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Sales and Design
Tamara, a native of Atlanta, landed in Philadelphia in 1978 to attend art school, and it is here that the seeds of her career in construction began, starting as a carpenter’s apprentice on summer breaks while attending the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and, later, Temple University, Tyler School of Art, where she graduated with a BFA, magna cum laude. Staying with the carpentry trade and always filled with determination and entrepreneurial spirit, Tamara executed her first solo jobs without a car – strapping the lumber to her bicycle as she set out to form her one-woman carpentry business. Seeing the chance to form a full vision for jobs, Tamara naturally moved into larger projects, bringing design and product specification into the mix with general contracting.
Starting in 1999, Tamara was featured as the Construction Expert in 50 episodes of The Discovery Channel show “Gimme Shelter,” and has made guest appearances on national/local television and radio shows.
Today, Tamara continues her quest for knowledge with classes and consulting through multiple schools, institutions, national professional agencies, and organizations, including the Architecture program of Drexel University, Remodeling Advantage Roundtables, Lorman Seminars LEED education, National Association of Homebuilders/Home Builders Institute – Design, Business, and Construction Course work, NKBA & AIA continuing education programs and Clean Edison course work in LEED education.
Tamara shares her love of community, urbanism, sustainability, as well as green issues by volunteering for her neighborhoods, including sitting on the design/zoning review committees for both Northern Liberties Urban Design and the Kensington South Design Review Committees.
Tamara maintains a studio in the Crane Arts Building in the Kensington South neighborhood of Philadelphia, where she continues her personal work through drawings, sculpture, and installation pieces. Besides having a passion for visual arts, Tamara is a self-proclaimed cultural junkie and an avid supporter of dance and live-theatre arts, and enjoys her own creative version of physical activities, including dancing, bicycling, skating, yoga, pilates, circuit training, walking, and hiking. She’s an avid music fan and sings the praises of her iPod and her MacBook. All these interests meld into a general pursuit of life through art, design, books, films, politics, travel, and the knowledge and wisdom from the many interesting people whose paths she has had the opportunity to cross.
Diane’s very first jobs were in commercial restaurants, where she learned the value of timing and good service and how they translate into happy customers. Those early experiences helped her to hone the skills she uses today as VP/Production Manager for Myers Constructs. She explains: “It keeps my eye on the ball for the company: What’s in the pipeline? Is the right person and product where it needs to be to keep the projects rolling? Is cash flowing?”
Diane graduated with a BFA in Painting from Philadelphia College of Art in 1984. Since then, this self-described “dynamic and forceful” small business owner has logged more than 23 years in entrepreneurial ventures, including painting and speculative remodeling businesses, where she honed her skills in strategic planning, project management, marketing, and budgeting.
Diane has an appreciation for beautiful items that are made from the finest materials. To that end, she has personally restored fine art paintings, museum-grade furniture and historical murals and has even built boats from scratch! Her natural instinct is to understand form in a three-dimensional perspective, and to view materials in terms of the individual layers that make up the whole via her understanding of chemistry. Diane’s natural curiosity about history and how things work has allowed her to garner a wealth of information on historical styles, form, and function – and to use them for modern applications.
In her spare time, you can find Diane fly fishing, shooting clays, hitting her rowing machine, or tooling around town on one of her two favorite modes of transportation: her Ducati ST2 motorcycle or her Vespa scooter. (Believe it or not, the motorcycling complements her business skill sets. “I have to make quick decisions and be right. Clutching, shifting, breaking, engine idle … all have to fit and operate smoothly,” she explains.) Diane also loves to cook, nest and garden – all of which contribute to her “total vision” philosophy of being a design-to-build remodeler.
This is Robert, but everyone calls him Bob or “Professor.” Bob is one of the lead carpenters here at Myers Constructs, and it is his great pleasure to look at a bunch of lines on a sheet of paper and make them into beautiful, well-crafted, substantial objects and spaces in the physical world (all on time and under budget, of course!). Before joining the Myers Constructs crew, Bob did similar work for a variety of student and professional artists and studied metalsmithing, which instilled in him a strong love of craft and, sometimes, unreasonable attention to detail. When he’s not at work making and building, one of Bob’s passions is roasting coffee – a hobby that his wife loves, his 8-year-old finds “stinky” (it is), and his cat is indifferent to.
Kyle McCafferty has just joined us as a carpenter. He has experience in quite a few different building trades in addition to carpentry.
Chris Buerkli is back swingin’ hammers for us on a part-time basis. He can lay some mean tile.
Dana Priesing keeps the books, and manages the website and computers.