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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

Jamie Chappell

Jamie Chappell

Creative Director

Jamie joined the Fireclay Tile team as Creative Director in 2013. Prior to working with Fireclay Tile she sold the companies products in boutique retail shops throughout the country. Her expertise lies in merchandising, product development and retail store design with over 10 years experience in home improvement retail. She has worked for sustainably minded start-ups in Seattle, WA, San Francisco, CA and Austin, TX. Her passion for bold art and clean design with a healthy dose of restraint, drive most creative decisions in her life and at Fireclay Tile. Away from the daily creative routine, you’ll find her in the pottery studio, camping, hiking, or if she’s lucky… two stepping. Jamie holds a degree in Art History from Virginia Tech.

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: The raw creative energy that exists at our Aromas, CA factory.

Rebecca Taylor

Rebecca Taylor

Head of Technology

Rebecca has been designing and developing Fireclay Tile's website since 2009 and joined as Head of Technology in 2013. She is a full-stack developer passionate about best practices for user-driven information design on evolving platforms. After graduating from Harvard with a degree in Applied Math, she worked on the first internet community-right-to-know searchable database of environmental polluters for the EPA and was the Senior Programmer and VP of Petfinder.com. Rebecca is a former member of the US Long Course Triathlon Team, yogi, inspired chef, skier, climber and mother to three.

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: I love our customer installation photos! Our product always elevates and transforms every building and renovation project that it's incorporated into.

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 & Commercial Sales

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

Showroom Designer

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 (terra cotta tiles from Saltillo, México). 

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 process of creating tile; from my role of making mixes, to watching fresh warm clay load onto the drying racks, and finally the glazing, firing and perfecting of orders for shipment.

Hector Fernandez

Hector Fernandez

Materials Manager

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: I love how we crush up our own imperfect pieces to be remade, and how we help the eco-system by finding uses for materials otherwise deemed non-usable.

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 eco-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.

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 a part of such an influential company with roots in sustainable manufacturing!  Tile to the People!

Susanne Redfield

Susanne Redfield

Creative Consultant

Tile designer and ceramist Susanne Kibak Redfield merges her Danish roots and love of traditional crafts with a modern sense of restraint that brings just enough to the design without going over the top. After graduating from the University of California Santa Cruz in 1981, Susanne started her own business making ceramic tiles. She introduced Kibak Tile through Kneedler Fauchere, a revered interior showroom to the trade, then spent twenty five years in a successful relationship with Ann Sacks. "I began hearing about Fireclay Tile, their sustainable story and youthful energy really captured my imagination, I absolutely wanted to be part a company that really cares about tomorrow. Designing product for Fireclay Tile is energizing, truly inspirational.

Shannon Malone

Shannon Malone

Social Media Maven

Shannon joined the team in 2013 as Fireclay's Social Media Maven. After graduating from the University of California Santa Cruz with a degree in Cultural Anthropology, Shannon pursued her lifelong passion for interior design by working as a freelance writer for Houzz. Her interest in design related content eventually led her to Fireclay where she gets to spend her day spreading the Fireclay word and help get tile to the people!

Favorite thing about Fireclay: The beautiful handmade nature of our tile, especially our new Handpainted Collections.

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 her family.  She also has a taste for great food and loves to make 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 specializied in sustainable design in school I love being a part of it and working with people that want to make a difference.
 

Valeria Vincent Sancisi

Valeria Vincent Sancisi

Showroom Designer

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

Design Consultant

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

Showroom Designer

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

Design Consultant

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

Design Consultant

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!

Brittany Buchser

Brittany Buchser

Design Consultant

Brittany’s background in Art History at UC Santa Cruz helped her build and discover a vast archive of diverse architectural elements and preferred art movements that have become influences in her own life. Her post-graduate education in Interior Design at F.I.D.M and professional experience with sales and design consultant services (with knowledge of over 70 tile companies) contributed to her awareness for the design and installation processes. She values personal connections and collaboration with clients while creating long lasting and unique designs using Fireclay Tile's hand made/sustainable tile, glass and brick!  Brittany enjoys the yogi-lifestyle, crafting, singing/ playing guitar, & anything outdoors -camping/hiking in the Bay Area and all over California.

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: Our 'green' company and recycled sustainable products that prove you don't have to ruin mother earth in order to create something absolutely gorgeous.
 

Eddie Castillo

Eddie Castillo

E-Commerce Manager

Eddie joined Fireclay in 2014 to manage the E-commerce side of the business. Prior to joining, he was at Chrome Industries from 2008 to 2014 and helped grow the E-commerce from a few orders printed out and then manually entered into Quickbooks, to a major revenue channel for the business. Eddie studied Information Technology, Multi-media, and Game Art & Design. In his free time, he enjoys going for bike rides, hiking, playing the guitar, and looking at data.

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: Focus on Sustainability and being a California company through and through.

Khai Lam

Khai Lam

Technical Ceramic Manager

Khai has been involved in the ceramic industry for 15 years. He recently worked in the new product development at Kohler for almost 8 years before joining Fireclay tile in February, 2014. He spent the first 7 years in the ceramic tile industry in Vietnam. Khai loves working with glazes and colors as well as working with designers to bring ideas into real life. Khai has a BS degree in Ceramics from HoChiMinh City Polytechnic University. When not at work, he enjoys traveling with his family.

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: Fireclay tile story, from how it was formed to how it has been evolving into sustainable manufacturing.

Asia

Asia

Furry Mascot

Favorite thing about Fireclay Tile: Giving high fives!

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