We have built our in-house team of designers and craftspeople to take a project from inception to completion; their experience and out-of-the-box thinking ensure that your project is completed in style, on time, and on budget. Additionally, our trade partners and suppliers are specialists in their field and meet our high standards of practice. All projects are managed by Jef Forward. We'd love for you to meet our team. Let's Talk! 734.761.8403


Jef copy.jpg

Jef Forward, President and Creative Director

Jef brings a passion for the design and construction industry, and above all, helping our clients love their homes in the process! In his spare, time, Jef enjoys spending time with the family, reading and tinkering with objects and technology.

fullsize-001.jpg

Ruby Forward, Vice Paw-Resident

Ruby is the current Vice Paw-Resident of Forward Design Build. While she works from home occasionally, she does her best to be available to greet new clients. Ruby enjoys kicking back with a bone from time to time and taking naps in the middle of the office. Click here to learn more about Ruby

Monica brings a direct no-nonsense approach to her work, yet always make it fun! She attended EMU in 1992 and received her builders licence in 2015. When she gets home from work, she loves spending time with her family or going on a long run.

Monica Hough-Forward, Estimator

Monica brings a direct no-nonsense approach to her work, yet always makes it fun! She attended EMU in 1992 and received her builders licence in 2015. When she gets home from work, she loves spending time with her family or going on a long run.


Susie copy.jpg

Susie Arhangelos, Office Manager

Susie joined the Forward team at the beginning of 2017. Before she became a full-time stay-at-home mom to raise her son, she worked as an office manager for MLive.com. Now that her son is older, she's excited to be part of a team again. While not at work, she loves being with her son and spending time with friends and family.

Chad guides our homeowners through the remodeling process, from the first phone call. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Lawrence Technological University. In Chad’s free time he enjoys playing hockey, working on his home, and spending time with his wife.

Chad Weiler, Project Coordinator

Chad guides our homeowners through the remodeling process- from the first phone call. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Lawrence Technological University.  In Chad’s free time he enjoys playing hockey, working on his home, and spending time with his wife.  

Catherine copy.jpg

Catherine Fillmore, Project Coordinator

Catherine brings to the Forward team years of experience in project coordination. She is passionate about home renovation and helps our homeowners actualize their ideal home. When not at her dream job, she makes pottery as a member of the Ann Arbor Potters Guild and serves on the state board for Destination Imagination.


Lynnette handles our books and client statements. When she’s not at work or watching hockey, she enjoys gardening or traveling - though she doesn’t get to go as often as she’d like.

Lynnette Brice, Business Manager

Lynnette handles our books and client statements. When she’s not at work or watching hockey, she enjoys gardening or traveling - though she doesn’t get to go as often as she’d like.

 

Tim copy.jpg

Tim Whitford, Production Manager

Tim has always worked in construction. He began working here in 2012 as a carpenter and quickly became the production manager. He loves spending time with his grandson and working in his garden.

Cynthia.jpg

Cynthia Harrison, Sales and Design Manager

Cynthia brings to our team over 20 years of experience in sales management and training. This experience, along with a diverse educational background - a Bachelor of Science from EMU in Apparel, Textiles and Merchandising, Marketing minor - makes her uniquely qualified to lead a team of creatives. When she’s not hard at work, she’s keeping active - kayaking, ballroom dancing, and spending quality time with family.  Her secret to keeping stress away? A quick weekend getaway.


Melissa_3825.jpg

Melissa Armstrong, Marketing Director

Melissa is an experienced writer and content marketer and holds degrees in Art History and Transmedia from Syracuse University. When she's not at work, she loves to learn new skills, to travel, and (most of all) to antagonize her old Bulldog, Frank.

Ryan copy.jpg

Ryan Beaber, Estimator

Ryan graduated from Penn State in Architecture in 2014 and started working here a year later in April as a carpenter. He enjoys building houses more than designing them! While he’s not building houses, he enjoys running and doing yoga.

Bill copy.jpg

Bill Barbour-Keir, Project Designer

Bill always knew he wanted to be an architect; he never really considered another course of study. So - no surprise - he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from Lawrence Technological University. He is passionate about working with people, and loves the inherently personal, client-centered work of residential remodeling and custom home design. When he's not living the professional dream, you can find him in the garden, hanging out with his rat terrier mix Daisy, or playing a variety of sports. If you can't find him, he's probably traveling the world.


Ann Marie provides our clients with creative designs and project guidance throughout the process.  She graduated from Michigan State with a bachelors in Arts and Interior Design. While not at work, she enjoys attending plays, reading and spending time with her family.

Ann-Marie Clark, Project Designer

Ann-Marie graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interior Design. She started her career in Washington D.C. and for 7 years worked at a high-end residential design firm where she practiced architectural design, interior design, interior furnishing design and project management. A native of Michigan, Ann-Marie moved back in 2013 and worked at SmithGroup JJR in Detroit, a world-wide architecture and design firm with a focus on the commercial sector. Ann-Marie brings Forward Design Build over 13 years of experience in both residential and commercial design and has worked on multi-million dollar projects across the country. While not at work, Ann-Marie is on the leadership committee helping to plan and design the Event on Main, an annual fundraiser for Mott's Children's Hospital. She also enjoys attending plays and visiting the DIA.

The Junior Designer is primarily responsible for supporting the Senior Designer in designing the project and assisting with completing plans, construction drawings, and renders.  Christine graduated from the University of Michigan in Architecture in 2014. While not at work, she enjoys spending time on the lake with her husband and reading outside.

Maudie Collier, Project Designer

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design from EMU and nearly six years’ experience in the field, Maudie is a clear asset to the Forward team. She chose a career in interior design for many reasons, but three stand out: she loves to problem-solve, she’s great with people, and she’s got a deep artistic streak. Her other passions include custom painting projects, cooking and Crossfit. Her French Bulldog, Dexter, has already settled in as Design Assistant and playmate to Ruby.



The Junior Designer is primarily responsible for supporting the Senior Designer in designing the project and assisting with completing plans, construction drawings, and renders.  Ashley graduated from the University of Michigan in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in Architecture. Ashley loves playing with her dog, Rue, and painting in her free time.

Ashley Howard, Project Designer

Ashley graduated from the University of Michigan in 2015 with a Bachelor's in Architecture.  Ashley loves playing with her dog, Rue, and painting in her free time.


Miranda copy.jpg

Miranda Frye, Project Designer

Miranda is a pro when it comes to providing our clients with creative designs and project guidance throughout the process. She graduated from the Art Institute of Colorado in Interior Design and has over 6 years of experience in home renovation. She enjoys hiking, snowboarding, and spending time with her family in her free time. 

Carly Leasia, Project Designer

Carly has an architecture degree from the University of Michigan, a Masters degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute, and four years of high-end residential design experience in New York City. Now that Carly has returned to her roots, she brings her enthusiasm and passion for residential design and high-end furniture to the Forward team. As excited as Carly can get about a chair or closet, she also enjoys playing board games, eating nachos, and boxing in her spare time. 

Millicent copy.jpg

Millicent Murphy, Designer

Millicent graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2017 with a degree in Interior Design.  In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, reading, and spending quality time with family, friends and her Puggle, Emma.  Fun fact: if she hadn't gone with interiors, she says that she probably would have chosen to study historic preservation.


Brandon.jpg

Brandon White, Designer

Brandon earned himself a degree in Interior Design from EMU in April 2019, shortly after joining the Forward team. He’s a self-described ‘tech geek’ - his design strengths are completing CAD drawings and taking care of the fine details. Brandon’s other interests include learning about space and practicing latte art!

TimF copy.jpg

Tim Frincke, Project Manager

Tim grew up in Ann Arbor and studied at Washtenaw Community College. He has more than 15 years of experience in residential finish carpentry, remodeling, and building work. He had his own business for 6 years before he came to Forward in the fall of 2013. He enjoys woodworking, playing sports, and spending time with his wife and two children - Ella and Axel.

RobR copy.jpg

Rob Reilly, Project Manager

Rob’s first project with Forward was a 1200 square foot second-story addition in 2001. He won an award from the Ann Arbor Historic District Commission for the Waite - Kellogg residence built in 1837. He enjoys cooking and gardening in his free time and being with his wife and daughter.


Nicole copy.jpg

Nicole Ridenour, Project Manager

Nicole graduated with degrees in statistics and bioarchaeology from Western Michigan University and Northern Illinois University. In a former life she was a data scientist at IBM, but her passion has always been working with her hands and creating things. Over the past 20 years she has renovated many houses including several historical homes. In her free time, Nicole loves volunteering at her sons’ activities and making/building things.

RobW copy.jpg

Rob Walker, Project Manager

Rob has worked in carpentry for over 35 years and has worked here since 2013. When he’s not building houses for Forward-or himself-he enjoys spending time with his 3 daughters and is a dedicated member of the Saline Area Lions Club.

Jeff copy.jpg

Jeff Bishop, Carpenter

Jeff joined the Forward team in the fall of 2016. He has more than 20 years of experience with remodeling and tile work. He enjoys spending his free time in the outdoors.


Jon copy.jpg

Jon Frincke, Carpenter

Jon has been with us since 2014. He went into masonry right out of high school and eventually found his love of carpentry. He enjoys playing hockey, ping pong, and golf. He recently got into making cutting boards with spare wood from his projects.

Brian_3635.jpg

Brian Schmidt, Carpenter

Brian is an artist and a carpenter.  He's probably best known for his concrete countertops and unique furniture pieces in wood, concrete, and metal. Brian brings many years of experience and an artist's touch to the Forward Design Build team!

Kevin.jpg

Kevin Summers, Carpenter

Kevin began working for the builder in his neighborhood after school at the ripe age of 12! He’s  been licensed since 1994, and formally studied construction management at EMU. He loves to spend time with his daughters and their German Shepherd, and has been known to catch a fish once in a while. When asked what he’d do if he wasn’t a carpenter, he said, “I’d like to be a dog trainer, because I could sure use one.”


Clyde Ylitalo, Carpenter

Clyde received a Journeyman’s certificate through Detroit Local #1234 and has over 26 years experience in the field!  When he’s not at work, he enjoys hunting and fishing, 5k runs, and spending time with his family. 

 

"From beginning to end, working with Forward Design Build Remodel was an absolute dream. The design team was so diligent, professional, thorough, and creative as they helped turn our vision into specific details. The construction team was equally diligent, professional, thorough, and flexible throughout the remodel process. The design team and construction team worked together in a smooth, integrated, flawless way, communicating clearly with each other and with us; this made everything go so smoothly. And on top of that, the Forward team came in under budget and ahead of schedule! We could not have been happier with the process or the finished product."  -  Stacey & Paul