Ben Ryan, President
Ben Ryan is President of Tourmaline Builders. He founded the company in 2011, and over the past decade has grown it into San Diego’s most highly acclaimed builder of custom homes. Under his direction, Tourmaline has earned a steady stream of honors and accolades, including multiple “best home” and “best builder” awards.
A former Navy SEAL officer, Ben has been profiled in the Philadelphia Inquirer and published in the Wall Street Journal. He is a licensed general contractor and real estate broker, and a past finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Ben earned a BA in Biology from Yale University, where he captained the lightweight crew, and received an MBA from Harvard Business School. He resides in San Diego with his wife and four children.
Jake Hunter, Chief Operating Officer
Jake Hunter is Chief Operating Officer at Tourmaline Builders. He oversees day-to-day operations of the company, and has been instrumental in building the company into San Diego’s premier custom home builder.
Before joining Tourmaline, Jake began his career in real estate at Cassidy Turley, a commercial real estate services firm, in their Los Angeles office.
In 2017, he was named to the San Diego Daily Transcript’s “40 Under 40” list of top business professionals in San Diego under the age of 40.
He earned a BA in Political Science from Yale University, where he was a member of the varsity baseball team. He resides in Encinitas with his wife, daughter and two golden retrievers.
Sean Moran, Preconstruction Manager
Sean oversees estimating and project set-up activities, ensuring that Tourmaline projects are prepared for success from the start.
Originally from Washington, DC where he grew up in a family homebuilding company, Sean enjoys camping, hiking, and exploring the desert with his two sons in his spare time.
Cyndi Black, Project Coordinator
Cyndi works directly with clients and Tourmaline’s project managers to facilitate an enjoyable and efficient homebuilding process, coordinating finish details and design selections.
Cyndi previously served as Director of Marketing for FitDeck, Inc., a fitness company she co-founded. After eleven years in the fitness industry and a successful sale of the business, Cyndi joined Tourmaline.
Cyndi earned a BA in Russian Language from Yale University where she competed as a member of the varsity women’s swim team. She resides in San Diego with her husband and four sons.
Natalie Maestretti, Project Coordinator
Natalie has always been passionate about building custom homes — she was drawing floor plans at the age of ten. She is committed to providing clients with a positive homebuilding experience, and her Pacific Northwest roots combined with love of coastal San Diego give her a broad perspective on design.
Natalie previously worked in recruiting and earned her BS in Merchandising Management from Oregon State University. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, cooking, and exploring all San Diego has to offer.
Heather Ryan, Project Coordinator
Heather works closely with clients and Tourmaline’s project managers to ensure a smooth process and positive homebuilding experience, staying on top of key decision points and material orders.
Heather earned a BA in Biology from Yale University and a PhD in Biology from the University of California, San Diego.
Melissa Waters, Project Coordinator
Melissa navigates clients through the homebuilding proces, keeping them abreast of important decisions and ensuring the timely ordering of materials.
Melissa worked previously in education and most recently as Head of Growth for Triad Athletes, a specialty athletic training company. She earned her BA in Liberal Arts from University of San Diego. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and playing sports with her husband and two children.
Zach Allen, Project Manager
Zach brings extensive professional knowledge and trade skills coupled with a commanding focus on quality and craftsmanship to bear on each project.
Zach grew up building in the Central Coast of California with his grandfather, and has been on job sites since the age of three. He resides in Encinitas, where he enjoys surfing, skating and mountain biking.
Adam Krentz, Project Manager
Austin Hunt, Project Manager
With a meticulous attention to detail and comprehensive knowledge of construction, Austin ensures that each home is built to Tourmaline’s exceedingly high standards.
Austin began his homebuilding career as a finish carpenter on custom homes in San Luis Obispo. He enjoys spending his free time in the outdoors, camping, cycling and rock climbing with his girlfriend and cat, Otis.
Javier Luna, Project Manager
With two decades of experience in custom home construction, Javier strives for excellence not only in quality and detail, but also in professionalism and commitment to the customer.
Jack Mann, Project Manager
Jack’s dedication to quality is evident in each of his projects. His experience in custom home design and cost estimating help in guiding clients through the homebuilding process.
Jack is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Arizona State University where he majored in Economics and minored in Statistics.
Mary Kruse, Controller
Mary manages the company’s finances and oversees its accounting activities. She also provides support in a variety of other areas including risk management, human resources, and corporate compliance.
A longtime resident of Cardiff, Mary enjoys spending free time at the beach and the lagoon chasing after her lab mix puppy, Sadie.
Charlie Nieboer, Chief Canine Officer
As CCO, Charlie is responsible for employee happiness. He also greets guests, inspects packages, cleans the kitchen, and protects the office from seagulls and vacuum cleaners.
Charlie spends most of his spare time surfing. You can catch Charlie on the waves here.