All-American Handyman: Meet the Contestants

Get to know the 20 handy men and women competing for a valuable Sears prize pack, an HGTV development deal and the title of All-American Handyman.

  • Season 1 Winner: Peter Wong

    Peter's talent for fixing things began at a young age. After moving to the United States from Hong Kong at age 5, Peter quickly became handy, earning the nickname \"MacGyver\" in high school. Following a brief stint as a mechanic, he found his passion working as an engineer in the semiconductor industry. Peter lives with his wife and two sons in a home he renovated.

  • Corey Binford

    Some of Corey's fondest memories include helping his father build a shed in the backyard. Years later, his father passed away in the middle of a massive renovation of the family's Victorian home. Corey decided to continue the renovation, dedicating four years to the completion of his father's work. Primarily self taught, he shares his hard-earned construction knowledge on his website. When Corey's not writing articles or shooting videos, he enjoys spending time with his girlfrend and their dog.

  • Darren Anselmo

    At a young age, Darren developed an interest in real estate and renovation. He began buying and selling homes at age 18, and has owned as many as 15 properties at the same time. Eight years ago, Darren bought a deteriorating commercial building, gutted it and rebuilt it into a successful hair salon, where the multi-talented handyman also works as a colorist and stylist.

  • David Cole

    As a child, David's grandfather taught him how to build something beautiful using wood and just a few nails. Soon after, he learned how to install floors and windows, build small structures and repair plumbing. As an adult, David finds time to use his handy skills while going on fishing charters and driving tractor trailers.

  • David Pellot

    As a handyman, David never goes anywhere without his Leatherman, enjoys making something out of nothing and solving problems that others think are impossible. Beyond being handy, David has worked as a DJ for more than 20 years, which has led to a career in event and party planning.

  • Dennis Nourry

    Growing up around tools and shadowing his grandfather at construction jobs, Dennis developed an early love for building. He continued honing his handyman skills by working for his uncle's construction company during college. Dennis became a New York City firefighter in 2005, but still fulfills his love of construction by renovating the home he shares with his wife, dog and cats.

  • Elliot Boswell

    After discovering a passion for sculpting, painting and building models at a young age, Elliot found his niche in the film industry, constructing movie sets across the globe for several major studios. Elliot eventually settled down just outside of Atlanta, where he opened an art gallery and further honed his construction skills by redesigning and rebuilding his family's home.

  • Flagg Youngblood

    Flagg began tinkering with his father's Craftsman tools at age 4. He soon began taking on home improvement projects for his family and became the handyman-in-residence for his fraternity and friends at Yale. Now a veteran of the U.S. Army, Flagg has lived and traveled throughout the country, making a hobby out of improving apartments, condos and houses for himself, family and friends along the way.

  • Gretchen Krawczyk

    As a child, Gretchen's first construction project was a table built from scrap 2x4s. Her handy skills have since come a long way. She purchased her first home in 2005 and has gutted the kitchen, laid tile floors, replaced doors and fixed sinks. She has a can-do attitude when it comes to home improvement and believes any woman can learn to be a \"handyman.\"

  • Manuel Sampedro

    Manuel was born in Spain and lived there with his grandparents until he was 6 years old. He recently moved with his family and children to New Jersey, where he works as director of operations at a communications company and enjoys building furniture with his sons.

  • Matthew McGuire

    Growing up with a great handyman as a father taught Matthew a good deal about construction. During high school, Matthew spent weekends with his father working on roofing and siding projects. Matthew learned even more about construction when he and his wife bought and remodeled their first home, replacing the drywall, electrical fixtures, sinks and toilets.

  • Michael Tetreault

    Mike was just a young boy when he began tinkering with construction projects and learning handyman skills from his father. At age 16, he started his own handyman repair company, and at age 21, he converted his parents' attic into a 700-square-foot apartment for himself. Mike recently graduated valedictorian from the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston.

  • Rich Homburger

    Rich discovered his passion for construction in the TV/film industry, holding jobs such as set designer, prop master and art director. After working in entertainment for 10 years, Rich started his own business in Chicago, where his unique list of services includes custom furniture and treehouse and playhouse design.

  • Sara Ashby

    Sara has a knack for seeing potential in homes that others overlook. At age 22, she bought her first house — a fixer-upper, which she transformed into a stylish and functional contemporary home. Within a year, she flipped that property and upgraded to another home. Sara poured many additional hours of sweat equity into this new home, all while renovating a nearby rental property.

  • Sarah Richardson

    During high school, Sarah spent her weekends wallpapering and painting for clients of her mother, an interior designer. She then moved to New York City to pursue a career as a model and actress, taking on small painting and construction jobs on the side. As she continues to build her modeling portfolio, Sarah occasionally finds time to complete small renovation projects for her friends and mother.

  • Sunita Patel

    Using both her practical and educational knowledge of construction, Sunita takes a hands-on approach to her work, tackling many do-it-yourself projects and home renovations. Sunita started her own design firm in Georgia after earning degrees in architectural and mechanical design. Her firm not only provides plans and specs, but also offers building services through a local architectural firm.

  • Chris Domanico

    Always interested in working with his hands, Chris officially fell in love with construction when he was given the opportunity to demo and remodel historic houses in South Florida after college. He then took his knowledge of carpentry, masonry, electrical and plumbing across the country to California, where he worked at exclusive clubs and restaurants, eventually building his own restaurant in Manhattan Beach.

  • Caitlin Oliveira

    An aspiring residential real estate developer, Caitlin has been building experience and capital since age 16. After obtaining her real estate license when she was 18 years old, she purchased and renovated both a condo and a house, completing the construction work with the help of her father. Caitlin is currently building a home for herself, but plans to take on more real estate investment projects in the future.

  • Ben Starr

    From small-town boy to seasoned traveler, Ben grew up in Texas but began roaming the globe after high school, visiting all seven continents within a single year. A true Renaissance man, Ben works as a catering chef, a travel writer, a web-support specialist and a TV personality. His interests run the gamut from renovating friends' houses to organic gardening.

  • Andrew Kowalyshyn

    Growing up in a family of engineers, Andrew has always been enthralled by electronics and mechanical devices. In high school, he operated a pirate radio station out of his bedroom with an FM transmitter he built himself and a rooftop antenna system made from scrap copper. Andrew now works as an acoustical engineer in Colorado and lives in a loft he renovated himself.

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