Friendly and Approachable Staff
Here's a little bit about our process and how we work!
Felipe Franca, CEO & Business Partner
Felipe has always wanted to be a business owner, and entered construction by accident – literally. After a motorcycle accident, Felipe lost his “normal job” with FedEx. After several months, his pastor hired Felipe to work in his shop, and the process began. Expanding on his formal and “school of hard knocks” education as he built up work experience, Felipe found himself in a position to take over the design firm he worked for. With his brother-in-law, he gathered his financing and appropriate licenses and opened the doors of Palazzo Kitchens and Baths.
As the CEO of Palazzo Kitchens and Baths, Felipe is considered the brain of the business. He manages the field projects and scheduling, office designers and works closely with vendors to ensure the best products are delivered to his clients.
Felipe holds a Business Management degree and is working towards his Kitchen and Bathroom Designer certification with NKBA.
Away from Palazzo, Felipe considers himself a simple guy. His life is about his family (wife and three boys), outdoor activities (road biking and snowboarding), and playing the drums at his church’s worship ministry.
Jansen Freitas, CFO & Business Partner
Jansen has always been the money guy – since being the Monopoly banker as a child. Jansen describes the business partnership simply as, “I do paperwork, he [Felipe] takes care of people.” The balance works exceptionally well, which is quite fortunate as Jansen and Felipe are brothers-in-law as well a business partners.
Jansen is responsible for all financial activities at Palazzo, such as, banking, payroll, invoices and contracts, accounts payables, receivables, and many others.
Beneath Jansen’s quiet persona lies an avid drummer. Additionally, he is very active in his church, acting as Treasurer for the past several years.
Arturo Flores, Project Manager
After 14 years of commercial construction, Arturo expanded his work and interests towards interior design and remodeling homes, which led him to Palazzo where he found his new passion in perfecting luxurious kitchen and bath designs.
With over 25 years of construction experience Arturo is in charge of the field operations, making sure projects are on schedule, as well as following a thorough quality control system. Arturo is the liaison between clients, field workers and the office.
Art spends his time off with his family and friends, enjoying family BBQ’s and quality time with his loved ones. He also likes listening to music and catching up on his latest shows.
Kiersti Matejka, Interior Designer
Kiersti puts her artistry and BA in Interior Design to work for Palazzo doing design, project management, and generating architectural drawings.
Like most of the Palazzo staff, Kiersti loves being outdoors – especially backpacking, hiking, and rock climbing. No matter the demands of work or home ownership, her family – a great example of “only in America” – features prominently in Kiersti’s life. (Kiersti is both a first generation American and a sixth generation resident of Crockett, California.)
Odie Cruz, Certified Kitchen and Bathroom Designer
An artist at heart, Odie earned his Architectural degree in the Philippines before immigrating to the United States. He started out as a draftsman for a custom cabinet shop before moving to a high-end kitchen and bath showroom where he honed his skills and attained his certification as a Kitchen Designer from the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Since joining Palazzo, Odie has expanded his skill set to the design of “practically any internal space” of a house. Odie’s architectural experience helps him combine the feel of the home with the needs and desires of his clients in all of his designs.
Odie spends his off time wood working, experimenting with different media in his paintings, and watching cooking shows – the perfect mix of his passion for cooking and his career.
Jerry Johnson, Interior Designer
After earning his business degree at UC Berkeley, Jerry went to work for a friend who inherited the family remodeling business. He enjoyed the work as well as the creativity involved with helping people design their remodeling projects. After 25 years in the industry, Jerry has designed, estimated, and managed kitchen and bath remodels, room additions, renovations, and many other home improvement projects.
Jerry balances his work with plenty of physical activity, cooking, and travel.