Established in 1936

Meet the team

Partners & Operations

Our management team is on a first-name basis with everyone we work with. We are hands-on managers and you’ll find us involved with all aspects of the business.

We bring together expertise in the areas of real estate development, entitlements, land use regulation, government, funds control, and operations. While we come from a wide variety of backgrounds, we share a passion for building.


Carlos Plazola

Chief Executive Officer

"I am passionate about reducing our impact on this planet – and doing it in a profitable and beautiful way."

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Chief Executive Officer Carlos is the CEO of BuildZig and the buck stops with him. He is the leader of the BuildZig team, providing vision and focus to ensure we meet our mission, core values, and goals. Prior to helping form BuildZig, Carlos was President and founder of an entitlements company and managing member of a real estate investment company. Carlos served as Chief of Staff to the Oakland City Council President as advisor on economic development issues under Jerry Brown’s mayoral term. He has extensive experience in lobbying, community organizing, as well as the more technical aspects of real estate investment and development. Carlos received his bachelor’s degree in Biology and Anthropology from UCLA, and his master’s degree in Environmental Science from Yale. Before attending Yale, Carlos lived in the Amazon rainforest with the Achuar tribe, sparking his interest in protecting the environment. Carlos is passionate about sustainable development and reducing our impact on this planet. He is most excited about working on projects that can demonstrate how to do that in a profitable and beautiful way.
Laura blair

Laura Blair

Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel

“I love collaborating with staff on exciting projects that impact the future landscape of where we live and work.”

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Laura oversees the funds control department and oversees all BuildZig transactions – including property acquisitions.

After graduating from UC Berkeley school of law, Laura began her career in the public service branch of the City of Oakland Attorney’s office. She focused on quality of life issues impacting community members in the East Lake, Fruitvale and Maxwell Park neighborhoods during her tenure. Inspired by the positive impact that thoughtful development can have in neighborhoods, Laura moved to the private sector and eventually helped to form BuildZig.

Laura particularly enjoys assisting homeowners add ADUs to their homes, which epitomize BuildZig’s core values and our mission by creating additional housing in the area and helping homeowners build wealth and create passive income opportunities and/or to increase the flexibility of the use of their home. Laura also holds a black belt in kenpo karate and is an avid runner,  teaches boot camp classes at her local gym and is the proud mother of two.


Monica Plazola

Chief Financial Officer and Risk Manager

"I love working with our staff and being part of the team. I’m excited to have a hands-on role in our projects, including the upcoming bar in Jack London Square."

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Finance Director and Chief Risk Manager Monica Plazola is the Finance Director and Chief Risk Manager at BuildZig. She brings to the company over 20 years of financial management, risk management experience, and company infrastructure experience. What Monica most enjoys about working at BuildZig is being able to collaborate and work with an amazing staff. Outside of work, Monica enjoys spending time with her family and their spoiled dogs. At the Plazola house, backyard barbeques are a regular occurrence, no matter the time of year. If Monica had a superpower, hers would be invisibility – that way she could thwart any nefarious activity with no one knowing she did it!

John Bohannon

Director of Business Development

“I’ve loved building things ever since I was a kid. I look forward to leaving a legacy by developing medical facilities and new communities.”

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John brings an unparalleled level of experience to BuildZig's Funds Control Department and is able to find solutions to any and all problems. John specializes in budget review analysis and has been certified as an expert witness testimony on best practices for construction payments and mechanics liens. John’s interest in construction was initially sparked by a middle school shop class and has developed into a life-long passion and career. John started working on construction sites to earn money for college and ultimately earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from CSU San Marcos. He holds certifications as a Licensed General Contractor, Certified Construction Inspector (CCI), Registered Home Inspector (RHI), and Certified Review Appraiser (CRA). In his free time, John spends his off-work hours recreating the latest recipes from America’s Test Kitchen with his wife.


Leadership Team

Diem Nguyen
Diem NguyenFunds Control Coordinator
Jaime Rodriguez
Jaime RodriguezOperations Coordinator
Kayla Tatom
Kayla TatomAccounting Manager
Gretel TortolaniController
Jeff Maunder
Jeff MaunderInspections Manager

Interested in joining Our Team

We are growing and looking for talented, friendly and committed individuals.
buildzig logo

1 800 380 0180

Dream it. Build it. Zig it.

1 800 380 0180

Dream it. Build it. Zig it.

3007 Telegraph Ave. Oakland, CA 94609

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