In the spring of 1990, as a flat broke and professionally-unmoored recent graduate of architecture school, I made the morally dubious decision to sneak into a few sessions at the Timber Framers Guild conference in Troy, NY. I was enthralled with the work I saw, and the attitude toward work and craft expressed by those I met. At some point that weekend, I had a lovely chat with Tedd Benson, who invited me to come see the shop—and became my employer for the next three years. Such was my introduction to the world of timber framing.
I was a member of the Guild's board of directors for two terms in the mid-1990s, serving two years as president. I've worked for the past 26 years as a residential/light commercial designer, with the bulk of my work focused on timber framed projects. Along the way, I've tried to educate myself on best practices for high-performance building, and the basics of structural engineering. I strongly believe that the best buildings must strike a balance between firmness, commodity, and delight, with none of these being given short attention. I have intentionally kept my business small over the years, and at the moment I am the sole employee. My managerial experience as such is currently limited to keeping myself in line—which can be challenging at times.
I am excited about the current direction of the Guild and optimistic for its continued success. I'm especially pleased with the way the Apprenticeship Training Program, the Engineering Council, and TTRAG have become strong sub-groups with a defined mission and passionate advocates. I feel that the relationship of the TFG Companies to the Guild as a whole is still being defined, and I'd like to be a part of that continued refinement.