Andy Blessing, Master of Construction
Andy’s father ran a successful design build firm in the Twin Cities and therefore Andy grew up in the industry. He attended Hampshire College and the U of M graduating with a degree in Architecture. After operating his own successful design and build business and a brief stint in the music industry, he built the New Victorian Bed and Breakfast in St Paul and is now heading the Build side of Otogawa-Anschel with great energy and excitement. He lives in St Paul with his lovely wife and three little kids (who are also lovely). Favorite color: Orange, Favorite food: Experimental things that come out of his kitchen….
Scott Barsness, CKBR, Designer / Internal Operations Director
Scott Barsness has been active in the residential remodeling industry for over a decade. He started swinging the hammer at the tender age of ten, building forts and tree houses in Minneapolis, where he grew up. Construction allows Scott to utilize his innovative problem-solving skills and creativity as a draftsman and designer. He is also responsible for the efficiency of all Otogawa-Anschel systems. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoys hunting, fishing and cookies. Scott is committed to the Green movement to help safeguard the environment for future generations (including his young son) to enjoy.
Devin Roney, Designer
Devin has a knack for color and tile design that easily won her a seat at Otogawa-Anschel. With an eye for detail and a penchant for smart design she brings creative, intelligent design to each of her projects.
Devin is a native of Plymouth; she has her Associates of Fine Arts from Normandale Community College, and her Bachelors of Science from Dunwoody College of Technology. She describes her aesthetic as mid-century modern-eclectic; with lots of layering and texture. Devin loves salvaged anything; she is always coming up with new ways to repurpose old goods and materials. Devin’s design skills at OA include conceptual design, space planning, 3D computer modeling, material selection, and drafting.
In her free time, Devin goes on adventures with her black lab Marley and her husband Mike. Her hobbies include camping, fishing, cooking, puzzles, furniture, gardening, and art of any kind.
Jeremy Howe, Drafting
Jeremy grew up on the North side of Minneapolis and knew he wanted to be in the design and construction industry from a young age. A graduate of Dunwoody College, he is an integral part of the Otogawa-Anschel team. He lives in St Paul with his wife where he also is engaged in community service through his Church. One full day a week he devotes to providing outreach to the Hmong community. Favorite city: San Francisco, Favorite hobby: Playing music (rocking out on the drums)
Carlyn Kuchan, Design Support
Carlyn spent 18 years in the Chicago area before realizing Minnesota was the place to be. A graduate of the U of M College of Interior Design, she joined the OA team with her unique understanding of asymmetry and a penchant for stunning tile design and color work. She lives in the urban Uptown area where there is always something new to explore and provides quick access to the lakes. Favorite band: The Goo Goo Dolls, Favorite Activities: Rock Climbing and biking
Scott Grimm, Lead Carpenter
Scott is an accomplished carpenter of 22 years and brings a great sense of detail and pride to everything he works on. At Otogawa-Anschel, he enjoys working on projects that are unique and present daily challenges giving him the opportunity to participate in design solutions. Originally from Florida, he moved to Minnesota in 1982. His life with his wife and three kids is full and exciting. His hobbies include riding motorcycles and fishing.
Brian George, Carpenter
Brian grew up surrounded by sawdust and has been wielding a hammer for as long as he can remember. He has worked full-time as a remodeler for more than 10 years and has completed both the NARI Certified Carpentry and Lead Carpenter classes. Brian appreciates the details and always has an instruction manual and his construction calculator handy. Brian lives in Fridley with his wife and 3 small children. He is involved in his community as a paid-on-call firefighter and also serves in the Minnesota Army National Guard. He loves camping, fishing, and trips to the Boundary Waters.
Kandy Lindback, Office Manager
Kandy Lindback brings with her a wealth of experience and organization. A Minneapolis native with a background in both Interior Design and Office management, she brings a healthy blend of understanding, communication, and added professionalism to the position. With extensive training in the many programs and functions that keep an office running smoothly, and an attention to details and process, she is an invaluable resource for the team. Fun Facts not found in her resume: Kandy has two amazing kids, (one of whom just graduated with Honors), loves to draw, paint, sew and cook. Her weakness: Dark Chocolate.
Michael Anschel, Principal and Designer
Michael is a native and life long fan of Minneapolis. He has been involved in the arts from a young age, developing and running a program at the Guthrie Theater before even graduating from high school. With a growing passion for ceramic sculpture and science he deferred college to visit the Far East. His visit turned into residency, he lived in China from 1992-1995 and in Japan from 1995-1996. In China, in addition to learning Mandarin, he held a number of positions including TV show host, Foreign Language Editor for the Beijing Review, university and preschool teacher, and served as head of the English Department for the Japanese Embassy School in Beijing. He returned to the U.S. to finish his degree in Art with a Chinese Minor at the University of Minnesota.
The opportunity to apply his hands-on experience and materials knowledge from his work in ceramic and metal sculpture and his background in art history and architecture, presented itself in remodeling and renovation. After a few years of renovation work he was asked to design and build his first home addition. This particular challenge, to blend the traditional style of the home’s exterior with the homeowner’s contemporary vision for the interior, proved inspirational. The company refocused their direction to remodeling and has never looked back.
When not at work, Michael spends his free time climbing rocks and mountains, skiing, biking, and traveling to new places. Michael is an active member of the City of Lakes Rotary Club, and serves on the board of the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies. A past member of MN NARI’s Board of Directors, MN GreenStar’s Board of Directors, and writer for Remodeling Magazine, Michael remains an active participant in the building community working to improve the industry and its connection to the community. Michael is a cellist of 27 years, and enjoys experimenting with new sounds and instruments with his international friends.
Michael attributes his success to the many wonderful teachers and guides he has had in life; His grandparents whose immigration, work, and successes continue to be an inspiration; and his parents and family, who are endlessly supportive.