- MEET THE TEAM -

Zach Fajen - Headshot 2.jpg

ZACH FAJEN, Owner

Zach comes from a sales and marketing background, working at both New York City and Washington, D.C. based tech startups before entering the world of general contracting. Zach possesses an artistic eye having studied studio arts at Denison University, with supplemental studies at Parsons New School for Design in New York City and La Escuela de Diseño Altos de Chavón in the Dominican Republic


Cale Brown Bio Image.jpg

CALE BROWN, Owner

Cale has worked in the construction industry for more than a decade, starting his own business in 2008. In 2011, Cale and Zach met and a partnership was born. Cale has an MBA and a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources, both from the University of Maryland. 


Tim Hardin Headshot.jpg

TIM HARDIN, Associate Designer 

A D.C. native, Tim loves the city and working to improve standards of living.  Tim has a BFA in Industrial Design with a focus on Design for Sustainability from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). This background enables him to develop and manufacture products that are as attractive as they are functional, creating more meaningful interactions with them while also improving the environment around them.


Melissa Martin - .jpg

MELISSA MARTIN, Project Manager

Melissa comes from a family of premier home builders and woodworkers in Rhode Island that are responsible for some of the most iconic coastal homes in the state. This, paired with her background as a microbiologist, gives her both an innate understanding of the industry but also makes her one of the most organized members of our team. Melissa's focus on efficiency ensures that a project flows smoothly, from the early planning stages to the last screw.


Moises Abarca - Head Shot.jpeg

MOISES ABARCA, Lead Carpenter

With more than 12 years of experience in the construction industry, Moises is truly a jack of all trades. Since graduating as an electrical engineer technician, his expertise has broadened to include tile installation, framing, finish carpentry, and project management. Additionally, Moises holds a certificate from CCP (Alexandria, VA) with a focus on electrical codes in the DMV. 


Lou Leslie - Bio Photo.JPG

LOU LESLIE, Lead Carpenter

With more than 35 years of experience in the industry, Lou has performed all aspects of construction ranging from cabinet making to ground-up builds. Prior to joining Fajen & Brown, Lou cultivated his management and carpentry skills at some of the areas most respected construction firms, including his own business for 14 years. His jovial personality, wealth of knowledge, eagerness to continually learn and natural leadership skills make him a vital component to every project. 


TOM SWARTZ, Lead Carpenter

Tom is incredibly organized, working to a high level in everything he does. Prior to joining Fajen & Brown, Tom’s main area of expertise was framing custom homes and additions for his own company and premier local builders, including Gibson. He is a very well-rounded carpenter, therefore he understands that when the framing is accurate, every trade that follows will go that much smoother. Knowing how difficult it is to install siding and trim when the job hasn’t been framed well, you’ll never hear Tom say, “It’s only rough framing.” Tom is a creative thinker and constantly seeks new ways to do things more efficiently, ultimately sharing what he learns with those around him in order to better the team as a whole.


MIKE LEWIS, Lead Carpenter

Mike has extensive experience in both commercial and residential construction having helped build some of the areas most iconic buildings and homes. Prior to joining Fajen & Brown, Mike led the construction of a new $10 million home in Northwest DC. He is passionate about building sciences and implementing the most modern and innovative technologies into our homes. At Fajen & Brown, Mike specializes in making contemporary designs a reality. In his spare time, Mike enjoys traveling, fishing, surfing, skateboarding, craft beer, spending time with his family and browsing Instagram for the most interesting homes in the world.


CARLOS PORTILLO, Lead Carpenter

Carlos specializes in kitchen and bathroom projects for Fajen & Brown. His extensive experience as a cabinet installer for high-end manufacturer Pogghenpohl brings with it extremely high standards of craftsmanship and an innate attention to detail. Carlos has the ability to envision a space and maximize its potential. Most of Carlos’ projects include his son, Ritchie, who is currently working as a Carpenter’s Assistant at Fajen & Brown.


JOEL HOLSTEIN, Carpenter

Joel joined Fajen & Brown after moving to DC from sunny California in early 2018. Joel comes from a commercial construction background which allows him to implement the best commercial practices and materials in a residential setting. Joel is passionate about construction and is constantly seeking to involve and improve as a carpenter. His dedication to the craft is represented in his ever-growing arsenal of high-quality tools. In his spare time, Joel enjoys spending time with his wife and dog in their new DC home.


ELIU “E” OSORIO, Carpenter

With over 20 years of experience, “E” brings with him a skillset that expands far beyond carpentry. However, carpentry is his passion and it shows in his execution at both the framing and finish stages of any project. E’s warm personality makes him a client favorite and a popular team member.


JAVIER ELIAS, Carpenter

Javier’s high-energy level and 30+ years of experience ensure that projects move according to schedule while being executed at the highest standards. Javier is always looking for ways to improve himself and those around him. His inquisitive attitude and eagerness to help make him the ideal team member at Fajen & Brown. In his spare time, you can find Javier working with his wife on weekends at their booth at Eastern Market.


RITCHIE PORTILLO, Carpenter’s Assistant

Ritchie has grown up in the trades with his father, Carlos Portillo, as his mentor. Ritchie is smart and curious, characteristics that are essential in the growth of a young carpenter. Ritchie’s eagerness and enthusiasm are infectious and inspire new energy in the more tenured craftsman around him. Ritchie is always willing to lend a hand, no matter the task. He has a bright future as he continues to learn the age-old craft of carpentry. We wish there were more young people like Ritchie!


ANDREW RUPLI, Master Crafstman/Shop Manager

Andrew is truly a master at his craft. Trained in colonial furniture production, Andrew is capable of creating the most ornate secretary while also executing the simplicity of a modern cabinet design. In addition to creating furniture and cabinetry with his coworker Tim, Andrew works closely with architects and interior designers to help engineer their visions and bring them to life. In addition to woodworking, Andrew enjoys coaching his son’s football team, watching the Redskins on Sundays and fishing for Rockfish in the Chesapeake.


- WHAT WE VALUE -

STANDARDS AND TRANSPARENCY

Our team members are held to the highest design and construction standards. We know the value of the customer and treat you accordingly.  The Fajen & Brown business is built on trust and referrals. Our transparent approach will give you full access to your estimate so that you understand the costs behind your project. We also provide you with the full bios of our employees to ensure that you are comfortable with our presence in your home or office. Fajen & Brown is an open book. 

COMFORT

You will find total peace of mind in any project with Fajen & Brown. We carry a $5 million insurance policy, are bonded, and are licensed everywhere we do business. No client will ever feel exposed when working with Fajen & Brown. 

YOUR SATISFACTION

Our goal is to merge top quality home improvement with a superb client experience. Our continued success is based on a proven track record of customer satisfaction. Our process from consultation to completion is meant to be an enjoyable experience. This means projects are completed as-planned, on-time, and on-budget.