Uzi Zaray

President and Chief Executive Officer

From the time he was little, Uzi showed an interest in renewable energy. He was so interested in the inner workings of renewable energy that he built a miniature wind turbine for his first science fair project. As he grew up, he made the decision to serve his country and join the Army. After serving in the Army, he decided to make the transition to the home improvement industry in the early 2000s. 

Over the years, he handled a number of remodeling projects and custom home builds. While he enjoyed working in the field, it wasn’t his true passion. When the economy went down in 2008, he started making changes across the company to retrofit the operation to focus on energy efficient upgrades. He wanted a way for people to save money in their home, while helping to save the planet at the same time. This has always been his passion, but now he had the opportunity to bring it to life. 

As a certified building analyst and envelope professional by BPI, he made the adjustment easily. He quickly added a C-46 solar installer license to his B general contractor license that allowed him to help conserve energy and protect the environment. Uzi spends his time visiting any ongoing projects the company has and supervising projects from inception to completion from the office. He works hard to make sure each and every project is handled in the manner intended and nothing is left to chance. When he isn’t hard at work, he loves to spend time and make new memories with his family.

Mary Jane M.

Construction Project Manager

Mary Jane started with Ground Up Builders in 2012. She came to the San Fernando Valley area from Bakersfield, CA in 2011. She currently leads the construction department and enjoys working on all of the different projects that the company has going on. She works hard to make sure the customers are happy with the company’s workmanship. If she isn’t busy working on a project, she is spending time with her family and her three dogs.

Irene Avakian

Solar Project Manager

Irene is both driven and versatile. Irene handles solar project management and production for the Solar department for Ground Up Builders. She leads the operations and the teams by communicating across the organization and analyzing data to ensure the company gets the absolute best results possible. She delivers an exceptional experience and ensures your solar installation runs smoothly from inception to completion. She has a diverse background coming from a Fortune 100 company, with over 14 years of production experience.

Crystal Olivas

Accounting and Finance Manager

Crystal wears multiple hats within the organization. She is the office accountant and in runs our finance department. Crystal moved from the Santa Clarita Valley to Northridge, CA in 2013. She graduated top of her class with honors on a mathematic scholarship. She has over 15 years of industry accounting experience. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, going to the beach, and studying. Crystal is currently enrolled at California State University of Northridge to obtain her Masters Degree in Accounting.

J. Martin Kutney


"Marty" has been with the Ground Up team for three years. He has spent the past 6 years working in the Solar and Home Improvement Industry. For the majority of his career, he worked in the Television Industry as a Consultant. And, prior to that, he worked in academia as a Professor of Theatre and Film. He holds a BA from Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA and an MFA from The Ohio State University. He uses his varied experience to meet the needs of our clients by pairing them with an Energy Consultant that will exceed their expectations.