Steve has established his career within the architecture industry over the past 17 years with the last 8 years establishing and growing Distinctive Design Studio to a multi-disciplinary architecture firm. Starting with passion, Steve strives to create lasting impressions on all of his client’s lives. Whether it is designing a small space or an entire building, Steve listens and understands what his client’s challenges are and provides creative and unique solutions that fit their lifestyle. This has given him a reputation for creating unique, memorable, and long-lasting designs. When he is not working he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, traveling the world, and woodworking.
JASON AHRENS AIA
Jason is known for quality designs that are superior performing, cost conscious and holistically thought through. Clients trust his ability to take a job from schematic drawings through construction documents by working through every detail, ultimately ensuring a lasting building. Outside of the office, Jason enjoys trivia night and tending to his garden with his family.
Tim’s greatest strengths are his attention to detail and strong communication skills. He also has strong design skills with extensive knowledge of structural building components and construction phases. This allows him to excel in client relationships as he works through the challenges of our firms unique designs. When not at work, Tim enjoys time with his wife and son watching movies and driving through the countryside.
JAKE JACOBSEN AIA
An Architect, licensed in multiple states including Wisconsin, Jake’s design ethos is best described as a constant striving for the most elegant solution. He works toward this goal by being client focused and keenly aware of the balance between the project requirements and maintaining a reasonable budget and schedule throughout the project. Jake brings ten years of Architectural experience, primarily in commercial and municipal projects. Jake’s wide range of experiences include service in the Air Force and several years as a general contractor prior to entering the field of Architecture. He, his wife, and their daughter enjoy restoring and racing vintage cars as well as widely varied travels.
Adam is a master at bringing drawings to life for our clients. By modeling and animating our projects, he creates an immersive atmosphere that feels like real life. Adam can take clients into a new building where he highlights the architecture, scale, color, textures, and movement, all before construction begins. Outside of work, Adam is an avid movie watcher, he can recite almost any movie line. He also enjoys spending time vacationing with his wife and two daughters and a dog.
With 25 years of experience, Erich has had a vast career with a wide variety of building typologies. Beginning his career early on, while attending The University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Erich started as an office assistant blending into a role as a designer, working extensively in site planning for senior and multifamily housing developments. Upon graduation, he spent time working in the K-12 Education and Municipal sectors, while developing a solid knowledge of the International Building Code. Continuing with municipal work, Erich was able to cultivate client relationships and worked into a Junior Architect role—all while attending weekly job meetings for a 6-story Student Residence Hall and acting as the primary contact on a LEED Gold EMS training facility in the western part of the state. These opportunities propelled Erich to a management role on projects in the Green Bay area, which included several historic preservation projects before moving back to the Fond du Lac area to raise his daughter around their extended family. In his free time, Erich enjoys spending time with his daughter, visiting with family, running to dance classes, and swimming lessons. He also enjoys continuing his education, whether it be attending classes on technologies or broadening his knowledge of the building sciences and design.
JOEL COSME HERNANDEZ
Joel has a vast experience in Revit, helping him create architectural plans as well as 3D models. His comprehension of structural components allows him to understand how a building is constructed. As a recent graduate, working at Distinctive Design Studio has helped him expand his creativity and knowledge. Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his family playing games and being outdoors. He also enjoys being active by running, playing soccer, and volleyball.
MARY GRUNOW CKBD
Kitchen & Bath Specialist
Mary has a vast 25+ years of experience working in interior millwork and cabinetry design reaching across southeast Wisconsin. With a focus on educating the client and working to incorporate detail and function to any space, Mary’s creativity and passion makes every project a success. Her natural ability to establish deep, long lasting relationships makes our clients know their concerns are heard and being cared for. In her free time, Mary enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, dog, and family.
Angie enjoys meeting new people and listening carefully to discover how to create innovative, elegant, and thoughtful design solutions, that will exceed expectations. She believes a good design starts with problem solving. One of her favorite parts of the design process is drawing floor plans and 3D renderings to help bring her clients visions to life. Art and creativity is something that follows through into her personal life as well, in the form of music and photography. She also enjoys playing the piano, singing, and dancing. As an amateur photographer she likes to capture the big moments for her friends and family in addition to her love of photographing nature and architecture. Angie spends the majority of her personal time enjoying life with her husband and family, taking trips, watching movies, and even playing video games.
Wendy is a creative with a well-trained eye for quality, craftmanship, textiles, furnishings, and timeless design from an international perspective. Her work has been strongly influenced by her childhood in Spain, her life in South America, and her travels throughout Europe. She loves listening and truly getting to know her clients to gain a complete understanding of their needs and expectations and then brings the design to life with 3D interiors and photorealistic renderings. Every day, Wendy balances work with spending time with her husband and children, creating art, and enjoying a good cup of coffee.
Amber got her Bachelors Degree in Interior Design from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Prior to joining the Distinctive Design Studio team, she worked as a commercial fire protection system designer for various MEP companies over 7 years. She is excited to bring her previous construction knowledge along with her creativity and willingness to learn to DDS. In her free time, she enjoys using her creativity to renovate houses, draw, and paint. Amber also enjoys playing volleyball, going to concerts, and spending time with friends and family.