Paul Connolly, APLD


Paul received a BFA in Graphic Design from the Rochester Institute of Technology and is a licensed contractor with over 30 years of experience in the landscape industry. His extensive training in art and design, combined with his hands-on knowledge and understanding of construction has enabled Paul to create some of the finest landscapes in southern Arizona. Recognized as a leader in the industry, Paul has received numerous awards for his creative and sustainable landscape designs, including being named ‘2013 International Landscape Designer of the Year’ by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. “Establishing relationships between people, architecture and nature” is a philosophy Paul developed to describe his approach to design and business. Creating a space to fit each individual home and homeowner is an important aspect of his designs. Equally important is building trusting relationships with homeowners, employees, suppliers, and tradespeople. At Sundrea Design/Build we strive for the highest level of quality workmanship, management, and communication. Paul realizes his high standards are met by surrounding himself with the best installation crew in the industry. When not at work, Paul enjoys hiking, biking and exploring the desert southwest.

Jason Mellinger

Project Specialist

Jason, a Tucson native, joined Sundrea in 2011 where his keen eye for detail is invaluable to achieving the high standards expected by our discerning clients. He has over 15 years of experience in the landscape industry and enjoys being able to combine his affection for plants and the outdoors with his passion for art and design. Jason has exceptional leadership skills and a wide range of talents. He can manage any job from horticulture and irrigation to masonry and metalwork. With his artistic talent and knowledge of landscape design, he excels at taking complex designs and turning them into beautiful landscapes as well as creating custom artwork and sculptures.

Eric Rosales

Project Specialist

Eric has over 25 years of landscaping experience in Tucson. In 2013 he joined Sundrea where his knowledge and hard work are appreciated. Eric is organized and has excellent customer service skills. He is self-motivated and comfortable working on his own or with a crew, always taking pride in his work whether it’s a simple clean-up job or complicated planting project.

Mark Hiemstra

Project Specialist

Mark has over 40 years of experience in masonry and is also skilled in concrete, stucco, rough carpentry, plants, irrigation, and lighting. “Mark-Gyver” as he has been affectionately nicknamed by the crew for his problem-solving talents on complex projects, has been with Sundrea since 2012. Now at a point in his career where he has been able to semi-retire, Mark remains a well-respected and valuable member of the team. We are fortunate to have him here part-time where he can mentor the “young guys” and pass on his vast knowledge.

Xavier Rendon

Project Specialist

Xavier is a Tucson native who joined the Sundrea team in January 2024. With over 30 years of construction and landscape experience he has quickly become a great asset with his skills in masonry, irrigation, planting and lighting. He strives for efficiency and excellence in his work and mentors the younger crew members to build their skill level. Xavier stated one of his favorite things about his work with Sundrea is “always constructing something different”. In his free time Xavier is an outdoorsman who enjoys hunting, fishing and four wheeling
as well as building projects around his own home.

Gabriel Guerra

Crew Member

Gabriel is a Tucson native and joined Sundrea in November 2023. He has been working in horticulture since 2018 and enjoys it so much he started his own garden as a hobby. Masonry is Gabriel’s favorite work at Sundrea however, he would like to go to school for botany.

Danine Becraft

Administrative Manager

Danine started her administrative career as a temporary receptionist and has since worked her way up to over 35 years of experience. She joined the Sundrea team in the Spring of 2019 and then like many others, in 2020 started working from home and faced the challenges of keeping the office running efficiently from a distance. After working remotely for almost 2 years Danine was presented with the opportunity to move to Gillette, Wyoming to be close to her family. With the office already running smoothly from her Tucson home, the transition to relocate to another state was relatively seamless. She found herself in the best of both worlds, able to keep the job she enjoys with people she has built good working relationships with, both co-workers and clients, and the ability to be close to her family.

Danine’s goals are to continue to build positive relationships with co-workers, clients, and vendors and to use innovative processes and her ability to problem solve to maintain a highly functioning administrative office.

Elia Garcia

Administrative Assistant

Elia is a transplant to Tucson from El Paso, where she was raised. She worked in office administration for 11 years before joining Sundrea in August 2023. Elia works diligently to provide the best possible support for Sundrea, our crew and our clients. Her professional goals include learning new skills that will enable her to perform a wider range of tasks and to continue to grow in proficiency with her current work, allowing her
to become even more integral to Sundrea’s operations. Elia’s positive attitude and sense of humor bring a lightness to the office that everyone enjoys while maintaining professionalism and a ‘get it done’ work ethic.
One of the things Elia likes most about working with Sundrea is the flexibility her part-time hours provide. As a mom with a young son, spending time with him is her priority, and her favorite thing to do. She can be present for him while also being able to work at a job she enjoys.