he was on a slippery slope, literally—they met while they were both ski instructors at Smuggler’s Notch in Vermont. Now married, they live in nearby Westmoreland with their two daughters; Avery and Cadence, and a Yellow Labrador named, “Lhotse,” (after the 4th highest mountain on Earth and connected to Mt. Everest via the South Col). In between working on his house and property, Dave enjoys skiing, biking, and camping with his family, and doesn’t need much of an excuse to be outside in any season. Dave also runs the newly formed Keene Bicycle Co-operative, a non-profit that supplies bicycles to people in need in the community. Dave’s personal and lifelong goal is to summit Denali (Mt. McKinley), at 20,320 ft., the highest point in North America and the coldest mountain outside of Antarctica. (For that he may need a St. Bernard.)

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Tim Olson

Designer

Tim heard of Bensonwood in 2008 through a presentation by Tedd Benson at a “Green R&D” workshop at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Bensonwood’s innovative ways of building left such an impression that Tim immediately began to draft an application, which would not be delivered until after his graduation from MIT’s school of Architecture and Planning in spring of 2012. Tim brings to Bensonwood his background in architecture, the visual arts and furniture design. He is an accomplished furniture maker and whenever possible attempts to bridge the disciplines of design and construction. Tim lives in Lebanon, NH, with his wife Amy, son Max and cattle dog Cedar. He is passionate about the outdoors and all things skiing, cycling, and sailing. Tim has recently won design competitions sponsored by the Boston Society of Architects and AIA Vermont.

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Raphael Rosner

Designer

Raph got his Master of Architecture degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Before joining Bensonwood, he worked at a number of places, most notably CalEath, Michael Singer, and the Kindle Farm School, and mentored under Nader Khalili and Carl Beam. “Regenerative Architecture” is of particular interest to Raph, believing it is our responsibility to go beyond mere “sustainability.” Raph and his wife, Saint, have three children, Frida, Merou, and Chloe, and a new baby, “soon to be released.” In his spare time Raph enjoys skiing, biking, and working with draft horses.

Engineering

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Nate Black, PE

Engineer, Structural Design Associate

Nate drives up from Turners Falls, MA where he lives with his wife, Hilary and son, Lucas. He graduated from the University of Maine and then worked in the insurance industry as a forensic engineer for several years where, after the Hurricane seasons of ’04 and ’05, he saw first hand the results of not designing buildings to withstand wind pressures. He spends his spare time fishing, hiking and working in his backyard.

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Corinne Sodders

Engineering Associate

A Washington State native and admitted math and science geek, Corinne joined the Beam Team as an Engineering Associate. A graduate of Seattle University with a BS in Civil Engineering, Corinne is well traveled, having lived and worked on both coasts of the US, as well as in Ireland where she worked for the internationally renowned engineering & professional services firm, Arup. But if home is where the heart is, it was the Monadnock/Upper (Connecticut) Valley region that she fell in love with and ultimately made her home. With her full time job at Bensonwood, and her other full time job raising two small children (with no television), Corinne has little spare time for leisure interests like hiking, perfecting apple crisp recipes, and folding dollar bills into T-shirts—the latter, she explains, given as gifts for the generosities of those who would otherwise refuse reimbursement. With her spirit of sharing, Corinne will be in good company at Bensonwood.

Virtual Fabrication

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Jon Criswell

Drafter/Designer

Back in 1998 Jon learned the magic of building with one’s own two hands while building a barn in his hometown of Durham, NH. Previously, he had studied Art and engineering, ultimately earning a Master in Architecture degree at Montana State University in Bozeman. While in school Jon had designed the Durham barn with the help of Tedd’s seminal book on building with heavy timbers, Building the Timber Frame House. Following the Durham project, Jon continued to learn from a series of talented designers and builders—working as an architect, a designer, a furniture builder, a woodworker, a welder/metal fabrication, a timber framer, and a custom window & door builder—all the while getting a great education in the connectedness of design and building. In Bensonwood’s culture of continuous learning, Jon found a welcome home. Jon currently lives in Hanover, NH, with his wonderful wife, Julie and spunky daughter, Nora, and hopes one day to build a new home with Bensonwood.

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Robert DeLuca

Designer

Robert “Butch” DeLuca joined Bensonwood after 20 years in construction, including stints at several building and architectural firms in the tri-state area (VT, NH, MA). He has an Associates degree in Applied Sciences, Architectural Design, and Building Technologies from Vermont Tech College and a CAD certificate from Springfield Tech Center. A man of many and varied interests, Butch enjoys fishing, motorcycles, antique cars, music (does bass and vocals), Gothic architecture, drawing, and airbrush art, which he does at state fairs and shows. He has two daughters, Isabella (11) and Lily (7).

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Keith Fiorey

Building Systems Designer

Keith, his wife Matora, and their daughters Victoria and Kyla live in Surry, NH. Surry is Keith’s hometown, and he was ready to return after a decade in Boston. Keith joined our Building Systems with a great design background, and extensive knowledge of Autocad. He now is dedicating most of his time to Cadwork designs. His proficiency on the computer is impressive, but his killer instincts on the volleyball court and car collection are what really make his teammates jealous.

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Tom Hancock

Designer, Timber Framer

Tom is a sweet-looking, but worldly young fellow from these parts. He came to Bensonwood with an extraordinary amount of previous timber framing experience and an outrageous work ethic. He adapted quickly to Bensonwood methods and adopted our pursuit of excellence. “Getting an early start” means 4:00am to Tom. Tom took his family homestead, moved it back 38’ (to the brink of a cliff), and added a timberframed room. Now that Tami has made an honest man of Tom he keeps busy rebuilding their own home.

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Nino Jordan

CAD Software specialist

Nino lives in Alstead, NH, with his two daughters and 4 huskies (Kayla, Kianna, Yukon, and Cheyanne). After studying mechanical engineering in school, Nino now designs software tools to increase efficiency, creates renderings for the Design and Marketing departments, and is our CAD software specialist and liaison. He’s also a man of many hobbies and a big heart. When he’s not in his garden, on his motorcycle/snowmobile, or jumping out of (mechanically) sound airplanes, Nino volunteers for a husky rescue group to help find good homes for those dogs in need.

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Sam Sherrill

Engineering assistant

Growing up in the Green Mountains of Vermont, Sam has a deep appreciation for the timbers we use and where they come from. He graduated from Vermont Technical College in 2000 with a degree in Architectural Engineering. After graduating, Sam spent some time designing homes and commercial properties throughout Vermont. As his interest in engineering and complex wood structures grew, he began looking for a new career path. His search led him to Bensonwood and their engineering department. Sam enjoys working on each project; from the small wood sheds to the large commercial structures. Currently Sam lives in Claremont New Hampshire with his wife Denise and their dog Bronson. Sam enjoys spending his free time skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, canoeing, and camping. Sam is also an active member of the Bellows Falls Fire Department.

IT

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Eric Gough

Database Administrator

For too many years, Eric left home in Connecticut by 6AM to get to Wall Street by 8AM. At 6:30PM, he would head back. Eventually, after searching for quality of life from Maine to North Carolina, he missed a train and stumbled across a Tedd book in a Grand Central Terminal bookstore. Awed by the wood, the joints and the sites, he dreamed of tapping mortises and dancing on the beams, but was finally convinced tapping keyboards and dancing through the databases would be better suited to his skills. So now, Eric wakes up later, dawdles over coffee with his wife Ting and walks or rides his bike to work. Evenings are spent with The Movie Club, Ben the Cat and the lawn mower. Exactly the quality of life they were looking for.

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Patrick Ziselberger

IT Manager, Webmaster, Tech Guru

After working at BBN in Cambridge, MA for 6 years, Patrick gave up city life for a house in Vermont. An interest in both computers and woodworking made him a good fit at Bensonwood. Originally hired as webmaster, he has gradually taken over all of the IT management and operations at Bensonwood. In his spare time, he kayaks, bikes, gardens, and tries to keep his 180-year-old Vermont farmhouse from falling into its cellar hole.

Marketing & Sales

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John Dunbar

Unity Homes Sales

As if Bensonwood needed any more athletes, John is one in the extreme. When he’s not training for Ironman triathlons (swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and running 26.2 miles) or qualifying for national or world championship races — all in days work, he skis, teaches a Spinning class or two, and fathers three children aged 3-12. John’s wife, a school nurse, also a competitive triathlete, trains with him. A graduate of Colby College, John worked previously in home improvement sales and prior to that, taught physics, environmental science, and algebra. He’s traveled through Sweden (think “lagom”), Spain, Denmark, England, British Colombia, the British Virgin Islands and many of the US states. With worldly knowledge and Herculean effort, John will be leading the world class Unity Homes sales effort.

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Doug Reitmeyer

Sales Team Designer

Doug started reading about timber framing and Bensonwood while working as prototype designer and architectural model maker for Michael Graves & Associates. We are thrilled to have him on board as one of our designers. He grew up in wonderful Asbury Park, New Jersey, but left the Redbank area of New Jersey for an old farm in Vermont. He and his wife Krystina had home births for their beautiful daughters Aili Sage and Anika Lucia at that farm. Hanging out with his family is his favorite time-off activity, but Doug also loves listening to jazz and attempting to play the alto sax. He’s very excited to be living so close within nature and to Vermont’s three season (not mud) snowboarding wonderland.

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Rick Reynolds

Marketing Steward

Rick moved from the New York City suburbs to Walpole with his wife Martha, teenage daughter, Sara and two designer mutts. Rick earned his BFA at Rochester Institute of Technology, where he won a Canadian Film Board award for “short feature.” From there he produced over a hundred documentary films for Harcourt Brace Jovanovich and The New York Times, later becoming a Senior Art Director at a Madison Avenue ad agency, and finally running his own marketing communications firm, Media Dynamics, with offices in New York City and Armonk, NY. In becoming Marketing Steward at Bensonwood, Rick was able to leverage the strategic marketing, production, and design skills honed over 25 years of serving Fortune 500 clients while at the helm of his company.

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Dick Struthers

Sales, Project Facilitator

Hailing from central Michigan, Dick and his wife Rosemary both graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Agricultural Economics and a focus on sustainable agriculture and world hunger issues. In 1988 the couple landed in a cozy, rustic log cabin on 10 acres in Putney, VT. From their new home base Dick pursued a 15 year sales & marketing management career in the natural foods industry while the couple home-birthed and home-schooled their growing family, to eventually include daughter Bridget, and sons Reilly and Rory. Most recently, Dick has spent the last 10 years running his own home remodeling contracting business, and the last two years designing and selling solar electric and hot water systems. Somewhere along the way Rosemary’s brother gifted the couple with one of Tedd’s books, which inspired them to build their own timber frame home. Today Dick & Rosemary spend their time finishing their house, gardening and tending to their four Alpacas. In the winter they can be found on the slopes of Mount Snow, skiing and snow shoeing the backwoods, or trying to navigate Putney Mt. Road. And… every once in awhile, Dick finds time to build a guitar or two.

Marilyn Taggart

Sales and Marketing Representative

After growing up in Colorado, Marilyn’s compass pointed north, and she headed to Seattle with her husband, Tom, to live near water AND mountains, and to enjoy some of the bluest skies in the world—when the sun makes an appearance. After raising two children, Matt and Marta, Marilyn found the next best job in the world, being a grandma to Ingrid and Benjamin, brings great joy and quickly shifted her travel to Ghana (her son and daughter-in-law work in Accra). The far flung family mostly experiences their lives through “Skype,” telecommuting on a weekly visit. Marilyn’s daughter is teaching high school English in the Peace Corps in Romania, learning Romanian and the fine art of staying connected with new friends. Marilyn and Tom enjoy traveling as much as they can, including many weekend jaunts within the state. For this, she always has at least one camera in tow, and continues to delight in recording their journeys.

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Cody

Head of Security, Life Coach

Christine Benson insists that her puppy is a stress reliever and comic relief for Associates around the office and shops. In addition to promoting a casual and comfortable work environment, he keeps those evil squirrels away and unintentionally acts as a dust mop on occasion. Most importantly, he continually encourages us to bark less, wag more.

Operations

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Susan Horne

Office Manager/Bookkeeper

A graduate of New Hampshire College (A.S.) and Keene State (B.S.), Susan has spent many years in property and office management. Prior to joining Bensonwood, Susan was an operations specialist at Chesco Inc., Keene, NH, where she was responsible for a full array of duties including payroll, accounts payable/receivable, customer service, and purchasing. Prior to that, she worked for Port Property Management, Portland, ME managing two apartment communities. Along the way, Susan became an EPA RRP Certified Renovator, picked up a Massachusetts real estate license, and earned a college certification in Animal Behavior. Regarding the latter, Susan lives in Swanzey, NH with several unspecified but well-behaved animals.

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Virginia Smith

Reception and Administrative Support

Virginia grew up in New York but now resides in Alstead – along with several other Bensonwood employees, so she felt right at home when she first came to the company. We are lucky to have someone so organized at the front desk. Incoming calls, visitors, supply orders, shipping, etc. – she keeps lots of balls in the air. Virginia and her husband, Peter have two lovely grown daughters, Emily and Allison. Virginia loves to sew and meets weekly with fellow quilters.

Project Stewards

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Jeff Coleman

Project Manager

Since walking in the door in 1981, Jeff has spearheaded many aspects of the BWC services. He was hired as a designer, but has taken frames through the shop, trained panel crews, leads our Project Stewardship team, and heads up our critical and delicate project scheduling efforts. He only recently retired as the sole member of our snowplowing team. Jeff, his wife Debi, and their two children, Caitlyn and Craig, live nearby in a home they built themselves.

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Rheannon DeMond

Energy Analyst, Certified Passivhaus Consultant, Assistant Project Manager

Recently promoted to Assistant Project Manager, Rheannon’s long list of responsibilities include shell package & whole house contracts, LEED and Energy Star certifications, energy analysis, site logistics, special order purchasing, spec writing, Unity Homes support, Builder Trend programming, and net zero home energy design. Rheannon, grew up in Swanzey, NH and graduated from Keene State College in the Spring of 2011 with a Bachelors degree in Architecture with a special focus in Building Science. She received Building Performance certification shortly after graduation and aspires to achieve Passiv Haus certification in the near future. Rheannon enjoys scenic views, volunteering, dancing, home decorating projects, and good food & spirits.

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Taylor Goodwin

Project Steward Support/Analyst

Originally from Concord NH, Taylor is a recent graduate of Keene State College where he earned a Bachelors of Science Degree in Architecture. Since “Taylors” have no obvious nicknames, someone along the line tagged him, “Bucket,” and it stuck. His leisure ‘bucket’ list includes snow boarding, gardening, and bowling.

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Ryan Lawler

Project Steward

Ryan comes to Bensonwood with a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of New Hampshire, having previously worked in project management, design, estimating, carpentry, and engineering. Ryan, along with wife Jessica, son Owen and golden retriever Mazzy, moved to the south — from their recently-renovated home in northern Vermont to the more sensible weather of southern Vermont, near Bensonwood’s New Hampshire facilities. Ryan enjoys downhill skiing, carpentry, woodworking, building science, and catching up with family and friends.

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Brad Moore

Project Manager/Unity Homes

Brad is one Tough Mudder. For those not familiar with the term, Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile obstacle course designed to test all-around strength, stamina, teamwork, and mental grit. Some think it’s the toughest event on the planet. Not a race, it’s more a challenge, where teamwork and camaraderie are paramount in reaching a lofty goal; precisely the values of Unity Homes, where Brad is a project manager. Having completed one Tough Mudder, Brad is already planning his second. Brad received an Applied Associate Degree in Civil Technology and Construction Management from the University of New Hampshire, and later worked in commercial construction as an Assistant Site Super & Field Engineer, and in Construction Materials Testing and Inspection. Though an extreme athlete, Brad plays golf terribly, loves the outdoors, enjoys home brewing and craft brews, and admits to being a Boston sports fan—so he’ll be in good company at Bensonwood/Unity Homes.

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Paige Niland

Project Management Administrative Assistant

Born in Westmoreland, NH, Paige studied entrepreneurial business management at Keene State College and McIntosh College. From there, she worked at a kitchen and bath company in Portsmouth, NH, and later relocated to Florida where she worked for an interior design company. Through her work experience, Paige was able to open her own remodeling company in Palm Beach, FL. But after 12 years in the sub-tropics of southern Florida, Paige “…was very happy to move back to the mountains of New Hampshire and work for such a strong company.” Any and all aspects of building interest her; something she’ll experience plenty of in Bensonwood’s immersive design/build environment. Her other interests include art, traveling, music, gardening, maple syrup making, being in the great outdoors, and spending time with friends and family.

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Tom Olsen

Project Manager

Tom was building homes in Cape Cod, MA before coming to reside in Marlborough, New Hampshire and join our Project Manager team. Tom attended the University of Colorado, home of the Golden Buffalos, and graduated with a degree in Finance & Economics. After some years in Alaska, Tom headed for Western Samoa as a Peace Corps volunteer. Returning to Breckenridge, Colorado, Tom worked in the ski industry for several years before moving to Cape Cod to learn about the ocean. His wife Kathryn and two children, Scott and Kari, have convinced him to settle down a bit. Now, working on his house is his primary hobby, but he also likes to ski, sail, and fish.

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Tony Poanessa

Project Manager

Tony has owned and operated a variety of businesses including a general contracting company, a sunroom, hot tub and sauna store, and southwest New Hampshire’s first brewery. If you can find a common thread in Tony’s background, let us know. After selling the brewery and taking a substantial amount of time off, Tony decided it was time to try working for someone else. Since coming to Bensonwood he has managed many of our more challenging projects including the two Open-Prototypes, Loblolly house, Unity Net Zero and the Passive House project in Norwich VT, as well as our more typical projects. Outside of work he spends his nights and weekends building a new home with his wife Debbie.

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Kerry Uhler

Project Steward

Kerry joins the Beam Team with a BS in Environmental Science and a Doctorate in the School of Hard knocks — having made lots of maple syrup at great effort for little profit. Despite this, Kerry still enjoys syrup making when he’s not busy gardening, raising goats, pigs, chickens, and turkeys, or cross-country skiing, hiking and camping with his wife, Lori. No stranger to hard work, Kerry will find no shortage of it at Bensonwood.


JC Woodward

Project Steward

JC is a recent transplant to NH and his words, “was quite happy to see Metro New York City recede in his rear-view mirror.” He became a Bensonwood/Unity Homes enthusiast after purchasing a Unity Varm shell package and GCing the project to keep costs down. A graduate of Union College, Schenectady with a BS in Electrical Engineering, JC is currently studying AutoCAD drafting and ARcGis mapping software at Keene State College. His former career included such varied fields as software development, antique clock restoration, and gunsmithing. JC and his wife, Nancy, have a grown daughter who teaches school in Rye, NY and a sister, Holly who also made the move to New Hampshire and lives in an antique farmhouse across the street.  JC’s hobbies include wilderness backpacking and rock climbing: the latter included a climb up the side of “The Old Man of the Mountain” prior to it falling to the bottom of Franconia Notch—which he claims was not his fault.

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Danny Veerkamp

Project Manager

Recently relocated from Lawrence, KS, Danny and his wife had had their sights set on a move to the New England area for years. When not crawling in, around, and over houses, or planning and implementing the construction of new homes, Danny can be found working on his own place (a never ending project), and being generally amazed that he lucked into the family he has; a musically gifted child, Finn, and a freakishly brilliant and funny wife, Mary (with a PhD, to boot). In his “other” spare time, Danny teaches Hapkido — a Korean martial art — and he thinks his wife suspects that his 4th degree black belt is a thinly-veiled attempt at keeping up with her wall of degrees. With discipline derived from the martial arts, Danny will be marshaling his other forces on the Project Management team: as a LEED AP® and BPI Building Analyst.

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Erik Walker

Millwork Coordinator

Erik grew up in Erie, PA. He spent a lot of time on the water there, capsizing all manner of small boats out on Presque Isle Bay. He was an adequate sailor; but what he lacked in seamanship he made up for in piracy: Erik could unfailingly blindside an opposing skipper with a bailerful of baywater at 20 yards. Erik moved to Lempster, NH in 1997 and resides there to this day in a 19th century farmhouse with his lovely 15-year old daughter Lydia (who’s destined to become a bestselling author and score the winning goal in the 2015 women’s World Cup). Erik has held the elected positions of School Board Chair and Trustee of the Trust Funds, as well as the appointed positions of Cold River LAC Representative and Town Perambulator. When not coordinating millwork, Erik can be found thumping the low E-string on an upright bass or twanging an old National Steel Style-O resonator guitar with his current combo —The Cold River Ranters.

Timber Frame

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C. J. Brehio

Timberframer

Another native son, C.J. grew up in Langdon, NH. C.J. came to Bensonwood on the recommendation of a friend, and feels that “road time” is the biggest opportunity, where he can directly experience how the houses go up. He enjoys skiing and snow boarding in the winter; dirt biking in the summer and aspires to some day live in Colorado.

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David Chase

Hundegger Honcho, Windsurfer

David is a relative newcomer to timberframing. Dave followed his guiding light Anna, a podiatrist (that’s feet, not babies), from Ohio to Keene, NH. Given our climate, he decided it was time to give up his career in air-conditioning and pursue a long-time dream of woodworking. Now he spends much of his day arm in arm with our tool/machine/muse, the Hundegger. Dave said that he and Anna rarely ever do things separately, but he still enjoys hiking, biking, windsurfing and other outdoor activities.

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Philip Henry

Timberframer

Philip brings layers of international experience to our timber framing team. He grew up in Bolivia and studied architecture in college here in the U.S. Phil did some fine woodworking before heading to Japan where he spent five years studying joinery. He became interested in timber framing and found us through our website. Phil and his wife Alison live in Keene where they live with their two children, William and Megan.

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Dennis Marcom

Timberframer

A timberframer since 1978, Dennis is a steward of the timberframe shop, the safety director of the company, and a timberframe job captain. We all depend on him. Dennis’s preternatural calm makes him our premier crane liaison and is probably rooted in one of his past lifestyles, spent in a monastery. He is married to Krystyna, who firmly and thankfully grounds him in this world. Dennis quit smoking after 2.5 decades. We are thrilled that his lungs are good enough again to wear out his legs on a mountain bike. Dennis makes bow ties better than you will believe.

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John McElroy

Timberframer

“Johnny Mac,” as he is known around these parts, is a job captain and timber framer. He was born on Long Island, NY, and moved to New Hampshire at the age of seven. Johnny Mac attended Keene State College, majoring in geology. In the nine years since joining Bensonwood, he has worked in all the company’s shops and in all phases of production, from the fabrication of timber frames and panelized assemblies, to the on-site assembly of homes. The experience he’s gained and the wide variety of Bensonwood and Unity projects he’s worked on, earned him the prestigious title of job captain. He and his wife, Amanda, have a young son, Noah. When he’s not playing with Noah, or fishing, boating, and gardening, Johnny Mac relaxes by making furniture, studying astrophysics, and talking at length about meteorology.

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Chops Polcari

Timberframer

“Chops” has been building frames since 1975 and has been a manager of our biggest projects since 1985. A sometime rock musician and full-time treat, Chops is lucky enough to share a photovoltaic home and mini-farm of his own construction with wife Jenny and their beatific son Michael. An innate philosopher, he helps us all to cope. Chops and family host the “Crisis Cabin,” the emergency (and temporary) housing in the woods for our more adventurous and rustic new co-workers. They are also avid vegetable gardeners and usually have a dog and a couple of cats at home.

Joe Szuch

Wood Czar

The nicest guy in the entire operation. Utterly unfazed by chaos in any form, this quiet giant has turned the laissez-faire jumble of our timber inventory into a predictable and confidence-inspiring timber delivery system. We haven’t run out of timbers since Joe took over the yard. His son Joe promises to be even bigger than his dad, and better looking, too. An old, perhaps apocryphal, story about Joe concerns his remarkable grace on figure skates. The image of Joe, in a double axel, can bring tears to the steeliest eyes.

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Rick Whitcomb

Timberframer

Rick decided he wanted to be a timberframer at Bensonwood and has made this happen in his understated and inexorable way. He proved to be a natural, both at his craft and at complementing the company’s competitive spirit. In addition to being an accomplished craftsman, Rick is just about the best skier (snow or water) in the company. His spouse, Trilby, however, can routinely beat him in volleyball, and his two sons are funnier and better-looking than Dad. In his spare time, Rick enjoys working on his cars, always maintaining a healthy attitude toward them; they are ALL for sale.

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Peter Wotowiec

Timberframer

Peter has an oaken grip and the ruddiest red cheeks at January raisings. He is an organized project framer and a timberframe jack-of-all-trades. Peter can be found modeling a frame on the computer, designing joinery, selecting timbers, piloting the timber frame machine, wheeling the forklift, or managing a job in the shop or on the road. With a keen interest in supporting our combined efforts, he assists in the management of the timberframe shop, is a member of our Human Resources Continuous Improvement Team and a Company Steward. Peter spent his formative years in Central America, with the Peace Corps. Peter is in the process of building his own timberframe home. He enjoys spending time with his son, Steven, mountain biking, canoeing and kayaking.

Woodworking

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Scott Bosworth (aka, Boz)

Woodworker

If it has 1 or 2 wheels and pedals he’ll want to ride it, fix it or modify it. Especially if it has no gears. A passion for bicycles? Maybe…Boz was born and raised in Keene, NH. After working in the automotive and machining industries, he decided he needed a change of pace. Coming to Bensonwood in September, 2007 was a great opportunity. The atmosphere, like a family, was a pleasant surprise. Boz now lives in Keene with his wife of 21 years, Tracy. Their son, Art and his wife, Leah live in Nashua, NH. According to Boz, if your bike isn’t “FIXED,” it’s broken!!

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Josh Conley

Woodworker

Josh is a craftsman (fancy for woodworker) and married to Faith, whom he has known since 2nd grade. Josh and Faith are the proud parents of three boys: Hunter, Liam and Mason. A native of Marlow, NH, Josh and his family settled on 15 acres there. Josh enjoys his family – especially playing with his kids, being outdoors, and hunting.

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Scott Frazier

Woodworker

Scott worked in our timberframe shop for several months before joining our woodworking team. He is a trained mechanic and was doing auto body work in Keene before joining Bensonwood. Part-time carpentry work he was doing on the side gave him the woodworking bug and prompted his applying for a position at Bensonwood. Scott is quiet, but always gives 100% to his work

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Mike Leblanc

Woodworker

A woodworker by trade and a guitar/banjo player in his spare time, Mike’s yearning for the country was realized when he moved from the city of Worcester, Mass. to the very rural town of South Acworth, NH. There, in the early eighties, with his wife, Lillie—herself a pianist, church organist, and teacher—they made music together while raising their daughter and son. Mike’s career has spanned a stint in the metalworking industry, and a long sojourn at The Woodstone Company, making windows and doors before coming on board at Bensonwood. Of Bensonwood, Mike says, “I’ve enjoyed the work; especially the challenging projects and friends I have made. The work day goes much better when you enjoy the people you’re working with.” Mike has an Associates degree in mechanical engineering, and a Bachelors degree in industrial management.

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Skip Singer

Woodworker

Skip is a bonafide “machine wizard,” and has proven to be an invaluable addition to our woodworking shop. He just seems to know how absolutely everything works and loves developing our processes and getting involved in finding creative solutions to obstacles. Skip was making pre-cast terra cotta molds for architectural decoration before joining us, and lives miles away in Hopkinton, NH with his wife Femn, and their two sons, Mattias and Jonas.