Christy Johnson


“I have been a licensed architect for over 20 years now and I have had the great opportunity and experience of working for a Midwest premier architectural firm in Minneapolis, which was an amazing part of my career. But when it hit home to my husband and me that we really wanted a rural lifestyle, we moved to this North Country and I opened my own firm. But after 15 successful years I found myself missing the camaraderie and teamwork that a larger company offered. And then came the opportunity to work at Lands End. I had toured some of their homes and my appreciation for their work had been very high. As we worked out the details of my coming aboard, I realized I had found my career “home” right here. I enjoy the sense of teamwork and the appreciation of function and beauty I find here. The success of our homes is the fruit of the great creative energies and teamwork that come together here at Lands End.”

Priscilla Balmer

Office Manager

“It’s with great intention that our business not only is partially family-owned, but that we operate as a close and caring family, too. Growing our personal families and this family of Lands End, we try to perform each day with the Golden Rule. We interpret this to mean that we care for our client needs as though they were our own. My grandchildren, gardening, craftwork and guitar keep me busy when I’m not in the office, but when I’m at work, my mission is keeping the office running smoothly so that everyone else can focus on pleasing our customers.”

Brian Engen

Partner: Estimating/Accounting

I’m a registered CPA with a degree in accounting. My job is to keep everyone on the same page regarding the financial aspect of every home we build. I owe it to our clients to be as transparent as possible when accounting for every dollar spent. There should never be any surprises at the end of a project. The trust and confidence our customers give us is highly regarded. I feel that what has built this business… Lands End Development, is that everyone here is up front and communicates clearly. Being a life-long resident of Crosslake, I truly care about the community in which my family has been involved for as long as I can remember. I live here with my wife and children in a restored 150-year-old hand-hewn log farmhouse. I understand “the dream” of creating a home.

Matt Balmer

Partner: Sales and Marketing

“What’s my ‘claim to fame?’, I really want to believe it’s honesty. It’s the word that means the most to me and what I want our business to be based on. I had been raised to understand that in the end, only kindness matters. This means that running the business is much more fun when you strive to make those around you – employees and customers alike – feel good about their environment and that you genuinely care about any concerns they may have. I guess it’s the ‘What goes around, comes around’ theory. What makes me happiest is time with my close and loving family, but here at Lands End, it’s knowing that my clients are getting the best value possible on their biggest investment of all – their home. What makes our business different on the face is the ‘cool factor’ that we design into our homes – the designs, the ultimate functionality. But at the heart of it all is that we try to be as honest with each other and especially our homeowners. It’s just the right thing to do.

Jon Fogarty

Partner: Project Coordinator

The other partners and I have been very good friends for so many years. I think this is why our clients feel confident in our work. They sense the close teamwork that goes into building their home. Each of us have our own skill sets and talents, but when they all come together with the client’s goals in mind, it’s really fun to see the quality that comes out of it. At home it’s all about my wife and children, and I do enjoy crafting furniture and cabinetry, But here at work, I’m the dot-connector. I see to it that no detail escapes. They call me the ‘get-it-done-guy’. I like that. Lands End has consistently been the forefront in our region, designing and building very leading edge homes. But I really think that the reason we win so many clients is because they see that we mean it when we demonstrate true value. Word gets around that we earn our client’s trust and confidence. I wouldn’t change anything about our company. Just knowing that everyone here is doing their very best at building the highest quality homes within the budget established, keeps us busy and happy.

Jeff Hoagland

Operations Manager

“I’m from Pequot Lakes originally, so it feels right working for the best homebuilder in our region. Through my work experiences with cabinetry, custom door construction, and finish and trim carpentry, I have had everything you can imagine thrown at me. But when you work with a team like we have here, you always just know that together we find the best way to resolve any issue. I’m the guy who walks through the completed home with the new owners, and I’m the guy who sees to it that these new owners are happy with every detail. I’d much rather be out in the field working with our crews and making customers happy than sitting behind my desk, but I guess that’s where many of the details come together. Everyone at Lands End is so down to earth and honest. I am really proud of being a part of the success of this company, and hope to continue doing so for many years to come.”

Field Staff

Talented Technicians & Artisans

The reality of Lands End beautiful homes can only be achieved with the most talented technicians and artisans. Because of our reputation for building the most creative homes in our region, we have had the great fortune to attract the best in the business. Our field staff has significant mutual trust and confidence in each other. This is the cornerstone of true teamwork and the essence of effective group effort. The pride we have in our homes comes through these craftsmen and women.

Cole Engen

Project Manager

“Even though it was my lucky day to have Brian as my uncle, I'm reminded that the reason I really got this job is because I have so much passion about what I do. Being a Project Manager is a very demanding job. It requires the use of everything I learned in graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College in Business Management, and my experience as a trim crewmember here at Lands End.

I grew up here in the Crosslake area, so I feel like I know the region and lifestyle really well. I look forward to a very long future here at Lands End, and that means giving more of myself than is expected of me. This job suits me so well because I just couldn't sit at a desk all day; I love to get out into the field and be an integral part of helping to make someone's dream come true.

It's all about the craftsmanship for us here at Lands End. I'm a detail-oriented person, so the position is exactly what I need to keep me on my toes. I'm always available to my clients, and every Friday I put together the client updates that I e-mail to each of them. This helps them know exactly where we are in the schedule. Considering all the details that go into a well-crafted house, and the amount of energy we invest in the quality of workmanship to meet our own high standards, it seems like the construction phase doesn't take as long as one might think. Like most everybody here, I wouldn't want to be working anywhere else; the dream job, right here in God's country!”


Krystal Lutgen

Interior Designer

“I’m very proud of my degree from the Art Institute (Minneapolis), but my pride in working with Lands End just keeps growing every day. ‘Lake country’ has been home for most of my life, and for the past two and a half years, this company is my career home’. It always feels like a solid family. The respect and trust we have for each other permeates every project we do. My passion for interior design, and general tendencies to be an organizer, come together so well here. From finding and ordering products to assisting with scheduling details, it just suits me so well. Working directly with our clients is one of my favorite aspects of the job. The dynamics of our homeowners vary a lot. Sometimes the solution to a challenge may be harder to find, but it’s always there, and I have the tenacity to find it and help to make all the pieces come together. It feels good.”

Jeff Balmer

Partner: Project Designer

“People tell us our homes stand out from the others being built in our region – not just because they have a unique yet timeless design, but how they fit the site, the sense of workmanship, and the details that finish the building. From the start we made the decision to go the extra miles it takes to give our clients more than they hoped. The mark of our true success is that we have earned the trust of our clients. I’m just as proud of the relationships we've built with our homeowners as the homes themselves. I think people can sense that we are as truthful and honest as we can - which is why they end up choosing to hire us.”

“I love this business. It’s exciting – every day. We’re designing homes that turn people on. We bring fresh ideas to the table, and offer unique, problem-solving designs. From the first time I get to meet a client, to “walking through” a 3-D version of the house plans with the owners, to the sense of satisfaction knowing our reputation is second to none in our region, what’s not to like here? But you know, it’s really all about the people that work with us. From those who keep track of the financial matters, to those who place the last piece of trim, we just have a great group of people here; and everyone knows that with happy, satisfied clients, our business will continue to prosper.”

Ryan Fogarty

Project Manager

“Pretty much growing up with the 4 owners here at Lands Ends I have always appreciated their loyalty and honesty. And not just to our customers, but to everyone that works here. So my job is getting our jobs done on time and on budget. I provide our clients with weekly project reports, and enjoy site meetings throughout their projects. Each home we build is unique and can have its challenges, but with so many great teammates here, we always find good solutions. Scheduling for the projects can be tricky sometimes. But I've had enough experience to be very confident that no matter what Mother Nature throws at us, or technical difficulties we encounter along the way, Lands End finds a way to make even the most particular client feel good about hiring us to build the most important personal project they have. “

Paula Kovatovich

Interior Designer

To be a part of Lands End Development is a dream come true. Even as a new company, I could see they had a sense of design and artistic vision like no other builder in this region. And now, as a certified kitchen designer and fourteen years of interior design experience, I not only feel qualified to be working here, but even more creatively challenged than ever before. I think my biggest asset is client communication. My passion for design starts with listening & helping clients make their space personal and unique. So to be a part of the best possible design/build team, here in God's country, is everything I have hoped & strive for.

Renae Balmer

Interior Designer

"If there is any business that you have to love what you do, it's building homes. The incredible detail and time spent on every project could make one crazy unless you truly loved the work. This is what makes our company successful; we love coming to work every day. And it's such a fun thing to see how well each person fits in like pieces to a puzzle.

My particular job is helping to design our customer portfolios, photography shoots, production of our marketing materials, etc. After eleven years now, it is still the best place to work that I know of.

Lands End just knows how to energize the "cool factor" into every project we do. This isn't by accident, either. Beautiful design has to be woven into each building we make, and this is only possible when there is clear communication between the customer and designer, and architect and field staff. By concentrating on this, we have mastered the art of continuity from initial meeting with our customers through walking them through their newly completed home."

Julie Fritz

Administrative Assistant

"I think I have the best job here. After spending twenty years in the corporate world of finance, I needed a new personal challenge. Here at Lands End, each day brings me challenges that keep me on my toes and fully engaged. From helping to schedule project details to keeping all necessary supplies on hand, and from running errands to keeping our Facebook page up to date, I have my own dream job.

What makes this company so rewarding to work for is that the owners are just plain nice people. They listen carefully to ideas or concerns. They greet everyone the same whether it's the copier repair guy or a product vendor or a new customer, this feels like the heart of "Minnesota nice." Lands End knows the real meaning of respect, and we all live it every day."

Jamie Den Hartog

Project Manager

I have been in the construction industry since 1994, with experience in high-end residential homes and commercial construction. Working with the different trades–both in the field and as a project manager– has built a strong ability to communicate with them–and our clients. I constantly strive to complete a quality and sound finished product that everyone, and most importantly our clients, can be extremely proud of. Everyone at Lands End strives to meet and exceed our clients' expectations, which is the ultimate goal with each completed project. The variables that are being managed during construction are substantial, so it is important to have a team of professionals that work well together for continued success. I know that Lands End has this team. Our goal is to complete a quality home that generations of families can create memories in. That is why I do what I do.