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Meet the Family Handyman Editors

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Get to know the editorial team behind Family Handyman‘s magazine, books and website.

Family Handyman‘s editors are homeowners and DIYers, just like you. With backgrounds in woodworking, set-building, construction, home improvement and journalism, our team is the creative force behind the helpful DIY projects, tips and repairs you’ve come to know and love.

Meet the editors.

Editorial Team

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Ryan Van Bibber

Deputy Editor

Ryan is a deputy editor at Family Handyman. He learned DIY helping his father, a carpenter, at home and on jobsites over the years, putting those skills into practice as a homeowner. A resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico, he is especially proud of his aptitude with a swamp cooler, repairing stucco and engineering makeshift shade. A career journalist, Ryan covered the NFL for more than a decade, worked as a senior editor at Outside as well as writing and editing buying guides and product reviews for several national publications. When he’s not working, you can find him on the trails with his family and two very good dogs.

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Berit Thorkelson

Assigning Editor

Berit manages Family Handyman’s freelance process, which includes recruiting, assigning and editing a growing bank of talented DIY and Pro contributors. (Find out how you can become one here.) It’s a perfect fit considering her decades of freelance experience for a variety of national publications and brands, and constant string of home and yard projects. She and her carpenter husband are midway through renovating the ‘60s ranch home they share with their two kids and geriatric schnoodle.

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Harrison Kral

Senior Editor

Harrison is a born-and-bred Midwesterner with a passion for writing and building things. Whether you need to know how to build a deck or the best way to set up your home WiFi network, he’s your guy. He covers various topics including construction industry news, cutting-edge home building trends and the latest advances in smart home technology.

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Mary Flanagan

Associate Assigning Editor

Mary brings more than two decades of copy editing and project management experience to her role as associate assigning editor for Family Handyman. She guides freelance contributors through the content creation process, drafts assignments and reviews copy to ensure each piece of content is accurate, authoritative and on-brand. Outside of work, you’ll find her trying new recipes, watching reality and true-crime TV and hanging out with the family dogs. Mary is based in St. Paul but loves escaping to Marco Island and L.A. to work remotely in winter.

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Alex Shoemaker

Newsletter Editor

Alex is an avid DIYer but had little experience before purchasing his first home in 2019. A Family Handyman subscription was one of his first purchases after becoming a homeowner, and he’s been hooked ever since. When he’s not working, he can be found fixing up his 1940s Florida home or relaxing on the beach with his family.

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Ethan O’Donnell

Senior Editor

Ethan designs and builds custom woodwork, furniture and exhibits. He’s completed projects for several Fortune 500 companies as well as the United States Park Service. In his free time, he enjoys riding anything two-wheeled, reading, drawing and talking Formula 1.

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Pat Borzi

Copy Editor

A native New Yorker with more than 40 years experience in journalism, Pat edits digital copy at Family Handyman. His late father, an avid DIYer, subscribed to FHM in the 1960s and ’70s, and he’d be tickled to know his son can make small repairs and operate a gas grill without incident. Pat lives in Minneapolis with his wife and their rambunctious cat. In his free time he enjoys biking, grilling and travel.

Carmen De La Paz

Senior Project Editor

Carmen joins Family Handyman with years of professional woodworking and home renovation experience. Including on-camera carpenter on several shows for HGTV, 2 Emmy nominated seasons on OWN’s Home Made Simple, FOX International, NBC/Telemundo and most recently as the Lead Carpenter on the Spanish language version of “Ask This Old House” for ROKU. Carmen is a City Commissioner and Chair for The Landmark and Restoration Commission in her hometown of Waukesha, WI.  Carmen’s biggest creative passion is woodturning and has traveled to South Africa, Australia, Puerto Rico and all over the US to demonstrate and teach at several prestigious woodturning Symposiums.

Nina Bricko

Projects Editor

Nina is a Do-It-Yourselfer who enjoys coming up with unique builds that are full of color. Growing up, her parents were always finishing a basement, painting cabinets, and adding a bit of creativity wherever they lived. This definitely rubbed off on Nina and inspires her to this day. In the past, she’s co-owned and ran a forest school, which among other things, encouraged kids to build and create with hand tools and found objects. She has also been an environmental educator, an audiobook narrator, podcaster, and college English instructor. Her works of fiction have been published in literary journals, and her debut picture book is slated to come out in 2024. When she isn’t creating for Family Handyman or writing stories, she’s playing with her two kids and going on nature adventures.