OUR CREW

WE TAKE GREAT PRIDE IN OUR TEAM

Our team’s passion for craft and community elevates the experience of working with Nelson Treehouse.

Family Legacy

Nelson Family

Pete Nelson

TREEHOUSE MASTER / FOUNDER

Pete fell in love with treehouses as a child, after building a backyard tree fort with his dad at their home in New Jersey. Today, he has created hundreds of treehouses around the world with his design and build firm, Nelson Treehouse and Supply. Pete has also published six books on the art and science of treehouse-building, most recently Be in a Treehouse. He has also shared many of his builds with global audiences as the star of the hit Animal Planet television series Treehouse Masters. In all of these projects, Pete has endeavored to equip others with the information and inspiration to get out into nature and up in the trees in a safe, sustainable, and fun way.

  • Judy Nelson

    CO-OWNER

    The love of treehouses must be contagious, because Judy gets as excited about the arboreal structures as the rest of her family does. When she's not busy running Treehouse Point (with the help of an incredible staff), Judy loves to cook, play soccer, hike, drink tequila with her friends, and hang out with three dogs, a large cat, and a bunch of chickens. She married Pete more than 30 years ago and is loves being a mom to their three fantastic kids. Judy and Pete welcomed their first grandchild, Emily’s son, Douglas, to the treehouse life in January 2019!

  • Emily Nelson

    CHIEF OF STAFF

    Emily received her Bachelor’s in Sociology with honors from the University of Washington. She joined Nelson Treehouse in 2012, bringing with her years of experience in business management and administration, partnership development, marketing, and e-commerce.

    Emily oversees operations of Nelson Treehouse projects and personnel and facilitates partnerships and planning for Treehouse Resort and Spa. She also founded and leads our online store for treehouse hardware, supplies, and lifestyle products.

    When Emily isn't running all things related to the family business, she can often be found chatting loudly with Pete on her parents' front porch with her dog, ToastyRoastyMunchyBun, and her husband, Patrick Willse. Emily and Patrick welcomed their son, Douglas, to the treehouse life in January 2019!

  • Henry Nelson

    CARPENTER

    After being refined at various educational institutions for the past few years, Henry, twin of Charlie, has officially busted onto the treehouse scene! A key member of the travel team and a night crew regular, Henry is quickly mastering building in the trees. Tasked with making all of the compostable toilets used in the treehouses, he is known for his signature Hank Tanks. When Henry is not busy swinging a hammer you can probably find him hucking a Frisbee out in the backyard or sporting a backpack and exploring the great Pacific Northwest.

    Read Henry's Staff Spotlight here.

  • Charlie Nelson

    CARPENTER

    Born into the world of treehouses, Charlie is Pete Nelson's son and one of the carpenters on our build crew. Growing up in, among, and dangling from trees, Charlie has enjoyed this unique perspective and thoroughly appreciates the effect treehouses have on the trees and on the people who interact with them. He has accumulated a broad set of treehouse building skills that he looks forward to passing on to future generations of treehouse builders, just as previous craftsmen have done with him. A trained guitar builder, he is also a recent graduate of a boat building program in Seattle.

WE’RE GLAD YOU’RE HERE!

Meet the whole Nelson Treehouse Crew, the people behind the magic you see.

GALLERY

CREATIVE
SPIRITS

Master Builders

Project Managers & Designers

  • Daryl McDonald

    PROJECT MANAGER

    Daryl was born in New England, then moved west with his family when he was 10. Growing up with a father who was a contractor, Daryl has been around building all of his life. While attending the University of Washington, Daryl met Pete through a mutual friend. More than 200 builds around the world later, Daryl lives and breathes treehouses. He also enjoys outdoor activities like snowboarding, mountain biking, and hiking with his wife, Nicola (whom he met at treehouse workshop!), and their faithful dog, Rusty.

  • Scott Atkins

    PROJECT MANAGER

    After 20 years of “ground house” building, Scott decided to take it to the trees! Born and raised not far from Fall City, Scott spent his childhood days in the woods constructing forts, rope swings, and hideouts. Now, many years later, he is feeling young again at Nelson Treehouse! As the son of an engineer, Scott is always looking for a creative way to find solutions. Scott's wife, Robyn, helped care for and teach the Nelson kids when she was a teenager, so things have truly come full circle. In his spare time, Scott can be found dodging the trees on his skis or backpacking among them with his son, Cedar.

    Read Scott’s Staff Spotlight here.

  • Toby Maloy

    PROJECT MANAGER

    Toby was introduced to woodworking in his father's shop and has been following that path in various forms ever since. He brings 25 years of building experience to Nelson Treehouse and Supply. Toby shares a love of gardening and the outdoors with his wife, Jennifer, and is kept on his toes by his son, Arrow, and daughter, June. Neko, Toby's trusty dog, often accompanies Toby to work.

    Read Toby's Staff Spotlight here.

  • Daniel Ash

    ARCHITECT

    Daniel received his bachelor’s in architecture with honors from Auburn University. He brings a decade of experience in both small-space vernacular design/build and long-term large-scale design projects like apartment buildings and high-rises.

    Daniel leads design on many of our corporate projects, such as the Alaskan mountain treehouse for Princess Cruises and the treetop workspaces on Microsoft’s corporate campus. His work has been published in Architectural Record, Metropolis, and Portfolio Design: Fourth Edition.

    Daniel began his Nelson Treehouse journey as an intern in 2006. When he’s away from his desk, Daniel makes furniture and art, cooks, spends an irresponsible amount of time outside, and hangs with his brilliant wife, Sandy, and grumpy hedgehog, Frenchy.

    Read Daniel's Staff Spotlight here.

  • Liz Watters

    STAFF ARCHITECT

    After a sunny five years of architecture school at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and Florence, Italy, Liz is excited to be back in the Northwest continuing her architecture journey amongst the trees. A love of art, travel, and the outdoors guides Liz’s path through life, and the treehouse world is the ideal new front for exploration.

  • Jamie Brett

    Jamie grew up in Snoqualmie valley and went to school for architecture. Her work experience is sprinkled with various kinds of architecture, design and construction types. In her free time, she travels as much as possible & enjoys doing photography. Jamie loves camping, snowshoeing and going on road trips. Really exploring anywhere her dog can join her...Jamie has been a staff member of the architecture team at Nelson since 2020. She is happiest surrounded by the smell of fresh cut wood & loves all tiny things. Like tiny houses! And tiny treehouses, of course.

  • Elaine Schreurs

    Office Operations Manager

    Elaine grew up as the daughter of an electrical contractor - her family moved to the Pacific Northwest upon her father’s retirement from the Navy. Elaine has been married for over 30 years to her husband, who is in the construction industry. They have four children and one fantastic granddaughter. Elaine brings a strong background in office management and travel organization to Nelson Treehouse. She and her family (which includes dogs, cats, and horses) have resided in the beautiful Snoqualmie Valley for nearly 35 years. Besides home, her favorite places to spend her time away from work are Makapu’u, Hawaii and Dungarvan, Ireland.

Visionaries

Carpenters

  • Dylan Rauch

    After finishing school in North Carolina, Dylan drifted to the West Coast, where he joined forces with the Nelson crew. Since then he's been roaming the country with a tool belt and an upbeat attitude, living the happy life of a treehouser. Thanks to his previous experiences in technical theater and mechanical fabrication, Dylan approaches treehouse building with powerfully creative perspective. And he can move things with his mind.

    Read Dylan's Staff Spotlight here.

  • Patrick Willse

    Patrick hails from tropical Cleveland and brings years of construction experience to the Nelson team. Patrick's first construction job entailed transforming a tired old building in his hometown of Rocky River into an artful brewpub. He went on to build skate ramps and run his own residential construction business specializing in outdoor living spaces. Patrick got hooked on the treehouse life by building a treehouse for his nieces and nephews. After meeting Pete at a local treehouse build in Ohio, Patrick relocated to the Pacific Northwest and joined the Nelson team. In addition to a dream job, Nelson Treehouse & Supply supplied Patrick with his dream bride: chief of staff Emily Nelson! Patrick and Emily welcomed their son, Douglas, to the treehouse life in January 2019!

  • Kevin Keppler

    Kevin grew up in New York and then moved to Florida with his family when he was in high school, where he spent his days surfing. He started building 15 years ago and quickly realized that building was his passion - particularly post & beam and finish work. Pete met Kevin in Vermont when he volunteered to work on the tree house build in South Newfane. He was hired on the spot! Kevin, his wife and daughter live Vermont with their dog, Max, and cat, Poppy. When he is home he  works on his own house (like all true carpenters ;), does masonry, works on his daughter's playhouse, grows vegetables & flowers in their garden, seeks out swimming holes and plays lots of badminton.

  • Ian Franks

    Ian Franks's most memorable childhood moments were spent building forts on his family's wooded lot just 15 miles from Fall City. Following his graduation from at the Evergreen State College in 2003, Ian decided he'd be happiest working with his hands. A heck of a fine woodworker, Ian has also done timber framing and straw-bale and cobb construction. A team member since 2012, Ian is known for his keen attention to detail and creative problem solving. When Ian is not building, he is likely coaching or playing rugby, his lifelong love.

  • Adam Cage

    Adam joined the Nelson team after taking a three-year (non)vacation building cell phone towers in Hawaii. Needless to say, Adam is not afraid of heights. An expert climber and exclusive member of Brothers Cage (members being John and Adam), he has quickly become a key asset of our travel team. A skilled pool player, Adam enjoys finding the local pool hall near all of our builds to play locals and dazzle them with his mad skills and sultry smile.

  • Rolf Hefti

    Rolf is a Swiss-born, Southern-scribed migrant who has set seed in the cedar forests of the NW and is pursuing the crafts of wood. Rolf is happiest spending time with his family, drawing, sawing, milling wood, and building. These labors keep him breathing with a smile.

  • Max McLaughlin

    Max grew up in Michigan and studied engineering in college. During this time, he learned that he really wanted to work with his hands in the great outdoors! He has a lifelong fondness for legos, tinkering with little projects, building forts in the woods, traveling and outdoor adventure pursuits. Max has been known to just "hit the road" - living out of a variety of vehicles seeking a diverse set of occupations. Max's work background is in trail + bridge building in national parks, farming, home remodeling/carpentry and sea kayak expedition guiding in the San Juan Islands. His hobbies include climbing/mountaineering/skiing/hiking the epic Cascade Mountains and volcanoes with his equally adventurous and awesome wife Sammy. They love rambling around the country in their off grid camper van that we designed and built out and lived full time in for a couple years, hanging out with our dog-child Gatsby!

  • Aaron Nelson

    Aaron has called Washington State his home for 42 years, a good run by any standard. He's been a stage and commercial actor and has traveled the country building pedestrian suspension bridges. When not building treehouses, you might find Aaron helping his friends move or repairing his comically fragile Volkswagen Vanagon. Aaron doesn't own any pets, is homeless, and is tragically single.

  • Jake Rouches

    Jake wants you to know that he can “seriously do anything.” That’s a pretty accurate statement, seeing as he does everything from leading tours at TreeHouse Point to packing orders for our treehouse supplies store to hauling lumber and driving forklifts. Jake grew up near our treehouse HQ and moved to Colorado to study at CU Boulder (and sharpen his skills on the ski slopes). Jake's happy to be back in the PNW and when he’s not doing anything and everything for work, he can be found skiing, golfing, or playing softball.

  • Jake McCauley

    Born in Montgomery, Pennsylvania,  a small town along the Susquehanna River, Jake spent a lot of his time growing up outside down by the river. Music and Art have always been an important part and eventually he went to Kutztown University to study painting and drawing. While there he worked at art galleries and ran a small gallery off campus, where he began to learn carpentry. After college his odyssey took him to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he worked on several crews doing everything from custom home building to restoration to full home renovations. He met Pete by chance at a Lucas Nelson (no relation) concert and after a great conversation was invited to help out on the build.  When he is not working he is most likely driving around the country, camping, rollerblading, picking his banjo or back in Pittsburgh making paintings in the studio.

  • Jordan "JP" Peterson

    JP grew up in Muskegon, Michigan and after high school started framing houses as a winter job. His can-do attitude, enthusiasm and great work ethic made him a star employee and he has been building ever since! In his free time, JP loves taking hikes with his pup - Belle - and playing disc golf, ultimate frisbee, watching sports and cornhole. But more than building treehouses, JP enjoys hanging out with family and friends.

  • Michael Hegarty

    Michael grew up on the east coast in Scituate Harbor where the grass is green and the air is crisp. He went on to study studied biology/pre-med in college but after graduation began to gravitate towards more creative work.  Eventually he found himself obsessed with anything related to woodworking or carpentry. Michael started out with sanding farm tables for an event rental company which evolved in to learning scenic carpentry to build custom installations for events. Before joining the Nelson Treehouse team, Michael worked for 6 years doing home remodels and focused on finish work. Quite the renaissance man, Michael enjoys fishing (including spearfishing!), diving, mountain biking, traveling, bombing hills on a longboard, writing music, building furniture & making art installations

  • Jennifer Washington

    Jennifer Washington hails from our beloved Fall City, Washington. She started woodworking in 2016 when she wanted nicer furniture but was unable to afford bespoke pieces. After living in San Diego for 10 years, Jennifer realized she missed the beautiful Pacific Northwest and moved back home in 2019. In her spare time enjoy watching movies, working on personal woodworking projects, and CrossFit.

@nelsontreehouse