Our Team

Heritage Salvage runs like a well oiled machine – much like the Wizard of Oz, HS is a rerun, repurposing, re-using, reclaiming and re-invigorating with the rekindled brain of a Rusty Scarecrow, the transplanted heart of the Tin Woodsman and the Mustered Courage of the Cowardly Lion – we’ve got old wood, and it still works good!

Michael Bug Deakin, Editor-in-Chief

Michael Bug Deakin, a British Columbia native, built his first home out of reclaimed materials in 1970, and that was just the beginning. Along the way he has planted trees, designed, built and remodeled custom homes, boats, movie sets, rock walls, gardens, parade floats, tree forts, dog houses, ship models, furniture and a splendiferous array of art forms from repurposed materials. As a member of Ivy Deakin’s story telling family of 10 children, everything was re-used and recycled, especially all the great stories. Bug takes to heart the story and origin of the buildings, people and materials that make their way in and out of the Petaluma yard. With relentless focus on sustainable enthusiasm and talking story, Heritage Salvage has become a center of creativity and sustainability. As he waltzed his way through years of planetary wanders and events of wonder, he learned from many teachers and was affected by design without limits. From an Amazon Tree house to a Japanese Teahouse, a Balinese Birdhouse, a Driftwood Palace and the pleasing decay of a Western Barn, every nuance notched its niche. Bug’s passion is the art and reward of re-purposing, re-using, and recycling as a part of a sustainable way of life. Teaching others to see the beauty in what is here, sharing treasures and stories of the past, and sharing the joy of turning old, sometimes falling down, structures into beautiful new things fuels each day. Just as in the Deakin family, there is always enough to share, and Heritage Salvage goes out of it’s way to help those that need it and those that help others. Michael Bug has a sprawling enthusiastic family in British Columbia, including a fabulous Daughter Suzy and two grandsons in Salmo!

Chris Cheek, Professor D'Art

Chris Cheek is a veteran art teacher who has done everything from graphic art to ceramics to stagecraft. He also established and ran an art supply store for 9 years. He likes to find inanimate objects and make things out of them that speak loudly, profoundly and sometimes humorously. He sees that working with old wood is much like lapidary only bigger, as beautiful colors and textures are revealed beneath a weathered exterior. Chris can be found helping customers design and find their perfect piece or still working on this slab with a hand saw! He has also been seen cavorting backstage at MOMA!

Dave Rawson, Master Welder

Dave Rawson is our talented and creative steel fabricator. When Dave is not busy working on a custom steel project he is dreaming up some imaginative concoction. From delicate steel roses to unique table bases, his work is sure to catch your eye. Dave is also a "" kind of guy. He is a steel oasis in a wooden jungle! He also heads south of the border at least a couple times a year and volunteers to help build housing. What a guy!

Heather Gallagher, Head Designer

Heather Gallagher started out here sweeping floors, sanding painting etc. Then she began the process of hatching a beautiful sprite Athena so she switched to our green gardener and bee keeper. Heather and Chris Cup brought Athena (aka Sally Salvage) in to our world and being surrounded by Heritage Salvage's lumberyard wonderland, Heather soon discovered a love for wood and developed a keen eye for design that came naturally. She is now our head designer. Heather loves collaborating with people making their wood furnishing dreams a reality. She is a natural Earth Mother and a compassionate people person.

Karen Dondero, General Manager

Karen is our General Manager, Mother Hen and the Glue of HS . She enjoys creating environments, putting things together, and helping others. She brings over fourteen years of experience with a custom furniture company, many moons with HS and a love for salvaged wood to our family. Customer and design oriented, Karen can guide you to find or create what you need. Have her draw your idea on a bar napkin and our artists can build it for you. Karen lives in Petaluma and can be found enjoying her world famous Mai Tais on weekends by the pool. (We have not found out whereshe hides the pool when we come over!)

Lynn Wallace, Marketing & Business Development

Lynn weaves proven marketing skills with the new world of social media to position your business advantageously. With these skills and a network of connections, Lynn has helped Heritage Salvage increase market awareness with a vigorous PR campaign. We are pleased she has moved her home and office to Petaluma, the Green Gateway to Sonoma County. Her spirit is contagious! Lynn is also creating a magical book called "Dance Me Home" and we are looking forward to hosting a book signing in the spring!

Mouser, Mouse Catcher

Mouser is a vegetarian and is generally a scaredy cat but if you can get her to warm up to you she's the sweetest cat you'll ever meet. She is Yard Cat, knows all the sunning spots, never even bothered chasing a mouse - probably reacted to my presumptive naming!

Tresea Helbing, Office Manager

Tresea makes sure everything at the Heritage Salvage office runs smoothly and efficiently. She takes care of business, keeps us laughing while she sorts our needs and juggles all the requests while she files them in the right cabinet or marries them to the designated designer! She is the friendly voice that greets you on the phone and the welcoming face you see when you visit our showroom. We would be a shadow of ourselves without her! We would also be short on morning pastries if she didn't show. We love our Mrs T!

Chris "Cup" Raby, Yard Dog

Father of Athena and manager of all things yard. Cup's can-do attitude is infectious on our 3 acre spread. His abilities far surpass his job description. Whether you want something special, something done SOON, something out of the ordinary or something found in the stacks, he's your guy! Champion attitude, miller, juggler and forklift driver. He's got the guns baby!

Regulo, Lead Craftsman

Reggie's sincere approach and ever present smile bring a genuine crafty demeanor to how things get done around here. Reggie is a very important cog in the custom furniture department of Heritage Salvage. I have known Reggie for many moons. He greases the skids and keeps a pace!

Kyle Gendle, Delivery, Deconstruction and Steel

Our talented musician, driver, steel bluer and all around great smile. He puts the miles on the flatbed and our clients love seeing his grinning countenance drive up their driveway. He's put a little muscle on those bass playing arms since he joined the troops at HS!

Mike O'Brien, Head of Shop

What to say. Mike journeyed all the way from New Mexico just for the job interview. it was one of the best things we did. This man is a master craftsman and we love having him run our shop! We love what he does and we even catch him smiling once in a while. This guy can craft anything in wood!

Ross Friedrich, Design and Sales, Graphic and Techno Whiz

Ross started out in our San Francisco location. His abilities and enthusiasm soon struck a chord with our crew. We now get to see him more often than that. Great to have his willing attitude and learning curve on our team. Whether it is a quick graphic need or a techno glitch he jumps in to the fray!

Sebastian Nau, Videographer,editor, sound studio, commercial accompaniment and lead-singer.

Sebastian and i go way back - from a 2010 meeting at the pyramid party with Hillside Fire to countless commercials, then a change to Highway Poets, over 50 videos, 2 songs and a gazillion personal appearances C-Bass does so many things. My little but much taller brother is family!!

Steve Woodward, Il Postino, the Deconstructionist!

Ask Steve about this Yosemite water tank when you get a chance. Since the day i met him at the Union in Occidental where John Wagner held court, i have enjoyed his enthusiasm, his company and the many things he undertakes. Steve is working on growing our merry band of dismantlers where od buildings come down to live another day!