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Meet Our Team

Meet our Team

We are dreamers and adventurers with a tenacious spirit, team is everything at Fireclay Tile. From our factory floor to the bean counters we are a team that looks more like a family. We work hard and play hard. Our team is composed of more than 80 people. We are made of soccer players, adventure racers, potters, triathletes, grill masters, musicians, bakers, rock climbers, photographers, and dreamers.

Paul Burns

Paul Burns

Founder and Chief Ceramicist

Paul has been associated with tile for 30 years, first assisting his tile maker uncle at the age of ten. He held several jobs within the tile industry and then formed his own company, Fireclay Tile, Inc. in 1985.  Since founding Fireclay, Paul has been a pioneer in the ceramic tile industry coming up with numerous inventions, being one of the first to use recycled materials in his products, and earning the trust and respect of thousands of loyal customers. Paul received his BA from University of California at Berkeley. When not at Fireclay, Paul enjoys coaching his daughter.

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: Our Colors

Eric Edelson

Eric Edelson

CEO

Eric Edelson joined Fireclay in 2009 to manage the business. Previously, Eric was the Vice President of Finance and Business Development at Nuun & Company, the leading sports beverage product in specialty retail. Before Nuun, Eric spent four years at Lehman Brothers in its Private Equity and Principal Investments groups. Eric has a BA from Amherst College and an MBA from Stanford University. Eric is an avid runner loves spending his weekends in the Marin Headlands. Eric can be reached at eric@fireclaytile.com.

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: Our customers - they rock

Bill Palmer

Bill Palmer

Head of Sales

Bill has a degree in ceramics from UCSB and has worked in the ceramic industry since 1970 working extensively in the United States, Germany, and Asia for a variety of specialty dinnerware, giftware, tile, and brick manufacturers.  He has been immersed in every phase of the chemistry, production, design, sales, marketing, and installlation of ceramic products.  He feels most fortunate to have been able to spend so many years working in such an important global industry that has been reconfiguring the earth’s crust into beautiful objects for a few thousand years.  Away from the wonders of ceramics, he spends as much time hiking, surfing, and rock-climbing with his family as daylight will allow.

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: The alchemy of converting broken windows and cast-off toilets into beautiful ceramic and glass tile!

Alex Bolanos

Alex Bolanos

Commercial Sales

Alex has worked at Fireclay for over 13 years and manages our trade orders and customer service. She is exceptionally detail oriented and friendly, and truthfully she could teach MBAs proper customer service. When not at the office Alex enjoys spending time with her three children. You can reach Alex at alex@fireclaytile.com.

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: The hand made characteristics of our tile.

Sabrina Fine

Sabrina Fine

Dealer Customer Care

Sabrina is responsible for making sure our amazing Dealers all receive the best customer service in the tile industry. Sabrina grew up in Connecticut, but moved to California a few years ago to San Luis Obispo, where she studied Interior Design. In her free time, she enjoys playing the guitar and songwriting. Sabrina can be reached at Sabrina@fireclaytile.com.

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: The classic designs of our Relief Series hand pressed tiles.

Wendy Ruffier

Wendy Ruffier

Sales Associate

After dedicating 12 years to staying home and nurturing 3 fantastic children I decided it was time to rejoin the workforce. I attended interior design classes at Canada College which reignited my love for interior design. I have worked in two high end showrooms and worked for a design build company. Throughout my 15 years of experience my favorite part of a project was always designing with tile. Today I work for this wonderful company who has intrusted me to open our brand new San Francisco showroom!

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: Cuerda Seca. This art technique has been popular through out the world for centuries. I love that Fireclay Tile is keeping the art alive.

Yolanda Jaimes

Yolanda Jaimes

Showroom Designer

Yolanda is a Bay Area native and earned her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture and Design from the Academy of Art University of San Francisco. She previously worked as a Spanish teacher with children in PreK-6th grade, where she also incorporated her background in art and design to her teaching. During her free time she enjoys spending time with her pit bull mix Teddy and visiting new places.

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: The variety of shapes that we make with any color using recycled materials.

Martin Zepeda

Martin Zepeda

Founder

Martin is one of the original four at Fireclay. Martin can be best reached by calling our main number, (408) 275-1182 and asking for Martin. Martin is old school and prefers the phone over email, so give us a call and ask for him. Martin is an exceptional cook and is the BBQ master at any Fireclay outing!

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: Our Cuerda Seca Handpainted tiles and saltillos.

Gina Benedetti

Gina Benedetti

Photography + Graphic Design

Born & raised in San Jose, Gina graduated in 2011 from Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in Visual Media. Today she enjoys photography, design, cooking, and caring for her 7 pound rabbit.

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: Our Tinted Mint color because of its gorgeous variation.

Fernando Menchaca

Fernando Menchaca

Extruder Station Captain

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: I love the tile process. From me making the mix and watching come out and loading it onto the racks warm and fresh to watching it being glazed, fired and shipped out.

Hector Fernandez

Hector Fernandez

Materials Manager

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: I love how Fireclay crushes our own seconds and other non-usable materials so that we can reuse to make new material and help the eco-system.

Sergio Alvarez

Sergio Alvarez

Afternoon Shift Captain

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: I love working the glaze machine. I also love the fact that most of our materials are recycled products that help our ec-system.

Carlos Plascencia

Carlos Plascencia

Kiln Station Captain

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: Our kilns and how they make beautiful tile.

Carlos Zepeda

Carlos Zepeda

Concept Board Station Captain

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: The popping, brilliant colors of the Crush 100% Recycled Glass Tile.

Rosa Plascencia

Rosa Plascencia

Decorative Station Captain

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: I love to handpaint Cuerda Seca tiles.

Nolan Johnson

Nolan Johnson

Glaze Factory and Sample Manager

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: To see production from beginning to end from the crush glass and toilets to the end with our beautiful tile.

Juan Carlos Garcia

Juan Carlos Garcia

Glaze Station Manager

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: I love the different colors, sizes and shapes that I glaze every day. It is never boring.

Mushtaque Khan

Mushtaque Khan

Glaze Master

Mushtaque came to the United States in 1986, and while he originally thought he was going to interview at an electronics company, he stumbled into Fireclay and asked Paul for a job. Fast forward 24 years later and Mushtaque has become a glaze master unlike any other. Showing up for work every day in his lab coat, Mushtaque works wonders using only the finest grit and glaze ingredients. Mushtaque ensures we do everything right when it comes to glazes - no lead, no off-gases, only the best. The colors he produces are rich and vibrant, and with time he can produce almost anything. While Mushtaque constantly tries to improve our glaze consistency, even he admits that our color variation is what makes Fireclay Tile most unique.

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile:

Mayra Melchor

Mayra Melchor

Production Office Manager

Mayra joined Fireclay in August 2009 as a rookie in the tile industry and although she earned her BA in Physical Education and Health, she quickly learned the difference of a single bullnose and radius bullnose. Mayra spends her days at work working closely with our production manager to make sure all orders are done on time and ship out 1st quality.  When not at work Mayra enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and traveling.

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: I love how Fireclay Tile keeps me on my toes every single day, every order is so special and so unique; with so many colors, shapes and sizes that we produce for our every day customers, days are never boring around here. I love being part of a factory that strives to produce nothing but high quality sustainable material.

Ramiro Plascencia

Ramiro Plascencia

Aromas Factory Manager

Fireclay is blessed to have some of the most loyal employees including Ramiro Plascencia. Ramiro is an exceptionally skilled craftsmen and production manager and has been working at Fireclay since 1993. Ramiro manages Fireclay's factory in Aromas, CA.

Asia

Asia

Furry Mascot

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: Giving high fives!

Cleo Schiff

Cleo Schiff

Lead Generation Customer Acquisition Specialist

Cleo is a San Francisco born native who has lived all over the west coast, basically anywhere her dad could get a good wave session in. After graduating from UC Davis, Cleo moved to Bangkok, Thailand to teach English for a year before moving into the e-learning software industry. It was an amazing experience for her as the Thai culture is so rich in history and influential in design today.   Upon returning to San Francisco, Cleo headed up online customer acquisition for Own Products.  Now she manages Fireclay's lead generation platform and customer acquisition.

Favorite thing about Firclay Tile:  I am proud to be apart of such an influential company with roots in sustainable manufacturing!  Tile to the People!

Amie Johnson

Amie Johnson

Decorative Department Manager

Amie is a local of the San Jose area and has worked for Fireclay Tile on and off for over 10 years. I am currently the manager of the Hand Painting Department but has helped with everything from designing in the showroom, and helping with marketing and catalogs, to merchandising for dealers and cutting tiles.  She has never been afraid to get her hands dirty here!
Amie graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Architectural and Interior Design from The Design Institute of San Diego in 2006 and has always loved the Design and Building Industry. Outside of work Amie is a full time mommy of 3 and enjoys spending time with my family.  She also has a taste for great food and loves to be the one making it. 

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: Fireclay Tile is the ever-changing and evolving love for doing more for the community and the environment. Having specializing in sustainable design in school I love being apart of it and working with people that want to make a difference.
 

Valeria Vincent Sancisi

Valeria Vincent Sancisi

Valeria designs landscapes and has designed and manufactured a small line of hemp textile prints, and when she was introduced to tile eight years ago, it combined the love of pattern and the joy of creating spaces.  Becoming LEED AP, she is committed to sustainable building.  Valeria spent a year in hiatus from showroom desiging with tile to attend a landscape architecture program, when Fireclay turned her head back to tile.

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile:  The creativity and innovation that merges artisinal hand made beauty with sustainable practices, and that we have a factory right here in California.

Yvette Perez

Yvette Perez

Yvette is originally from Berkeley but has lived all around the Bay Area. She attended San Francisco State University and achieved her Bachelors of Science degree in Interior Design. Yvette previously worked as a Design Consultant and assisted clients with remodeling their kitchen and/or bathrooms with all sorts of natural stone and tile for almost seven years. Her hobbies are watching football with her three brothers (go 49ers!), taking care of her little nephew and on weekends you can find her with her boyfriend or her mom at their local antique/salvage/thrift shop for new DIY projects.

Favorite thing about Fireclay: Our Ogee shape and the fact that we hand make each tile specifically for each client.

Shelly Yoder

Shelly Yoder

Shelly is an experienced designer and artist who has an eye for detail and quality.  After taking a break to stay home and care for her two young children she is now returning to work and is excited to help you design your perfect space with Fireclay Tile!

Favorite Thing about Fireclay tile:  I love how Fireclay makes tile extraordinary by combining art, design, technology, and a lot of hard work.  I believe the best is still to come as we continue to learn and grow.  

Jesus Gutierrez

Jesus Gutierrez

Safety Captain/Special Materials Cutter

Favorite Thing about Fireclay Tile: I love getting into the zone of cutting materials to a customers desire, I imagine the area it will go in and enjoy making sure it is cut to the exact size and dimensions. I love knowing it will make a great difference in the installation.

Emily Ritter

Emily Ritter

Emily is originally from Reno, NV but has lived all over the United States, before finally settling in San Francisco.  She has a degree in Journalism and Spanish but has always had a strong passion for the art & design industry.  She enjoys interacting with people and helping in any way that she can.  She spends her free time with her cat, Bradley Cooper, loves a good book or movie, and is obsessed with seeing live music.

Favorite Thing About Fireclay TIle: Taking recycled materials and making gorgeous glass tile, especially in BLACK & ORANGE!!!! Go GIANTS! 

Lauren Ritchie

Lauren Ritchie

Lauren is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and has a degree in Business Economics from UCSB. She worked in business management for several years before beginning interior design classes and eventually joining the team at Fireclay Tile. Lauren brings her strong background in customer service and design to her role as Design Consultant, where she helps online customers select the perfect tile for their projects. In her free time Lauren enjoys listening to music, snapping pictures, and exploring the Bay Area and beyond!

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: Our many customer service channels including phone, email, live chat, and showroom visits. Not to mention our beautiful handmade products!

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