Ryan Smith Director
Ryan Smith is our Director. He leads a team of amazingly talented people, steering SidePlate into a new era of growth and innovation. Prescribing to the motto of “the difference in ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra,” Ryan has a passion for people and the wealth of knowledge present in the building profession. Ryan focuses his career on putting in that little extra to develop strong relationships with SidePlate’s current and future clients, particularly those whom share in his desire for innovating the way buildings are designed and built. An avid sports fan and a proud member of “Raider Nation,” when not meeting with clients, catching a Raider’s football game, or chasing around his two young children, you may find him enjoying a round of golf. If you see him on the course, beware of flying objects. Liking a sport, and being good at a sport, are certainly different things!
Andy Kim Senior Project Engineer
Andy Kim is a Senior Project Engineer. He graduated from the University of California San Diego with his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Structural Engineering. Andy returned to SidePlate after working for another structural engineering firm for two years. He credits his decision to return due to the workplace environment and people at SidePlate. A board game enthusiast, Andy is constantly adding to his collection, sometimes seeking other employees to test drive his newest games - if you have any recommendations, please let him know! When he is not working or playing board games, Andy likes to spend his free time running and snowboarding.
Behzad Rafezy Director of R&D
Behzad Rafezy is the director of our R&D Department. He has more than 20 years of combined industrial and academic experience in structural engineering. Behzad is frequently invited to give technical presentations on structural engineering topics at universities and conferences and has published more than 60 technical papers and multiple patents. He is the co-inventor of the panel zone EEZ model presented at the SEAOC 2014 Convention. His experience as lead structural designer for over 100 structures enables SidePlate to bring both innovative and practical solutions to the industry. To relax, Behzad, spends time with his family and playing tennis. Those wicked tennis skills have made the occasional appearance at our office ping-pong table.
Billy Tarasevic Senior Project Engineer
Billy Tarasevic is a Senior Project Engineer and has been with SidePlate for over six years. Billy received his B.S. in Architectural Engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2010. Outside of the office, you might find him on the football field officiating high school football games. Billy also enjoys working out, doing home renovations, learning new skills, and watching football with his son.
Brett Hart Director of Construction Services
Brett Hart is our Director of Construction Services. He obtained his Bachelor of Architectural Engineering degree from Penn State in 1994 and has been practicing as a structural engineer ever since. He is licensed in half of the states in the USA, and a few Canadian provinces. A self-proclaimed "athletic nerd," he enjoys all sports, games and competition. On Sundays in the fall you will find him watching the Philadelphia Eagles and tracking his fantasy football teams. On his desk is a reminder to "work hard, stay humble and improve daily."
Bryan Haas Software Development Manager
Bryan Haas is our Software Development Manager and was the first software developer ever to be hired at SidePlate. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Cal State Fullerton and has been developing robust software solutions for the past 18+ years. Bryan has a passion for mountain biking, especially racing his bike over challenging downhill terrain. Other extra-curricular activities include wakeboarding, attending concerts, and playing billiards. "Work hard, play hard" are words he lives by.
Bryan Lin Project Manager
Bryan Lin is a Project Manager, having earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Structural Engineering from the University of California San Diego. His hobby is traveling and photographing the world. Interestingly, as part of his professional life, his hobbies were intertwined as he spent a year living and working in New Zealand after the Christchurch Earthquake. There he created detailed evaluation reports of existing structures, which involved a significant amount of photography. The work and photography wasn’t a challenge for Bryan, but learning to drive on the opposite side of the road and converting calculations into the metric system was!
Buddy Burks Regional Engineer
Buddy Burks is our Southeast Regional Engineer and he's awesome…just ask him. After a few years of "finding himself," Buddy finally obtained a Master’s Degree from the University of Florida's Structural Engineering program in just a shade under a decade. Before joining SidePlate he obtained his PE License with a large A/E firm in Nashville, TN, where his project experience varied from Healthcare and Commercial to Government and Industrial projects throughout the county. He is not a doctor, but will happily tell you what he has learned from so many visits to the emergency room! After 12 broken bones and some concussions, Buddy has figured out that his skill sets aren't necessarily "physical." So after ruling out getting to the big leagues, he focused on a much safer career in Structural Engineering which keeps him away from large machinery and physical activity.
Christy Beymer Marketing Associate
Christy Beymer is our Marketing Associate and resident, self-proclaimed aspiring mermaid. She is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a creative free spirit who loves learning, candy, travel, and the ocean. Christy is part of our communications team, bringing you the voice of SidePlate through marketing materials and social media. Incorporating her love of art and design into all of her jobs, Christy thrives on the many design projects SidePlate offers her. It is her mission to be sure that you know that we are focused on supporting our clients’ projects from start to finish by delivering innovative building designs that result in superior and economical projects. When Christy is not busy communicating the SidePlate message, you can usually find Christy ruling at Trivia Night competitions, sifting through her well-stocked candy drawer, flying off to her next adventure, or body surfing in hope of completing her transformation into a real mermaid.
Chris Burnett Regional Engineer
Chris Burnett is Southwest Regional Engineer and not only a world traveler, but a world resident too. He has lived and worked in the U.A.E and New Zealand sharpening his engineering skills through his exposure to very different places and ways of doing things. Here in the states when he is not spending time with his family, he slips away for some fly-fishing, or out to the backyard for his other passion, barbecuing. Chris has learned that doing either fishing or barbecuing he can build long-lasting friendships—even if the fish don’t bite or the meat gets burnt.
Daisy Chee Senior Project Engineer
Daisy Chee is a Senior Project Engineer who has been with SidePlate since 2012. She graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the field of Architectural Engineering. She enjoys traveling to experience local architecture, indulging in milk teas and desserts, learning new crafts, and slowly adding to her CD collection.
Dave Eckrote Regional Engineer
Dave Eckrote is our Northeast Regional Engineer. He has followed the typical engineer path. After graduating from college, he worked as a construction inspector--that time in the field helps him be a better engineer as he understands that everything isn't perfect once it gets to the field, no matter how much we like to think it is. After several years in design, he shifted into the software industry for several years--but stayed related to structural engineering prior to coming to SidePlate. When he is not discussing the benefits of SidePlate with engineers, fabricators, contractors, architects or owners, you will likely find him on a golf course.
Derek Nastase MiTek2030 Launch Team
Derek Nastase (pronounced “Naw-staw-see,” because you were wondering) is a California licensed Structural Engineer with over 12 years of experience. Derek dives deep into the formation and execution of new ideas and technology, spending his time outside of engineering buildings attempting to improve engineering itself. He loves people and champions the development of other professionals and teams, especially through mentorship and continual learning. Derek has been known to tell a Dad joke or two, to bake opulent cakes, to not recognize he is singing publicly, and to wistfully hope that through creativity, honesty, and forgiveness, we can form better communities.
Elizabeth Kramer Project Manager
Elizabeth Kramer is a Senior Project Development Engineer bringing well over 15 years of engineering experience and a passion of the profession. She loves her field so much she decided to marry another structural engineer with similar desires, thus making her and her husband James the ultimate structural engineering power couple! With a passion for optimization and efficiency, Elizabeth spearheads many initiatives at SidePlate helping increase our productivity, which allows maximum support to our many clients. When Elizabeth is not at the office she takes on her identity as “Super Mom” leading many of her three children’s activities including Troop Leader in the local Girl Scouts. If you are lucky enough to work with Elizabeth, don’t hesitate to place an order for some yummy cookies.
Howard Kelly Marketing Director
Howard Kelly is our Marketing Director. As he puts it, "one of these things is not like the others" since Howard is usually in a room full of engineers trying to explain the fluidity of marketing concepts. Try it sometime. Spending as much time tinkering with and waxing his car and motorcycles as he does putting them on the road, Howard is the resident gearhead, coming to us from the motorcycle industry. Having left the motorcycle industry once before, Howard found he liked the construction world and when the chance to be part of the SidePlate team came around he went for it - in his words - full throttle!
Jared Adams Director of Technology Development
Jared Adams is our Director of Technology Development. He has a wide array of experiences from being an electrician, to being a model, to speaking Italian, to now being a licensed engineer in 34 states. He has a real passion for steel design and optimization, his enthusiasm is contagious and he can often be found sharing his knowledge and experiences with others. He especially loves to learn and see others grow. He genuinely believes that in every situation you can grow, he's known for saying "let's fail forward," meaning push your limits and don't be afraid of failure. And if you do fail, pick yourself up, learn from it, grow from it, share it and become stronger because of it.
Jason Hoover Director of Business Development
Jason Hoover is our Director of Business Development. He was the first employee outside of the California office, introducing SidePlate to the east coast back in 2011. He spent the first 10 years of his career as a consulting structural engineer in Chicago before moving into a business development role at another firm. An Illinoisan for most of his life, he now lives in Northeast Ohio in a century farmhouse with his wife, two kids, two horses, two dogs, and one cat. Family life and home improvement projects take up most of his free time, but the family does make it a priority to take several camping trips per year.
June Chang Project Engineer
June Chang likes challenges, it doesn’t matter whether they are in work or life. He is also a survivor, so no matter what kind of environment he is in, he knows he will come out Okay. He is a doer, not a talker and is on record for the shortest bio on the SidePlate team!
Kelly Barraza Business Development Coordinator
Kelly Barraza is our Business Development Coordinator, working with our Regional Engineers. She is detailed, creative big-picture and blue skies kind of person who likes to bring life to events and who encourages others to step outside the lines. Originally from Venezuela and then transplanted to the Midwest and then to California, Kelly finds it hard to sit still and loves to explore the world around her. She has a heart for the arts and brings her creativity to SidePlate by planning Quarterly Celebrations for the entire SidePlate team.
Kyle Wilson Regional Engineer
Kyle Wilson is our Regional Engineer for Southern CA, HI, and Las Vegas areas. Kyle works directly with clients to help build SidePlate’s portfolio. Straight out of the LBC, Two-One-Three, he comes from a diverse professional background that includes having conducted research at the Powell Structural Laboratories at UC San Diego and construction management in San Diego. When he is not in the office, you can catch him jamming to Tom Petty while on a road trip - after he points out every building he designed along the way. He lives for a good snowstorm to lay the first tracks on fresh powder. His handicap is 14.
Lisa Mosconi Project Coordinator
Lisa Mosconi hung up her tool belt, hard hat, and steel toed boots just before taking on the massive task of Project Coordination here at SidePlate. With her logistics and project management background, she easily organizes, juggles, communicates and keeps things moving forward for all of our customers. For fun she loves to travel, often surprising our customers with her knowledge of their areas, but her main focus outside of SidePlate is being a mom to a super-social, very active, huge-hearted little girl.
Lupe Leon Design Engineer
Lupe Leon is the youngest SidePlate team member having graduated University of California San Diego in 2017. She held a SidePlate internship prior to her joining the team as a Design Engineer. She has diverse outside work interests that include photography, nature exploration, the beach, community service and, of course, construction and structural engineering. Lupe is a foodie, her favorite being Thai Curry. Her life quote says, “life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”
Matthew Brady Regional Engineer
Matt Brady is our Midwest Regional Engineer. After completing his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (I-L-L!), he began his journey through many disciplines of structural engineering. From designing bridges and buildings to forensic engineering and construction management he has seen all sides of engineering, but spent the last eight years being a champion of steel with AISC. As a proud member of the Army National Guard and an Afghanistan Veteran, he continues to serve our nation as a Citizen Soldier. Matt is a proud husband and the father of four strong young ladies. He loves golf, running, the Chicago White Sox and making food from scratch.
Matt Mester Director of Engineering
Matt Mester is our Director of Engineering. He earned his Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and then went on to a Master’s in Civil/Structural Engineering at Stanford University. He worked with a Consulting Engineering firm before joining us and is licensed as a PE/SE in over 10 states. Matt spends his off time with his family engaging in outdoor activities like skiing, hiking, golfing and fishing in Mammoth Lakes, CA. When he can carve out time for himself, Matt swims with a local masters swim club and officiates/referees water polo at the NCAA, national team and high school levels—something he has done for 18 years now.
Michaela Shaffer Design Engineer
Michaela Shaffer is one of our design engineers who strives to bring her optimistic and hardworking attitude to the team every day. She received her undergraduate degree at Loyola Marymount University and her Master’s in Structural Engineering at Northwestern University. She worked in utility and power infrastructure before joining the SidePlate team. Her detail oriented mind and her passion for optimization make her a perfect fit at SidePlate. Outside of work, she loves to explore cities, the great outdoors, you name it! She always craves a good cup of coffee--often necessitated by her young daughter--and has a healthy “collection” of shoes.
Nuno Esteves Director of Specialty Engineering
Nuno Esteves is our Senior Project Development Manager and comes to us from Portugal by way of the UK. He holds a Master’s in Structures for Civil Engineering from the Instituto Superior Tecnico and a second Master’s in Steel and Composite Structures from the University of Coimbra. Yes, he is impressive—and well-traveled. Nuno has worked on very high-profile projects in London, Portugal and here in the United States. When he is not solving complex calculations to prove steel buildings are better, he enjoys traveling, exploring, CrossFit, soccer and is always looking for his next adventure.
Quang Huynh Senior R&D Analyst
Quang Huynh is our Senior R&D Analyst with expertise in 3D finite element analysis (FEA) and fracture mechanics. He received his B.S. and M.S. in structural engineering at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). He knows random facts about many different subjects, including knowledge in structural engineering--of course. He likes the outdoors and loves to travel and do landscape photography. His ultimate goal is to be like James Clerk Maxwell and Ansel Adams and maybe Fabio.
Rudy Wright Project Manager
Rudy Wright is our Project Manager for the Project Development team. He grew up right here in Mission Viejo, California, and enjoys the summer sun playing beach volleyball, but his real passion is for playing on the court. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He started his career in Utah engineering light-frame structures, but the summer sun called him back home to design steel moment frames at SidePlate Systems. He uses his knack for creative problem solving to innovate tools and processes that make work easier, faster, and better.
Salvador Gonzalez Garcia Software Development Engineer
Salvador Glez. Garcia is one of our Software Engineers. Originally from Morelia, Mexico, he enjoys teaching children about computer science and volunteers in STEM outreach organizations such as code.org. Besides software development, Salvador's passions include spicy food, video games, and "fancy dinner party music." After years of practice, Sal claims he is now "able to generate non-screeching noises" with several instruments including violoncella, guitar, piano, and saxophone, so when he is not staring at a computer screen, a jam session is his preferred method of unwinding.
Stephanie K. Liuzzi Project Manager
Stephanie Liuzzi is one of our Project Managers. She earned a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering with Structural emphasis from NC State and then went on to earn a Master’s degree in the same field from Virginia Tech. with over 10 years of experience in structural engineering, Stephanie focuses on structural analysis of buildings for lateral load effects. She is a master of spreadsheet programming, a very competent home remodeler and a huge dog lover.
Sunup Mathew Regional Engineer
Sunup Mathew is the Regional Engineer for Northern CA and NV, having joined SidePlate in March of 2018. Originally from India, Sunup moved to the United States to pursue higher studies. Sunup holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Kerala in India and Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Lawrence Technological University in Michigan. He believes in bringing value to all people and projects that he associates with and that learning is a never ending continuous process. He lives with his family – wife, daughter and son - and divvies up his personal time between swimming, piano and tennis lessons for his children and enjoy cooking with his wife.
Tim Carroll Regional Engineer
Tim Carroll is our Northwest Regional Engineer. Since graduating from Utah State University in 2005 with a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering, Tim has always looked for and been driven by variety. This drive took him and his family from Utah to Virginia in 2005 where he began his practice as a Structural Engineer working on a wide variety of project and material types. It has led him to his current position with SidePlate where he gets to collaborate with a large variety of Structural Engineers, Architects, General Contractors and Steel Fabricators.
Torrey Dickinson Development Lead/Senior Project Engineer
Torrey Dickinson is our Sr. Project Engineer/Development Lead, and as such, serves as a bridge between our Structural Engineers and Software Developers at SidePlate. He received his B.S. in Civil Engineering and also enjoys trying his hand at computer programming. He is a big believer in a person having a solid understanding of "what" and "why" they are doing something before they attempt to accomplish it, and strives to maintain this understanding in the workplace. Even his own mother will state, "Torrey took longer than any of my other children to start talking, but when he did, he started speaking in full sentences."
Travis Pettry Software Development Engineer
Col. Travis Pettry is one of our Software Developers and belongs to the honorable order of the Kentucky Colonels. When he is not busy returning computer bugs to their natural environment or programming new tools for SidePlate, Travis enjoys playing as a hockey goalie and training at the gym. He's also constantly stumping people at the office with his southern words and phrases like "all y'all."