Meet Our Team

Rob Quaempts

Rob Quaempts

President

As Majority Owner, Rob oversees the daily management of all business practices. Rob’s past role as Umatilla Tribe’s Public Works Director provided him with an extensive background in planning, budgeting, and supervision of large public projects. He applies this experience to navigate the politics and interdepartmental coordination, and ensure stakeholder needs are met. Rob also brings an expertise in instream habitat improvements through various positions in his Tribe’s Department of Natural Resources Department and by serving as a Commissioner for the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. While running the firm, Rob also provides direct management on specific projects throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Dave Fishel

Dave Fishel

Vice-President

Dave Fishel, Vice President and partner of Wenaha Group, has worn many leadership hats during his career, from partner in a general contracting business to Project Manager and expert witness for construction claims. His 31 years of industry experience cover a wide range of project types, with clients in both general contracting and subcontracting, giving him unique insight and hard-won knowledge. Dave’s present role includes ongoing operational and staff management, accounting oversight, process and procedure development. Dave maintains direct contact with our clients and gives support and oversight to project managers as a Project Principal.

Jim Houchins

Jim Houchins

Senior Project Manager

During his 28-year career as a construction executive, Jim has successfully managed over 3 million SF of construction. A results-oriented team leader, he gained increased responsibility by solving complex challenges. Jim sees effective teamwork and open communication as critical in reducing total cost and risk while maintaining delivery schedules and quality – and preconstruction is key to success. He brings proficiency in contract negotiation, contract and proposal creation, bid packaging, conceptual estimating, insurance, value engineering, scheduling, and construction management. Jim also excels at tactical planning/ implementation and budget management.

Heath Gardner

Heath Gardner

Senior Project Manager

Heath’s degree in Construction Management from Central Washington University was followed by 18 years of construction management, during which he worked on a wide variety of project types as Project Engineer, Project Manager, Estimator, Partner in a general contracting business and Owner’s Representative. His first-hand experience in the challenges of general contracting gives him the insight to predict problems and strategically solve them or avoid them entirely. Heath uses his communication skills to build a team atmosphere and create situations where all stakeholders can succeed.

Scott Rogers, CPPB

Scott Rogers, CPPB

Senior Project Manager

Scott has built his career with an emphasis on collaboration, consensus building, and team interaction; he specializes in public procurement and energy conservation programs. Serving as a Facilities Director for a public agency instructed him on the value of transparency and accountability with taxpayer funds. Scott now works extensively with the Energy Trust of Oregon, integrating sustainability and energy efficiency using cost effective methods. In 2013, he won a Better Bricks Award for Building Management from the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and in 2014 became an Earth Advantage Certified Project Steward.

Roger Easling

Roger Easling

Senior Project Manager

For 30 of Roger’s 40 years in the construction industry, he has represented public owners through a process mostly unfamiliar to them. As owner of a construction management firm specializing in school construction, he handled numerous contracts in the public and private sector. Roger eventually returned east to join Wenaha Group and has been instrumental in the success of 10 school district construction programs. He takes his role as Program Manager and the trust that comes with managing public funds very seriously.

Dale Kuykendall

Dale Kuykendall

Senior Project Manager

Dale has worked over 30 years in the construction industry and has successfully carried many project teams through the various aspects of contracting, including estimating, budget development and project management. He has extensive experience building effective client and vendor relationships toward positive contract negotiations to the benefit of all parties. A notable strength Dale possesses is an ability to create win-win solutions to the inevitable issues that arise on projects and in team settings. He is known for building collaborative, highly functional teams which consistently deliver above client’s expectations. Clients and design professionals have always valued his involvement, as he strives to keep projects moving forward in an organized fashion, keeping costs and schedule under control, while working to maintain a fun and effective atmosphere.

Evan Sekulic, LEED AP

Evan Sekulic, LEED AP

Project Manager

Evan has logged 11 years in the construction field, after earning a degree in Construction Engineering Management from OSU. His education, job site experience, and field training provide the tools for successful projects from office buildings and civil transportation to industrial processing. Prior to joining Wenaha Group, Evan was a C-TRAN Construction Manager with a major consulting engineering firm and an Inspector for the Port of Portland. Evan launched his career assisting with project management, which led into project quality control efforts. He views each project at Wenaha Group as a building block toward a lasting relationship with our clients.

Kaliska Day

Kaliska Day

Project Manager

Kaliska is a native Oregonian and a member of Alaska’s Tlingit/Haida Tribe. She studied Construction Management at Arizona State University, graduating Cum Laude, and has worked in the construction field for over 12 years. She has managed an array of high-value, high-visibility projects including federal facility renovations and health care facility construction. Kaliska’s work with various public school systems taught her the ins and outs of public procedures, stakeholder interests and governing agencies. She brings an extensive base of knowledge and work experience we are excited to share with our clients.

Brian Sewell

Brian Sewell

Project Manager

Brian has accumulated over 27 years in construction as an owner, consultant, project developer and construction manager for a host of project types. His body of work includes Tribal, health care, commercial, multi-family, telecommunications, defense, hospitality and luxury homes. A few of his notable ventures have been documented in Log Home Illustrated and Unique Homes of the Pacific Northwest. Brian enjoys helping our clients turn their ideas into reality.

Tessa Sayers

Tessa Sayers

Director of Business Development

As a Chippewa/Cree/Metis, Tessa has dedicated her professional career to serving indigenous communities. She began as a certified counselor at NAYA Early College Academy, a tribal high school in Portland, Oregon. In 2010 she joined Nike World Headquarters within Nike N7, a brand that inspires and enables physical activity for native youth. At Nike N7, Tessa held leadership roles in strategic planning, operations, marketing, sales, and project management. As Wenaha’s Director of Business Development, Tessa manages operational and strategic business planning, marketing, branding, client relationship engagement, and growth of organizational opportunities. In her free time she enjoys doing Native beadwork and designing.

Aaron Gosiak

Aaron Gosiak

Accounting Manager

Raised in Eastern Oregon, Aaron graduated Linfield College with degrees in both Accounting and Philosophy, then brought his skill set back to Pendleton to work in Public Accounting. At Wenaha Group, Aaron focuses on accounting, payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable. He works closely with the leadership team to develop financial processes and controls, also assisting with general administrative issues and technological solutions.

Rich Barger

Rich Barger

Project Manager

Rich studied Construction Management at Parkland College in Illinois and also completed Clemson University’s intense superintendent training course. With over 23 years of field experience, Rich is a proven expert at planning and coordinating complex projects. He’s been responsible for oversight of safety, quality control, scheduling, purchasing, field staffing and job forecasting. He also brings a broad understanding of safety and building codes, regulations and inspection compliance. Rich is dedicated to client satisfaction through his commitment to the planning and successful operation of all field activities. Recent projects include the Tri-Cities Cancer Center addition and renovation, and Tri-City Orthopedics’ new surgery center.

Kieron Spellman

Kieron Spellman

Project Manager

Kieron has a Bachelor of Science degree in Building Surveying and has managed a large number of complex and challenging projects in construction. He spent the last twenty years being an estimator, project engineer and project manager, working on a variety of building sectors, from K-12 Education, Retail, Assisted living and Hi-tech. He loves the challenge construction brings, the fulfillment of completed projects and the joy it brings to occupants.

Keith Banes

Keith Banes

Senior Project Manager

Keith is a veteran senior project manager and past general manager with a 24 year construction management career in the Northwest. His detailed approach to team leadership and problem solving provides him with a strong foundation to address the challenges in project development, construction operations and client management. His leadership and management styles are rooted in solid values and appreciation of hard work, honesty, integrity, and respect. In his project management role, Keith’s project experience has been in health care and corrections sectors of the industry. Additionally, he has participated in and successfully delivered infrastructure, mission critical, research, commercial, and multi-family projects.

Cassey Phillip

Cassey Phillip

Project Manager

Cassey is an Arizona native who studied Construction Management at Arizona State University. She has worked in the construction industry for 21 years. Cassey’s years of experience is in on-site management, scheduling, estimating, and coordination. Cassey has worked on various project types, including several Native American projects. Cassey is dedicated to helping the client complete successful projects.

Kristen Hudgins

Kristen Hudgins

Administrative Manager

Originally from Southern California, Kristen moved to Washington in 2001. She comes to us after 16 years in public education. Her experience in customer service, accounting, payroll and benefit administration will be an asset to the Wenaha team.

Melanie Strey

Melanie Strey

Director of Educational Planning

Melanie Strey, Ed.D, Director of Educational Planning, has spent nearly 20 years striving for a more socially just public education system. Her contributions as a Pre K-12 teacher and elementary school principal, along with her district level executive leadership and University Washington teaching, have contributed to her equity work. Melanie is known for creating opportunities for building shared understanding and outcomes, providing cultural navigation within complex environments, and creating relationships grounded in transparency. Her extensive experiences engaging communities and school districts toward shared decision making and better outcomes for children benefits our clients. Significant contributions to our team include her expertise in student learning environments that include multi-sensory and blended learning (technology), Early Childhood and K-12 systems building, and public relations and community outreach and engagement. She is Native Hawaiian and a proud mother of two.

Robert Martinez

Robert Martinez

Senior Project Manager

Robert is a New Mexico native having studied both Architecture and Business Management at UNM and ASU. He has been in the design and construction industry for over 35 years providing owners representation, project and program management, budgeting, estimating, scheduling, QA/QC, operations, strategic marketing, and business development services. He has overseen various projects for tribes, governments, educational, judicial, religious, and private clients. Robert is dedicated to delivering transparency and accountability on all projects, understanding that owners need timely and accurate information to make crucial decisions. He believes that team collaboration and communication affords the owner the most success on their projects.