Meet Us

Administration |  Building Systems |  Design |  Engineering |  IT |  Marketing-Sales |  Operations |  Project Stewards |  Timberframe |  Woodworking | 

Administration

Christine Benson

Christine Benson A Bensonwood Founder, devoted grandmother, pursuit bicyclist

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.

 

Tedd Benson

Tedd Benson Author, Founder of Bensonwood, Avid cyclist

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.

 

Kevin Bittenbender

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.

 

Chris Carbone, PE

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.

 

Bob Oberlander

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.

 

Hans Porschitz

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.

 

Randall S. Walter, AIA, LEED AP

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.

 

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Building Systems

Seth Ashworth

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!

 

Paul Boa

Paul Boa Panel Designer, canoe builder

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.

 

Iver Bowen

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.

 

Shawn Brown

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.

 

Jason Ferland

Jason Ferland Builder

Known as "Big Jay" by friend and foe alike — if not by the Building Systems chief, another big Jay named Jay Lepple — Jason brings a lot of energy to the job. Coming of age in Connecticut and New Hampshire, Jay’s a true New England native, loving native New England sports. In his free time, Jay enjoys cross-fitness training, snow boarding, hiking and the UFC (Ultimate fighting Championship) brand of mixed martial arts. A graduate of Keene High School, just down the road from Bensonwood's Blackjack facilities, Jason joined the Beam Team after a decade at Burbank Tile, where he worked as a tile installer.

 

Adam Gunn

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.

 

Tommy Hotaling

Tommy Hotaling Builder

Tommy attended Vermont Academy and later, the New Hampshire Technical Institute. Prior to joining Bensonwood, Tommy worked for two local roofers, Jancewicz & Son (as did Unity Homes sales chief, John Dunbar) and Stetson’s and Son roofing, as well as for Health Care & Rehabilitation Services (HCRS) of Brattleboro, Vermont.

 

Zach Kurimay

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.

 

Jay Lepple

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.

 

Adam Myers

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 & fish with him. The other stays at home to guard the nest. Adam has traveled to California, Italy, and the Dominican Republic.

 

Nicholas Nash

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 snow shoeing and flying planes. And while many of his fellow Beam Teamers own their own snow shoes, 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 native, never flying far from the nest: his garage in Acworth, where he parks his plane.

 

Jeffrey Starratt

Jeffrey Starratt Procurement Agent 007

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.

 

Kevin Stowell

Kevin Stowell Building Systems, "Working at Bensonwood is never boring."

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."

 

Tobey Wandzy

Tobey Wandzy Builder, NASCAR enthusiast

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.

 

Max Zurmuhlen

Max Zurmuhlen Builder

Max is a very busy man running our shipping/receiving/trucking coordination department. Prior to joining Bensonwood, Max studied political science at Keene State College. He lives just down the road in Westmoreland, NH and has traveled throughout the East Coast and Midwest. In his very spare spare time, Max enjoys skiing (he’s on the Beam Team ski racing team), downhill biking and tending to his pets; a dog, a Boa Constrictor, and a Python; one of which brings him his shoes in the morning.

 

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Design

Chris Adams, RA

Chris Adams, RA Architect, ex-VW bus owner

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.

 

Curtis Fanti

Curtis Fanti Designer, cyclist and surfer

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 3 children; Lola, Simone, and Jude.

 

Keith Fiorey

Keith Fiorey Building Systems designer, drives cool cars

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.

 

Bill Holtz

Bill Holtz Architect, prankster and trombone player

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.

 

Nino Jordan

Nino Jordan CAD Software specialist, Malamute lover, and Adventurer

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 & 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.

 

David Levasseur

David Levasseur Drafter, mountain biker and telemark skier

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.)

 

Tim Olson

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.

 

Raphael Rosner

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 four children; Frida, Merou, Chloe, and Theodore. In his spare time Raph enjoys skiing, biking, and working with draft horses.

 

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Engineering

Nate Black

Nate Black Engineering, 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’s studying to become a PE in the next year. He spends his spare time fishing, hiking and working in his backyard.

 

Robert DeLuca

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).

 

Sam Sherrill

Sam Sherrill Engineering assistant, avid outdoors man

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.

 

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IT

Eric Gough

Eric Gough Doctor Database

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.

 

Patrick Ziselberger

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.

 

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Marketing-Sales

John Dunbar

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.

 

Doug Reitmeyer

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.

 

Rick Reynolds

Rick Reynolds Marketing Steward/Miata and cycling enthusiast

Several years ago 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.

 

Stephen Snyder

Stephen Snyder Marketing Manager

Steve has worked for more than 25 years in marketing and communications at Green Mountain Coffee, Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Medical School, the Institute for Information Security Technologies, at various network television affiliates and in college radio. Steve grew up in small town North Carolina (population 200), and graduated from UNC Chapel Hill. He likes to find new and creative ways to injure himself in the great outdoors bicycling, skiing, hiking and winter camping. Steve is the author of three books on sustainable homes and three books on beer and homebrewing. He now lives with his family on a 225-year-old farm in Vermont.

 

Dick Struthers

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

Marilyn Taggart Marketer and photographer

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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Operations

Virginia Smith

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.

 

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Project Stewards

Jeff Coleman

Jeff Coleman Project Manager, Skier, Kayaker

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.

 

Rheannon DeMond

Rheannon DeMond 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.

 

Taylor Goodwin

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.

 

Ryan Lawler

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.

 

Tom Olsen

Tom Olsen Project Manager, former Peace Corps volunteer

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.

 

Tony Poanessa

Tony Poanessa Project Manager, ex-brewpub owner

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.

 

Kerry Uhler

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.

 

Danny Veerkamp

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.

 

Erik Walker

Erik Walker Millwork Coordinator, perambulator and musician

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 best selling 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.

 

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Timberframe

Thomas Beauvillian

Thomas Beauvillian Timberframer/Compagnon

Thomas is our latest Compagnon from the Loire valley in France. For the past 21 years Bensonwood has maintained an active exchange with the 900-year old guild of French carpenters known today as the Compagnons du Devoir. This ancient guild was formed as Western Europe entered the age of cathedral building and needed craftsmen who were true masters of their craft. Thomas entered the rigorous work/ study program of the Compagnons at the age of 15. In the six years since that time he has had the opportunity to work at a wide variety of French companies, both traditional and modern. Thomas loves motorcycles — especially dirt bikes — and enjoys both individual and team sports. Not surprisingly, Thomas loves traveling, experiencing new landscapes, and meeting new people. Also not surprising is the fact that Thomas's English is coming along better than his Bensonwood co-workers’ French.

 

C J Brehio

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.

 

David Chase

David Chase Hundegger honcho, windsurfer

David is a relative newcomer to timber framing. 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.

 

Tom Hancock

Tom Hancock Timberframer, very early riser

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.

 

Philip Henry

Philip Henry Timberframer, moved from Japan

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.

 

Dennis Marcom

Dennis Marcom Timberframer, Greek translator

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.

 

John McElroy

John McElroy Timberframer, philosophical weatherman

John is an aspiring job captain who came knocking after reading about us in the newspaper. He and his wife Mary, along with their dog Raven, currently live too far from work but we hear about goals to build his own timberframe. Perhaps it will be closer. In the meantime, if you're talking about the weather, the oceans, the planet and how it all fits together, you could do worse than looking for John's knowledge and opinions in your conversation. He's got both and is not afraid to share them.

 

Chops Polcari

Chops Polcari Timberframer and rock star

"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

Joe Szuch Wood Czar, our gentle giant

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.

 

Rick Whitcomb

Rick Whitcomb Timberframer, will ski water - liquid or solid

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.

 

Mark Williston

Mark Williston Timberframer/Site Supervisor

Mark graduated from high school early and moved to Colorado where he skied, biked and climbed, picking up a job as a framer on a small, skilled crew building Vail Mountain Getaways. After a couple of years his wanderlust got the better of him and he headed for New Zealand, where he hitchhiked, hiked and worked his way around both islands for eight months before heading back to the States, eventually moving to Alaska. There Mark picked up timber framing, working in the bush. From Alaska he headed southeast for Arkansas, where his two sons were born, eventually moving back to New Hampshire with his partner, Jennifer, and two sons to care for aging grandparents. Mark works in our Timberframe shop, where one, CNC-controlled, indoor facility is worth two in the bush.

 

Peter Wotowiec

Peter Wotowiec Timberframer and kayaker

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.

 

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Woodworking

Scott Bosworth (aka, Boz)

Scott Bosworth (aka, Boz) Woodworker, Cycloholic, Tinkerer

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!!

 

Josh Conley

Josh Conley Woodworking

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.

 

Scott Frazier

Scott Frazier Woodworker, farmer

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

 

Mike Leblanc

Mike Leblanc Woodworker, Guitar/Banjo player

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.

 

Skip Singer

Skip Singer Woodworker and artist

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.

 

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