Steve Pietila – General Manager
Steve has been with the company since 1990 and is a national leader in the chimney service industry. With over 25 years experience he is past President of the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG), and the Oregon Chimney Sweep Association. In 2008 he received the highest honor in the trade, The NCSG President’s Award. He is a CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweep and CSIA Instructor. Steve enjoys working with customers and instilling a vision in his employees for providing outstanding customer service. In order to ensure that his customers get the highest quality of service possible, he encourages his staff to seek continued education and training which is financed by the company. When not on the rooftops or in the office, you might find Steve paddling on the Willamette or Columbia Rivers (he trains with a local outrigger canoe racing club), teaching seminars to other chimney professionals, or perhaps leading a short-term missions team. He loves his hometown of Portland, and enjoys the incredible mix of small town friendliness and metropolitan culture. He’s been married to his lovely wife Julie for over 35 years and they have three sons.
Julie Pietila – Office Manager
Julie started at American Chimney in 1993, scheduling two service vehicles from a home office. As office manager, she keeps a pulse on all aspects of customer care, employee scheduling and company organization. In her free time she likes to stay active, has recently run several half-marathons and has mentored other women as they began the challenge of training to run distances. She and her husband of 35 years have three grown sons.
Janaki Chandler – Administrative Coordinator
Janaki began working with American Chimney & Masonry in June, 2006. She enjoys the variety of work and tasks and helping people. She is a great team player in the office and has become quite valuable learning the technical tasks our technicians do in the field. When not at work Janaki enjoys bowling in tournaments, outdoor activities, and cooking.
Dennis Childress – CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep
A native Oregonian, Dennis has been with American Chimney since 1991. Dennis specializes in masonry work, gas and wood appliance installation, chimney and venting system installation, gas piping, and diagnostics. He has certifications from the CSIA and OSCA, and has taken classes in Rumford fireplace construction and advanced masonry chimney techniques. Dennis’ previous work experience involved construction work including drywall, electrical, new home building, remodeling, finish carpentry, skylights, tile, decks, and low voltage wiring. In the future he wants to work more with ‘green’ building concepts and energy-efficient fireplaces. Outside of work he enjoys songwriting, recording, and playing music with others. He’s an accomplished musician and plays the bass, keyboards, and guitar. He enjoyed a brief stint as a professional musician in the 80’s, but is quite content now to simply play with friends, for his church, and you might even catch him out at a local open-mic night. He is involved in a home church and is married with three children.
Mackenzie Bower – Service Technician/CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep
Though Mack is new to the Portland area, he has adapted quickly to the American Chimney family. He has been with the company since early 2016. On top of assisting American Chimney’s most experienced mason, Mack has attended Chimney Sweep school and earned his CSIA and OSHA certifications. Mack is now one of our Certified Chimney Sweep team members. Outside of work, Mack enjoys exploring all the beautiful Pacific Northwest has to offer, playing guitar, drawing, and skateboarding with friends.
Shawn Lowery – Service Technician/CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep
Shawn has been with American Chimney since summer, 2016. Shawn enjoys the feeling from educating customers on the safety and functionality of their chimney. He also takes pride in repairing and restoring chimneys. Away from the business Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters.
Martin Perez – Masonry Technician
Martin has been a mason for most of his life, or as he would say, “since I was a kid”. He likes building and repairing chimneys for the customers to enjoy. He likes all aspects of this type of work and enjoys his fellow employees. When off Martin goes to school to continue to further his education.
Jake Saunders – Technician Assistant
Travis Ewan – Technician Assistant
Travis was born and raised in Portland and graduated from Centennial High School. He enjoys cooking, camping, hunting, and spending time with his daughter. He also volunteers for a living history organization. He enjoys working for American Chimney and has been with the company since the summer of 2017. He has expanded his knowledge within the realm of masonry and has shown he can be a key player with the team.
Liz Howlan – Administrative Assistant
Liz is an administrative assistant and started working with American Chimney and Masonry in June, 2017. Liz enjoys time working with customers to help understand their needs and doing what she can to help them out. When not at American Chimney she enjoys her family time, her dogs, and the outdoors.
Recent Blog Posts
Learning how to season firewood is an important step in maintaining your chimney properly. If the wood is wet, for instance, it is going to produce more dangerous creosote. Creosote, of course, is a leading cause of chimney fires, and must be removed regularly. You...
SPRING IS HERE!Birds chirping is one of the hallmarks of Spring and usually a wonderful thing to hear. It is less wonderful when you hear those sound coming from your fireplace!We have gotten some calls lately about strange noises coming from chimneys, and...
We're all spending a little more time at home than normal during this time of year, and it HAS been a bit chilly. We are seeing lots of smoke coming out of our neighbors' chimneys and just wanted to send you a quick reminder about the things you should...