JLC LIVE New England is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC


Talent Bios


Mike Sloggatt has more than 40 years’ experience in the trade starting  right out of high school in 1972, taking a short break to get his college degree before opening his own contracting business in 1979.  Mike is now semi-retired and is a consultant to builders, manufacturers & homeowners for challenging remodels near his home on Long Island. He is a contributor to the Journal of Light Construction and writes for Fine Homebuilding and Tools of the Trade. Mike has been the Frame-to-Finish (Rough) Carpentry presenter for the Katz Roadshow. He teaches seminars and clinics in all aspects of carpentry and remodeling all over the United States and is a regular presenter at JLC LIVE for the past 22 years, Remodeling Show and International Builders’ Show. When not on the road or enjoying his time with his grandchildren, you might find Mike & his wife Laura fishing the beaches of Long Island in their custom-built truck camper. 


Ryan Smith is a full-time framing carpenter who specializes in custom roof framing and cutting. Owner operator of Roof Cutters Inc. Ryan spends his days figuring and cutting complex custom roofs on some of the finest homes in his area Buffalo/Niagara Falls region of NY. (Western NY). Ryan has developed a system to figure and cut entire roof systems before all of the walls are built and stood! When he isn't cutting roofs systems and framing custom homes, he enjoys spending time with his 3 children and his wife. He enjoys hunting and fishing and also model aviation. "Always do the right thing even if no one will ever see it again " .


Without our stage manager Tom Brewer, the JLC LIVE building specialists would have a difficult time getting anything built. Brewer handles, maintains, and tracks all the materials the JLC LIVE presenters require for their demonstrations on the show floor.  Skilled with wood, fasteners and well-maintained tools, Tom is stage manager for the Katz Roadshow, traveling non-stop across the country. Not always behind the scenes, you can find Tom on stage at the Builders Workshop lending a very skillful hand to Mike Sloggatt.


The only thing Mike Guertin likes better than building new homes is remodeling old ones. After 35 years tackling every facet of residential construction from excavation and foundations to interior finish work and tile setting, he’s still challenged every day to find more-efficient ways to build things better. Mike has led hands-on building clinics and classroom presentations at JLC LIVE, Remodeling Show and DeckExpo, International Builders Show, International Roofing Expo and other construction trade shows and events across North America for the past 23 years on topics from roofing, siding, framing and deck construction, to kitchen remodeling, and high performance building.  He's written 3 books, over 180 magazine articles for the Journal of Light Construction, Fine Homebuilding, Professional Deck Builder and Tools of the Trade, and appears in dozens of videos.  Mike works hard and plays hard so don't be surprised if you bump into him above 10,000 ft. hiking through a mountain meadow; kayaking coastal bays or swift water rivers; or backcountry skiing in a remote forest.


Mike Kennedy of Mike Kennedy specializes in hand-carved tangent handrailing and custom stairs. His work can be found in some of the finest homes in New England. When not building fine stairs or carving handrail Mike enjoys building guitars, creating art and music, gardening, horseback riding, hunting, and just running around in the forest. Mike lives in Foster, Rhode Island with his wife and various animal friends.


Ben Bogie is a second-generation high-performance builder working as a project manager in CT and New York. He has a passion for the work he does that leads him to study his craft in an effort to push his skills forward in all areas of home building. His work has taken him from historical preservation of 18th century buildings to cutting edge high performance new construction.


Rick Arnold has been a hands-on builder for over 40 years. He has experience in both residential and light commercial construction.

Rick has been a contributing editor to Fine Homebuilding magazine as well as The Journal of Light Construction, Tools of The Trade and other publications. He is the author of books, articles, and videos of various construction topics.

For the last 25 years Rick has presented and taught at industry trade shows such as; The International Builders Show, The Remodelers Show, The Deck Expo, and JLC LIVE. He has also given seminars across the US for manufacturers as well as for organizations such as NAHAB, NELMA and the Western Red Cedar Association.



Myron is a fourth generation NYS Building Contractor, with 40 years as a drywall contractor. He is author of the bestselling book, Drywall; Professional Techniques for Great Results, (4th Edition), as well as a 1-hour companion video. When he is not getting his hands dirty with his drywall contracting company, he travels the country teaching drywall and related topics at trade shows, lumberyards, tech schools and construction companies.  Myron is BPI certified in building envelope and as a building analyst. He is also a green building verifier. Myron is currently helping the local Habitat for Humanity Affiliate as their construction manager. It’s a great fit for him in this position with all the years of experience he gained in the construction industry along with education from the construction management courses he took. Myron is a regular contributor to Fine Homebuilding, Journal of Light Construction, and Walls and Ceilings magazine.


Peter Heard is the owner of North Country Carpentry & Restoration, Inc. operating on the east end of Long Island, New York. More than 30 years, Peter has been restoring homes from the mid to late 19th century. Peter has built a solid reputation by satisfying the design and finish needs of purist homeowners.


Gary Striegler is the President of Craftsman Builders Inc., in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He has over forty years of experience as a home builder, trim carpenter, and occasional furniture maker. Gary has been a frequent contributor to Fine Homebuilding, The Journal of Light Construction, Tools of the Trade, and This is Carpentry, as well as starring in several how-to videos on trim carpentry, and teaching classes at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking.  Each year, he travels to Honduras and volunteers for construction projects with Mercy International.



Jon Namba is an independent industry consultant, trainer, and speaker. He is a past president of the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) Certified Professionals. His background includes roles as an installer, former World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) director of technical services and former Certified Flooring Installers (CFI) executive director.


Tony Blue earned a bachelor's degree in computer science. At his first job interview he was asked where he interned: "On a roof?" he answered. That experience during school breaks turned into a career as a roofer and remodeler (not a computer programmer) and he shares those experiences at his clinics.


Kassel Construction was born in Syracuse, New York in 2005 and has been a vibrant business since.  Although he loves new construction, Jeremy Kassel’s primary work is residential remodeling, with a customer-centric approach to jobsite-management and problem-solving.  He excels at building relationships with vendors, suppliers, and fellow tradespeople.  Jeremy resides outside Albany, New York with his wife and 2 daughters.  


Ross Trethewey is the founder and lead engineer of TE2 Engineering, as well as the Home Technology Expert on the TV show, This Old House and Ask This Old House.

TE2 Engineering is a consulting engineering firm that provides building energy analysis, mechanical, electrical and plumbing design, and renewable energy design for clients in both the residential and commercial markets. The company’s focus is high-performance HVAC design, renewable energy design and integrated smart home design.

Ross lives in the Boston area with his wife and two young sons. He learned to sail at an early age and loves to spend as much time on the water as possible.