OUR TEAM

Instructors share interior design theory and application through their personal and professional knowledge. Each instructor has their own design business and have a wealth of design experience to share. The instructor’s passion for interior design is only surpassed by their passion for teaching interior design.

Stephanie Plymale

STEPHANIE PLYMALE, PRESIDENT & CEO

Stephanie brings her passion for empowering others and helping them grow personally and professionally to Heritage School of Interior Design. Her professional background includes 18 years as an independent interior designer with experience in commercial design, residential design, staging for realtors, and custom window treatments and furnishings. The knowledge she gained helped her to grow not only as a designer, but also as a leader and business owner. She also worked as a top producing in-home designer for Calico Home. After a successful design career, and a thorough understanding of the value of hard work, her passion turned from working as an Interior Designer to empowering and inspiring others. It was soon after this realization that she was given the opportunity to purchase Heritage School of Interior Design, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Since purchasing the school she has utilized the rich history and success of Heritage to transform the program. She has integrated the artistic and creative elements and principles of design and its history with the business and technology of design. To support this transformation, she has developed several new courses, which provide students with the well-rounded education they need to succeed in the industry. Stephanie is currently an active member of the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network as well as a volunteer and speaker for Dress for Success Oregon. Stephanie is devoted to the highest quality education and making it accessible to anyone who wants to start or enhance their career in the interior design industry. She does this by providing the educational experience and ongoing support that students need to be successful.

Read more about Stephanie here.

Email: steph@heritageschoolofinteriordesign.com

RHONDA LARSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | DENVER

Rhonda is the owner and executive director of Heritage School of Interior Design in Denver, CO. She brings extensive background in design, management and delivery of high quality training and education programs, which followed an early career in critical care nursing and the medical device industry. A lifelong yearning to help people craft their interior spaces into extraordinary havens drew her to attend Heritage School of Interior Design in Portland, OR. She became an independent interior designer as “RL Design Studio” and shop owner of “Velvet and Burlap Home”. When presented with the opportunity to open the first Heritage School of Interior Design outside of the original Portland location, she exclaimed “there is nothing I would rather do!”. Her business savvy, education background and interior design success provide a perfect synergy for this role. She has achieved a beautiful balance between her passion for education and her passion for design. She encompasses the values of the school and shares the Heritage spirit for helping people achieve the career of their dreams. Rhonda is also a designer, maker, finder and curator of beautiful things, an artist in jewelry and metalsmithing, mixed media painting, bookarts, collage and assemblage. She holds a deep appreciation of vintage pieces that tell stories: eclectic collections with history, soul and style. She loves integrating unique, well-crafted, authentic treasures with an artful character into interior spaces. “My spaces become my art projects”, representing truly cultivated character. She enjoys international travel,  good books, good food, even better wine, and outdoor adventures like hiking, skiing, mountain biking, rafting and everything Colorado. Rhonda is committed to maintaining a high standard educational experience and cultivating a supportive, creative community at Heritage Denver. She is excited to share her skills and enthusiasm to inspire and guide new designers to discover and develop their talents to obtain a truly fulfilling career in interior design. Email: rhonda@heritageschoolofinteriordesign.com

Jim Plymale

JIM PLYMALE, DIRECTOR/ADMINISTRATOR

Jim has over 25 years of startup and growth stage company leadership experience. He is currently the CEO of Machine Research, a cloud-based software company in Portland that helps custom manufacturers win more profitable business by improving their quoting and manufacturing business processes. In 2014 he helped his wife, Stephanie, launch Heritage School of Interior Design leveraging experience from her 20+ year successful interior design career.  In addition to supporting Heritage School of Interior Design, he is an active member and leader of Vistage Portland, an organization that works with leaders and CEO’s to grow and transform companies. Jim truly enjoys coaching and development of startup phase companies and is excited to share his knowledge with students at Heritage School of Interior Design. In 2003 Jim founded Clinicient and pioneered cloud based services to outpatient therapy practices. He led Clinicient through years of revenue growth and raised more than $25M in capital from local and national investors. Clinicient now employs more than 120 people in Portland, OR. Prior to Clinicient, Jim held senior marketing and management roles at several Oregon based companies including OrCAD, where he helped lead the company to a successful IPO in 1996. Jim has extensive experience in all aspects of building and growing businesses through innovative sales and marketing programs including educational marketing, online/digital marketing, social media marketing and traditional marketing. Email: jim@heritageschoolofinteriordesign.com

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AMY VAN DITTI, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Amy Van Ditti brings her knowledge of marketing and her passion for interior design to Heritage School of Interior Design. She graduated from Portland State University with a business degree in Marketing and Advertising Management and worked in the marketing field for several years. Amy then realized that she was craving creativity and decided to pursue a career in design; a dream of hers since the first time she watched TLC’s Trading Spaces as a child. She enrolled at Heritage where she learned the essentials of design and was given the encouragement she needed by a supportive group of design professionals. Upon graduation she interned at Garrison Hullinger Interior Design as a Marketing Assistant, was the Social Media Coordinator for award winning builder Westlake Development Group LLC., and spent time working with an independent designer as a Design Consultant. Amy has worked closely with Stephanie to enhance the online presence of the school with an updated website, blog and social networks.

Email: amy@heritageschoolofinteriordesign.com 

ANNA MILLER, OFFICE MANAGER

Anna has an unconventional and unique background for the Interior Design field.  Most recently, she traveled to 14 countries in 11 months, which allowed her to see and experience different cultures, lifestyles, homes, architecture, and design.  Participating in a program called Workaway allowed her to stay with local host families and assist them with various projects around their homes and properties.

Prior to embarking on this recent adventure, Anna had a background in sport.  As a college soccer athlete at Washington State University, it was the logical choice after graduation for her to work in the sport industry.  With a degree in Sport Management, she traveled to Colorado to work with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).  For a little over five years she worked in the Operations Department of the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center scheduling, planning, and executing event and camp logistics for incoming athletes and coaches.  A highlight of her time at the USOC was attending the Vancouver and London Paralympic Games where she assisted Team USA’s disabled athletes achieve their dreams.  During her time at the USOC Anna earned a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver.

After her work at the USOC, Anna headed to the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club where she was a Supervisor in Guest Services.  Responsible for approximately 100 game day staff, she worked all the Rockies home games and dealt with any customer service issues that arose in her areas of responsibility.

Anna is currently a Master’s student at Heritage and is looking forward to a new career in the field of Interior Design.

Janis Howard

JANIS HOWARD, INSTRUCTOR

Janis is a 1997 graduate of Heritage School of Interior Design. After graduation, Janis was hired by a major furniture showroom as their lead designer. Currently she works with clients through her independent design business and is a lead instructor and trainer at Heritage School of Interior Design. Janis has been instructing students for 12 years at Heritage and has motivated and inspired hundreds of students with her love of interior design and her personable teaching skills. Her previous experience includes over 20 years in training and customer service with 1st Interstate Bank. Janis was actively involved with the 2000 Street of Dreams working with Macadam Floor and Furniture, which completely furnished two of the show homes. She was also part of the team that decorated the Galaxy Show Home which took first place for interior design in the Street of New Beginnings show. Janis is so excited to continue developing students at the newly enhanced Heritage School of Interior Design. Email: janis@heritageschoolofinteriordesign.com View photos of one of Janis’s projects here.

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MICHELE KREMERS, INSTRUCTOR

Michele Kremers is a transplant from Hawaii where she graduated from Chaminade University with a degree in Interior Design. Michele started her design career working for a General Contractor of luxury homes in Hawaii. A few years later, started the Interior Coordinator Department for a hospitality property management firm in which she was responsible for hotel properties across the State of Hawaii with homeowners from around the globe. Just before moving to Oregon, Michele worked for an Architecture/Design firm that specialized in Commercial projects which included Hospitals, Hotels and Corporate offices. Her most rewarding project was helping hospitality property owners recover from the devastation of Hurricane Iniki that tore through the Island of Kauai. After moving to Oregon, Michele worked for an Interior Designer who specialized in high-end residential projects which lead to her own interior design firm. Through her design firm, Michele gained experience in being an entrepreneur of the interior design industry. She thrived on providing her clients expert design ideas and efficient project management from conception to completion. After a few years of having her own business, Michele wanted to share her knowledge of the wonderful field on interior design so she turned to teaching. She taught in the Interior Design departments at Marylhurst University and Portland Community College. She also was an instructor for Saturday Academy design classes where she would expose young students to the field of interior design. Her career in teaching interior design inspired Michele to go back to school which lead to a Bachelor’s of Art degree in Art History from Portland State University and an MBA from Marylhurst University. Michele’s knowledge and experience in the interior design/architecture industry has been an asset to her teaching career where she inspires students. She is credited with creating the short-term international travel study program at Marylhurst where students were exposed to global cultures, architecture and design. Michele is excited to join the Heritage School of Interior Design to continue inspiring students to learn and practice in this wonderful field. She is excited about their vision and looks forward to contributing to the school’s success.

SARAH PETERSON, ONLINE INSTRUCTOR

Sarah is an Interior designer who currently works for an Architecture Firm in Central Oregon. Sarah received her degree in Interior Architecture and Design at the Academy of Art University where she also previously resided in San Francisco, CA. She finds inspiration from everyday life, traveling, art, nature and many others. A driving force to her designs are to create spaces that are beautiful and meaningful while also positively impacting to the community, climate and of course- the client. Sarah has a strong interest in green design, believing that sustainability is an integral part of being a designer in the 21st century. Sarah is always up for a challenge, whether its teaching in new and innovative ways or implementing complex design concepts, she is always willing to go the extra mile to make her visions and aspirations come to life. Sarah hopes to teach and inspire, guiding others to follow and implement their dreams to becoming the successful individual they aspire and know to be. Email: sarah@heritageschoolofinteriordesign.com

HANNAH HACKER, INSTRUCTOR FOR CAD DESIGN

Hannah has been helping people in the Portland area improve their homes since receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in interior design from Oregon State University in 2005. Starting as a Design Associate at Neil Kelly Remodeling she gained the skills, experience and industry connections to be able to open her own design firm, Adapt Design, in 2011. With Adapt Design Hannah specializes in space planning and material selection for residential remodeling and new construction. Adapt Design also provides 2-D and 3-D drafting services for contractors and other designers. Hannah loves to share her industry knowledge and experience with students. She taught training courses at Neil Kelly for new employees. She has also volunteered with interior design students at Portland Community College, Oregon State University and the North Clackamas School District. Email: hannah@heritageschoolofinteriordesign.com

AMY PEARSON, INSTRUCTOR FOR ADVANCED CAD DESIGN

Amy Pearson is the founder and principle designer of Amy Pearson Design, a Portland based interior design studio. Amy’s passion for interior design began as a young girl after listening to the architect and designers involved in her parent’s major home remodel.  At every opportunity during the project Amy asked questions, constantly seeking to understand every aspect of the build and why decisions were made. That same hunger for knowledge is a corner stone to how Amy operates her business including continuing education and advancing technical skills, as well as her focus on meeting the needs and desires of her clients. Though life took Amy down several different paths, her passion for interior design never faded.  After graduating college, getting married, and staying at home with her two beautiful children, Amy finally decided it was time to pursue her lifelong dream.  As a wife, and a mother of boy and girl twins, Amy’s family is her entire world!  Armed with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Portland and a Certification from Heritage School of Interior Design, Amy is committed to bringing the same level of passion and love she has for her family into the family homes of her clients, curating environments that reflect their personalities and lives. Amy currently works in collaboration with Hannah Hacker of Adapt Design and is focused on kitchen and bath design projects including remodels and new construction. She is a member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) and specializes in interior plans, cabinet plans, surface selections and plumbing selections. Her services also include furniture planning and selection, purchasing, and window treatments. We are so excited to have her teach our new Advanced AutoCAD course starting this fall 2017!

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ANDREW EGHBALPOUR, INSTRUCTOR FOR ADVANCED SKETCHUP

Andrew began his career in Interior Design in Los Angeles, after graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in architecture. He began his career for a design/build company specializing in custom cabinetry and furniture. He has also worked as a design associate for an interior design company, and as a designer for a commercial design/build firm. Throughout all of his interior design work, his specialty was 3D modeling and photo-realistic rendering. During his time in Los Angeles, Andrew has had the privilege of having many high profile clients, from CEOs of major companies to various celebrities. He has just recently moved to Portland, where he is currently freelancing his 3D modeling and rendering skills for designers, contractors, and real estate investors. We are so excited to have him on the Heritage School of Interior Design team! Email: andrew@heritageschoolofinteriordesign.com

KATYA WAFF GISAFFI, INSTRUCTOR FOR COMMERCIAL DESIGN

For Katya, it is not merely about designing spaces, but creating a sense of place.  Specializing in transforming client ideas and expectations into refined, articulate presentations and results that reflect their lifestyle. Katya has been practicing for over fifteen years, and is an advocate for her clients. She has found much inspiration from the design and Architecture throughout Europe that she often incorporates into her projects. Katya’s enthusiasm for design extends beyond design projects. She has also taught as an Adjunct Instructor at The Art Institute of Portland, where she taught courses in Commercial, Retail and Residential Design Studios, Advanced Textiles and AutoCAD. Katya grew up on the east coast of the United States, originally from the Boston area, then Princeton, where she received an academic scholarship from Princeton Scholarship Foundation. She received a Professional degree in Interior Architecture from the University of Oregon, a CIDA accredited program ranked third in the Country. Katya is active in the professional design community and is the current National Director for the Interior Design Society, and has served on the Board of Directors for the NKBA, holding the position of Vice President of Membership.

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SEVERIN VILLIGER , INSTRUCTOR FOR REVIT

Severin has over 10 years of experience working with computer 3D modeling software. He began by integrating Revit into parts of the 3D modeling workflow to create photo-realistic renderings and animations for a variety of Interior Design, Architecture and Engineering firms. Revit has since become an important part of documenting the design process and design intent. Severin has several years of teaching Revit in classroom settings, individual trainings, workshops at Universities, and trainings at Firms who wish to integrate Revit into the workplace. He is now excited to share his knowledge with the students at Heritage! The fascination with the virtual environment using 3D software formed an interest in engineering and architecture. In addition to creating photo-realistic renderings, Severin enjoys creating historic documentations and futuristic visual animation reels and effects.

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ANGIE MORSE, INSTRUCTOR FOR STAGING CERTIFICATION

Angie Morse is an award winning interior designer, redesigner, and home stager. With a passion for color and a flair for creativity, Angie has been involved in many aspects of the design industry, including: creative service management, graphic design, teaching, writing, visual merchandising, interior and landscape design, and home staging.
Angie’s straight forward approach, patience, humor, and sense of style make home staging a perfect fit. “I love that feeling at the end of a staging day when my team and I look around a home and say, ‘Hey, look what we created!’ I’m excited to share my knowledge and experience as you begin this staging journey.” 

AMY TROUTE, ADVISORY BOARD

Amy Troute is a 2008 graduate of Heritage and a top Interior Designer in Portland. She’s always had an eye for color and design and a passion for the comforts of home. Amy earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and enjoyed a successful decade-long career in Marketing and Advertising. When Amy found out she was expecting twins in 2003, she knew she would continue to work after they were born but wanted to love what she was doing while she was away from them. She decided to pursue her passion for interior design. She built her portfolio over the first three years of her daughters’ lives with referrals from friends, and eventually met Jennifer Adams, an established designer and Heritage graduate. Jennifer hired Amy to work with her Portland clients and recommended she attend Heritage to gain the education she was missing.  Amy recalls Jennifer saying “you have about 80% of what it takes to be successful, Heritage will provide the rest.” After graduating from Heritage, Amy moved her design firm from home to a small studio in the Pearl District and the fledgeling “Design for Home” became Amy Troute Inspired Interior Design, a full service residential and commercial interior design firm working throughout northwest Oregon and southwest Washington. Her services range from furnishings design to specification and selection of surfaces and finishes for new construction and renovations. Amy was listed among the area’s “Top 15 Interior Designers” on BuildDirect.com in 2014 and was featured in Oregon Home Magazine in 2016, completing a Dream Bedroom Makeover for a lucky client in Washington.  Amy Troute Inspired Interior Design has been recognized as “Best of Houzz” for 2014, 2015 and 2016. Amy is truly inspiring and continuously supports the school by coming in each term to speak to new students and is always happy to provide insight to our graduates who reach out to her. We are so excited to welcome Amy to our Advisory Board!

REYNA BADILLO, ADVISORY BOARD

Reyna Badillo has always admired art and fashion and she grew up in an environment where she learned a lot about the beauty of wood. She channeled her passion and knowledge for design into her own business, Summit Wood Creations, which specializes in custom, craftsman style furniture made from sustainable raw materials. After successfully running her business for 15 years, she wanted the opportunity to be more creative. She felt that her vision was limited to furniture and she wanted to be able to help her clients create a cohesive look in their home. She decided to take that next step by becoming more educated in interior design and enrolled at Heritage School of Interior Design. After graduating from Heritage, she had all the tools she needed to make her dream come true. Reyna now has her own manufacturing company which produces her line of sustainable furniture and she also offers interior design services. Her line of furniture includes custom kitchen cabinets, dining tables, bedroom furniture and more. She is committed to sourcing local wood and environmentally-friendly production practices. Her team draws inspiration from the inherent, natural beauty and rough, untamed texture of raw materials. Reyna is a perfect addition to our advisory board, we are so thankful to have her!

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MICHAEL REPER, ADVISORY BOARD

Michael was born and raised in Texas and had an apparent talent and passion for design at a young age. Growing up he would redesign his bedroom every couple of years, with his mom’s permission, with new paint, drapery, art and bedding. He loved rearranging furniture, redecorating and moving art around his house. Whenever his mother left the house she would come home to a rearranged and redecorated home – always a nice surprise! While Michael was in design school, he got his first job working in a trade showroom. He later started his own firm in addition to owning three retail stores. He did extensive traveling to do design projects for clients around the world. But in 2008, Hurricane Ike hit Texas. Damages from the Hurricane added up to $37.50 billion USD, the costliest hurricane on record. The hurricane destroyed his business and his home, in the midst of a recession so Michael was forced to restart in the toughest conditions. Michael decided to take a trip to Portland and quickly fell in love with it. While in Portland he started working with a client on a project and found out the furnishing and decor options in Portland were extremely limited. Being the entrepreneur that he is, he saw the potential for a showroom and created Nest. Nest Showroom caries over 10,000 fabrics to choose from and 50 other lines of designer products including upholstery, case goods, lighting, rugs and more. Michael is well-known throughout the design community and is a true expert in the field. He values long-term relationships and trust with his clients, which is apparent in the way he runs his business. He has been extremely supportive of the school and provides our students with invaluable knowledge. Michael’s advice for aspiring interior designers is to let your personality and style shine, be confident, work hard, listen to your clients, ask for help, do it right the first time, clean up mistakes and thank your clients.

TERRY HANSEN, ADVISORY BOARD AND PRESENTER

Terry has been a professional muralist and decorative artist for the last 20 years. Her eye for color and fine art training allows her to enhance every room or space with a sumptuous and aesthetically enriching experience. Hansen’s diverse portfolio demonstrates her versatility and ability to paint everything from a lush Tuscan landscape to a Urban contemporary wall finish. Her work has been featured in 15 Street of Dreams homes, The Oregonian, Better Homes and Garden, Boats International and much more. She is now brining her experience to the board of directors at Heritage School of Interior Design and is the current Treasurer for the Interior Design Society of Portland and is the past president of the local Cascade Artisans Guild. Terry has been presenting to Heritage students for several years and is excited to be involved as a Board Advisor.

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