What we preach to our team is that our clients need to be cared for.

Jacob Aronson

“Relationships with homeowners are very important to me, because I don’t want to be this stranger in your home that’s swinging a hammer and making noise.”

Even though he’s a carpenter, brick homes have a special place in Jacob’s heart – it’s all about the symmetry. Read More

After going to culinary school and working as an EMT, Jacob traveled around the country building climbing walls – which is how he landed at Ben Quie & Sons. Some of his favorite clients are the pets he meets on the job, especially cats.  He is looking forward to buying and working on a home of his own.

Favorite tool: 5-in-1 Painter’s Tool, a very simple hand tool with a plethora of uses that I use every day.

Matt Beaver
Lead Carpenter

“A good day at work is when I can get in the groove of building something and at the end of the day see it accomplished.”

Matt wasn’t looking for a new job, but the opportunity to work on old houses every day was too good to pass up. Read More

After working as a solo remodeler for over a decade, he is excited about learning new techniques from his colleagues. When it’s called for, he’s not afraid to play therapist with a client. Remodeling can be scary, sometimes people just need to talk it out and know that they are in good hands.

Favorite tool: Festool Domino, a specialized tool for creating mortise and tenon joints to fuse two pieces of wood together. It only does one job, but it does it well and saves a ton of time.

Tom Claessens
Project Manager

“The most important thing to me about old houses is the trim detail – they make you feel like you are in something solid. I think trim is something everyone instinctively appreciates, even if they don’t know it.”

After alternating between studying Electrical Engineering during the school year and working as a roofer in the summer,  Tom decided a hands-on life in the trades was for him. Read More

After working as a carpenter for several companies, he joined Ben Quie & Sons where he worked his way up to Lead Carpenter, and eventually Project Manager. While he misses being out in the field every day, he gets his carpentry fix by working on his craftsman home in North Minneapolis.

Favorite Tool: Track Saw, it’s portable, efficient, and makes nearly perfect cuts every time.

Mary Ellen Rantanen
Interior Designer

“Most people only get to remodel one time, and I feel like we owe it to them to make the experience fun, and to take away as much stress as possible.”

After working in communications for an insurance company, Mary Ellen decided to go back to school to pursue something that had always been in the back of her mind: becoming an interior designer. Read More

We are glad she did! What makes Mary Ellen a great design collaborator – besides her awards and magazine mentions – is her sense of humor and dedication to putting the client first. She loves to travel, not just for R&R, but also to find inspiration for future projects.

Favorite Tool: Chief Architect, our drafting software is amazing from a project management point of view, but also enables us to share 3D views to help our clients experience the different options for their space.

Phil Christiansen

“At Ben Quie & Sons they care, they listen, and that’s what reeled me in.”

Phil’s first passion was music, and that dedication to craft and creativity has been a through line through all his jobs from working on an organic farm, delivering craft beer, as a professional church musician, all the way until now working with Ben Quie & Sons. Read More

He enjoys a good demolition, learning new skills on the job, and talking to clients about their lives.

Favorite Tool: Utility Knife, because when it’s not there, you can’t function.

Paul Gorton
Project Manager

“No matter what, you are just a handshake away from the person who is actually doing the work, putting the trim on the wall.”

When Paul and Ben first met, it was kismet. They shared so many connections and values, it makes perfect sense that they work together today. Read More

Paul has worn every hat in the building game – from being a “one-man band,” to managing multimillion-dollar new-construction projects. He brings a problem solving mindset to his work, and strives to constantly improve the level of service and quality in everything we do. As a watchdog for the client, he will look out for your best interest every step of the way.

Favorite Tool: A jointer. It makes things square and that’s something I can count on.

Jeff Schwartz
Office Manager

“I enjoy working behind the scenes, making a difference by helping someone else be successful.”

Jeff is the glue behind the scenes, keeping the office running smoothly, and that’s just the way he likes it. In the winter, you can find him driving his trusty Toyota Avalon through the snow, harkening back to his first job as a school bus driver. Read More

Favorite Tool: Quickbooks, it was a difficult process to make the transition from our old software, but everything works much smoother now.

Leaf Enz
Lead Carpenter

“Working outside on a beautiful day, that is a moment where I think to myself: this is a really special job.”

Leaf comes from a family of people who fix things – from his grandparents on the farm who had to keep up all their own equipment, to his father tackling projects around the house. Read More

He carries on that tradition at Ben Quie & Sons, using his ingenuity to solve whatever carpentry problems come his way. His favorite days are when he can work outside, whether it’s on a warm autumn day or in the sub-zero winter.

Favorite Tool: Oscillating Multi Tool, it was first created to remove casts, but it’s very functional and can do jobs that other tools just can’t accomplish.