Our Team

Our Project Managers and Carpenters are our company employees, not subcontractors that we hire by the job. And, they are all Licensed Construction Supervisors, So, when you hire us, you know specifically who will work on your home and can be confident that our craftsmanship and quality are consistent from project to project. We professionally train our employees so they are up-to-date on the latest construction materials and methods as well as job site safety. Satisfied, knowledgeable employees produce better results for our clients.

STEVE HOWELL | Owner/President

Steve founded HCBG in 1997, following a career as a software engineer. His love of design and construction started as a high school and college student working on framing and finish carpentry crews building homes around New England. He then earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Cornell University and, in the years after college, honed his management skills at Hewlett-Packard, a company well known for its excellence in project management while inspiring individual innovation. During these years, Steve kept his interest in construction fresh by building a custom timber frame home for his family, and working on an antique home restoration on Cape Cod. His exceptional eye for detail is reflected in the systems he’s developed throughout the company to ensure an unprecedented level of quality, creativity and accuracy. Steve served on the Board of Directors for Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity for six years, overseeing the 2012 and 2014 Builders Blitz. Free time is spent biking, hiking and enjoying other outdoor pursuits. Email Steve


SUSAN HOWELL | Owner/Marketing Director

Susan is the clients’ first contact with the company, discussing their vision and introducing them to the company’s services and processes. Prior to founding HCBG with Steve, she enjoyed a marketing career in educational and interactive publishing after earning a B.S. in Psychology at Cornell University. Susan is actively involved in the local community. For six years she served on the Board of Directors for Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity co-chairing the annual fundraising Gala and the 2012 and 2014 Builders Blitz. For four years, she worked with the admissions office at Phillips Academy in Andover after serving as President of their parents association. Susan currently serves on the Uncommon Threads advisory board and the Grants Allocation Committee for the Essex County Women’s Fund. When not at HCBG, Susan enjoys exercising, outdoor pursuits, traveling, and reading. Email Susan


PHILIP BATES | Senior Project Manager

Philip joined HCBG in 2018 with extensive experience in the Boston area high end custom residential construction industry. Past positions included roles as a Project Manager at Windover Construction, VP of Sales for Charlie Allen Renovations, and President of The Classic Group, one of Boston’s largest and most recognized architecture and general Contracting firms until 2011. Philip grew up surrounded by the simple yet beautiful architecture of the small Village of Newfane, Vermont. His father, a master Horologist, worked in his shop attached to the house restoring antique clocks. Philip believes that well-built homes, like antique clocks, when beautifully designed, will last generations. Philip loves being part of the team that helps clients make thoughtful updates and repairs to their home. Email Philip


STEVE PRITTIE | VP, Project Development

Steve joined HCBG in 2017, after owning a high end residential design/build firm in Atlanta, Georgia for 20 years, where he supervised project managers and subcontractors and oversaw all design, engineering, and estimating. Steve’s first four years in New England were spent at Feinmann Inc. where he designed and supervised residential renovations and additions. Steve’s love of construction first developed building stage sets for a summer theatre company. He then graduated from Bowling Green University and taught elementary school at Trinity School in Georgia. While there, he oversaw a 3-year campus expansion project. Steve is a natural at sales and design, so at HCBG he directs all preconstruction services. In his free time, Steve enjoys playing basketball, running, cycling, cooking and volunteering for the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.  Email Steve


JOHN TAYLOR | Project Manager

John has worked in the construction industry for 34 years, and has been managing projects for HCBG since 2005. After earning a B.S. from Kalamazoo College in  Kalamazoo, MI he was a carpenter, a Lead Carpenter, a business owner, and Cabinet Manufacturer’s Sales Rep. In his spare time, John is an avid cyclist who has annually participated in the Pan Mass Challenge for ten years. When not on his bike, John and his wife enjoy spending time with family, exploring new restaurants and working around their own home. Email John


BLAIRE TOWNSEND | VP, Project Management

Blaire joined HCBG in 2013, with over 26 years’ experience at leading construction management and architectural design firms such as Casali Group, McMillan Company, and Shawmut Design & Construction. With a degree in Building Science from Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute, and an MBA from Babson College, Blaire is an experienced and knowledgeable professional who understands the entire construction/design process and is committed to doing whatever it takes to satisfy our customers. Blaire enjoys spending free time with his son and daughter, and coaching his son’s baseball team. He is an avid golfer who enjoys traveling and fine dining — planning his vacations around restaurants. Email Blaire

KATHY CLARK | Office Manager Email Kathy

SCOTT GRAHAM | Assistant Project Manager Email Scott

KURT BAIER| Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

Kurt Baier

BILL HOLDEN SR. | Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

BRIAN HOLLENBECK | Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

Brian Hollenbeck-USE THIS ONE

BRAD POWERS | Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

DAVID RAMIREZ| Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter


Emile Bryson


George (2)reduced

BRIAN HEALY| Carpenter

Brian Healy

DEVON HURST| Carpenter

TIM KANE| Carpenter

Tim Kane


Who will work on your home?


Your key contact for communications on the business end of your project.

  • Manages weekly jobsite meetings with you and the design and build teams.
  • Manages building permits, the construction schedule, budget, and invoicing.
  • Orders long lead-time materials.
  • Manages scheduling of subcontractors.
  • Works closely with the Lead Carpenters to ensure timely project completion and a high quality outcome.


The on-site day-to-day manager of your project.

  • Supervises and manages all personnel working on your home.
  • Committed to only one project at a time.
  • Available for daily communication.


  • Works with the Lead Carpenter on all framing and finish carpentry.
  • Able to handle complicated details with precision, doing things the right way, not always the “easy” way.


Experienced specialists who meet our standards of quality and professionalism.

  • Perform the following functions: excavation, foundations, plumbing, electrical, plaster, painting, etc.
  • Supervised by your Project Manager and Lead Carpenter.


Depending on your project’s needs, we will partner with a selection of the following professionals:

  • Architect
  • Interior Designer
  • Landscape Architect
  • Structural Engineer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Home Automation Company


Request a Consultation Today!

  • Howell Custom Building Group supports sustainability by encouraging our clients to donate reusable materials to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. All proceeds help fund the local Habitat affiliate. Click here for a list of acceptable items to donate and additional information.