Solaire Homebuilders

Future Minded. Custom Built. Your Legacy Builder.

Solaire Homebuilders

Future Minded. Custom Built. Your Legacy Builder.

“Every builder in Central Oregon has the opportunity to design and build a greener home but most of them do not make the choice to include energy-efficient methods in their homes, we do.”

– GEOFF & MARYLEA HARRIS, SOLAIRE HOMEBUILDERS OWNERS

Solaire Homebuilders owners, Geoff Harris and Marylea Harris

Founded in 1995, Solaire Homebuilders is Central Oregon’s original green homebuilder. We craft high-performance custom homes that use less energy, have healthier indoor air quality, and are cost comparable with homes built to standard code. Every builder in Central Oregon has the opportunity to design and build a greener home but most of them do not make the choice to include energy-efficient methods in their homes, we do. We specialize in Net-Zero and Net-Zero ready homes. As a low volume builder, we commit to a select number of custom homes each year so we can focus on our customer experience and the quality of each build. You deal directly with our small staff including our owner, Geoff Harris, for a very personalized experience. He has been building high-end custom homes since 2000. MaryLea and Geoff moved from Northern Virginia/DC suburbs to Bend in 2013 to raise their two daughters here in the beautiful PNW. Geoff has over 22 years’ homebuilding experience in construction, sales and customer service, management, and executive leadership. Geoff has LEED Accredited Professional certification and is an Earth Advantage Sustainable Homes Professional and MaryLea is an accredited ADU Specialist.

SOLAIRE HOMEBUILDERS

Our Founder’s Story

In 1988, Mike and Cindi O’Neil were starting over in Bend, Oregon. Cindi had left her position as the the Nature Conservancy’s Montana/Wyoming Land Steward helping to protect and preserve rare habitats and endangered wildlife. Mike, a lifelong carpenter, started working for a local production builder. The vision for Solaire (a combination of the words Solar and Air) happened when Mike told Cindi he wanted to build higher quality homes that were aesthetically pleasing. They convened a thinktank session with a group of local friends then went backpacking in the Three Sisters Wilderness to think about it.

Mike and Cindi O’Neil founded Solaire Homebuilders in 1995. The O’Neils have been pioneers and leaders in designing and building green and sustainable homes in Central Oregon. A few of Solaire’s accolades include having the first Net Zero Energy, Earth Advantage and LEED Platinum homes and the first installation of a Tesla power wall solar battery. Green builders were not the norm in the 1990s, Solaire’s ideas were unique and ahead of the curve – use traditional construction and framing techniques and higher standards than the Oregon Building Code to build sustainable homes that are more durable, healthier inside and use energy more efficiently while keeping costs down. Solaire set the green standard higher in Central Oregon meeting the Earth Advantage Institute’s green building standards in every Solaire built home since 2002 and they have been an Energy Star builder since 2006.

Mike held several certifications in green building including Earth Advantage Sustainable Homes Professional and National Association of Homebuilders Green Professional. He served as President of COBA (Central Oregon Builders Association) in 2005 and was the first to talk about why green building was the wave of the future in his inaugural address. Cindi sat on the board of the Oregon Environmental Council and they both have been very active in the Rotary Club of Greater Bend. Mike and Cindi loved the way Rotary is responsible with their fundraising efforts focusing their dollars directly on projects that help people both locally and internationally and Cindi is still an active member. In the past, they’ve been local sponsors for the Great Drake Park Duck Race, Pints for Polio and The Salmon Run fundraisers in Bend. They also participated several projects in Central Mexico to improve life for indigenous farmers and their families.

Mike will always be remembered as a generous and thoughtful man who gave tirelessly in service to his wife, Cindi, their family and his community. He was compassionate about giving back to others and a trailblazer for sustainable home construction here in Central Oregon. Mike will be greatly missed.

Mike O'Neil, Solaire Homebuilders Founder

MIKE O’NEIL, FOUNDER

Cindi O'Neil, Solaire Homebuilders Founder

CINDI O’NEIL, FOUNDER

SOLAIRE HOMEBUILDERS

Meet the Team

Geoff Harris, Solaire Homebuilders Owner

Geoff Harris

PRESIDENT

Geoff brings over 22 years of professional homebuilding experience to Solaire Homebuilders. With his broad background in construction, sales, customer service and executive leadership, he is excited to leverage all these disciplines to the benefit of our team and customers. Holding both LEED Accredited Professional and Sustainable Homes Professional accreditation, Geoff’s passion for energy efficiency, healthy buildings, and sustainability in construction will help honor Solaire’s legacy in the green-building space. Professionally, Geoff’s goal is to expand Net-Zero-Energy construction to as many builders and homebuyers as possible.

My WHY: To lead and support the people in my life so that together we push through adversity and achieve extraordinary things.

Geoff holds a BS in Agricultural Economics from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from George Mason University. In his spare time, Geoff enjoys making pottery, rehabilitating older properties with his wife, MaryLea, and all the outdoor recreational opportunities the Pacific Northwest offers. He lives in Bend with MaryLea and their two daughters.

Marylea Harris, Solaire Homebuilders Owner

MaryLea Harris

VICE PRESIDENT | BRAND MANAGER

MaryLea is a professional artist, real estate investor, and experienced social media/brand manager. MaryLea believes that a well thought out, carefully crafted home should be designed to maximize performance and comfort within a budget. She has been renovating and designing homes alongside her husband, Geoff, throughout their 27 years together.

In addition to managing the social media and marketing for Solaire, MaryLea is an experienced real estate investor. Her eye for design and passion for creating a healthy home environment has enabled her to renovate and manage successful investment properties and vacation rentals throughout Oregon. She loves working alongside Geoff and the team building Solaire’s legacy. She is a certified Earth Advantage ADU Specialist and trained in Dare to Lead.

MaryLea holds a BA from Sweet Briar College and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is an experienced fine artist with a demonstrated 25+ year history of working in the arts and art education industry. As a mother of two daughters and graduate of an all-women’s college, MaryLea believes in paying it forward to other young women in our community. She created the MaryLea Harris Scholarship for Women in the Arts, an annually awarded scholarship for a local high school student planning to study art, arts management, design, or arts education in college. In her free time, MaryLea enjoys gardening and fostering kittens for the Humane Society of Central Oregon. When she’s not posting about sustainable homes on Solaire’s Instagram, she can be found showing her artwork around Central Oregon and painting in her art studio with her rescue cats and retired racing greyhound, Georgia.

Kendra Schmidt, Solaire Homebuilders Operations Manager

Kendra Schmidt

OPERATIONS MANAGER

As Operations Manager, Kendra leads and supports nearly all aspects of the company. She has been with Solaire for over 10 years and has experience in every role at our company. She is Solaire’s main point of contact between our customers and our trade partners, especially during home design and selections. Selections are one of the most personal aspects of building a custom home. From picking paint colors, cabinets, countertops, floor coverings, fixtures, and finishes, the process can be overwhelming. Kendra works directly with every homeowner to navigate these design decisions, making the process as seamless and fun as possible.

Kendra keeps the Solaire team running smoothly; from leading our back-office operations to field project management, her calm presence, expertise, and friendly smile put all who meet her at ease.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, baking and finding new adventures in Central Oregon.

Kendra Schmidt, Solaire Homebuilders Operations Manager

David Sullivan

SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER

David has been building quality, high performance homes in the Pacific Northwest since 1999. Along with a wide range of construction experience and knowledge, he brings a passion for high performance building methods, energy efficiency, and design development. David also brings a unique perspective to project management with over 20 years of field experience in carpentry and trade relations.

My WHY: “What I enjoy most are the relationships developed with both clients and trade partners in the home building process and leaving the world a better place by valuing what we leave behind in the form of lasting, functional works of art.”

Originally from Virginia and North Carolina, David holds a BSBA in Accounting from Appalachian State University. When not on the jobsite or meeting with clients, you might find him riding mountain and gravel bikes, skiing in the backcountry, flyfishing or bird hunting with his favorite German Wirehaired Pointer, basically enjoying pretty much everything our Central Oregon climate and topography have to offer. On vacations and travel, you’ll likely find he and his wife Erin, with scuba tanks and flip flops exploring coral reefs or poking around some form of antiquity in the old country.

Kendra Schmidt, Solaire Homebuilders Operations Manager

Sam Rivera

PROJECT MANAGER

Sam has 25 years of building experience starting back when he was working construction at just 17 years old. He began with framing, drywall, and heavy equipment operation for new construction, office and warehouse spaces. While going to night school, he earned his BAS in Construction Technology from Siena Heights University. After graduating, he moved to Las Vegas and LA to work on high end commercial interior nightclubs, restaurants, and casinos. In 2015, he moved with his family to Bend for the outdoor lifestyle and a more intentional way of living while shifting his focus to homebuilding. Since moving to Bend, he has managed the building of over 200 single family homes and built and remodeled homes for local nonprofits. In 2022 he managed the building of St. Vincent transitional housing shelter development in SE Bend.

His positivity energy and creative leadership shines through all that he does. He earned the prestigious Avid Platinum award in 2022 for his commitment to providing customers with an exceptional experience with homebuilding. Sam is passionate about net zero building and finding ways to provide green homes that are affordable to all. Sam has a spark for life that is infectious and is a difference maker in companies, with projects and on teams.

Sam’s pride and joy is the neighborhood he built and lives in with his family. It is here where he is intentionally expanding his neighborhood into an ideal example of a strong, connected community where neighbors gather regularly and can depend on each other. In his spare time, he likes to crush challenging goals like riding a single speed bike 100 miles up mountains and tearing through the fresh powder on Mt. Bachelor. His wife and his two kids are the joy of his life.

Megan Bunday - Administrative/Project Manager Assistant at Solaire Homebuilders

Megan Bunday

ADMINISTRATIVE | PROJECT MANAGER ASSISTANT | PHOTOGRAPHER

As Administrative Assistant & Assistant to the Project Manager, Megan assists behind the scenes to keep each project running smoothly. She applies for permits & inspections, pays invoices, sends out work orders, handles billing, and, best of all, documents the home selections that each homeowner chooses for their home! Megan can be found putting her professional photography skills to work on our job sites and some client meetings.

Values and My WHY: Solaire is the first job I have had where I felt complete passion for what I do. I have been immersed in the homebuilding community my entire life. My father has been a successful Finish Carpenter since I was born. Visiting him on the job site regularly quickly developed my eye and passion for design. Being a part of a local Homebuilding Business that emphasizes eco-friendly living has been inspiring. Every step of the home building process is so exciting. To be a part of the journey of walking our clients through creating their dream home sparks so much joy in me! Building a custom home means to design your surroundings to support your personal lifestyle. When we are supported, we feel better, function better, and be better.

Born and raised in Bend, Oregon, Megan believes that quality of life stems from the way our home base makes us feel. Helping people create spaces that support and inspire them brings her the most joy! She holds an AAOT Degree from COCC. In her free time, Megan enjoys photography, interior design, organization, and creating systems of function and flow in the home. She’s building her own local photography business and enjoys flipping houses with her soon to be husband.

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