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

Jacob Aronson
Carpenter

“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.

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.

Valerie Hill
Business Development Manager | Senior Designer

“The skills I’ve acquired as a tailor and illustrator have transferred well to home design.”

A native of northwestern Wisconsin, 14-year-old Valerie got her start in construction when her grandfather taught her how to wire an outlet and install a hardwood floor. Read More

She had ambitions apart from being an electrician, though, and she spent her early career building an impressive resume in design and the arts. She’s worked as a carpenter, a graphic designer, and an illustrator.  In her years as a seamstress for The Minnesota Opera and the Guthrie Theater, she mastered tailoring and pattern drafting. Valerie melds her creative skills with the needs of her clients. “I put myself in their shoes and design as if I were them. I just love that part, adapting to people’s personalities. It’s my job to make it all work for them.”

Favorite Tool: A pencil because it starts everything. You have to draw it before you can build it.

Mike Sans Crainte
Estimator

“At work, my job is to map it all out and anticipate the speed bumps. In life, I like the surprises that the future holds.”

Since he was a kid helping his dad work on the house, Mike has always loved seeing a project go from start to finish. He naturally tries to untangle everything. Read More

If you ask him a question, he will turn it around like a Rubik’s Cube, looking at it from every possible angle. With a degree in construction management and 15 years of experience in many diverse roles, he finds remodeling intriguing because “you never know exactly what you’re getting into.” Mike’s job is to figure out how to achieve the vision and crunch the numbers at the same time. He has two daughters with a lot of energy (just like their dad). A good day is when they are still “skipping around at bedtime.”

Favorite Tool: My mind because there’s always the ability to figure out how to do something better.

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.

Wayne Holmberg
Lead Carpenter

“I usually listen before I talk.”

Like the craftsman homes he works on, Wayne isn’t very loud or flashy. For more than 30 years he’s been quietly “learning on the job” and acquiring over 60,000 hours of experience that have made him an exceptional carpenter. Read More

A south Minneapolis native, he started working summers “hauling trash and stuff.” He enjoys solitude and spending time at the family cabin. For him, a good day is when things go mostly as planned and he doesn’t find anything “odd.” Wayne plans to do more traveling in the future. Maybe he’ll take a plane but he’ll probably just drive his truck.

Favorite Tool: Cordless drill. It’s super versatile.

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.

Josh Meyers
Apprentice Carpenter

“Carpentry is a good fit for me.”

When Josh moved into an old house in St. Paul and began fixing it up, he began to suspect that working behind a desk might not be for him. A former freelance designer and youth pastor, he found a love for carpentry working on his home in St. Paul. “There’s a lot of stuff to fix.” Read More

From his first day on the job as an apprentice carpenter, he has put his enthusiasm to work. Helping to build a new porch on a historic home in St. Paul has been his favorite project so far, but every day on the job has been special to him. “Every day has been a firehose of information,” he says. “I’ve learned something new or overcome a challenge or solved a problem. Those are good days.”

Favorite Tool: A hammer. It’s the same tool my great-grandparents used to build their house almost 100 years ago.

Andy Kollmann
Project Manager

“I really love log and timber frame structures.”

Construction has been in Andy’s blood practically from the beginning. His career journey has been long and varied: framing houses as a summer job in high school, building log homes in the Rocky Mountains to help pay his tuition at Colorado State University, Read More

returning to Minnesota to take a job as a lead carpenter with his old boss. He’s had plenty of experience making complex jobs run smoothly, and he loves doing it. One of Andy’s projects was a complicated basement that involved combining two spaces. “It was was super finicky with fine finishes,” he says. “I didn’t have a lot of experience with HVAC stuff, and I got a better understanding of how to heat or cool a space the right way. It was really cool.” There are other things that make him love his job, too, like the time a client knitted a sweater for his new baby. “My wife cried,” he says. “It was a really cool experience.”

Favorite Tool: Power hand planer, because it can fix anything, anywhere. But really, a chainsaw.

Matt Woosley
Carpenter

“I can get along with anyone.”

Matt’s ability to jump into new, unfamiliar challenges has always been a benefit to everyone around him. “I’m a good problem solver,” he says. “People call me to do something, and I can just figure it out.” Read More

Jobs in home staging and warehouse management revealed his affinity for fixing, building, sanding, and crafting. He puts his skills to use at home, playing music, designing homes for his three lizards, and creating interesting projects like a wind chime made from beach glass and sand-blasted grapevine.
He’s very happy to have the opportunity to use his creativity and talent on the job. He has his sights clearly set on a path from journeyman to master carpenter.

Favorite Tool: A multi-tool because it can do just about anything.