Who We Are

Benjamin & Company was founded in 2003 on strong, honest New England values passed down through generations: Ben Hemberger’s father, an architect with deep passion for his work and commitment to his projects, inspired Ben’s his own career in construction.  Today, our entire team brings those same principles–hard work, integrity, and fine craftsmanship–to every phase of every project.  

Ben Hemberger

Portrait

Growing up around the industry, Ben had many part time gigs as a craftsman’s helper.  After high school in New Hampshire’s Upper Valley, he took a break from building and earned a degree in computer science from Hampshire College in Massachusetts, but realized quickly that he’d rather not have an office job. He dabbled in cooking and boat building—and even tried combining the two as a chef on a sailing vessel—before finally returning to his roots in residential construction.  After learning the craft from some of Maine’s best-known timber framers and builders, Ben set out to build a company of his own, earning himself an office job in the process.  Fortunately, while guiding a small business takes many hours at the desk, Ben’s enthusiasm for hands-on work won’t allow for a day to pass without some time spent behind the hammer or chisel, or a visit to the jobsite to check in with the crew.  A lifelong student of both design and building science, Ben recently spent several years as a part-time student at the UMaine Augusta School of Architecture and has just completed a 10-week online class on Net Zero Energy Homes through Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA).

When he’s not hard at work in the office, driving the company truck, or deftly cleaning out a mortise on an 8×10 principal post, Ben is probably coaching hockey, or baseball, or soccer, or he’s outside enjoying Maine’s four seasons with his wife and three kids.

Corey Graham

Corey and Ari on the water.

A native of Mount Desert Island, Corey has been around construction sites since he was old enough pick up bent nails. Though he showed early promise as a nail-picker-upper, Corey is not one to rest on his laurels, and he quickly moved up through the ranks, working for many esteemed carpenters and contractors (including himself) in the process. With expertise in a broad range of materials and methods and an innate drive to maximize efficiency at all levels of work, Corey works with the speed and skill of many carpenters twice his age.  His ability to visualize a project from foundation to fixtures, combined with a commitment to quality work as unyielding as any MDI granite, is rare at any age.  As BenCo’s Lead Carpenter, Corey is responsible for seeing and solving problems before they exist in the real world, as well as ordering materials, interfacing with architects and designers, and yes, even picking up the occasional bent nail.

When he’s not swinging a 14oz Stiletto, listening to music so cutting edge that it doesn’t exist yet, or admiring his growing collection of high-end power tools, Corey is home enjoying family life with his wife and their toddler, and dreaming about his next construction project.

Jesse Martin

2015_Woolwich_Timber_Frame_Barn_15Though Jesse hails from land-locked southwestern New Hampshire, he heard and heeded the call of the ocean.  A graduate of both boat building school and years spent living aboard his own sailing vessel in and around Portland Harbor, he has finally settled down to a life near the water—and, conveniently, very close to BenCo headquarters—in Brunswick.  In addition to honing his enviable finish carpentry chops on countless high-end homes in Maine, Jesse is a nearly 20-year veteran of the Structural Insulated Panel industry, and our resident expert in panel installation.  With a keen eye for detail and an encyclopedic knowledge of the behaviors of wood, Jesse has the skill, patience, and talent to take any project from far-flung fantasy to exquisitely constructed reality fit for the finest home—or even the finest yacht.

When he’s not curating his collection of salvaged wood, building pedestals for his wife’s floral design business, or polishing the grout in his newly completed bathroom remodel, one might find Jesse enjoying a fine Belgian stout by a backyard campfire.

Sam Kapala

Another New Hampshire native, Sam has loved working with his hands since he built wooden models of a house and a vintage speedboat under the guidance of a caring first-grade teacher.  In high school, however, other interests prevailed, and he spent most time playing his drums, skiing, and wondering just how much he actually enjoyed science courses.  After graduating from Williams College in 2009 with a degree in Religion and a focus on pre-medical courses, Sam took the next logical step, and joined a rock band.  Three years on the road and in the studio with the band proved to be long enough, however, and in 2012 Sam followed his longtime girlfriend–and now wife–to Portland, and finally followed the long-simmering passion for power tools and building houses that he’d first kindled way back in the first grade.

When he’s not buried in the latest issue of Fine Homebuilding, building new furniture for his already-crowded house, or listening to indie music that Corey wouldn’t play from the other side of a double-stud, dense-pack insulated exterior wall, Sam is likely outside running, skiing, or taking photographs, or inside experimenting in the kitchen or in his tiny recording studio.