Sunday, December 8, 2013

Jeff Kramer Farewell

It comes with mixed blessings the announcement of my long time associate, friend, and amazing architect Jeff Kramer, who has announced that he’ll be taking some sabbatical  time from Candelaria Design and the architectural profession to spend time with his family and then will move on to follow some new pursuits and interests. After nearly 15 years with Candelaria Design and almost 30 years in the architectural profession it will be interesting to see where life takes him!
Jeff Kramer, Nancy Singer & John Schultz

Any of you who have had the privilege and honor of working with him or have had him as your Project Architect can understand my mixed blessings. On the one hand, I am so happy for him to have the opportunity to take the time to walk away and spend time with his family, reassess his goals and dreams, and venture onto a new path in life. On the other hand he will be a tremendous loss to Candelaria Design and our profession.  I will miss him and all the challenging projects that we conquered, the laughs we have shared, and all of the many amazing good times we shared together.

Jeff was one of my first employees when I started Candelaria Design coming on virtually from the beginning. I received a call one day from Interior Designer, Sandra Evans, with whom I had just finished a project. She wanted to know if I was looking for anyone and that she had an associate from Knoell & Quidort Architects who was looking for a new direction. I said sure have him call me, which he did, we spoke and met and I was struck by his mild manner, his thoroughness in thought, and of course his portfolio of work. We struck a deal and he was on board.

Barnhart Residence - Silverleaf - Nance Construction
One of the first projects we worked on was the Barnhart Residence in Silverleaf. This was the first house ever constructed there. We were the guinea pigs for the whole process and Jeff guided us through with his thoroughness and steady push forward and our first project together was on its way. Still one of my favorites, the Barnhart Residence has been used for Silverleaf ads and promotional material for years.  If any of you know Jeff, he is a tall guy! I remember when Mrs. Barnhart, upon meeting Jeff for the first time, expressed a reluctance to want to work with him. I assured her that by the end of the job you would want no one else. Of course now, Mrs. Barnhart has virtually adopted Jeff into their family! And that’s how every project went down!

Team Schochor 
What I love about Jeff is his integrity, his steady pace, his incredible attention to detail, his friendliness and kindness, and his uncanny ability to truly under-promise and over deliver. He is the best! His drawings are the best in town and his mentoring to all of us will be missed. Always one of the first to arrive and one of the last to leave, Jeff’s work ethic and dependability is unmatched. He always knew how to cool my jets when I would get a hot idea! He would raise those eyebrows and give me some words that would slow me down! But I have to say, I know Jeff enjoyed the ride we took together. It wasn’t always smooth but it has definitely been an adventure!

El Chorro Design & Construction Team - Desert Star Construction
O'Rahilly Residence - Silverleaf - Schultz Development
Peery Residence - Paradise Valley - Western Plains

Singer Residence - Paradise Valley - Schultz Development
We have worked on some amazing projects together. Probably, most notable is the El Chorro Restaurant and Bar. Jeff guided this through all the approval processes and through a tight construction schedule. Its already a true Arizona classic. Other great projects include the Hanley Residence in Paradise Valley which received a Gold Nugget Award from the Pacific Coast Builders Council for the best home in the country over 6500 sf. We worked together on the Peery Residence in Paradise Valley, for my good friend, Larry Peery. We just completed the Singer Residence in Paradise Valley which will definitely be one of our premiere projects. We worked with Schultz Development on several spec homes and customs in Silverleaf and we are just completing Construction Documents for a gorgeous home on the Paradise Valley Country Club and a home in Montecito, California just outside of Santa Barbara. Jeff's body of work at Candelaria Design adorns all of our books, ads and walls! But most importantly, Jeff's wit, charm, and kindness adorns all of our hearts. 
Team Hanley
Mark Candelaria, Jeff Kramer and Jerry Meek

Jeff will wind his last two projects up over the next few months and then will step out and onto a new path in life. What an absolute pleasure and blessing it has been to share a good portion of my professional life with a man who inspires me to not only be a better architect each day, but a better man. Jeff has a wonderful family, his wife Carmelle is a gem, and two amazing children, Jason who is attending ASU and his daughter, Rachel, who was just awarded a full scholarship for volleyball at the University of Florida.  Who would not want Jeff Kramer to be their father or husband - he is the best. I am happy to call him a damn good friend! I have no doubts he will continue to inspire excellence in whatever path he chooses and the doors at Candelaria Design will always be open to him!

Carmelle and Jeffrey Kramer


Unknown said...

Wishing you all the best in the next chapter of your life Jeff! We enjoyed reading Marks post on your collaboration and it sure looks like it has been an incredible journey! Many happy people living in their dream homes thanks to your combined talents and vision!

Rob Banach said...

I have had the opportunity to work with Jeff for about a year but in that year He has taught me a lot. He has been a huge help with getting me through the learning curve of the CDA process. I am very happy and excited for his new adventures in life. You will be missed Jeff!
Rob Banach

Tim Mathewson said...

I am excited for Jeff to continue to pursue his interests, although I will miss our animated daily interactions. Jeff has a wealth of knowledge that I will continue to draw from for years to come. He will be missed.

Robert Vieracker said...

It is with some regret to learn of Jeff's decision to take time away from CDA and the architectural profession. However having myself been in the business for about 30 year, certainly it is understandable. Furthermore knowing first hand how hard Jeff works, how persistent to detail and service to the client he is, sometime now with the family and personal endeavors is truly deserved. Jeff is a rare architect in my experience having mastered not only residential design and all of its nuances per each project he has worked on, but also understands the 'nuts and bolts' of home construction, issues associated with ever changing codes and zoning ordinances, and finally production of the very construction documents the home is to be built by. Jeff will be missed but it is gratifying to know he is seeking happiness for himself and his family. All the best Herr Kramer!

Vivian Ayala said...

Jeff and I started to work at Candelaria Design back in 2000 at about the same time, it was just a month apart. I felt for Jeff as he had to sit across the one person in the office that didn't quite speak English back then! But boy, I am glad it was Jeff the one seating across my desk as he took the time ( and believe me it was a loooong time) to train and help me to grow in this career and I will forever be grateful to the MASTER! Needless to say, I will miss Jeff every single day.

MThomson said...

Im very excited Jeff and thisnext chapter in what is already a very accomplished life. He will be greatly missed here at CDA!

Peter Ekama said...

Jeff has been a great mentor; he has a wealth of knowledge that he shares readily and clearly. I am glad I have gotten to work with him in our ever changing field. I will miss him being right around the corner when a question arises.
I definitely wish him the best in his new and well deserved adventure.

Peter Ekama said...

Jeff has been a great mentor; he has a wealth of knowledge that he shares readily and clearly. I am glad I have gotten to work with him in our ever changing field. I will miss him being right around the corner when a question arises.
I definitely wish him the best in his new and well deserved adventure.