Meet The Staff
Steven Ramaekers, CR – President/Founder
As President and owner of MainStreet Design Build, Steve Ramaekers manages the conceptual design and architectural process for each project, as well as the overall operations of the company.
Steve has a rich background of over 25 years in the business. He started his career in the early 80′s in rough carpentry, then as a finish carpenter, and up the ranks to project leadership rolls. Steve started his own business because he saw a “lack of quality and detail” in the local remodeling industry. “I felt I could do a better job if I owned the project from start to finish. That’s the advantage of a design/build company,” says Steve. “Now in our 21st year of business, what drives me is making my client’s dreams a reality. We focus on the details in every aspect of the project – from design, to materials, to construction, to finish work. The fine details are what make the difference”.
Steve received his Certified Remodeler’s certification (CR) from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) in 1995. He continues to hone his craft as an expert in the field, working with and advising others through peer groups such as fellow Big 50 recipients and the Remodelers Advantage Roundtables.
Steve enjoys getting outdoors to golf and ski and has a lot of fun coaching his son’s hockey team.
Christine Ramaekers, CKD – Vice President
Co-owner Christine Ramaekers manages interior space planning and materials selections for each project. She has a keen eye for both design and function. She works directly with you to select all of the elements that go into your project – such as cabinetry, countertops, tile, flooring, fixtures, appliances – and the details that go along with each. Christine’s goal is to “create a beautiful space that flows perfectly with of the homeowner’s style”.
When asked about why she enjoys the industry so much, she replied “I love creating spaces that previously did not exist, and changing the lives of our homeowners for the better. I appreciate all forms of architecture and am able to work with so many different styles in this area. Although our work is predominantly on older homes, our clients want a project that is not “cookie cutter”. Every single project is unique and it is very exciting to watch the construction as it takes place, and see the final product upon completion.”
Christine is a graduate of The University of Michigan and is certified through the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) as a CKD (Certified Kitchen Designer).
Outside of the office, she relishes her time with their two boys, volunteering in their schools, as well as cheering them on in soccer and hockey. Currently she is preparing to run the Chicago Marathon for the 2nd time this October 2012.
Kurt Neiswender AIA,LEED-AP – Director of Architecture
Kurt joins the MainStreet Team with a diverse background of architectural projects throughout the nation. His experience in design and management ranges from single family residential work to international high-rise mixed use developments. Kurt has been licensed in the state of Michigan since 2008, and also is a LEED accredited professional.
Kurt received his Bachelor’s of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California in 2003 and is currently pursuing a dual degree program at Lawrence Technological University – a Master’s of Urban Design with a Sustainable Urbanism Concentration. Kurt’s background and experience has allowed him to receive one of the very limited research positions within Lawrence Technological University. This prestigious position offers a full tuition scholarship and valuable research experience focused in southwest Detroit.
When asked about why he was interested in joining MainStreet, he said “Many firms claim to be both design and build experts – but MainStreet truly offers expertise on both sides,” I was excited to become part of a team that has extensive experience in bringing the whole process together,” he added.
Kurt enjoys being back in Michigan and spending time with his wife Danielle and two beagles, Marty and Woody. He is a big USC football fan, and likes to golf when his schedule allows.
Melissa Cesal, Designer
Melissa Cesal has been our designer extraordinaire for 10 years. Working as part of the design team, she creates the detailed drawings and blueprints for your project. She pulls together all of the technical aspects that go into the plan. “I love design build because not only do I get to do the architectural drawings, I get to work with the carpenters on the construction side. Being able to visit the jobsite allows me to better understand what I am drawing, it’s the best of both worlds,” says Melissa.
Melissa holds a BS in Architecture from Lawrence Technological University. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two young sons as well as drawing, poetry, stained glass and scrap booking.
Dwain May oversees your project once you move into the construction phase. Calm and collected, Dwain is the one who makes everything look easy. He’s managing all of the events of your project. Dwain works with our carpenters, craftsmen and you to ensure a smooth experience. “I love what I do. And MainStreet is great to work for – we are a family and that shows as we all work together so well,” says Dwain.
Dwain is an accomplished master carpenter and has been with MainStreet Design Build for nearly 20 years! In his off hours, Dwain enjoys darts, working in his workshop, playing with his daughters and helping friends with their home projects.
Kim Cote, Office Manager/Bookkeeper
Kim Coté is the friendly voice you’ll hear when you call MainStreet. As our Office Manager & Bookkeeper, she keeps the entire office running smooth and efficiently, and always with a smile. Kim manages our accounting systems, including accounts receivables, payables and financials. Kim received a Bachelors of Science degree from Wayne State University and has an excellent back ground in office management and department administration. If you ever have a question about your project, Kim is the person that will find the answer!
“I really appreciate how organized, detailed and thorough the team is. Each member of our team has a role in every project. It’s impressive to see the moving parts combine to create such beautiful outcomes,” says Kim. In her spare time, Kim enjoys working in her garden, cooking and spending time with friends and family. She is also busy planning her wedding which is set for September of 2012.
Kyle Rich, Carpenter
Kyle Rich is the youngest member of our staff. But don’t let his age fool you – he has over 10 years in the construction industry. “I really enjoy seeing the results after a long days work,” says Kyle. He attended Oakland Technical Center with a focus in Construction Technology. For fun, Kyle enjoys off-road mountain biking and water sports.
Izzy, Director of Public Relations
Although she is of the canine persuasion, Izzy loves her job at MainStreet. She takes her job of greeting every client very seriously. “I just find the interaction with the clients a very rewarding experience,” says Izzy. (OK, may-be she doesn’t really talk). In her spare time she enjoys chewing on golf balls, sticks, and generally just being a happy dog.