Our Team

Luxury Home Builder Ben Ryan

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.

Luxury Home Builder Cyndi Black

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.

Heather Ryan

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 head shot

Melissa Waters, Selections Coordinator

Melissa works with Tourmaline’s Project Coordinators and clients in the selection and ordering of materials and fixtures.

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.

Tyler Jessee

Tyler Jessee, Project Manager

Tyler brings a wealth of experience building and remodeling homes, and as an independent business owner. His meticulous attention to detail and workmanship ensure that each home is built to Tourmaline’s exacting standards.

Tyler earned a BA from Sacramento State University, where he was a quarterback on the varsity football team. Born and raised in California, he enjoys traveling the world with his wife and two children.

Javier Luna, Project Manager

With nearly 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.

Sean Moran

Sean Moran, Project Manager

With a meticulous attention to detail and comprehensive knowledge of construction, Sean ensures that each home is built to Tourmaline’s exceedingly high standards.

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.

Jeff Nieboer

Jeff Nieboer, Project Manager

With over 20 years in custom homebuilding, Jeff brings extensive professional knowledge and trade skills coupled with a commanding focus on quality and craftsmanship to bear on each project.

In his free time, you can find Jeff surfing up and down the San Diego coast with his yellow lab, Charlie.

Charlie Nieboer

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.

Jack Mann head shot

Jack Mann, Assistant Project Manager

In addition to his fieldwork in project management, Jack is involved in estimating and project set-up activities, ensuring that Tourmaline projects are prepared for success from the start.

A Summa Cum Laude graduate of Arizona State University where he majored in Economics and minored in Statistics, Jack began his professional career in the actuarial department of Allstate Insurance.

Graciela Donaire

Graciela Donaire, Accounting Manager

Graciela oversees the company’s accounting activities, managing the company’s finances and ensuring that invoices are paid promptly.

Graciela has a master’s degree in Business Economics and came to Tourmaline with more than 15 years of experience in the corporate finance departments of companies including Oracle and Unilever. She resides in San Diego with her husband and two children.