Christopher Herr - Principal
Christopher Herr is the founding principal of Collaborate Builders. A Renaissance man of sorts, with degrees in architecture, music, and acoustics, Christopher operated as a very successful architect for 20 years with his own firm, Studio HT, while also playing French Horn in a number of symphonies on the side.
Christopher’s impressive architectural abilities resulted in the winning of several American Institute of Architects Design Awards, and also including his being named Young Architect of the Year while at Studio HT. Later, he also did a stint with a large Denver architectural firm, working on huge municipal projects and public buildings before making the decision to become a builder himself. He subsequently accepted an offer from a luxury custom home-building firm in Denver and for a time led their building operations expansion into the Boulder market. Eventually, all those experiences contributed to his decision to launch his own building company, Christopher Herr Builders and later Architectural Builders. Those firms were the foundation for what ultimately became Collaborate.
If BMW is the ultimate driving machine, Christopher is the ultimate organizer of details and systems. And despite being a unique intellect, his clients all find him to be humble, affable, personally engaging, and very easy to work with.
His talents and prior accomplishments fuel Collaborate’s efforts to achieve a very high-minded goal – namely to change the process of custom building from one that’s characterized by stress, disappointment, and horror stories to one that’s focused on being on-time, on-budget, and at a great price.
Dean Thedos - Principal
Dean is a ruthlessly disruptive thinker with a 25-year history of delivering innovation to the organizations he’s been involved with. An iconoclast who’s always looking for a better way to do things, Dean’s long experience in building and development has produced over half a billion dollars of worth of successes, with projects featured in the NY Times, NBC News, London’s Royal Academy of Arts, Huffington Post, Metropolis Magazine, The Denver Post and others. His keen communication and market instincts help keep us all focused and moving in the same direction.
Dean is the keeper of our visionary flame, our motivational head coach, and the guy who always makes sure we keep score when it comes to our performance.
Dean graduated, with honors, from the University of Notre Dame with degrees in Bus Mgt. and Economics. (Fun Fact: While working on a Masters in English at Michigan State, he worked as a graduate assistant with the basketball program on the teams that included Magic Johnson – later also serving on the coaching staffs at UCLA, Northwestern, and San Jose State.)
James Casanova - Principal
Possessed of a deep well of construction knowledge from which to draw, James commands a savant mastery of everything that happens on a construction site. His instincts, combined with the credentials and technical mastery that his architectural degree delivers to the equation, results in a rare combination of available skillsets out in the field.
Impressive as that combination of abilities is, perhaps equally as valuable is James’s utter unflappability in the face of problems. His sense of calm, born out of confidence and competency, translates to those around him when it matters most – when everyone else around him is surrendering to the pressure. In another life, we are sure that James would be a Top Gun fighter pilot, the one whom everyone wants as their wingman!
James completed both his undergraduate and architectural degrees at the University of Colorado and then worked as a practicing architect for several years before returning to his first love of physically making things.