John has been in the construction industry since 2005, when he founded Gordon James. His background in the field: his father was a contractor, and he managed the construction of a Maple Plain coffee shop that he and his wife, Kim, own.
John spent the first 18 years of his career in telecommunications, ending as the Vice President of Sales for Qwest Communications. Eighteen years in sales and sales management taught him the value of attentive customer service. It was confirmed by an informal survey he conducted. “Whenever I was in the coffee shop, I’d ask people who had built new homes in the area whether they’d hire the same contractor again.” Out of 100 people queried: Thirteen said yes and eight said maybe. The 79 who said no cited late completions, over-budget expenses and unresponsive follow-ups. As a result, John formed his strategy for building Gordon James through word-of-mouth.
Kim & John live in Independence with their two kids, Lauren & Ben.
According to John, “Everyone knows I love spending time at the cabin with my family… what they don’t know about me is that I’ll get up early sometimes on Sunday mornings and watch re-runs of Dr. Phil. It makes me realize how good I’ve got it!”
Joe has been with Gordon James for eight years and in the construction industry for 20 years. He started out doing survey work while attending college in Omaha and then worked for Daktronics in South Dakota, coordinating the construction of large outdoor signage. When he first moved to the Twin Cities, he worked as a project manager for BOR-SON Construction managing the construction of schools, condominiums, waste water treatment plants and other large commercial building projects. Later, he worked for a large developer – Hempel Properties.
Joe is married to his high school sweetheart, Kathryn. They have two great kids – Morgan, a 6th grader and Brady, a 4th grader. As a family, they’re very involved in sports. Morgan plays volleyball and softball. Brady plays football, basketball, baseball and wrestling. Joe enjoys coaching their teams as much as his time allows.
Joe also enjoy his roles as Defensive Coach for the Orono High School football team and Head Coach for the Orono wrestling team.
According to Joe, “When I have some free time, which isn’t often, you might find me on the golf course or out hunting.”
Director of Residential
Will has over 30 years of experience in construction, manufacturing and development businesses including custom home construction, land development, multi-family housing, property management and planning, design and management of industrial/manufacturing facilities. He has also been involved at a municipal level with city planning and economic development as well as long term comprehensive planning.
Will & his wife have been married for 38 years. They have a son and daughter, both married, and three beautiful grandchildren.
Will enjoys restoring and driving classic cars, racing (as a spectator), playing sax and listening to great music. You’ll often find him playing “gigs” on the weekends, with his son & son-in-law and other band members. According to Will, “I’m just happy these young musicians let the ‘old guy’ sit in with them!”
Jeremy has been in the construction business for 14 years, although it may be difficult to believe, given his youthful appearance.
His first job was as a carpenter doing a variety of remodeling projects, and within a year he knew that building was his passion. While working as a carpenter, he determined to learn more about design. That led him to the University of Minnesota to get his architectural degree. When asked about this, Jeremy explains, “Though I love design and working with my hands as a carpenter, I have found that construction management is what I enjoy most. Meeting with a customer for the first time, understanding what they want and then guiding the building process to completion is what keeps things exciting for me.”
Jeremy has been married to his lovely wife, Lindsay, for 4 years. They have one amazing little boy named Kaleb.
His family spoke French in the house when Jeremy was growing up, and they travelled to France each summer to visit his mother’s family. Over the course of his childhood, he spent a cumulative total of over four years in France, staying at his grandfather’s countryside farm in the Loire Valley region.
When Jeremy’s not at work, overseeing the construction of gorgeous custom homes, he enjoys cooking, yardwork, camping, canoeing, hiking and spending time with family and friends.
John van Dyck
John has been in the construction industry for 6 years, with experience in a combination of high end single family homes, remodels and multi-family developments.
Prior to his career in the construction industry, John has worn many different hats. He has an engineering degree from the University of Minnesota and previously worked as an engineer. He is also an ordained minister and was a pastor for 11 years. In addition to his work as a project manager for Gordon James, John currently owns a few local fitness clubs.
John and his wife Suzanne have been married for 26 years. They have four children from high school age to young adult – Reese, Gabriel, Ariana and Lukas.
The van Dyck family lived in Berlin for over 2 years when the children were younger, where John was stationed as a missionary.
In his free time, John likes to work out at his clubs, which according to John is “in an ongoing effort to try to slow down father time.”
Bill has spent most of his adult life in construction – 38 years. He started as a union carpenter and later joined forces with a coworker to start his own company. That lasted for many years until his family commitments led him to project management. Bill has primarily worked in commercial construction, but has also built large, luxury estates around the country. Bill points out, “I’m very proud to say that I was the first employee hired by a very infant company – Gordon James Construction.”
Bill says he is blessed to have two wonderful sons, Brandon and Grant, who are married to marvelous women, Jen & Chelsea. Brandon and Jen have given Bill two grandsons, Max and Eli. Holding up the family tree is great grandpa Al who is 94, living on his own and enjoying watching the family grow.
Bill very much enjoys the outdoors. This started with trout fishing excursions with his dad which led to canoe trips. He was all over the Boundary Waters as a young man. Next came trips into the Quetico in Ontario and once he and his travel partners gathered enough courage, a summer long paddle from Winnipeg to Hudson’s Bay. Bill’s entire family loves sports and the great outdoors of Minnesota.
Pam has been involved in the construction business, in the areas of accounting, marketing and administration, for about 8 years. She spent the majority of her business career (over 20 years) in the corporate world, primarily at Carlson Companies, where she was responsible for regional operations, corporate wide quality assurance and training, and franchise operations.
Pam & Will have been married for 38 years. They left their native Southern California in 1988 to move to Orono, Minnesota. Moving into a beautiful home on Lake Minnetonka made the transition much easier, according to Pam, whose corporate promotion and transfer precipitated the move. She left the corporate world in 1999 to raise their two (now grown) children, Brenton & Shannon. Both are now happily married and thus, the Haack family now includes daughter-in-law, Missy, and son-in-law, Joe. There are three beautiful grandchildren, Bailey, Liam and Gillian.
When asked about her hobbies, Pam says, “When I’m not working or spending time with my family, I love gardening and also training and riding my beautiful Paint horse, Cheyenne.”
Renee has 21 years in the construction industry – she was Office Manager for a residential plumbing contractor for 17 years and was an administrative assistant/bookkeeper for a commercial plumbing/heating contractor for 2 years before coming to Gordon James. According to Renee, “I come from a family that has been involved in the construction trades for generations, so I guess it’s in my blood.”
Renee grew up and lives in St. Michael. She is the middle child of 5, has 2 grown children, who are navigating their own paths, a son-in-law, and 2 grandchildren. She loves spending time with her kids, precious grandkids and friends, and rarely passes up a ride on a motorcycle.
Her hobbies include quilting, watching NASCAR and hockey, going camping, fishing, and 4-wheeling. Two years ago, she graduated from college, with honors, earning an AAS Degree in Legal Administration. Renee says, “My greatest accomplishments are raising respectful, self-sufficient kids, being the general contractor when I built my home (talk about a project!), and graduating from college.”
“The best part about working at Gordon James is that I get to live vicariously through our customers. It’s fun seeing the latest trends, colors and style in new homes. It’s interesting to see customer’s selections and how it’s all pulled together in the final result.”
Sarah started out in residential remodeling and new home building in 2001. According to Sarah, “When I started, I was new to ‘building’ and had a lot to learn, but quickly found I enjoyed my new career and I became rather passionate about it.” She enjoys the relationships brought together throughout the process. “It takes a big team to accomplish a smooth project!”
Her degree is in Equine Industries Management and she is a certified ski instructor. Sarah has taken a couple years off to be with her children and enjoy another passion: horses. She is thrilled to be back in the construction industry and part of the Gordon-James team!
Sarah and her husband live in Minnetrista with their two young children Sadie and James; 2 dogs, a cat, and fish. The practice of Yoga is important and she enjoys doing this with her children. Their family enjoys playing outside with neighbors, biking, cabin/lake time, swimming, golfing, downhill skiing, horseback riding and movies!