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.”

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.”

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.

Jamie Den Hartog

Project Coordinator

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.

Brian McLean

Project Manager

After graduating from Aitkin, Minnesota, I packed my bags and headed south. In Phoenix I worked for a large condo firm as a superintendent. After a while, though, I realized that my heart was in Minnesota's north country. Gaining employment at a local lumberyard, I learned so much of the importance of quality materials and attention to detail. I guess that's why Lands End wanted me here. I think the key to our success is the sense of family–and not just the owners and employees here, but our clients, too. We all understand that it takes good communication and teamwork to build the kinds of homes that we do.

Ellen Sposito

Interior Designer

Simply put; all of my coworkers are great people. It really is a joy to come to work here. To be able to apply my talents within a company that strives for excellence is a real blessing. Being able to see projects from start to finish is very rewarding. Keeping the customer first and foremost keeps each project really very smooth. I like both helping clients who desire lots of guidance, and clients who feel they know a lot of what they're looking for in beautiful design. I definitely look forward to being a part of this company for a long time.

Jennie Fauser

Staff Accountant

There are always challenges in coordinating the finances of a company like this, I wouldn't trade my job at all. I think it's these challenges that keep me energized. Since I came aboard in 2016, this company has remained true to its mission statement and making clients happy about their choice in a building "partner." There is this sense of shared commitment to the details of every project. When Lands End talks the talk of teamwork, they really do walk the walk. Coming from a corporate background, the sense of teamwork and friendly atmosphere here has been a welcome change.

Sara Simon

Office Manager

As a long-time family friend, I was able to be a part of Lands End during their earlier development on a part-time basis. After working for a time with other regional businesses in marketing and communications, the Balmer family asked me to come back to Lands End on a full-time basis. This was a relatively easy decision to make, knowing the honesty and integrity of the owners, and the high standards that they hold for themselves. Here I am able to be an important part of pleasing our customers. I can easily say that I enjoy every bit of this great job–at a great company.

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.

Pete Morsch

Project Manager

My background in the building trades in general was what Lands End needed for my position as a project manager. But my experience as a deep-energy auditor has also been a good addition to the company. I have always had an interest in efficient indoor climate control. The thing I like the best about my job, though, is working closely with our clients, and making sure they are more than satisfied with the quality of all our products and service. When I'm not working? An amazing wife and three kids keep me well out of trouble.

Nessa Engen


I am thrilled to be a part of the family at Lands End Development. Everyone here is incredibly reliable, holds standards of integrity to the utmost degree, and practices a strong work ethic. So, it's invigorating to come to work each day. I truly enjoy collaborating with co-workers in providing our customers and our company the very best in accurate accounting. When I'm not at the office, you'll find me reading, practicing yoga, gardening, or tending to my honey bees.