Harjo Team

WHO WE ARE

We know that the building and remodeling processes are full of challenges and can be stressful for clients. We also believe much of that stress can be minimized and possibly eliminated if more emphasis and value are placed on clear and consistent client communications.

The smallest of projects has a lot of moving parts, so even with the best pre-construction planning in the universe, “stuff” happens. How that stuff gets handled is where Harjo Construction Services proves their integrity in craftsmanship and communication, with consistent, honest feedback and engagement on every client project.

Kurt Harjo

Bio

Owner

Since the age of 19, Kurt has dreamt of starting a business to build beautiful things. Growing up in construction (his Dad was a commercial superintendent) he had a lot of preparation before founding Harjo Construction. Which included: building treehouses, growing up with a home workshop, working in commercial construction during college, followed by extensive field work and project management.If he had to choose the single, most important thing to do in a day, Kurt believes it’s understanding priorities. He enjoys solving problems with clients, putting together a strategy, and helping them visualize a new reality for their home.Inspired by Coach John Wooden, Kurt motivates others by helping people see new or bigger realities for themselves – discovering a capacity within they weren’t aware was there. Evident in his management style, Kurt encourages his employees to grow by taking on new challenges and providing a safety net. If he wasn’t improving homes, Kurt could see himself sailing around the world or designing and building furniture. In his spare time, he likes competitive mountain biking and playing volleyball, or cooking and conversing with new wife Meghan.

Alexi Brown-Schmidt

Bio

Project Manager

Starting his career in the field after earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Pratt Institute, Alexi stayed in New York for 10 years, coming home to Seattle to get out of big city life and earn project management certification. You’ll now find Alexi heads down in the office juggling multiple projects and details while keeping the office entertained with his witty commentary. A natural at thinking about the sequencing of building, Alexi inspires others by offering people opportunities to learn, inspired himself by Dutch Architectural Theorist Rem Koolhaas. Alexi is the Jiminy Cricket on the shoulders of lead carpenters, helping them make their projects successful while ensuring people are highly functional. When away from work Alexi is managing the remodel of his own home, and taking occasional breaks outside to garden, paint nature or go cycling.

Sarah Chamberlain

Bio

Production/Project Manager

Sarah grew up in “all things construction” with a jack-of-all-trades Dad who was a carpenter, hanging around his woodshop and creating everything imaginable. That experience likely contributed to her three-dimensional way of thinking about issues and solutions. Sarah’s upbringing was supplemented by a Bachelors in Civil Engineering, and then a Masters in Construction Management.

Sarah enjoys the process of pulling pieces together, problem solving and interacting with clients to create high quality projects. Her calm demeanor is welcomed by clients and the field alike. She leads by example, gives positive feedback, mentors others in a clear and patient way, and particularly enjoys the opportunity to contribute to the company strategically. Perhaps that’s why several people have told her she’d make a good marriage counselor, if she wasn’t also juggling a very active family life.

Katya Finegold

Bio

Project & Design Coordinator

Katya gives our company an international flair, coming to us from Moscow by way of Israel, earning a Master’s in Engineering and then working at a structural engineering design firm, respectively. Her yin and yang is what makes Katya a great project go-to. Katya is a natural at organizing pieces of a puzzle; if she wasn’t coordinating construction projects she’d be a computer programmer.

Katya also loves the process of creating something that people can experience, and is inspired by author and speaker Elizabeth Gilbert who writes about not being afraid to be creative. Dedicated to daily exercise and healthy eating, you may find Katya running around Greenlake at 5:30 am (yes, that early) or espousing the benefits of eating sprouted grains and lots of vegetables.

Linda Meza

Bio

Marketing & Office Manager

With a marketing and communications background that ranges from the mobile industry to the apparel industry, Linda was drawn to the creative aspect of residential remodeling, which brings her full circle with what originally influenced her to specialize in marketing. In her current role, she finds that anticipating the needs of clients goes hand in hand with anticipating the needs of her teammates when she’s managing the operations of the office.Linda is motivated by the energy of working with others, especially people who will go the extra mile for a client. Easily entertained, she particularly enjoys Alexi’s ability to riff off of any subject, taking the office off-topic and instead on a humorous journey (Ask him if he’s ever heard of the Barking Dog). If Linda could do anything in the world, she’d live on a farm and take care of rescued animals.

Todd Merrin

Bio

Lead Carpenter

As far back as Todd can remember he has liked building things. Unlike a few others who grew up in a “construction family,” Todd’s background is in design. He began his career as a landscape architect, which is probably why seeing a design on paper come to fruition is especially satisfying for him.One of Harjo’s longest employees, Todd is inspired by the company’s growth, and how each of the last three years has brought more exciting projects than the last. He expects the next three years to continue the trend. So, it’s not surprising that when asked what funny things have happened on a jobsite, Todd replied “I don’t want anything funny to happen on a jobsite” (straight faced). Busy rebuilding his own house, Todd is equally inspired by his wife and a baby girl who is on the way.

Daniel Moilanen

Bio

Lead Carpenter

Daniel has always had an interest in carpentry and got his start when a college friend asked him to frame houses. He likes the building process and high-end finish work, while keeping an eye on scheduling and budget goals to make sure they are met.Good with people, Daniel likes to get to know the people he works with, and is quick to say please when asking people to do something. He’s inspired by The New Yankee Workshop’s master carpenter Norm Abram and often learns new techniques from watching his show. So, it’s not a surprise that sometime down the line when he retires, Daniel sees himself building and selling furniture, in addition to spending time with his wife and kids, camping and barbequing.

Mac Larsen

Bio

Lead Carpenter

Mac pretty much grew up on jobsites with a Dad who’s also a professional carpenter. He likes to be outside, not afraid to get dirty, and then make sense of and pull together a lot of chaotic parts, while also being around people who work hard. Mac is all about big risks and lofty expectations because the more intense things are, the higher the reward.

As a people person, Mac leads by example and makes sure everyone is on the same page and motivated to work. If not a carpenter, Mac could have taken two very different paths: going into politics or fishing in Alaska. And when not working, you could find Mac on a mountain bike or a snowboard, always open to hit the road and travel.

Will Shields

Bio

Carpenter

Will’s love for building was formally sparked when he worked for a general contractor during the summers when he was in college. He likes being challenged daily and the company is not holding back on giving him growth opportunities. Luckily for the company, Will is disciplined to start each morning with figuring out the plan to get everything done by day’s end.

Will especially enjoys projects that take him end to end, such as taking down a part of a house and then building it back from the bottom up, from form work to finish work. Inspired by artists like Oscar Tuazon (an American artist who works in sculpture, architecture and mixed media) Will’s building continues in his off hours, making art and furniture, or working on his house.

Benji Botello

Bio

Carpenter

Like his brother Miguel, Benji speaks volumes through the hard work he puts in out in the field. He doesn’t need to do a lot of talking to prove himself. Benji began his woodworking career by learning from other carpenters, and enjoys both framing and finishing work.A family man, when not on the job, Benji enjoys hiking and taking his son to the park. In fact, he thinks of Harjo Construction as one big family.

Miguel Botello

Bio

Carpenter

Miguel’s start in construction began when he lent a helping hand to supply wood to other carpenters. He is a man of few words, but he is a lightning fast when it comes to framing. His name is quick to pop up when jobs are being scheduled.Miguel likes to work hard and wouldn’t dream of doing something different. And no matter how nice of a car he drives, he wouldn’t hesitate to pick up materials on the way to a jobsite. Miguel is also known for cooking a mean Carnitas y Chicharrón.

Luis Chaires

Bio

Carpenter

Fairly new to carpentry, Luis enjoys the homebuilding process and helping his fellow carpenters, especially with framing. A self-professed “professional learner,” he’s always looking out for the client, from cleaning the jobsite to securing a property before he leaves.Luis likes that there is a lot of opportunity at Harjo Construction and isn’t deterred by incidents like a jack hammer that gave him the short end of the stick. Away from work you might find Luis hiking a trail or relaxing at Ocean Shores.

York Danielson

Bio

Carpenter

It’s no exaggeration that York likes working with wood and building things. Last summer he made a boat (yes, it floats), and over the winter he made a guitar. Getting his start with a previous general contractor, York likes Harjo Construction because he’s always learning new and different things with every project.

With a sharp attention to detail – on the job and in his spare time – York is focused on improving his woodworking skills. When he takes a break from building, York likes mountaineering and (no surprise) sailing.