Design Headquarters (Our Team)

Get to know our team.

Made up of so many distinct personalities, talents, and penchants for humour, we are truly lucky to have a team that makes the office bursting with fun.  It makes coming to work more like coming to a Sunday family dinner (meatball throwing and all).  At the end of the day, the poking, joking, prodding, and general silliness all lead to extraordinary creations — because while you may get some spaghetti sauce in your hair — the team is dedicated for sure!

Meet the combined Paul Lafrance Design & The Deck Store team (in no particular order of muscle size, joke-telling or food-throwing ability):

The Masterminds

Paul LafrancePaul Lafrance – “It’s all about how it makes you feel.”

Meet Paul Lafrance, creator, owner, and CEO of Paul Lafrance Design. With nearly twenty years of generating innovative and state-of-the-art custom deck designs, he is no stranger to the decking and landscaping world. He has successfully designed and built over a thousand decks across Southern Ontario — plus, he has designed thousands more across Canada and the U.S.A.. Paul has recently expanded his design firm to include all of North America, greatly broadening the frontier for his custom designs. With designs that are always original, each project offers its own uniqueness and the beauty that has come to define a Paul Lafrance Deck…read more

Janna (Team)Janna Lafrance – Wheel turner/Lover of Sushi, Sunshine, and of course, Paul!

Meet Janna Lafrance, co-founder and CAO at Paul Lafrance Design. Married to Paul and older sister to Joey and Josh, she considers herself to be secretly responsible for all things impressive and humorous about Paul Lafrance Design. She’s normally behind the scenes, administrating and keeping the wheels of the organization turning, although periodically she will make appearances at Paul Lafrance Design and Decked Out events, particularly if there is sushi or sunshine involved.

The Design Wheels

SSteve (Team)teven Williams – Head of Design Sales/Technological Savant

Steven Williams, Head of Design and Sales at Paul Lafrance Design, has been with the company for many years. He’s worn many hats (literally and figuratively), from carpenter, to production manager, to general manager, and has excelled at everything he has put his hand to. A couple of years back, he discovered his affinity for drafting and design and has played a significant role in the Paul Lafrance Design migration to the new design software, “DeckWorks“, which boasts state of the art 3-D technology. A multi-talented individual, he has a reputation for humour, hard work, talent, and general stealth-like maneuvers, and is an absolute asset to the Paul Lafrance Design team!

Sam (Team)Sam – Finance/Marketing/Project Coordinator

Balancing the books is Sam’s specialty and she has been a fantastic asset to Paul Lafrance Design with her number-crunching wizardry. She also a marketing whiz! Between wrangling the budget and keeping day-to-day office operations running smoothly, she keeps the entire company in line with her quick British wit and quirky sense of humour, which is quickly rubbing off on the rest of the team.  Sam also is our manager of customer and vendor relations, keeping on top of client care and being the point person for the companies that we work with.

Josh (Team)Josh – Senior Design Consultant/Closet Mad Scientist

Josh brings a high level of skill and mathematical genius to the team. He is a design concept artist, as well as technical wizard and a teacher. Josh supervises the Paul Lafrance Design team and tries his best to inspire budding new PLD superstars. He spends a lot of time silently working, pondering the meaning of life, and honing his exceptional musical talents in piano, guitar, and more!

Gemma (Team)Gemma – Social Media & Project Coordinator/Weekend Warrior

Gemma is behind all the great posts, tweets and blogs that have gained 1,000’s of followers. She’s also our “go to” person when computers and brains freeze simultaneously! In other words, she knows her way around a hard drive, speaks “software”, and generally assists when her co-workers are ready to smash, drop-kick, or launch their lap-tops into another galaxy! Gemma is also a skilled CAD draftsperson and lends a helping hand to the other designers, keeping the department running smoothly. On weekends, she can be found battling in the forests of Ontario with a broadsword, wearing some kind of medieval body armour.

Shuja (Team)Shuja – Design Consultant

Shuja is a whiz with CAD, Vectorworks, and a number of other drafting programs, which combined with his skills as a designer make his contribution to the Paul Lafrance Design team vital. He also has a background in project management, which is a great asset to the team. Shuja frequently unwinds by taking long walks and delighting his friends & coworkers with his passion for the culinary arts! Maybe that’s how he works so well under pressure.

Robert Hodichak – Senior Design Consultant

With over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, branding and design, Robert really knows his stuff. A graduate of Mohawk College’s graphics design program, his journey into the land of outdoor living spaces started in 2005, when he was given the opportunity to join a startup company specializing in artificial grass called AGL. Known more at the time for sporting applications than residential projects, Robert led the charge into the commercial/residential marketplace, a venture that has yielded tremendous results.

Lawrence Winterburn – Design Consultant

Lawrence is a Woodwork Design Expert. He is well respected in the deck industry with designs featured in the Toronto Star, Canadian House and Home, Canadian Living, Southern and Coastal Living, Fine Homebuilding and even HGTV and even has his own brand of DIY plans. With 30 years of actual building experience, every project he oversees is built to last. Lawrence is ready to craft magic in your patch of heaven.

Stephanie Brodie – Design Consultant

With years of experience in many areas of design, Stephanie is well rounded in the field of outdoor design. With Graphic Design, Landscape, and Construction and Material experience, she applies all of her knowledge to her designs. Stephanie enjoys working with clients and developing relationships that make for a great experience in the design and build process. She is grateful to work with such a great team that comes together to create outstanding projects.

Chuck Zhou – Design Consultant

“I can help to change people’s lifestyle and improve their outdoor living space at the same time. Each completed project and satisfied customer fills me with a very strong sense of accomplishment.”

Olga Prokopchuk – Design Consultant

Olga is a bright and cheerful design consultant and an integral part of our design team. She is detail oriented and very attentive when creating a design that works for the customer’s needs and desires but also within their budget. Clients love working with Olga as she becomes their advocate and friend ensuring that the project comes to completion to exceed their expectations. While young, Olga has plenty of industry experience and an excellent knowledge of materials and building practices.

Megan Willekes – Senior Design Consultant

With over 15 years of design & sales experience Megan found her love of design and passion for outdoor living spaces when working with renowned landscape architect Ron McCarthy. Megan worked with landscape architects and designers across the GTA educating them on McCarthys product Borrowed Spaces, a high end furniture quality modular panel system used to create screens structures and fences.

Mike Field – Design Sales Consultant

The Construction Crews

Joey (Team)Joey – Carpenter/Eye Candy

Born in Port Perry, Ontario, where he spent his younger years as the second youngest of eight siblings, Joey is no stranger when it comes to dealing with different personalities. Growing up he had a knack for drama, athletics and carpentry, so it is perfectly fitting that he is one of the most easy going, hilarious and talented carpenters in the industry. In Joey’s self-proclaimed “peak physical condition,” he is more than just eye candy. For nearly ten years he has proven to be an irreplaceable asset to Paul Lafrance’s team.

Dave (Team)David – Carpenter/Avid doer of ‘The Robot Dance’

A North York, Ontario native, following in his father’s footsteps, David has become a skilled carpenter with a very slapstick sense of humor. You never quite know what to expect from him. He’s been working for Paul, starting as his youngest lead hand, for about a decade. His leadership skills were recognized early and he was quickly entrusted with his own crew. David has a passion for music and is a talented drummer. He evidently also has a passion for dancing the robot, which he unfortunately does not hesitate to perform as often as possible. His skill and expertise should not be underestimated, and anyone who knows him will tell you when it comes to carpentry he is wise beyond his years.