Our staff

Cynthia Bennett, ASID CID
Principal and Owner

Cynthia, a Pasadena native, is founder and President of CBA.  Graduating from U.C. Berkeley with a major in English and a minor in Fine Arts, she started her career in New York in book publishing and originally intended to be a writer.  Moving to the Netherlands in 1964, her interest and involvement in architectural remodeling, renovation and space planning began.  She found she had a strong talent for construction and design, rebuilding and remodeling several of her own homes in The Netherlands where she lived for 15 years.  After returning to the United States in 1979, Cynthia attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles to study interior design.  She also attended UCLA for architecture courses with remodeling and space planning as her goal,  as well as taking every course offered by the National Kitchen & Bath Association with kitchen and bath remodeling as a specialty.

She started her own company, Cynthia Bennett and Associates in 1981, and became a General Contractor in 1983.  Cynthia has been a board member of the American Building Contractor’s Association, is a 20-year member of the National Kitchen and Bath Associates, member of the Association for Women in Architecture, and most recently sits on the board of the Pasadena Playhouse. She is a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers and is a Certified Interior Designer in the State of California. She holds both a personal contractor’s license as well as a corporate contractor’s license in the state of California.

Her own personal home was designed and built in 2002 by Cynthia Bennett & Associates, Inc. and has been showcased in numerous home and garden tours including the 2003 ASID Kitchen and Interiors Tour, the Pasadena Philharmonic Christmas Tour and the Creative Arts Garden & Home Tour.  The home has been featured in Traditional Homes Magazine, California Design, Kitchen & Bath Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens and was recently published in a UK magazine titled, 25 Most Beautiful Homes.

Goli Karimi, Allied ASID Member
Vice President

Goli joined the company in 1993 with a background in interior/architectural design and residential construction.  Goli earned a BA in Interior Architecture from the University of Louisiana and completed her course work for a Master’s Program in Landscape Architecture at LSU.  Goli oversees the architectural design, estimating and construction departments at CBA.  Her functional and creative space planning and practical construction experience is applied to all CBA commissions. Goli served on the Board of Pasadena Chapter of American Society of Interior Designers during 2003-2005.  Her love of nature and outdoors is expressed through volunteering for the Eaton Canyon Nature Center for the last 15 years.

Michael Fehmers
CBA Technology

Michael Fehmers runs the new CBA Technology division and brings with him 15 years of experience in the home automation industry. A licensed C-7 Low Voltage Systems Contractor, his projects have won multiple awards, including Integrated Home of the Year, Home Theater of the Year, Best System Design, and Best Media Room. Michael has a natural curiosity for gadgets and technology and is always on the lookout for the latest and greatest. He has a natural talent for explaining complex systems in a way that the layman can understand. Michael currently lives in sunny Mar Vista with his lovely wife and two boys.

Chris Propper
Accounting and Personnel Manager

Chris has been working hard to keep the company books since 2006. He enjoys amateur astronomy, reading about ancient cultures and science fiction, traveling, outdoor activities and music (plays and teaches guitar).  He has two university degrees: a BS from the University of Rochester, New York and a BA in accounting from the American University in Cairo, Egypt.  While studying and working in Cairo, Chris met his wife, who was working as a local tour guide to the famous temples and ruins. They plan on children in the near future, but until then, enjoy their toy poodle.


Robert Lyons
Project Manager

Robert has experience in cabinetry, machining, welding, locksmithing, plumbing, electrical, specialty finishes, hardware design, fiberglass fabrication, masonry, heavy equipment operation, and many others. These skills make him well suited to ensure quality craftsmanship as he works with our sub-contractors to come up with innovative solutions for our custom projects. His goal is to provide our customers with the highest quality product possible in an efficient time frame. Robert enjoys spending time with his wife and three children.


Doreen Gonzalez

Doreen has been with CBA since 2004, and is responsible for transferring all field measuring and hand sketches to computer aided drawings. Doreen creates visual drawings for material layouts and construction drawings to help both our designers and clients better visualize the job at hand.  She has a BA degree from the Design Institute of San Diego and an AA from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles CA. Doreen has always been fond of drawing and painting with a variety of mediums, and applies her artistic talents to creating beautiful CAD creations.


Carolien Fehmers CID
Interior Designer

Carolien runs the Interior Design Department at CBA, together with Cynthia Bennett. Prior to joining the firm, Carolien worked in sales for companies such as Gucci, Prada, and Karl Lagerfeld. She also spent several years managing an Aveda store in Beverly Hills. Carolien has a natural talent for colors and materials. Her approach is to listen carefully to her client’s needs and then interpret their wishes into designs that make their lives more beautiful and functional. When she’s not working long hours at CBA, Carolien can be found riding her horse Beaulicious in the Arroyo Seco area of Pasadena, or working on her newly remodeled house.


Nancy Sechrest

A Home Economics degree from the University of Illinois has given Nancy a number of career opportunities beyond her first interest in Interior Design. Before she joined Cynthia Bennett & Associates in 1989 as a space planner she had worked as a kitchen designer, director of consumer affairs for a New Jersey supermarket chain, owned a retail fabric store and remodeled several of her own homes. Nancy spent over 10 years as a full-time employee working in the design and construction departments at CBA. Retirement felt funny, so she rejoined the firm several years ago to work part-time doing bidding and estimating.


Galeb Numa
Architectural Designer

Galeb first joined CBA in 2005. Since graduating from Massachusetts College of Art with a BFA in Architectural Design, he has focused on single family homes and high end residential design. His responsibilities include all aspects of the design process, including measuring, research, proposed layouts, working drawings, details and generating necessary documents for permitting. An avid music lover, you can be sure to find him enjoying live music in his time off. He also loves to discover hidden treasures throughout the city, especially restaurants and unlikely spaces.


Courtney Welsh
Assistant to the President

As assistant to the President, Courtney is involved in many aspects of the company including marketing and hard materials selection. Courtney joined Cynthia Bennett & Associates after completing her Professional Certificate in Interior Design at the University of California, Berkeley. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in History of Art and Architecture from the University of California, Santa Barbara. With over 10 years of experience in high-end residential real estate and administration she is pleased to join CBA to cultivate her passion for design. Outside of work, she and her husband are avid film enthusiasts who enjoy exploring the seemingly infinite
cultural opportunities the L.A. area has to offer.