Meet the Weekend Workbench Experts

Ryan has had a lot of help on his way to becoming a do-it-yourself dynamo. Please check out our experts when you need a hand with your next project.

SEASON 3 EXPERTS

Sean

Sean Buino – Dad’s Home Improvement

Sean Buino – Handyman
Dad’s Home Improvement
www.CallDads.com
773-372-3973

Sean Buino is the owner of Dad’s Home Improvement on the North Side of the city. Sean was born above (and grew up in) the family owned hardware store and started his first handyman service at 16 years old. Sean is proud of the fact that his team earned two Angie’s List Super Service Awards in 2012. When he’s not helping people with their home projects, find him hanging out with his family on Southport.

 

Meegan Czop

Meegan Czop

Meegan Czop – Reuse Consultant

Meegan has spent the last six years as the Director of Business Development for the Rebuilding Exchange. She has over 15 years of experience in architectural salvage and deconstruction throughout the Midwest with a current focus in lumber. This has led to some rare and exceptional salvage throughout Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Her education is in the arts and her previous work experience ranges from masonry restoration to building sets for the Oprah Winfrey Show. This diverse background has helped set trends within the design/build community and has placed reclaimed materials throughout the nation in residential and public places. She has used her experience in creating a marketplace for reclaimed materials to help hard hit areas along the rustbelt region such as Lansing, Detroit, and Cleveland and has built successful relationships in these areas that help promote large scale reclaimed lumber sales and deconstruction. She is currently working as a consultant for reuse and also looking forward to developing a reclaimed lumber yard and processing facility for building materials.

 

Gino Generelli - President of MacHero

Gino Generelli – President of MacHero

Gino Generelli – Technology Expert
President of MacHero www.machero.com
312-357-5159

Gino Generelli is the President of MacHero Inc, where he leads a team of Apple-certified experts on a quest to get technology to work for organizations throughout Chicago. Gino has a passion for simplifying high-tech systems into something accessible for the rest of us. In his spare time, Gino enjoys singing, photography and finding new ways to control every device in his home through his iPhone.

 

Charlie Vinz - Rebuilding Exchange

Charlie Vinz – Rebuilding Exchange

Charlie Vinz – RX Director of Product Development and Sales

www.rebuildingexchange.com
1740 W. Webster Ave. Chicago
Charlie is trained in architecture and design, and comes to RX with over 15 years of experience designing and building things ranging from ice fishing yurts, to charter schools, to community art spaces. He has been a huge fan of RX since before the first store opened on 47th Street, and for a while bartered for RX lumber for use in the teen design/build programs he ran through After School Matters. Most recently, Charlie worked on a wide range of creative projects with Theaster Gates Studio and his non-profit Rebuild Foundation. Hailing from Lake Mills, Wisconsin, Charlie has otherwise called the south side of Chicago home since 1999.

Meegan has been with Rebuilding Exchange from the very beginning. She hails from Michigan, where she previously worked as a mason for historic restoration projects. With a background in art and design, Meegan prides herself on scavenging rare and unusual objects, many of which now reside on the walls and shelves of bars and restaurants across the Midwest. Outside of the RX, Meegan can be found exploring abandoned buildings with her dog Boomer or collecting broken objects to creatively transform. – See more at: http://rebuildingexchange.org/about#sthash.3PjZKTwB.dpuf
Casey Burkitt - Rebuilding Exchange

Casey Burkitt – Rebuilding Exchange

Casey Burkitt – RX Made Manager
www.rebuildingexchange.com
1740 W. Webster Ave. Chicago

Casey started at Rebuilding Exchange as a warehouse volunteer before sneaking his way into the workshop and onto the RX Made team. A product designer by trade he’s a perpetual maker of objects. He enjoys breathing new life into old, forgotten treasures from applying a simple coat of paint to turning old growth lumber into furniture full of history and character. He currently serves as shop manager at the Rebuilding Exchange.

Wayne Oliver - RX Made Associate

Wayne Oliver – Rebuilding Exchange

Wayne Oliver – RX Made Associate
www.rebuildingexchange.com
1740 W. Webster Ave. Chicago

Wayne Oliver was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. He first became a part of the Rebuilding Exchange working in the warehouse. It did not take long to discover that Wayne had a knack for upcycling reclaimed materials, so he was quickly hired on as a builder for the furniture line RX Made. Over the past two years, Wayne has become a key player in the expansion of the RX Made line. On most days you can find him in the wood shop planning down old growth lumber and making tables which find new homes in many of the bars and restaurants across Chicago. On his off days he likes to explore Chicago and hit the gym.

Julea Joseph - Home Stager & Stylist

Julea Joseph – Home Stager & Stylist

Julea Joseph – Home Stager & Stylist
Reinventing Space, www.julea.com

Julea Joseph makes the most of your space and brings her fresh perspective, sassy panache and educated savvy to each project. As a stager/stylist she’s created a progressive menu of design services to help celebrate home whether a client is moving out, moving in, or just ready for a change. Great interior design doesn’t have to be a difficult process, out of reach, or cost a fortune. Julea offers stylish home solutions, helping clients make wise home staging, styling and decorating choices, for your most expensive investment – your home. When she’s in her ‘off’ time, you’ll find her channeling ‘Martha’ – digging in her garden, gathering fresh eggs from her coop, or conquering another home project in the family’s mid-century ranch home.

Casey Finn & Bridget Matkovich - The DIY Playbook

Casey Finn & Bridget Matkovich – The DIY Playbook

Casey Finn & Bridget Matkovich – Editors of The DIY Playbook
www.thediyplaybook.com

Casey Finn and Bridget Matkovich are the two self-proclaimed do-it-yourself rookies behind the popular home decor blog, The DIY Playbook. The twenty-something best friends and Chicago natives coach their readers through the often intimidating world of crafts and home décor, and their site has received millions of pageviews.  According to Domino Magazine, “they inject a spirit in each project that makes us feel like we’re talking to our BFF – with a hammer in hand, of course.”

 

Kim and Scott Vargo

Scott & Kim Vargo – Yellow Brick Home

Scott & Kim Vargo – Editors of Yellow Brick Home
www.yellowbrickhome.com

Scott and Kim Vargo are the muscle behind the blog Yellow Brick Home. Together with their two rescue Pitties and two cranky felines, the team is DIY-ing their way through their 120-year-old house, taking down walls, building them back up and nurturing back the character that was so rudely taken away over time.

Nicole Balch - Making it Lovely

Nicole Balch – Making it Lovely

Nicole Balch – Editor of Making it Lovely
www.makingitlovely.com

Nicole Balch is the founder of Making it Lovely, a design and lifestyle blog about living a stylish life and transforming the so-so. She is known for her feminine style, love of the color pink, and fearless mixing of patterns in her home and wardrobe. She lives in Oak Park, IL with her husband and three young kids.

 

Kyla-Herbes

Kyla Herbes – House of Hipsters

Kyla Herbes – Editor of House of Hipsters
www.houseofhipsters.com

Kyla Herbes is the Creative Director at an advertising agency in Chicago. She is also the founder of House Of Hipsters, an interior design and lifestyle blog featuring — new products, rad spaces and vintage treasures. Her love of design, decor and fashion started at an early age. She kept notebooks full of cutouts from magazines and catalogs and taped them back together. In a way, it was an analog way of blogging and graphic design. Obsessed with mid-century modern home decor and photography, she can be found decorating with anything from mugshots, to vintage cameras, to odd taxidermy. Her work has been featured on Domaine Home, Poppytalk and Chairish.

 

Mike Jakubowski

Mike Jakubowski – Ace Expert

Mike Jakubowski
Ace Hardware Expert & Expert Handyman

Mike is currently an Industrial Technology teacher at a high school. Prior to teaching he ran a home building and remodeling company for 15 years. His knowledge of homes spans from sewers to shingles and everything in between. Besides building stuff and fixing things himself, Mike enjoys teaching others, whether students, family or friends.

 

SEASON 2 EXPERTS

Blake Sloane

Blake Sloane – Rebuilding Exchange

Blake Sloane – RX Director of Production
Rebuilding Exchange
www.rebuildingexchange.com
1740 W. Webster Ave. Chicago

Blake is the Workshop Manager at the Rebuilding Exchange, where he oversees production of the RX Made furniture line and leads the “Make It/Take It” workshop series. He is a lifelong tinkerer/builder who is fond of combing alleyways, thrift stores, and grandma’s attic for materials to incorporate into his work and classes. Blake was chosen as one of the “10 Furniture Maker’s Keeping Woodworking Alive” by Re-Nest. Get in touch with him if you want a custom piece of furniture built by Rebuilding Exchange.

Blake is the Workshop Manager at Rebuilding Exchange, where he oversees production of the RX Made furniture line and leads the “Make It/Take It “ workshop series. He is a lifelong tinkerer/builder who is fond of combing alleyways, thrift stores, and grandma’s attic for materials to incorporate into his work and classes. Blake was just chosen as one of “10 Furniture Maker’s Keeping Woodworking Alive” by Re-Nest. Get in touch with him if you want a custom piece of furniture built by Rebuilding Exchange. You can see some of his work at http://www.blakesloane.com. – See more at: http://rebuildingexchange.org/about#sthash.3PjZKTwB.dpuf
Blake is the Workshop Manager at Rebuilding Exchange, where he oversees production of the RX Made furniture line and leads the “Make It/Take It “ workshop series. He is a lifelong tinkerer/builder who is fond of combing alleyways, thrift stores, and grandma’s attic for materials to incorporate into his work and classes. Blake was just chosen as one of “10 Furniture Maker’s Keeping Woodworking Alive” by Re-Nest. Get in touch with him if you want a custom piece of furniture built by Rebuilding Exchange. You can see some of his work at http://www.blakesloane.com. – See more at: http://rebuildingexchange.org/about#sthash.3PjZKTwB.dpuf
Alex

Alex Enarson – Rebuilding Exchange

Alex Enarson – RX Assistant Manager
Rebuilding Exchange
www.rebuildingexchange.com
1740 W. Webster Ave. Chicago

Before he became assistant manager, Alex was one of the RX’s most eager customers, often spending hours digging through stacks of old-growth lumber in search of that one rare, true 2″x4″. Needless to say, Alex is a self-proclaimed wood nerd, and always enjoys fielding odd or technical wood questions from customers. When he’s not solving IT and website issues, Alex is on the warehouse floor, helping customers with their projects.

Heather White Still

Heather White – Rebuilding Exchange

Heather White – RX Director of Community Outreach & Engagement
Rebuilding Exchange
www.rebuildingexchange.com
1740 W. Webster Ave. Chicago

Heather is the perfect fit as Director of Community Outreach and Engagement at Rebuilding Exchange. She loves engaging the community in conversation and hands on engagement in anything relating to recycling and building material. She learned how to wield tools as a kid tagging along at her father’s construction sites in Iowa. Her interest and experience in building has evolved into a passion for green construction, deconstruction, and energy efficiency making her the RX’s resident sustainability aficionado. She has also racked up many volunteer hours on projects from coast to coast and always loves lending a hand. In her spare time, she can be found searching for the newest vintage treasure and traveling locally, nationally, and internationally.

Jenny Still

Jenny Rossignuolo – Urban Source

Jenny Rossignuolo – Owner, Urban Source
Urban Source 1429 W. Chicago Avenue, Chicago
UrbanSourceChicago.com
312-455-0505

Jenny opened Urban Source as a walk-in retail studio where Chicago area customers can find a dazzling selection of products for their homes. The selection of wallpapers and fabrics has since developed to include an ever growing range of independent studios from all over the world. Today the shop is a fun, inviting, unpretentious studio/showroom where customers can browse and shop to their hearts’ delight. Mauritian-born Jenny, was raised in Australia, and traveled extensively in Europe where she met her Chicago-born husband. She and her husband now reside here in Chicago.

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Rob West – Rob West Plumbing

Rob West – Plumber
Rob West Plumbing, Inc.
www.robwestplumbing.com

Rob West grew up on the south side of Chicago and he comes from a family of plumbers. Rob West Plumbing, Inc. has serviced the Chicagoland area for over 15 years. The company prides itself on guaranteed functionality, pleasing aesthetics, and environmentally responsible service.

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Kathy Carroll – Faux by Kathy

Kathy Carroll – Faux by Kathy
Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes, Owner
www.fauxbykathy.com

Kathy Carroll is the owner of the Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes, where she enjoys teaching a variety of finishes for walls, floors, and furniture. With over 20 years in the decorative arts and interior design industry, Kathy enjoys sharing her expertise with other faux artisans and decorative painters. Visit her website to enroll in a faux finishing class.

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Paul Jacklin – Jack’s Rental Inc.

Paul Jacklin – Tool Expert
Jack’s Rental 6642 W. 26th Street Berwyn, IL
www.jacksrental.com
708-788-4300

Paul Jacklin has worked at Jack’s Rental Inc. in Berwyn for close to 16 years. Being a family operated business, he has been fortunate enough to work with family who opened the business back in 1965. He has been trained and certified for most of the power tools and equipment in the rental industry. He started off maintaining and giving out rental equipment at a young age and progressed to fixing and servicing the equipment. Paul gets no greater pleasure than being able to work with family everyday, along with top notch staff.

 

Kathleen Larson – Designer & Interior Painter
773-801-1350
kclarson.interiors@gmail.com

Kathleen Larson is a designer who has mastered interior painting. Her extensive knowledge in the creative field can guide you towards picking the perfect color that is most attractive to your space. She resigned from United Airlines after twenty years of service to follow her passion. She completed her education for specialty painting at The Finishing School, Floral Park NY. Her design education was received at Sheffield School of Interior Design, New York and her Home Staging Business training program for Staging Diva. She is a creative, trustworthy professional who can be reached at Kclarson.interiors@gmail.com.

 

SEASON 1 EXPERTS

Michael Pendleton

Michael Pendleton – MP Custom Made

Michael Pendleton – Co-Owner
MP Custom Made
www.mpcustommade.com

Michael Pendleton’s shop is located in Bridgeport. While MP Custom Made primarily makes furniture, they also make a whole bunch of amazingly cool stuff; mostly out of reclaimed materials. Michael has degrees in Visual Arts and Operations, and also has a background in Theatre.

Kaisa Dille

Kaisa Dille – k. dille designs

Kaisa Dille – Owner
k. dille designs
www.kdilledesigns.com

At k. dille designs, Kaisa Dille creates original pieces for homes and patios. She began as a landscape designer that needed a planter box one day. So she made it; sawing the pieces on her grandmother’s coffee table with a handsaw. Now Kaisa has her own company specializing in both landscape design and garden wood designs.

Goldstein

Michael Goldstein – Mensch with a Wrench

Michael Goldstein – Expert Handyman
www.menschwrenchchicago.com

Michael Goldstein is one of the highest rated handymen on Yelp. Known as the Mensch with a Wrench he really is a Mensch and he does own a wrench; so you know he’s honest! You can find Michael traversing the city – Northside to South Loop – working in homes doing projects for high-rise urban dwellers, families and everyone in between. Michael helps Ryan with projects ranging from installing a ceiling fan to tiling a kitchen back splash.

 

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