Here at Blackdog Design/Build/Remodel, you can expect the best from our team. For more than 30 years, our company has delivered the high-quality, reliable home remodeling services that Southern NH and Northeastern MA residents deserve. When you work with our team of experienced designers, project managers, and carpenters, you can trust that your home is in the right hands.
Bring your vision to life by contacting Blackdog today—call us at (603) 769-4938 in Nashua or (603) 952-3192 in Salem.
Accreditations: CGR Certified Graduate Remodeler, CAPS Certified Aging in place specialist
Education: the University of Vermont – BS from the School of Business and Administration with a concentration in Marketing
Experience: My introduction to the remodeling industry started by swinging a hammer for a builder on Martha’s Vineyard during the summers starting in High School. My passion for construction grew and by the time I graduated from college, I knew that owning and running my own construction company was what I wanted to do. I started like most remodeling companies start with a pickup truck, a dog, and a hammer. Over time I was able to grow the business and create the fantastic team we have now.
Design Philosophy: I believe that great design is a function of actively listening to our client’s needs and wants and then spending time digging in a little deeper to challenge those assumptions to ensure that our solutions are truly appropriate, add value, and improve the quality of our client’s lives. I also believe that fantastic designs that go unbuilt and exist only on paper are not worth much. To that end, I think it is important to have open and honest conversations about the budget early in the design process. This allows us to avoid the all too common sticker shock that often comes at the end of the design process.
Raving Fans: Home renovation is a tough business. Not the actual construction work… the 2×4’s and sheetrock are the easy part. It is tearing someone’s home apart and putting it back together while they are living in it and making sure that not only do they love the finished product but the process as well… that is the tough part! I want all our clients to be raving fans and every member of our team does as well.
Interests: I enjoy spending time with my wife and four kids, exercise, upland game hunting, saltwater fishing(as much as my marriage will allow), building furniture in my shop, and volunteering for various organizations in the Merrimack Valley.
Amanda is the Finance Assistant at Blackdog and holds a Bachelor of Science Hospitality Business degree from Southern New Hampshire University. She is responsible for all accounts payable for Blackdog, Total Basement Finishing, and Home Services. She also takes care of the data entry for all companies, organizes and updates all of our trade contractor information, and manages inventory for Total Basement Finishing. She handles some small parts of human resources and assists with payroll as well.
When it comes to working for Blackdog, Amanda loves that it is a small company that really values family and giving employees a great work/life balance.
In her spare time, Amanda loves designing the renovations of her own home as well as decorating it as she has a strong interest in interior design. She loves planning and designing events, and enjoys making floral arrangements and other crafts. Her absolute favorite thing to do is spend time with her dogs, Hazel and Maci, and take them walking in the nearby trails with her husband.
Brenda is Blackdog’s HR Manager and hails from Pelham, NH. She is a graduate of Katherine Gibbs Business School in Boston, MA, and a member of Remodeler’s Advantage Roundtables (RAR). Brenda was one of the first Blackdog employees and has been with the company since the beginning. She manages the human resource aspects of the company.
Brenda has two children: Amanda and Jessica, and in her free time enjoys crafts, sewing, and cooking as well as volunteering for and heading many charitable events, most notably our own yearly Cause for the Paws Golf Tournament to benefit the MSPCA.
Bryan is a Basement Finishing Specialist for Total Basement Finishing, a Blackdog Affiliate. Prior to being a Basement Finishing Specialist, he was the Assistant Production Coordinator for Total Basement Finishing and has extensive experience from renovating his own home. Prior to working at Blackdog, he worked in Educational Administration for 20 years. He knows all about the desire to create a safe space for children or parents to enjoy by utilizing all space available. Bryan also understands that the basement is a completely different environment than the rest of the house and the importance of using mold-resistant waterproof materials that won’t become ruined by moisture, or be subjected to mold. Bryan has found that Total Basement Finishing is the only solution that truly works in the basement environment.
Blackdog Builders is an exclusive dealer for Total Basement Finishing and has exclusive access to patented products, comprehensive training, and support. Bryan enjoys meeting homeowners to help them create healthy living spaces and to solve their basement needs. Bryan is an expert in helping customers design beautifully finished basements, maximizing usable space, enabling them to get more enjoyment out of their homes.
Bryan has been a bi-vocational pastor for the past thirteen years. He volunteers his time with NAMI-NH in suicide prevention and postvention education and support. He also volunteers with Soulsafe USA where he works with survivors of traumatic events.
Catherine is trained as an Architect and Interior Designer with over 20 years of experience as an Architectural Designer and Project Manager in residential, institutional, and commercial construction. She brings a unique blend of talents to her recent role as a Designer with Blackdog.
Her dream is to take a ‘concept’ and transform it into exquisitely crafted spaces! The creative, technical, and interpersonal challenges inherent in residential building inspire Catherine. She embraces the creative process of integrating design, resources, and relationships with clients and builders to complete unique and inspiring homes efficiently.
Chad is the manager of Blackdog’s Home Services division and holds a degree in Exercise Science. He began his construction career starting as a general maintenance technician for a residential development company. From there he began working directly with experienced carpenters and learning the residential building trades. Since then, he has been involved in a vast array of carpentry services including installing floors, tiling, finish trim, kitchen cabinets, and building decks.
His background and field experience was a perfect fit for the Home Services department at Blackdog Builders. He began his career with Blackdog Builders in 2013 as a service technician and has since advanced within the company to Managing the Home Services Division of Blackdog Builders.
Chad lives in Hooksett, NH with his wife Lissa and children Kaitlyn and Karli.
Basement Finishing Specialist
I have been in sales for over 20 years. I have worked in home entertainment, banking, and auto sales for most of my sales career, but I joined the team at Blackdog because I believed in the Total Basement Finishing System.
As a homeowner, I understand the headache of a finished basement being done wrong. I purchased my home over four years ago, and it was built only 20 years ago. What could go wrong? Shortly before Christmas, I went downstairs one day and found water on my floor. I was not happy! I had a crack in my foundation, and a little drip of water was coming in, and it caused me to redo a giant portion of my basement. Months later, and over $12,000 later, I finally finished what went wrong. I joined the team with Blackdog because I didn’t want this to happen to others. If I can help create an enjoyable, safe space that will last a lifetime, I want to help.
Blackdog Builders is an exclusive dealer for Total Basement Finishing and has exclusive access to patented products, comprehensive training, and support. I enjoy meeting homeowners to help them create healthy living spaces and solve their basement needs. I am an expert in helping customers design beautifully finishedbasements, maximizing usable space and enabling them to get more enjoyment out of their homes.
Gates is the Production Assistant at Blackdog’s Salem location. Gates obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the University of Delaware but has since pivoted to the construction industry, first as a kitchen designer and now as a part of the production team, learning everything about the “bricks and sticks” side of the business. She is passionate about delivering an exceptional remodeling experience to each client and approaches each new challenge with a solution-oriented mindset and a smile! Outside of work you can often find Gates on the pool deck coaching her local swim team or in the weight room picking up relatively heavy objects. She also loves reading, cooking, watching horror flicks and cuddling her (albeit ornery) cat, Winry.
Jane earned her degree in Interior Design while raising her two daughters with her husband, Dennis, in Syracuse, New York in 1998. Her career began as a design consultant for a plumbing wholesaler. Her love of kitchen and bath design blossomed into her own kitchen and bath consulting business, which she ran as a sole proprietor for 5 years. Having a great team of vendors and contractors from all segments of the design industry was key to her success. Jane’s designs were featured at the Parade of Homes, a Syracuse Home Builders Association annual event which featured 8-10 custom builders and interior designers showcasing the latest design trends and architectural styles. Jane returned to Boston to be closer to her family in 2008 and worked as a senior designer for the Home Depot’s Expo Design Center in Burlington, MA. Working with a diverse group of clients on a wide variety of projects, ranging from a simple powder room in the suburbs to a large-scale custom bath in downtown Boston, was the most exciting part of her work at Expo. After all Expo Design Center locations were dissolved, Jane was hired as a design consultant for Blackdog Builders, Inc. in November of 2010.
Jane’s design philosophy is simple – interpret her clients’ wants and needs into a fun, creative, and functional space. Developing a strong connection with her clients and getting to know them on a personal level is an important part of her design process. Jane can listen, interpret, visualize, and present thoughtful design options, whether it’s a contemporary kitchen or a traditional master suite. She believes that incorporating the clients’ wants is necessary while adding elements of the clients’ personal style and interests are key to their satisfaction. Managing all the details and guiding the client through every step in the process is the part of her work she enjoys most.
When not working with clients, Jane enjoys spending time with family, baking, and entertaining family and friends. She is also an avid knitter.
Jason is a Senior Project Manager at Blackdog’s Nashua location. He has been in the Construction and Remodeling Industry since the mid-1990s and holds a degree in Building Construction. Jason did take a break from the industry for a few years where he has expanded his expertise to add retail management, home delivery, and logistics management as well as a background in sales. Jason comes to us with a broad professional background and is focused on providing the best client experience during construction and the best quality and craftsmanship from our team to our client’s projects.
When it comes to working at Blackdog, Jason loves the culture and core values. He truly believes Blackdog has the industry’s most talented team. He is excited to join Blackdog where employees and client’s needs are thought of and considered constantly.
When not at work, you can catch Jason on his motorcycle and taking long day trips. Jason enjoys outdoor activities such as going to the beach, sporting events, and concerts. Jason plays softball and coached t-ball and little league for his son.
Accreditations: Continuing Education in Architecture
Education: B.S. Architectural Drafting and Design and a minor in Business Management
Experience: John has dedicated his life career to design and building. Starting as a carpenter apprentice in 1986, with passion, he learned the trade quickly. John gained skill and appreciation of the labor, as well as the time required to produce high quality craftsmanship for clients. The value of pre-planning, hard work and quality craftsmanship became part of John’s values at an early age. With inherent independence and desire to grow, John began his own design build company and operated it for ten years. With desire to learn more and a passion for design, John achieved a Bachelor of Science with focus in Architectural Drafting and Design. During collage, he aggressively pursued art. During his sophomore year, he was accepted to study Art and Architecture in Florence Italy where his design knowledge and skills were fine tuned. While there, Johns work was selected for the school’s annual art exhibit in Florence Italy. The study influenced John’s attention to the balance and clean lines seen in all of his work. Soon after graduation, John wanted to apply his design strengths within a forum where he could develop his practice further. He began working for Blackdog in 1998. He has worked for hundreds of satisfied clients and delivers his personal attention and values to every client he works with.
Design Philosophy: A key component to John’s success is his ability to listen closely to his client to learn about the current problems or desires for the space. The solutions come from the collaboration of ideas, by working together with the client and all of John’s resources at Blackdog. John’s belief is that material, function and craftsmanship should appropriately, and ingeniously, support each other, while expressing the client’s personal style. This expression becomes integrated into the design and translated into the reality of the new space. John reflects, “These are the thoughts behind my design work as I’m challenged to design a space within the boundaries of my client’s budget as well as building codes.” The reward for John is to achieve these goals successfully and for his client to become a referral and returning client for all future projects.
Interests: When not at work, John can be found; spending quality time with family and friends, traveling, drawing, painting, creating sculpture, wood working, learning history, reading, working on his home, kayaking, camping and hiking and mountain biking.
Josh Pfeil is the CFO for Blackdog and Affiliates. Beyond his primary function as financial gatekeeper, Josh is also a key member of the leadership team helping to advise and strategically guide the company into the future.
He came into this role after two decades in public accounting. He would probably bore you with a long story about how he has been auditing, writing financial statements, and filing corporate taxes in his former life. We like to think that he spent all that time gathering all the best ideas and tricks of the trade from his former clients to bring us only the best ideas out there, in order to help us grow Blackdog into a world-class service provider in alignment with our mission, vision and values.
Outside of work Josh tries to stay as active as possible. If you can’t find him on the sidelines coaching or cheering on his two teenage daughters at their respective sporting events, you will probably find him at the gym fighting against father time on the basketball, tennis or pickleball courts. If you can’t find him at any of those places you probably won’t find him at all, as he is an avid hiker as well.
Melissa Martin is a New Hampshire native who is originally from Manchester and currently resides in Londonderry. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Developmental Psychology from Allegheny College, with a dual concentration in Genetics and Fine Art. As a child, Melissa recalls playing with scraps of wood, hammer, and nails alongside her carpenter father, and attributes her love of building and home design to these memories. Though this passion has taken many forms – from mural painting to furniture upcycling, to the past five years designing kitchens and baths – it is in the remodeling industry that she feels most at home.
Melissa believes that a space should really reflect its inhabitants, and appreciates design that incorporates personal belongings, heirlooms, and photographs in a way that offers subtle insight about the homeowners. She loves to “read between the lines” when helping her clients make product selections, and in this way aims to guide design choices that will bring them joy for years to come. She also aspires to understand the daily habits and lifestyle of each client so that she can create a space that really works for each family or individual, and makes their lives easier and more efficient.
She is thrilled to be a part of the Blackdog team because the company culture and overall attitude are so positive. “Who wouldn’t want to work with people who clearly love what they do? And it is easiest to love doing something that you are great at, so Blackdog ticks all the boxes!”
Recently, Melissa fulfilled her lifelong dream of buying an old (c.1880) Victorian farmhouse fixer-upper with her two children, Genevieve and Lucas. Doing all her own design work and project management, she is renovating and restoring the home to meet her family’s needs, while honoring its original features and character. When the kids’ activities aren’t taking center stage, she can usually be found working on the house, hosting family gatherings, cooking with the kids, or shopping for cool vintage furniture and artifacts.
Melissa is our Director of First Impressions at the Salem, NH showroom. She is responsible for greeting clients, collecting receivables, internal IT support, and answering the phone. One of her favorite responsibilities is playing with the client’s children so that they can have a productive meeting with the design staff—this is a major perk for her.
In her spare time, Melissa is the Treasurer of the PHS Booster Club and the Secretary of the Pelham Soccer Club. She loves to spend time with her children, Lindsay Anne, and Grace Kathleen, and watch them play sports and do the things they love. On any given weekend you can find her at the soccer field or basketball court.
Merrill is the Marketing Manager at Blackdog and holds a BA in Business Marketing and Advertising from the University of New England in Biddeford, ME. She is responsible for all aspects of marketing for each of the companies under the Blackdog umbrella. From the creative aspects of the job, such as social media management and graphic design, to the more analytical aspects, such as market research and data analysis, Merrill does it all. Merrill also produces and edits Blackdog’s home improvement podcast, Renovation Made Right.
Merrill loves the family-like environment Blackdog maintains. Everyone is friendly, welcoming, and goes out of their way to help one another. Blackdog’s employees holds themselves to the highest standard and take pride in their work.
In her spare time, Merrill pursues the creative aspects of her life, such as graphic design, illustration, and interior design. She enjoys volunteering with animal welfare organizations, and hopes to eventually become a mentor to young women in her community. She also loves spending time with her husband and friends and enjoys exploring the natural beauty of New Hampshire.
Mike Thomas is a Project Manager for Total Basement Finishing, a Blackdog Affiliate. Growing up in a family so involved in construction, Mike always had a knack for this type of work, and can confidently say he has had a lot of experience in the construction field. Whether it was working for his father’s company starting at age 15 or going to school to become an electrician, working and learning different abilities has made Mike a jack of all trades. Mike took this position with TBF because he wanted to broaden his skillset and learn the ins and outs of the production side of things rather than the labor-intensive side.
When asked what he loves about Total Basement Finishing, a Blackdog Affiliate, Mike replied that funnily enough, he grew up always seeing the Blackdog fleet around his town (Windham, NH). Knowing that Blackdog is one of the most highly successful and respected residential remodeling companies in southern New Hampshire, he always pictured himself wanting to be a part of a similar team. What Mike likes most about working for TBF is how they welcomed him with open arms and gave him the respect he was searching for. His day-to-day work challenges him, and pushes him to “become the best I can be”. He is grateful to be involved in helping transform a client’s dream projects into reality.
Outside of work, Mike is quite an adventurous person. Whether it is backcountry snowmobiling in the winter months or playing a round of golf in the warmer seasons, he is always interested in taking on new challenging activities. He enjoys anything that has to do with his friends and family and cherishes the time spent with whomever, whenever!
Accreditations: CertainTeed Quality Master, RRP Certified Renovator, Advisor – Shawsheen Vo-Tech
Education: Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, NJIT
Hometown: Auburn NH
Work Experience: Mike’s leadership roots can be traced back to college where he was Captain of his Floor hockey team and worked his way up to League director. After graduating college, Mike started a small remodeling business modeled after the TV show, This Old House, with three friends. During this time, Mike learned a lot about residential remodeling and even more about what it takes to run a successful business. Eight years later, due to family obligations, this group disbanded and Mike began a year-long search to find a great company to hook on with. In 1995 he accepted a Project Management position with a young Blackdog Builders. With incredible inspiration and mentoring by owner Dave Bryan and the opportunity to travel around the country to learn from other top companies, Mike was able to hone his construction and management skills. More than two decades later, Mike is still thrilled to be with Blackdog in the position of Production Department Manager. The camaraderie of the staff, the unique details of every project and helping make our clients’ dreams come true continue to be his inspiration.
Interests: When not at work, Mike loves to spend time camping with his wife, Darlene and sons Matt and Ethan. As a hockey dad, he can be found most nights and weekends travelling to rinks around New England to cheer on his favorite players.
Ron started with Blackdog Builders in 1998 as a Production Carpenter after 10+ years in the construction field. As he gained more experience, he became a Lead Carpenter and then advanced to become a Project Manager. Now, he is a Design Consultant for our Nashua team.
Ron’s philosophy is “there are no problems, only solutions.” If you listen to your client’s needs, the end results will capture their vision. The end results are raving fans.
In his spare time, Ron enjoys spending time with his family, cooking (making something from nothing), and fishing when time allows.
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” – Benjamin Franklin
Education: BFA and B-ARCH (1st Professional Degree) from Rhode Island School of Design (with 1 summer and 1 academic year with Syracuse University in Florence Italy)
Experience: 19 years residential remodeling experience (50% of that has been on antique properties) Hospitality Interior Design: Restaurants & Hotels (last project was PM for the interiors of the Logan Airport Hilton) Custom casework, furniture & lighting design 10+ years carpentry/shop experience 2 years at Campi Pessina Piazzoli, Lugano Switzerland
Design Philosophy: Everyone has a vision or feeling of how they want their remodeled space to be. My role is to be the means with which those things become a reality for the client.
Interests: Extremely passionate about cooking and eating fabulous food of all kinds: nose to tail – root to leaves. Friend of Minute Man National Park and overall history geek
Sam is the Marketing Specialist at Blackdog. With a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business Marketing from Bryant University, Sam brings a wealth of knowledge and creativity to her role. Her responsibilities encompass a diverse range of tasks, including social media marketing, crafting compelling email campaigns, and producing graphic designs. Sam greatly enjoys the constantly evolving nature of marketing, as it not only allows, but encourages her to cultivate new skills on a daily basis.
When asked what she loves about Blackdog, she replied that she has enjoyed the welcoming and innovative work environment that she’s experienced since day one. She feels lucky to work in an atmosphere where everyone is willing and eager to collaborate in order to produce the best work possible.
Outside of her professional life, Sam surrounds herself with creativity, her friends, and a surplus of animals (including two rabbits). She likes to hike, especially in the fall when she can enjoy New England’s changing seasons. When she isn’t enjoying the outdoors or wrangling her pets, she is probably painting or writing, having published her first novel, ‘Fly Me To The Sun,’ in 2019.
Education: BS in Counseling
Experience: Over 20 years in the construction industry; twelve years with Blackdog Builders, six years as a lead carpenter, six years as a design consultant.
Design Philosophy: Creating new spaces that reflect the vision of the client while offering enhanced aesthetics, functionality, and flow.
Interests: Chief Architect CAD, reading, golf, family
Ted Lewis is the Sales Manager for Blackdog and affiliates. He has more than 35 years of experience in sales, marketing, and business development. Ted employs an ‘educational approach’ to sales and marketing, believing that an informed customer is a customer who wants the very best. Prior to joining Blackdog, he ran worldwide sales for a number of companies in the high-tech manufacturing sector.
Ted was especially excited to join the Blackdog team because of his admiration for the Company. As a two-time customer of Blackdog Builders, he had experienced first-hand (his words), “their unparalleled customer service, teamwork, and craftsmanship.”
Outside of work, Ted regularly donates platelets at Mass General Hospital, leverages his biking enthusiasm to participate in cancer-research fundraisers (this year will be his 20th Pan Mass Challenge), supports Habitat for Humanity, and fosters cats for the MSPCA.
Take The First Step
Tell Us About Your Project
Whether you’re looking for a career in design, project management, or carpentry, Blackdog Design/Build/Remodel has an opportunity for you! If you want to be the best in the remodeling industry, join the best team in the Southern NH and Northeastern MA region. Interested in joining the Blackdog family? Check out our current open positions, and get started making remodeling dreams a reality.