WHO WE ARE

WORK FAMILY

Based in the Pacific Northwest, Elite Construction + Development is a full-service general contractor with over 12 years of experience working with clients to envision and deliver on their building and infrastructure goals. We offer comprehensive construction support and services that enable our communities to flourish and our team members to innovate and thrive.

Our Story

2008

J. Trinidad Garibay (Trini) and David A Magaña incorporate Elite Renovations. The two-man team, who derive from humble beginnings, start to build their company from a small home office with a focus on home remodels and tenant improvements.

2010

As business improves, Elite Renovations reaches 20+ employees. The firm continues to build their business portfolio specializing in ground-up construction, from foundations to roofing, and everything in between. Elite adds the first out-of-state project to their portfolio.

2013

Elite Renovations changes its name to Elite Construction and Development and has grown to 40+ employees. It is now considered a regional player with a recently completed project in Idaho. The same year, Elite Construction and Development is named the Southeast Washington Minority Small Business of the Year by the University of Washington.

2016

The company reaches 70+ employees the year prior and begins to add significant self-performing divisions. Elite is featured on HGTV’s Tiny House Competition alongside Alexandria Nicole Winery. They begin construction on their new headquarters.

2018

Elite celebrates their 10 year anniversary in their new headquarters in Pasco, WA. The Road 90 Business Park Development that houses Elite and other tenants was designed and built by Elite and will serve as a model for future projects. The same year, Elite partners with WRPS as part of their Mentor-Protégé program and begins environmental remediation work at the Hanford Site.

2020

During the COVID-19 global pandemic, the construction industry is considered essential, so Elite continues with important work alongside WRPS for the Department of Energy’s hazardous waste clean-up efforts.

2021

As it prepares for significant growth, Elite Construction + Development unveils a new look. The company grows to over 100 employees with a diversified portfolio of projects in both public and private sectors. Elite begins to explore projects outside of the Pacific Northwest for 2022 unveiling. More to come.

PASSION PURPOSE

Customer satisfaction drives every aspect of our business and defines our reputation. Our motto, “WORK HARD + STAY HUMBLE”, is a long-standing commitment to deliver exceptional projects through quality work, collaborative leadership, and active listening. We work hard to ensure our performance exceeds our client’s expectations, and we do this with honesty, integrity, innovation, and a resolve to make the end product next level.

PILLARS OF SUCCESS

Safety

At Elite Construction + Development, we promote and engage a genuine safety culture. Beyond compliance, we know that a commitment to protecting the lives of our team members is in the best interest of all and ensures future success and profitability. By building a foundation of safety through performance, knowledge of safe practices, job-site inspections, ongoing training, and risk management, we reduce risk to workers in all phases of the construction process. We provide timely and accurate safety data to inform management decision-making and create a win-win culture for all.

Our experts support construction projects of all types (commercial, residential, industrial, manufacturing, and others) at any stage of asset lifecycle (new-build construction, renovation/repositioning, or demolition) with a full range of safety services including:

  • Safety Program Goal Setting
  • Hearing Conservation Goal Setting
  • Company Safety Committee Program
  • New Team Member Orientation Program
  • Chemical Hazard Communication Program
  • Wayfinding (Basics)
  • Safety Meetings Program
  • Ladder Inspection Program
  • Heat and Cold Stress Program
  • Fire Prevention Training
  • Fall Protection Training
  • Powered-Actuated Tool Training and Certification
  • Basic First Aid/CPR with AED Training
  • 10-Hour and 30-Hour OSHA Construction Industry Safety and Health (coming soon)
  • Safety Mentoring, etc.

 

Associated General Contractors of America Logo

Quality Control + Quality Assurance

We understand the importance of tracking a project’s success by measuring the work performed against the project work plan. We assist the Owner with site inspections to verify and offer real-time corrections for discrepancies. We recognize both the schedule and monetary value in identifying and problem-solving project elements which do not comply with specified requirements.

Elite has adopted quality assurance to be conducted in accordance with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Nuclear Quality Assurance (NQA-1) Program and Procedures. Our NQA-1 Program is headed up by our highly experienced Quality Assurance Manager (QAM) who has over 40 years of experience with these requirements, as well as, developing and implementing NQA-1 programs to the highest level of Safety Significance.

Technology

At Elite, we utilize technology to enhance the client experience and to create a collaborative work environment for our personnel and sub-contractors. By utilizing cloud-based systems, we are able to collaborate in real-time with both clients and sub-contractors making a project run as seamless and efficiently as possible.

Our Leadership

J. Trinidad (Trini) Garibay

CEO + Co-Founder

Being a successful CEO requires a mindset to look at obstacles differently, to see them as opportunities to learn new skills, leverage situations, and reflect on what can be done better rather than as objects that stand in the way. “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” is a quote that has become a mantra for Trini and shapes his role as CEO and Co-Founder of Elite Construction and Development.

Trini co-founded Elite Renovations (original name of Elite Construction and Development) a dozen years ago and always envisioned their future as a larger international company. Not an easy task for a young entrepreneur with no formal experience in construction but, he started the company “with the end in mind” and made a conscious effort to put in motion an insightful direction to make that happen. “We stay true to our vision, work hard and hire good people. We also remain curious to learn, evolve and advance.”

Elite, now on the verge of regional growth, has grown to a team of more than 80 full-time team members, with divisions that span both public and private sectors, yet their mission and values remain unchanged. They are growing at a slow and steady pace to make sure the company continues to reflect a commitment to client, craft, team, and community.

If you ask Trini, his professional resume not only speaks to his role as executive and entrepreneur but also his time on the basketball court. “There are so many lessons to learn from organized sports that I apply to my job as both CEO and dad”. “Coaching my son and advising him on discipline, teamwork, vision, hard work, and having fun is the epitome of how we run our business.”

Competitive by nature, Trini credits his middle-school sweetheart, now wife, and kids, which include a son and daughter, for keeping him grounded. “They are my whys”, he says. As a car and book aficionado, he also loves fast cars and great reads.

David Magaña

COO + Co-Founder

As COO and co-founder of Elite Construction & Development, David exemplifies how humble leadership and active listening can be powerful. He lacks what is sometimes a stereotypical trait in some leaders – an exaggerated ego. Having started in the field of his 2-person company, Elite Renovations (original name of Elite Construction and Development) over a dozen years ago, he leads by example and truly understands what it means to work hard and stay humble. David also works on creating a culture, especially as Elite demonstrates unprecedented growth, where ideas are welcomed, expert opinions are shared, and where everyone has a chance to contribute, share in the process, and have ownership in the result.

The son of farmworkers, David learned at an early age what it means to be an entrepreneur, as his dad moved from an agriculture laborer to owner of Magaña Farms, a farm and produce company that sells to schools, produce stands, and farmers markets. David recalls his summers as a teen spent working at Pike Place Market in Seattle, selling fresh fruits and vegetables to tourists, with his little brother, from his father’s produce stand. “Not only did I learn about pride in ownership but also in the importance of making sure our clients were happy with both our product and service. We wanted them to come back and refer their friends.” David’s work and life experiences continue to be the driving force behind Elite’s focus to continuously “elevate the client experience”.

His relationship with God and family are of utmost importance. David’s brood includes two sons and a daughter, in them, he hopes to instill the belief that “challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful”.

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Team Members

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Chris Banks

Human Resources Manager

“Be Happy”, is Chris’ advice to most, which is a saying we appreciate from the head of our Human Resources department. But don’t be fooled by this simple quote as Chris knows it takes dedication, determination and character to achieve this state. He spent 23 years in the US Air Force, retiring as Senior Master Sergeant (E-8) before joining the civilian ranks. In 2003, while on active duty, he earned a Bachelor of Science in both Management and Human Resources followed by a Master of Arts in Education in 2014. In addition to human resource management, he is also skilled in operations management and operational planning.

Chris joined Elite in 2020. As a company, we pride ourselves in hiring the best people while embodying teamwork, embracing new ideas, and maintaining an informal and welcoming culture. Chris leads by example and is the perfect person to spearhead this effort.

A devotee of fine cigars and the NFL, Chris also enjoys woodworking and spending time with his wife.

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Marcus Casey

Purchasing Manager

As Purchasing Manager, Marcus is a primary point of contact between suppliers and Elite for the purchase and/or lease of millions of dollars of jobsite and permanent facility equipment and materials.

He has almost 15 years of experience in logistics management of goods, services and related information between point of origin and consumption including military logistics. According to Marcus, he’s always been curious with a natural talent in logistics and process improvement. He likes problem solving and removing “bottlenecks” or obstacles that halt movement and progress.

Beyond his military and national guard service, which included active duty leadership, supply chain management, and natural disaster coordination, Marcus has business experience in related fields and a BS is Business Administration from Central Washington University. His move to Elite was sparked by the desire to affect change in a rapidly growing and diverse company.

His personal life requires similar coordination as he and his fiancé (soon to be wife) plan fundraising events throughout the Tri-Cities. When not engaged in a logistical project, he enjoys nature and being outdoors, made easier with a new camping trailer with his fiancé, two dogs and immediate family. Marcus also considers himself a pizza connoisseur and is always on the hunt for the best pizzeria.

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Alexia Gamboa

ES&H Specialist

Alexia Gamboa joins our Safety Team as Environmental Safety & Health Specialist. In her role, she specializes in safety reporting, pre-planning activities, and safety-related training along with data analytics and program development. A recent graduate of Central Washington University, Alexia holds a Bachelor of Science in Safety and Health Management. During her years at CWU, Alexia volunteered as a peer tutor and sat on the university’s professor search committee to continue to enhance the department’s efforts. Bilingual in English and Spanish, Alexia is an enthusiastic team player with a strong work ethic.

Her favorite quote “¡Seamos realistas y hagamos lo imposible!” (“Let’s be realistic and do the impossible!”) by “Che” Guevera is a mantra she champions in her professional career and personal life. When not working, Alexia’s love of music makes her a regular on a dance floor, irrelevant of her self-proclaimed “uncoordinated” dancer status. Alexia’s youthful spirit is a welcomed addition to Team Elite.

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Kiley Harvey

Procurement Specialist

Kiley is best known for her outgoing, can-do personality and problem-solving nature. Since Kiley joined the Elite Team as procurement specialist, she has been influential in structuring, organizing and expediting processes to help the divisions become more efficient. Kiley’s work experience entails supporting procurement process implementation for a well-known government contractor and managing, writing, and revamping contracts and contractual processes for a fuel distribution company. She also mentored and guided students in achieving their college dreams with the University of Washington Dream Project.

Outside of work, Kiley enjoys writing, reading, biking and spending time with family and pets. Her favorite quote, “misguided urgency is often the enemy of progress”, is exemplified in her work as she tackles problems head-on, with a helmet of course, because she strongly believes safety always comes first!

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Grace Lieberman

Director, Marketing + Client Experience

As Director of Marketing and Client Experience, Grace leads our efforts in elevating the client experience and shaping the company’s public profile. Before joining Elite in 2020, she spent 17+ years as a sales and marketing executive with organizations like Discovery Networks, Viacom, and NBCUniversal, where she consulted with Fortune 500 companies on their media and new technology strategies.

While binge-watching Netflix is not out of the norm, you’re more likely to find this former long-distance runner spending time with family, indoor cycling, traveling, or painting. Most recently, Grace founded a fine art and creative solutions studio committed to social impact. She is a graduate of Michael G. Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, in Seattle, WA.

Originally from southeastern Washington, Grace spent the majority of her professional career in Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Barcelona, Spain before moving to Kennewick with her husband, Ryan, and two teen daughters.

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Luis Lopez

IT Systems Administrator

Luis’ title is not indicative of the indispensable role he plays at Elite. Considered part of the “elite eight”, the most tenured team members at Elite Construction and Development, Luis is knowledgeable in all facets of the company. He parlayed his interests, certifications and on-the-job work experience into ever-increasing responsibility at the company. From accounting and payroll to safety and graphic design, Luis has assisted every department in getting the job done, regardless of title or job description, all the while focusing on Elite’s eventual high-tech footprint.

As Elite enters into a time of technological advancement with cutting-edge construction platforms that allow all project teams to collaborate and for clients to easily view and understand progress of their projects, Luis is part of the driving force and at the helm of all things “technical”. He brings hard work, enthusiasm and company knowledge to this position. A graphic design degree and photography skill set compliment his web know-how, which are all additive to the direction of Elite’s on-line and social media presence.

Married with three kids, Luis enjoys time with his family including watching movies and biking. He continues to love photography along with perpetually learning new things.

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Jonathan Peralta

Logistics And Tool Manager

Jonathan has his hands full, literally. He’s responsible for planning, coordinating, purchasing, warehousing, distributing and forecasting Elite’s hardware and equipment inventory and servicing our field teams. At Elite since 2018, Jonathan started as a laborer, became OSHA 10 certified as a member of our safety team and was recently promoted into the new position of Logistics and Tool Manager. At Elite, we strive to foster and promote talent from within and Jonathan is a shining example.

When not at work, you can find Jonathan staying fit by weight training and backpacking in the mountains or gaming. Ask Jonathan about his true passion and he’ll state it’s “ to open a sanctuary for abandoned and abused animals in the future”. We think he has the right tools to make that dream come true.

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Vanessa Perez

Administrative Assistant/Accounting

As Elite HQ’s first impression, Vanessa’s customer service expertise is excellent and available in two languages. Her resume oozes client service and office administration experience which is the perfect fit for her multifaceted role. Her duties include assisting the accounting and procurement departments with billing, tracking, data entry, and payroll. She’s also responsible for inventory and supply management and other office administration duties that keep our office and staff running smoothly. Vanessa’s “team first” and supportive attitude make her an indispensable part of our team.

Vanessa also has her cosmetology license and was a popular hair-stylist before realizing she preferred spending her weekends and evenings with her family. When not working, Vanessa enjoys creating memories with her family.

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Tim Peterson

Director, Finance + Accounting

At Elite since 2021, Tim is responsible for the financial health of the company. As Director of Finance + Accounting or “Dr.” if we want to keep the references to “financial health” going, he works with our senior leaders to combine strategic and operational goals, lead the finance and accounting team, and develop a financial strategy aimed at profitable long-term growth.

Tim has 25 plus years of experience in finance and management with an attitude of continuous improvement including an MBA from Mississippi State University. His work experience includes founding and managing all financial aspects of his own successful home improvement company along with ever increasing financial responsibility roles for Lockheed Martin and ConAgra Foods. For the last 5 years, he has been in finance management for Amazon Web Services (AWS) datacenter infrastructure operations and responsible for all US West datacenter clusters, including the second largest datacenter cluster in the world in Eastern Oregon.

As a scholar athlete of a nationally ranked soccer team that won two NCCAA Division I national tournaments in the 80’s, Tim knows how to lead teams to victory. His talents in team building, organizational aptitude, issue resolution, and mentoring competence will serve him well in this new role. While he has fond memories of his soccer days, he now prefers using a club more than his foot to get a ball to go the distance. Ask this dad of 5, married to his college sweetheart for 32 years, about his passions now and the answer is simple – family and golf.

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Erica Rodriguez

Accounting Specialist

As Accounting Specialist, Erica brings almost 15 years of accounting experience to Elite. Her meticulous handling of accounting procedures, accounts payable and receivable along with organizational management, make her a vital part of our team. Beyond longevity in her chosen profession, Erica holds a Bachelor of Science in Business and Accounting along with additional accounting system certifications. She LOVES accounting as much as she loves iced coffee, which says a lot about her easy-going personality and enthusiastic nature.

Her true love however is her family. She considers her sons, delivered on Christmas Day, her greatest achievement. When not busy with twin boys, Erica enjoys DIY projects and perusing the aisles of Target and Home Goods with iced coffee in hand, of course.

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Maria Rodriguez

Digital Media + Marketing Specialist

Maria Rodriguez joined Elite’s Marketing Team in 2020. As Digital Media and Marketing Specialist, Maria creatively establishes and implements our various new media and digital tools such as the website, social media, video content, and blogs, to effectively promote Elite’s products and services. She works with all divisions to coordinate and develop effective internal and external digital communication processes. Maria graduated Magna Cum Laude from WSU Tri-Cities in 2018 with a BA in Business Management. Before joining Elite, she worked as a Marketing Specialist at Gesa Credit Union and is currently working on completing her Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and Web Design.

Originally from Venezuela, Maria lived in larger U.S. Cities before moving to Richland where she attended high school followed by college. She loves traveling and while she can’t wait to knock Australia off her bucket list, she loves calling the Tri-Cities home. Maria balances her other rigorous hobbies of kayaking and hiking with going to the movies and wine-tasting.

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Jennie Szendre

Controller

Given Jennie’s previous career as a ropes course facilitator, where she enabled participants to explore leadership and communication concepts, problem-solving, and coaching, it’s easy to see why she’s a great asset to Elite’s senior management team and the best “ice breaker” at company meetings. Make no mistake, her strength and experience are also in the numbers, and, as Elite’s controller since 2019, she’s focused on helping a young company navigate rapid growth.

A graduate of Washington State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration with additional accounting course work done through WGU, Jennie has spent 15+ years in financial positions ranging from federal tax preparation, banking, outsourced financial accounting, and now controller. Her approach to guiding the financial decisions of the company are simple – be knowledgeable, be thorough, be consistent.

Jennie and her husband, Matt have raised 4 children and really enjoy being grandparents. Her outdoor interests run the gamut as she’s a fan of both beaches and mountains. She also enjoys movies, music and playing trivia and other games with friends and family. A self-proclaimed foodie, Jennie loves trying new restaurants and cuisine.

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Jesus Tapia

Safety Director

“From small humble beginnings come great things.”, a quote Jesus took to heart when he was given the opportunity to build the company’s health & safety program. Jesus started with Elite in 2017 as superintendent of the painting division but his work ethic, self-starter attitude, aptitude to learn quickly and ability to manage both roles at once led him to acquiring the singularly focused position of Safety Director a year later.

From an OSHA Authorized Outreach Trainer, obtained through the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington, to numerous Craft Professional Mentor (CPM) credentials in safety, he does what it takes to keep our team members safe. He is also an authorized CPR, AED, First Aid Instructor through (HSI) Health & Safety Institute and, an Idaho State Health & Safety Instructor.  For three years running he has been recognized as a top performer for safety and claims management by the Associated General Contractors of America Inland Northwest Chapter along with the Associated Builders and Contractors of America Inland Pacific Chapter. At Elite, safety is a top priority and having someone like Jesus at the helm is a valuable asset.

When Jesus isn’t saving Elite team members from potential injury or educating us on the importance of safety, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He’s known as a “master chef” on the grill and enjoys the Pacific Northwest outdoors. He also makes time to volunteer in his community.

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Phil Borsik

Quality Assurance Manager

As Quality Assurance (QA) Manager, Phil ensures the highest level of procedural compliance from procurement through each phase of construction. Phil started his career in Virginia, graduating in the top 5% of his class from Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company Design Training program. Upon graduation, he started in the Nuclear Fuels Department where he developed design and fabrication drawings for the for re-fueling and de-fueling efforts of Nuclear Navy Aircraft Carriers and Submarines. The rest, we say, is history, as Phil gradually moved to the Pacific Northwest in increasing responsibility positions for nuclear-related companies. A golf enthusiast, he decided to relocate to the Tri-Cities (from Idaho) after witnessing golfers on the course on Christmas Day!

He brings almost 40 years of experience working under ASME NQA-1 requirements as well as experience developing and implementing NQA-1 programs to the highest level of Safety Significant. “The depth of Phil’s experience and knowledge of nuclear quality assurance are a great resource for us as we take on more government contracts”, says CEO Trini Garibay. Likewise, Phil sees the opportunity to help develop Elite’s government division as well as it’s NQA-1 Quality Assurance as the pinnacle of his career.

Phil loves music and attending live music concerts and sporting events. As a true outdoorsman he enjoys camping, fishing and riding 4-wheelers along with spending summers grilling and swimming in his backyard. He also enjoys visiting his children in Idaho.

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Kyler Davenport

ES&H Specialist

As Environmental Safety & Health Specialist, Government Division since 2019, Kyler is responsible for developing and tailoring Elite’s safety program for federal government projects which is no easy task given the complexity of nuclear waste clean-up. He ensures our safety procedures and plans are followed correctly through regular field surveillances and investigations. He also tracks and coordinates all training for Elite construction workers on the Hanford site. Concurrently, Kyler is finishing his Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Safety from Eastern Kentucky University. But, let’s not stop there…Kyler served as supervisor in the US Marine Corp. prior to garnering 13+ years of safety and health experience at government contract heavyweights and several OSHA certifications to make him an expert in his field.

While spare time is not something Kyler has much of, he does make coaching 11U tournament baseball, spending time with his kids, camping in the summer and snowmobiling in the winter top priorities.

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Alice Ettesvold

Document Control Specialist

As Training Coordinator and Document Control Specialist, Alice contributes over 20 years of experience to the Elite team. She has the significant task of overseeing the company’s documents to safeguard regulatory, legal, and security compliance. Additionally, she monitors, forecasts and ensures compliance of all government division team-members with training requirements and certifications. She brings a diverse skill set paired with exemplary organizational skills earned through her roles in private industry, Department of Defense and Department of Energy.

Her knowledge has been and continues to be instrumental in the growth of our Government Division. And, her multi-faceted practices as a certified Zamboni driver, photographer, artist, and adventurer make her a unique and valuable member of our team. An Oregon native and ESU alum, Alice is also a proud grandmother of three extremely active granddaughters.

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Levi Huebner

Estimator

Levi joins Elite Construction + Development as Estimator. In his role, he’s responsible for various phases of the estimation process including conceptual, preliminary, and definitive estimates for government and public sector projects. This includes evaluating and identifying project costs, budget controls, alternative and comparative bids, and making sure bids and proposals are complete, accurate, and well supported by analyzing research, data, and trends.

Originally from Kennewick, Levi graduated with a BS in Construction Management from EWU and started his career at local construction companies. He moved to Seattle to work for a larger firm but a promotion at a significant government contractor brought him back home to the Tri-Cities. With 5 years of project engineering know-how under his belt and experience in various sectors of the construction industry including commercial, residential, industrial, and government projects, Levi is an additive member of our growing company.

When not working, Levi enjoys traveling, snowboarding, going to the gym and most things that involve being active. It’s no wonder that he recently took up golf and is now a self-proclaimed addict of the game.

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Aryn Kerr

Sr. Project Manager

“Konstruktion Manager” is the translation of Aryn’s title in his second language. Fluent in German, Aryn is part of a core team charged with creating and developing the company’s Government Division At Elite since 2020, he leads, directs, and coordinates the overall management of federal government construction projects including, but not limited to demolition of existing infrastructure, installation of new infrastructure, new facilities, facility improvements, and other projects.

From founding his own collegiate painting company upon graduation from the University of Puget Sound, to owning his own general contracting firm, to amassing 10+ years in waste site remediation management for large government contract firms, Aryn’s construction management and engineering know-how is impressive. His focus on using his experience in environmental restoration and immobilization efforts at Hanford is also purposeful. According to Aryn, all things science and technology are of interest, especially as they pertain to the health and well-being of our planet.

When not working, you’ll find this recovering adrenaline junkie mountain biking, whitewater rafting, kayaking and back country skiing. We note “recovering” as skydiving and other highly dangerous sports were finally banned by Aryn’s wife, Rosanna.

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Scott Kukes

Project Manager

Scott joined Team Elite in 2020 as Project Manager for our Federal Services department. His 15+ years of industry knowledge is incredibly additive in his role of overseeing construction projects for our fast-growing government division including working closely with clients to develop plans, establish timetables, and determine labor and material costs per contractual obligations, industry standards, and all regulatory guidelines. Before joining the team, Scott’s relevant experience included positions at top government contractors in the area.

While Tri-Cities is home, if Elite opens an office in Hawaii, Scott would likely be the first to relocate. He and his family love to travel but consider Maui a paradise and, with familial ties in the area, they hang like locals rather than tourists while there.

When not working, Scott enjoys spending time with family and friends. He and his wife, married for 18 years, have two athletic daughters and a chocolate lab. If not traveling for soccer or basketball tournaments, they enjoy spending time outdoors including hunting, fishing, and camping. However, they don’t have to venture far to enjoy being outside as backyard movie nights and steaks on the grill also count for recharging in nature.

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Kelby B. Martin

Quality Assurance Specialist

As Quality Assurance (QA) Specialist, Kelby ensures the highest level of procedural compliance from procurement through each phase of construction. Growing up in Alaska, Kelby spent several years in quality control on Alaska’s North Slope (Alaska oil fields) at a geotechnical engineering firm and material testing agency specializing in gathering and analyzing soils, rock, and engineered construction materials for the geotechnical engineering, construction, and mining industries.

From a diamontologist certification to being fluent in Japanese, Kelby’s work and life experiences are vast, fascinating, and tied together by his attention to detail, as well as, the patience and wisdom to decipher complex information. He also has practical construction job-site experience that allows his knowledge to be relatable in the field. All of these traits are vital and necessary to help build’s Elite’s first-rate NQA-1 program.

When not working, Kelby enjoys biking, keeping up with his Japanese studies, and both domestic and international travel.

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Dennis Nixie

Director, Government Operations

While we jokingly quip that Dennis Nixie is “the guy who knows the guy”, the truth is, Dennis is a connector and a mastermind at getting things done. He is well-respected in the federal government construction industry and we are ecstatic to bring this veteran leader to Team Elite as head of our government division.

Dennis has 38 years of construction management, supervision, and engineering experience in the federal and commercial markets. This includes 18 years of USDOE work involving construction projects at the Hanford Tank Farms in Washington and at the Idaho National Lab. His previous role was that of Construction Manager executing significant upgrades and modifications to infrastructure systems to support the Tank Farm mission to supply waste to the USDOE Waste Treatment Facility. Mr. Nixie has significant experience performing construction management, engineering, and startup roles for fixed price contracts in the DOE, DOD, and commercial markets. He is well traveled with extensive experience in the Chemical Demilitarization arena as well as Commercial Nuclear projects.

Dennis or “Papa”, as he’s referred to by his two grandsons, is a microbrew aficionado and fan of camping and fishing. He and his wife of 39 years are prone to spontaneous camping trips in and around the Pacific Northwest. Dennis hails from the northeast but has made the Tri-Cities his home for almost 20 years.

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Levi Sherman

Construction Manager

At Elite since 2019, Levi is responsible for the creation, development, and growth of the government division. He brings over 30 years of hands-on and managerial construction experience working at the highest level of safety in significant projects – NQA-1. His day-to-day responsibilities run the gamut and include everything from strategic planning to business development to overseeing procedural compliance, which Levi takes in stride with the confidence and high self-sufficiency of a rodeo athlete before and after a ride.

The rodeo reference is deliberate. A retired bull rider, Levi still embraces the lifestyle, attending rodeos every weekend as 3 of his 9 children continue to participate. “I don’t watch television, I don’t have cable or an antenna. I work, I rodeo.” Levi says in jest as he recalls joining the carpenter’s union after high school and performing civil and mechanical work on nearly every dam and bridge on the Columbia (River). He proceeded to take increasing-responsibility roles in several states before returning home to focus on the remediation efforts occurring near his hometown. His experience includes supervising the exhauster installation at the AP Tank Farm, which won a Project Excellence Award, and working on the Tank Farm automation upgrades.

He sees his move to create Elite’s Federal Government Division as the opportunity to continue to innovate the waste clean-up and management process and to collaborate with the other specialties at Elite in order to fuel growth as one significant company.

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Trinidad (Trino) Diaz

Superintendent - Craft Manager

In the beginning, Elite needed enthusiastic and hard-working team-members comfortable wearing many hats who could evolve with company growth. At Elite since 2010, Trino’s evolution and growth within the company are a shining example of that philosophy. In his role, Trino provides oversight and support to project managers and superintendents on everything from design decisions to project schedules to budgets during construction. According to him, “Every day is different which makes the job exciting and interesting.” Having won both “Project Manager” and “Employee of the Year” in years past, Trino’s goal is to keep learning and advancing especially with the amount of unprecedented growth Elite has seen in the last 18 months.

Born in southeastern Washington, Trino takes satisfaction in watching others enjoy his culinary and grilling skills. As a youth, he learned from his dad how to raise cattle and grow vegetables, so he’s excited to teach his children the same. He’s also a car aficionado preferring classics of the 80’s and early 90’s and a fan of conjunto de arpa grande, a type of Mexican folk music from his parent’s hometown of Coalcomán, Michoacán in Mexico.

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Cielo Galvez

Assistant Project Manager

With over 6 years of increasing responsibility within the construction industry, including drafting technician, project engineer, project manager, and estimator along with a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from WSU, Cielo joins Elite as Sr. Project Engineer. Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, and bilingual in English and Spanish, she spent her formidable years in California before moving to Washington State.

In her role at Elite, Cielo is responsible for the engineering and technical disciplines needed to complete our increasing roster of on-going projects. She will also ensure the proper implementation of all elements including subcontractor coverage, bid schedules, permit procurement, scope coverage, start-up paperwork, budget maintenance, punch list completion, and close-out package submissions, just to name a few.

When not working, Cielo loves watching the Star Wars franchise, hiking, exploring new restaurants and trying new food. She also enjoys spending time with her dogs and family.

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Nathan Garza

Project Engineer I

A recent graduate from Eastern Washington University, with a BS in Construction Management and minor in Business Administration, Nathan joined Elite in 2020 as Project Engineer. As PE, Nathan’s primary responsibilities are to manage, evaluate and assess information necessary to construct our projects on time, within budget and to the highest quality.

Being part of the construction industry, in any capacity, was the motivating factor for Nathan’s chosen degree. His enthusiasm, strong work ethic and willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done makes him a stellar addition to our commercial and luxury residential division. In fact, Nathan started as a job-site laborer so he could gain a better understanding of the work he would eventually manage.

Nathan is a huge sports fanatic and baseball, both playing and watching, makes the top of his list. His beloved teams include hometown favorites, the Seattle Mariners and Seattle Seahawks. When not engaged in this past time, you can find him golfing and fishing.

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Bobby Guzman

Project Engineer I

As Project Engineer for the Pre-Construction team, Bobby’s primary focus is evaluating and assessing necessary information to qualify commercial, public and luxury residential projects. At Elite since 2020, Bobby joined as an intern and quickly proved to be an invaluable part of our family, hence his immediate employment after his internship concluded. He spent 5+ years with the U.S. Airforce in positions that included quality assurance, planning and scheduling. His education slate is also impressive with a BS in Project Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and certification as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

Bobby is motto is “family-first”. He loves having BBQs at his home where he can bring everyone together to enjoy great food and time together. He enjoys travel with his wife and is prepping for fatherhood in the months to come. An entrepreneur at heart, with a commitment to continued education, Bobby recently started a new business and keeps plugging away at his long-term education goal of becoming a doctor. He’s also committed to giving back and wants to use sports, specifically wrestling, as a way to develop future leaders.

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Chris Killinger

Superintendent

At Elite since 2016, Chris brings 18+ years of construction experience to his role as Superintendent, Private Sector. He started with the company as a carpenter and quickly advanced to this role given his “jack of all trades” know-how and ability to provide solutions at a moment’s notice. His hands-on experience of most job-site positions and his collaborative nature are both invaluable traits as he leads, directs and coordinates the work of subcontractors and Elite team members on-site commercial and luxury residential projects.

Chris is a Sci-Fi fanatic, preferring this science and futuristic speculative fiction to almost any other genre. It’s not in his nature to answer the question “which superhero do you most relate to?”, but we dubbed him “Ant Man” regardless. Beyond his stature, Chris’ humble nature masks his superhuman ability to just get the job done. From supervising teams to carpentry work to clean-up, there’s no job “too small” to make sure the project is done to quality standards. He also sees encountering new challenges as a way to develop new skills and would prefer this to monotony any day.

A mechanic in his first career, Chris still loves working on cars and envisions opening a custom car shop in the future. Chris, recently married, has three kids and two grandkids and enjoys time at home and in the garage.

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Luis Miramontes

Portfolio Manager + Estimator

Luis is the poster child for the company’s motto of Work Hard. Stay Humble.  Considered part of the “elite eight”, the most tenured employees at Elite Construction and Development, the symbiotic relationship between Luis’ growth and the company’s success is evident.  As Portfolio Manager and Estimator he is responsible for all estimating functions required during the preconstruction phase.  This includes value engineering, budget controls, alternative and comparative studies, constructability reviews and target value design to ensure estimates, bids, and GMP’s are complete, accurate, and well supported.

Having grown up in the construction business, Luis can count as much experience and dedication to craft as a seasoned veteran, making his longevity in this profession impressive.  With over 20 years of experience, he’s respected among his peers as someone who is collaborative, communicative and respectful.  He has a great work ethic, commitment to teamwork, and an understated sense of humor.  In fact, it’s not uncommon for him to be the butt of his own jokes which usually includes comments about his hair or lack thereof.

Some people dream of success, while others wake up and work hard at it, which is what Luis does, almost seven days a week.  If not at his formal profession, he’s working on maintaining his farm and rental properties, even “working on cars”, his favorite pastime, has the word “work” in it.  That said, he will occasionally take his wife’s advice to relax in more traditional ways.

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Jose Montalvo

Superintendent

As Superintendent, Jose is responsible for leading, directing, and coordinating the work of subcontractors and Elite team-members on-site at our exteriors and roofing projects. At Elite since 2016, he started in Logistics and worked his way up by taking every challenge as an opportunity to learn. Jose came to Elite with industry knowledge and a diverse but related background installing fire suppression systems, building products, and carpentry. He’s a perfect example of why Elite builds and invests in talent transition as his communicative and “lead by example” attitude is as inherent as his willingness to learn and grow.

Jose authentically enjoys helping others and seeing them succeed which is evident by his time spent as a youth counselor for troubled teens. A self-described family man and dad to three kids, he enjoys carpentry, fishing, hiking, and relaxing with his family.

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Yana Robinson

Project Coordinator

Yana Robinson joins Elite as Project Coordinator in our Private Division. In her role she will assist the Project Manager (PM) in obtaining, evaluating, and coordinating all information needed to construct private division projects in accordance with contract, safety standards, and schedule requirements to ensure a high-quality build.

A native of Tri-Cities, Yana is finalizing her BA in Business Administration and Healthcare Management. Recent construction-industry work experience has her intrigued with all aspects of the build process, but it’s also her work experience in other sectors, including document control and finance, that highlight her attention to detail, problem solving skills, and ability to work in diverse environments that make her well-suited for her new role.

Outside of work, Yana enjoys time with family and friends. She has an obsession with houseplants and will likely beat most people at plant trivia, as she knows a ton of random facts. Yana also enjoys movies, television, and books and utilizes photography and graphic design as her creative outlets.

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Justin Stoker

Superintendent

Justin Stoker joined Elite as superintendent in 2021. Previously with Elite from 2016 to 2020, in a variety of ever-increasing responsibility roles including quality assurance engineer and project superintendent, Justin briefly left to garner additional experience and pursue a passion project.

To say we are happy to have him back is an understatement. With almost 15 years of experience in related positions, his job-site background, technical expertise, and natural leadership skills make him an invaluable member of our team. In his role, he will lead, direct, and coordinate the work of subcontractors and Elite team members on commercial and luxury residential projects.

When not working, Justin enjoys riding motorcycles and, as a former paratrooper, he has an appetite for jumping out of perfectly good airplanes. He’s also a snow fanatic. From snowboarding to riding snowmobiles or, any other machine that maneuvers in freezing temps and white powder, you’ll find Justin at his best. But, don’t be fooled by his brawny exterior and love for adrenaline-rush activities, his favorite movie is “The Notebook”. “Not really”, he jokes, it’s actually “Forrest Gump.” I guess we can add “sense of humor” to his resume too.

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Jared Wendlandt

Project Manager

Jared joined Elite in 2021 as Project Manager for our Commercial Division. Prior to joining the team, Jared’s relevant experience included positions at companies like Bechtel and Boeing. His 10+ years of industry knowledge is incredibly additive as he oversees all aspects of the building process, working closely with clients to develop plans, establish timetables, and determine labor and material costs. Additionally, he is responsible for execution of all assigned project work in accordance with contractual obligations and regulatory guidelines along with ensuring the project is completed on budget and within scope.

Originally from Spokane, he attended Hanford high school, before heading to Eastern Washington University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Technology with a concentration in construction management and a minor in business administration. He eventually made his way back to the Tri-Cities to be closer to family.

Jared has a love of dirt bikes and his grandmother’s 1949 Chevrolet pick-up, which he inherited and thoughtfully restored. He likes to showcase this vintage gem at Cool Desert Nights and similar events. An Action/Sci-Fi fan, he enjoys popular franchises like Star Wars and Game of Thrones along with documentaries that feature anything and everything about WWII, space and the universe, with works by Carl Sagan as a favorite.

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Priscilla Wright

Project Engineer II

Armed with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas in Houston, TX, and previous project engineering experience from a national commercial construction firm, Priscilla joined Elite Construction and Development in 2020.

Engineering is Priscilla’s passion which is evident in the caliber of her work as a Project Engineer for our Commercial and Luxury Residential division. It takes a highly qualified team to run a successful project and Priscilla’s genuine desire to understand how things work and make improvements based on research, analytics and experience keeps our team efficient, effective, and continuously learning.

But, don’t be fooled, engineering is just one of her passion points with golf, cooking, baking, travel, swimming, and painting making her Top 10 List. She also has most of us beat with the number of countries she’s visited. Given Priscilla’s can-do attitude and thirst for learning new things, it’s no wonder that Priscilla’s favorite quote is from Epictetus, “the only way to happiness is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will. The only person responsible for your happiness is you.”

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Join The Team

At Elite, we know we’re only as good as the people who embody our mission, so we make it a priority to hire smart, experienced people, build and invest in talent transition, and reward team members for a job well done.

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