About the Firm
The sons of a Boston general contractor and an Ohio real estate/tax attorney, respectively, company co-founders Derek Thompson and Brad Suskind have building in their blood.
With nearly 25 years of cumulative experience in the field of construction, Thompson Suskind co-founders serve their clients in distinct capacities. With a career that covers everything from drywall apprentice, carpenter, foreman, operations manager and general manager, Derek is the primary liaison between architect, owner and designer. Brad’s years of remodeling, construction and carpentry experience along with his “whatever it takes” commitment to client success is evident in his role as on-site foreman/lead.
The professionals of Thompson Suskind have managed the completion of over 50 custom residential projects in the Bay Area. Prior to founding Thompson-Suskind, Derek was general manager at an established San Francisco-based design/build construction firm, where he directed a staff of more than 30 full-time employees. When asked about the role of technology in the construction industry, Derek commented, “Brad and I both have extensive technical backgrounds successfully leveraging technology for clients. We know that if you’re going to compete in this business, you have to do more than keep up with technology – you have to innovate.”
At Thompson Suskind, innovation starts with the needs of its clients. The firm serves a unique audience of business executives and their families. Derek emphasizes, “Our clients demand the finest quality finishes within their homes yet, with previous contractors, they suffered through the poorest quality communications.” This is the reason the firm invests so heavily in information technology that puts its clients in control. “We are as dedicated to delivering the highest quality information to our customers as we are to delivering the finest quality craftsmanship.”
For Derek and Brad, fine home building is about more than just cement, metal and wood; it’s an experience that takes them back to their childhood, where they learned that building is really about people – and treating them with professionalism and respect.
Meet the Team
Derek Thompson, Principal
As a small child, Derek’s father would take him on weekend rides to various job sites where he would instill into his son the fundamental truth of his profession, “No matter what you do in life, do it with professionalism and respect.” Derek proclaims that, “Now that I’m a general contractor, my father’s advice serves me well— it’s as much about who we are as people as how we conduct our business.”
Brad Suskind, Principal
Brad began his construction career after the collapse of the dot-com bubble. Trading stocks was quickly losing its appeal and a friend asked for help with a weekend remodel. That is when the light bulb came on. Over the following years, Brad worked with anyone that would teach him the trade. Starting as a laborer and working up the ranks, he educated himself in all aspects of residential construction to prepare to help launch Thompson Suskind. Brad offers, “I enjoy the hands-on aspect of construction as well as creating unique solutions to address the special needs of our clients.”
Bradley Henriksen, Controller/Operations Manager
Bradley comes from San Diego with over 12 years of experience of operational and accounting management, 7 of those working the construction industry. After selling his accounting business in San Diego, Bradley came to San Francisco to head the operations and accounting at a commercial construction company in the Bay Area. After working in commercial construction for a few years, Bradley joined Thompson Suskind in 2017 and enjoys working with the talented team at Thompson Suskind. In his free time, Bradley is completing his MBA and likes to take in the beauty of the Bay Area.
Peter Kellner, Project Executive
Peter comes to Thompson Suskind with nearly 30 years in the construction industry. Peter started his career in construction as a house painter while in college on the east coast, and after graduation moved west to start his own subcontracting business in Colorado. After growing that business to a staff of 15 after ten years, he sold the business and continued his trek west to the Bay Area.
Most recently Peter was General Manager of Impact Builders. At Impact Peter was responsible for the day to day management of the company as well as project managing the largest project, which was an ~9,000 sq ft home which was listed for sale at $45m. The home featured a cantilvered swimming pool, glass elevator and underground parking structure among other exotic features. Prior to that, Peter was Senior Project Manager at Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders, specializing in high end residences in the modern vernacular. He spent 13 years with that team, ultimately managing a staff of 6 in the PM department while personally managing several premier projects for tech clients in the $10-14 million budget range. Prior to that he spent four years with Swinerton Management and Consulting as project manager on a $260 million bond issue, building out institutional space for the San Mateo Community college district.
Peter is a construction technology ‘geek’ and loves to take deep dives into how to integrate and execute complicated designs. He also brings that passion to the management systems for Thompson Suskind, bringing with him a decade and a half of experience implementing integrated project management systems to streamline and simplify the management process.
Chris Muenzen, Project Manager
While Chris comes to Thompson Suskind with over fifteen years of industry experience, he was first introduced to construction working as a plumber’s helper while home on college breaks. After graduating from college and spending a few years in software development learning some of the nuances of project management, he headed West to rekindle his relationship with building.
Chris started as an Assistant Project Manager with Toll Brothers, Inc. in their Northern California Division, and after completing the Management Training Program, moved on to become a Project Manager. Wanting to forever broaden his scope of experience, Chris decided to leave the world of production building and delve into the world of custom homes. After a three-month sabbatical traveling through South and Central America with his now-wife, Chris made the switch and began working in the Bay Area’s high-end custom home building industry.
Chris graduated from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University with a major in Management and minors in Managerial Information Systems and International Business. He’s both a LEED AP as well as a Build It Green – Certified Green Building Professional. He spends the majority of his free time chasing after two children, protecting them from the world as well as the world from them.
Catherine Lam, Assistant Project Manager
Before Thompson Suskind, Catherine was a designer at an architecture firm. She went to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and graduated in architecture. She enjoys seeing the construction process of a project which led to the transition to general contracting. She’s excited to work with our team and being on site to assist clients in building out their homes.
Eric grew up predominantly in London but moved to San Francisco for the dot.com boom of the late nineties, where he worked as a programmer, animator, and designer. He is an artist at night, creating large scale self-portraits using exoskeletons, costumes and props to further tell the story. He’s been happily working at Thompson Suskind since 2017.
Ryan Hanson, Project Supervisor
Ryan was born and raised in a small farm town in Iowa. Growing up on the farm enabled Ryan to gain a strong Midwestern work ethic. Ryan’s grandfathers were both carpenters and many hours were spent learning in their woodshop. From this experience Ryan knew that carpentry was something he enjoyed doing. While in college Ryan starting working for a construction company and quickly became the lead finish carpenter. In 2005 after college, Ryan moved to San Francisco and began working as a head finish carpenter for a construction company that specialized in custom residential building. After a year with the company Ryan took the role as a project manager. In 2011 Ryan joined the Thompson Suskind team as a site supervisor. Since joining the team, Ryan has successfully completed Thompson Suskind’s 4th LEED Platinum project and is underway on our 5th.
Jorge Garay, Site Superintendent
Although he did not start his career with Thompson Suskind until 2007, Derek and Brad have a long history with Jorge as co-workers at their former employer. Jorge is an extremely valuable addition to our team as his work ethic, temperament and organizational skills fit well into the culture we have worked to develop. He has grown into the position as Site Superintendent and is able to manage subcontractors and communicate with clients exactly as if Derek or Brad were there personally. He is a major component to our growth as a company.
Reed Devost, Superintendent
Reed DeVost comes to Thompson Suskind with over 30 years of residential construction experience. He’s officially been a carpenter since 1995, but has been building things since he was a kid. His favorite wood to work with is the coastal redwood (sequoia sempervirens), because it’s one of the oldest living organisms, it’s beautiful, and “it cuts like butter.” As a woodworker, Reed is “a bit of an artist,” paying just as much attention to form as to function. As Superintendent at Thompson Suskind, Reed takes the time to build solid relationships, both with clients and with the crew he’s supervising. When he’s not problem solving on a job site, he can be found surfing at Ocean Beach, hiking trails in Marin, working on projects at home, and hanging out with his wife and daughter.
Chris Ray, Superintendent
Chris has lived and worked in the Bay Area for the last 25 years, first working in the design field and then moving to construction. This hybrid background strengthens his role as a superintendent, where he deals directly with designers and tradesman to bring design idea(l)s in line with practical considerations. Before moving to the role of superintendent, Chris worked as a carpenter and cabinet maker. Having these many layers of experience with a broad range of knowledge makes Chris a great asset on the large, multi-faceted construction projects we do at Thompson Suskind.
Nehemiah Lazo, Superintendent
Raised in San Francisco, Nehemiah studied art and design at City College and received technical training from SFSU. The majority and most valuable of his construction training comes from 26 years working for a local, high-end, residential construction firm where he started as an apprentice while still in high school. From that ground-floor position he worked his way up to cabinet and furniture shop foreman and eventually spent 10 years as Project Manager. Nehe has a passion for kitchen, bathroom and residential furniture design and his custom work can be found in numerous homes and restaurants across the Bay Area. When his previous employers retired, Thompson Suskind did not hesitate to bring Nehe on board, given his years of experience and widely-respected eye for design and detail.
Jake Thompson, Site Superintendent
Jake’s love for the construction industry came at a young age. In middle school he excelled in woodshop and other subjects relating to construction, and that passion carries through to today. Jake worked for sixteen years at a San Francisco based commercial construction company where he started as a laborer and worked diligently through the ranks to become a Superintendent. In 2014 Jake started his own successful commercial construction firm, which he ran for over 4 years. In 2018 Jake joined Thompson Suskind to continue to build beautiful homes in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Ron Crawford, Superintendent
Ron is a country boy from Oklahoma who has been interested in construction since Junior High School. He started his career in construction by framing houses in the summer of 1984. He enjoys seeing the client’s excitement as the project changes and becomes their dream home.
Sam Peterson, Superintendent
Hailing from Colorado, Sam grew up with tools in his hands. Beginning his carpentry and wood working career at the age of 16, Sam followed in his grandfather and father’s footsteps. His apprenticeships in joinery and timber framing has helped him develop an eye for clean lines and true craftsmanship. His focus and attention to detail has given him the opportunities to build not only beautiful traditional homes, but exquisite modern homes too. Sam has had his work featured in the March 2007 Architectural Digest and most recently a spread in 2017 for the Luxe Interior & Design, Colorado edition, for a stunning Cherry Creek estate. In his time off, Sam enjoys cycling, surfing, and the company of his beautiful 11-year-old daughter.
Edwin Gavidia, Foreman
Edwin Gavidia is the Finish Carpentry Foreman as well as one of the first-generation of Thompson Suskind carpenters. He is proud to be a part of Thompson Suskind, where he has learned and grown so much. Throughout the years he has worked with windows, siding, moldings, doors, interior and exterior finishes. Edwin completed his carpentry apprenticeship in 2005 and in the past 15 years he has gained experience to complete any task needed. Construction and home remodeling projects can be quite stressful, however Edwin works with clients to make their experience as pleasant as possible. Some key skills that make this possible are his communication, working efficiently, and being considerate of the client’s needs.
Doug Goad, Service Manager
Doug was born and raised in Sacramento and moved out to the bay area after 23 years. Doug has always been glued to the outdoors since he was a little kid. His love for woodwork goes all the way back to high school, where he took woodshop for three years. He has been with Thompson Suskind for 10 years and looks forward to continuing to learn and meeting great people along the way. He enjoys fishing, camping, hiking, and exploring new places with friends and family.
Rolando Lopez, Foreman
Rolando started his adventure with Thompson Suskind in 2013 with an opportunity to learn different areas of the construction industry. He first started under the supervision of Guillermo Carranza, whose specialty is concrete and forming. After some time on the concrete crew, he was promoted to Foreman under the supervision of Ryan Hanson. He is from Mexico and has a beautiful family with his wife and 3 fantastic kids.