Notable Quote: “Technology is changing how designers work and communicate. 3D visualization platforms and building information models are the new tools for architects and designers. I think in five years, new design innovation tools will be more intuitive and human centric as we design technology around ergonomics instead of the other way around.”
Professional background: Have worked in the Interior Design and Architecture industry for 41 years, working primarily for architectural firms; Owned a successful small interior design business for 14 years in Santa Rosa.
Education: Bachelor degree in interior design, Syracuse University 1972, graduation Cum Laude
Tell us about yourself and your company: As a creative and career-oriented person, I chose a profession that brings together my artistic soul, my aptitude for spatial organization and my fascination with “what makes people tick”. After achieving a BS from Syracuse University, I started my interior design career in San Francisco during the early boom years for commercial interior design, where I worked with prominent architectural firms doing corporate interiors and tenant improvements. After running my own firm in Santa Rosa for 14 years, I made a strategic move to join TLCD Architecture in 2001. I was particularly interested in joining forces with a design oriented architectural firm that believed in delivering an integrated approach to design. My first major project was the SRJC Doyle Library. In subsequent years, I have worked on many exciting projects including four libraries, numerous educational and healthcare projects and most recently the corporate headquarters for American AgCredit.
Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share?
As the lead interior designer and spaceplanner for the American AgCredit project, I spent three years working on everything from soup to nuts with an amazing team at TLCD and with a wonderfully supportive client. We designed the new building from the inside out by starting with function, flexibility, culture and human-centered design solutions. The common zones that hug an organically shaped courtyard provide inviting and inspiring spaces for a complex organization that is continually evolving. This is definitely a major accomplishment in my career!
What is the achievement you are most proud of?
Over the last 16 years with TLCD, I’ve been fortunate to provide guidance and mentorship to talented designers who thrive in our horizontal structure where partners and interns sit side by side. I love the inclusive and cross-generational workplace where everyone learns from each other and contributes to a rich firm culture.
What is your biggest challenge today?
My biggest challenge is actually fun and educational – it’s keeping up with all the research, white papers and new product offerings in our industry.
Words that best describe you: Creative, Thoughtful, Attentive, Eclectic, Curious.
As a successful female professional, what were the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?
When I moved to Santa Rosa in 1987, I found that I needed to jump-start my career in a completely different (and male dominated) business community than I was used to in San Francisco. Before I knew it, I was self-employed, juggling design projects while learning business management and marketing skills on the fly. Nothing short of a “can do” attitude got me out of my introverted skin and into the North Bay business community where I soon found my place.
Interior design director
520 Third Street, Suite 250, Santa Rosa 95401