For almost 40 years, Baxter Construction is privileged to have attracted the best and brightest remodeling minds in the area. Our team has collectively over 650 years of experience in residential remodeling, historic renovation, aging-in-place, green building, and building custom homes.

Our Founder

Jim is the founder and President of Baxter Construction. A lifelong Princeton resident, Jim supports the local community through volunteer efforts with the Historical Society of Princeton, Morven Museum and Garden, Hopewell Borough, Hopewell Valley Regional School District and the Sourland Mountain Preserve.

Jim has earned several designations – Certified Green Professional (CGP), Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) and Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR) by the National Association of Home Builders.

Jim is active in the industry at a national level, as a member of Remodeler’s Advantage, pursuing continuing education credits, and attending trade shows. Jim is married with four children and two grandchildren. In his free time he loves to play golf and has coached baseball.


Wayne Pietrini
Senior Project Manager

Wayne graduated from Villanova University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He began his career at the Research and Development department at Boeing Helicopters in Ridley Park, PA. He left there to pursue 10 years of self-employment in his own home renovation business. He has now been proudly working with Baxter Construction for almost 13 years.

Wayne is married with a teenage son and two rescue dogs. In his free time, Wayne and his family enjoy spending time outdoors.

John Kiernan
Senior Project Manager

John brings 35 years of industry experience to Baxter Construction and joined the Baxter team in 2013 as a Project Manager and Estimator. Prior to joining Baxter, John owned his own remodeling business for 8 years where he performed residential home renovations including kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and additions.

John graduated college with 4 year Bachelor degree in Building Construction and Construction Management.

John is married and has two children. He’s been active in the community coaching Pop Warner football for 8 years and girls soccer for 2 years. He raised $5,000 for cancer research by barefoot waterskiing on the Lehigh River. In his spare time, John enjoys working on cars and drag races as a hobby.

Peter Parker
Senior Project Manager

Peter brings over 40 years of remodeling and project management experience to Baxter. Before joining Baxter in 2013, Peter worked for a residential design/build company for 25 years. He brings a tremendous attention to detail to every project he manages. He is married and has four children. When not at Baxter Construction running projects, you can probably find Peter skiing since he’s an avid skier and ski racer.

Ryan Henninger
Project Manager/Estimator

Ryan joined Baxter Construction in 2014 as a Project Manager/estimator, bringing along nearly 30 years of experience in the construction industry. His decades of experience allow him to bring his depth of knowledge to every project he’s involved with.

Ryan is a lifelong resident of the area, having grown up in Pennington. He currently lives in Ewing Township with his wife of 22 years. He is the proud father of two teenage girls, two dogs, and two cats. When he isn’t managing various project and renovations at Baxter, Ryan is very active in local sports and often lends a hand in set construction for various local theater groups.

Mike Alessi
Project Manager

Mike started his career in the construction industry in high school, working summers on a framing crew, and then continued through college. As a native of Bucks County, he has spent 29 years renovating and restoring many unique and historic properties in the area. One such notable project was the Logan Inn in New Hope. After working for other companies for several years, he began and spent thirteen years running his own residential remodeling and restoration company. Mike also spent 23 years as a firefighter with the Upper Makefield Fire Company, attaining the rank of Chief before retiring.

Mike still live in Bucks County, right down the road from the house he grew up in. His free time is now spent with his wife of 19 years, their son and two dogs. The family spends as much time outdoors as possible, fishing, mountain biking, and traveling to watch his son’s lacrosse games.


Reynold Reali
Senior Estimator

Reynold has been with Baxter Construction for over a dozen years. Now with 45 years of experience, he started in the construction business at the age of 15 working for his grandfather and father. At a young age, Reynold gained experience from the ground up in the fields of tile, terrazzo, stucco, concrete, carpentry, site work, plumbing, construction administration, estimating, public bidding, and project management.

Reynold holds a B.A. degree from Rutgers. Before joining Baxter, he worked at Temple Medical School in Philadelphia, started and ran an irrigation business, and worked in engineering and finance for Revlon Inc. He also purchased, renovated and rented apartment houses. He now lives in Pennington N.J. with his son and dog. When not at Baxter, he enjoys healthy cooking, movies, nature walks, exercise and reading.

Candice Smith
Director of Sales

Candice joined the Baxter team with almost 15 years’ experience with Interior Design and Remodeling sales. She has worked with clients from concept to completion on various residential and some light commercial projects. Candice graduated from The Art Institute of Philadelphia in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. Since the start of her career she has worked on many upscale projects locally, as well as in Philadelphia, New York, Maryland, and Aspen, Colorado. She is very passionate about design, and brings her unique flair to all of her projects.

In her spare time, Candice enjoys travel, being outdoors, cooking, and exercising.


Elizabeth Wislar
Director of Marketing

Elizabeth’s lifelong passion for the Garden State comes naturally. Born in the Princeton Hospital, she’s a true New Jersey native who is deeply rooted in her community. She brings to Baxter a powerful combination of experience including marketing and public relations, client relationship building, and new business development. Working with boutique firms in this field has equipped Elizabeth with deep insights into construction, renovation, interior and landscape design, and project management. And, her timeless design sensibility and personal style touches everything she does.

Elizabeth enjoys giving back to her community whenever she can. You can find her under the tent at the Morven Museum and Garden plant sale, volunteering for the Princeton Historical Society, hosting local artists in her gardens, among other charitable organizations she regularly supports.

When Elizabeth isn’t working for Baxter, she can be found knee deep in nature with her camera. One glimpse at her Instagram feed reveals her photography background and unique ability to find beauty around her.

Deana D’Ottavio
Office Administrator

Deana joined Baxter Construction in 2018 with more than 15 years of clerical and administrative experience in a variety of industries, including residential construction.

Born and raised in Hopewell Borough, she moved west to California after graduating from Rutgers University with Bachelor Degrees in both Administration of Justice and Sociology. After eight years in San Diego, she came back to New Jersey to be closer to family and friends. Deana is thrilled to be working in her home town, just down the street from the house she grew up in!

When Deana is not diligently working, she enjoys off shore fishing, collecting sea glass, metal detecting and crochet, but not necessarily in that order. Her dream is to someday write an outdoor, open fire cook book.

Felice Carpenter
Business Development

Felice joined Baxter Construction in 2012. She also grew up in Princeton and is passionate about the community. She is the former PTO president as well as the Post-prom chair at Central High School.

Felice oversees multiple administrative areas for Baxter Construction and specializes in Marketing. She holds the industry designation of Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS). In addition to working at Baxter, Felice is pursuing a Masters degree in Marriage and Family therapy.

In her spare time, she enjoys the beach and is an avid golfer. She is married with four children and two grandchildren.