Future Minded. Custom Built. The Legacy Builder.
Future Minded. Custom Built. The 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
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.
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 love the way Rotary is responsible with their fundraising efforts focusing their dollars directly on projects that help people both locally and internationally. They’ve been local sponsors for the Great Drake Park Duck Race, Pints for Polio and The Salmon Run fundraisers in Bend. They’ve also participated several projects in Central Mexico to improve life for indigenous farmers and their families.
MIKE O’NEIL, FOUNDER
CINDI O’NEIL, FOUNDER
Meet the Team
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.
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 20+ year history of working in the arts and crafts 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 her 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, showing her artwork around Central Oregon, painting in her art studio, and fostering kittens for the Humane Society of Central Oregon.
DIRECTOR OF CONSTRUCTION
Caleb Neff is a home building professional with 15 years’ experience in all types of home building. Caleb brings a wealth of construction knowledge, cost management, and customer service skills to the Solaire team. His experience in building efficient floor plans and managing build costs adds value to Solaire’s customers’ projects. As the Director of Construction, he is responsible for all construction schedules, build quality, inspections, budgets, and trade partner relationships. He has been recognized multiple times for having the highest quality standards. Caleb’s focus on quality and customer satisfaction has earned him industry recognition multiple times. He is a great facilitator who gives a lot of himself to support those around him so they can achieve their goals.
Caleb holds a BS from Oregon State University. In his free time, you’ll find Caleb spending time with his family, playing tennis, strength training, gardening, BBQing, watching the Portland Trail Blazers, and sipping high quality bourbon. Caleb lives in Redmond, Oregon with his wife, daughter and their Mini Goldendoodle, Sunny.
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.
ADMINISTRATIVE | PROJECT MANAGER ASSISTANT
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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