DENVER 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

 

amy-van-ditti

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 

 

Jim Plymale

JIM PLYMALE, DIRECTOR OF FINANCE

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

 

KALLAN OLIVER, EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Kallan recently graduated with honors from the University of Colorado in May of 2017. She has a double major in Advertising and Sociology and a Business Innovation minor. She began a modeling career early with Wilhelmina Denver that lead her to many exciting opportunities with national clients. More recently she has worked within promotional advertising agencies and magazine publications throughout Denver. Kallan has an aptitude for event planning, account management and strategic media campaign planning developed through both domestic and international experience. Her degrees and work experience have equipped her with a unique skillset as the owner and operator of Oliver Creative Solutions, specializing in groundbreaking social, print, and digital marketing. She has had the privilege of living all over the world, including both Europe and Australia. Her family, including two younger sisters, lives in Boise, Idaho with their beloved pets. Kallan is a certified yoga teacher and dedicated to health, fitness, and mindfulness through her yoga practice. She expresses her creativity through drawing and painting. She is naturally inquisitive and seeks challenges and creative solutions in her professional pursuits. Email: kallan@heritageschoolofinteriordesign.com 

 

EMILY YATES, STUDENT RELATIONS & OPERATIONS MANAGER

Emily recently completed the Master’s Certification at Heritage School of Interior Design in Denver.  She decided to tap into her true passion for interior design after spending several years coaching the sport of fitness while training to reach her own personal athletic goals in the sport of CrossFit. Before opening her own CrossFit gym, Emily earned her BA in Kinesiology and Master’s Degree in Education.   Although Emily loved her role as an athlete and coach in CrossFit, she was ready to open her world up to new experiences and begin focusing on her artistic abilities and design skills. Emily embarked on her education at Heritage excited to begin a design career that would focus on working with a wide range of clients and budgets while completing projects both large and small.  As a designer, Emily focuses on creating spaces that feel like home, embody functionality, and highlight each client’s individual tastes and desires.  Using the interpersonal skills she developed as a coach, Emily takes the time to get to know each client so that she can create a space that reflects their unique personality and vision.

Emily joined the Heritage team excited to combine her love of education and interior design. Her role at Heritage will allow her to use her previous experience as a business owner and coach to help our students have the most fulfilling and rewarding experience possible.  Emily’s warm and inviting personality and passion for the industry help to make the Heritage learning environment fun, non-intimidating, and inspiring for all students. 

 

JENNY O’NEILL, FUNDAMENTALS INSTRUCTOR

Jenny is an accomplished Interior Design professional with 19 years of experience in a wide range of project types. Her areas of expertise include Programming, Design Development, Finish and Furniture Selection, Client Presentation, Construction Documentation, Specifications, Construction Administration, Management and Mentoring. While attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Architecture, she traveled to Denmark to further study Scandinavian Architecture and Interior Design. During her time overseas, Jenny had the privilege of traveling to many countries, and experiencing different cultures, art and architecture. This ignited a new passion for travel, and an appreciation for the importance of getting out of one’s comfort zone. Upon graduating, she took a position at Gensler, in Denver, Colorado.  During her 4 years at the firm, she was able to work on both domestic and international teams. In 2004, she started O Interiors, which gave her the flexibility to work on passion projects as well as teach AutoCAD and Interior Design Presentation workshops. Teaching and helping junior designers understand the demands and eclectic offerings of the industry, is what brought Jenny to Heritage School of Interior Design. Currently, Jenny is building her brand at Method Interior Design and working with contractors and investors as a Colorado Real Estate Broker. Jenny loves creating art, reading, hiking and spending time with her husband, Keith, and their three children. She will be teaching Fundamentals of Interior Design Day Certification Program.

 

ERICA SWANSON, TECHNICAL RENDERING INSTRUCTOR

Erica has always had a love for design but it was the idea that she could Design a house so that it felt like Home that drove her to study design. Erica studied Interior Design and Architecture and earned degrees from the Art Institute of Colorado and CU Boulder. Upon graduating, Erica worked for a local designer and managed several kitchen and bath projects. She also assisted in the custom design of high end homes. In 2011 Erica created two design companies, ESDesigns and Distinctive Wedding Design,LLC to allow herself the freedom and flexibility of working from home. ESDesigns focuses on interior design for residential and commercial clients. Erica has worked on a variety of projects from conceptual building designs to corporate offices. Distinctive Wedding Design focused on wedding invitation design; creating custom graphics and designs then hand making wedding invitations, programs and other stationery. Erica volunteers frequently at her church, mentoring middle school girls, chaperoning retreats and even teaching.  In 2012 Erica became a mom and now has 2 young children. In her free time, when there is any, Erica loves to read, especially classics or historical fiction. By becoming an instructor at Heritage Interior Design School, Erica joins a long line of teachers in her family, which includes her mother and two brothers. Erica is excited to pass on the knowledge she has gained in the industry and inspire the next generation of designers. 

 

JENN SIMON, KITCHEN & BATH DESIGN INSTRUCTOR

From a young age, Jenn Simon had an eye for color and design.  In 2003 she graduated from Oregon State University with a BS in Interior Design and currently she works as a Kitchen and Bath designer at The KB Studio in Boulder.  She specializes in contemporary design and is an expert in cabinetry.

Jenn began her career at  Ankrom Moisan Architects in Portland, Oregon.  There she dedicated herself to high end condo projects in Portland’s luxury Pearl district and a variety of commercial and housing projects.  Following Ankrom Moissan, Jenn expanded her expertise at GGL Architecture (now BLRB Architects) in Bend, Oregon.  At GGL Jenn worked on a wide range of residential and commercial projects, where she won a COBA (Central Oregon Builders Association) Best Kitchen Award.

When Jenn is not designing she loves to play outside. Some of the outdoor activities she loves include skiing, backpacking, SUPing, travel, cycling, and camping.  Jenn holds a PSIA (Professional Ski Instructor of America) Level 3 teaching certificate and spent 9 years teaching skiing on weekends.  She is very excited to combine her love of teaching and design at the Heritage School of Interior Design.

 

JENNIFER MCDANIEL, REVIT INSTRUCTOR

Jennifer is a licensed architect, who completed her Bachelors of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology and Masters of Architecture at University of Texas at Austin. She first surrounded herself in the commercial design world at the age of 19 in Chicago, IL where she worked for a collaborative studio in a large firm that believed strongly in the continuous collective efforts between architects and interior designers.  She was fortunate enough to learn under both for the majority of her first decade in the profession, giving her the unique ability to take on a wide breadth of project variety both in size and type.  Jennifer loves helping clients see their vision come to life through both drawings & physical materials.  Such experiences have included restaurants & breweries, medical facilities, banks, commercial offices, schools, sports facilities, and even historic renovation. Realizing she had a lot to offer the Denver community, and with amazing support from colleagues, friends, & family, Jennifer ventured out on her own in the beginning of 2018 creating FLUENCY architecture + design, PLLC.

For over a decade now, Revit has been Jennifer’s go-to tool of choice for creating both schematic design ideas and final construction documentation.  She learns more of its capabilities with every passing year and is excited to share her knowledge with the Heritage School of Interior Design students!

 

SARAH SCHWAB, COMMERCIAL DESIGN INSTRUCTOR

Sarah has been working in the Commercial Interior Design field for 20 years. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design from Colorado State University and then worked to obtain her LEED, AP certification. Her career started as an Interior Design Contractor with Bechta Group Limited. During her time at BGL she worked for clients such as Norwest/ Wells Fargo Bank, Raytheon, Janus Funds, Jeppesen and other various companies. Working with so many large companies allowed Sarah to gain a vast knowledge base of cooperate interiors with many different design standards. From BGL she transitioned to Retail Design with the Sports Authority corporate office as a Project Manager/ CAD Manager. Retail Design brought many new challenges such as remodeling stores, brand building and supporting large nationwide design rollouts. After a few years in the retail design industry she went to work for Lockheed Martin as an Architectural Designer/ Office Planner. Designing in the defense industry she attained an understanding of working with security requirements for various government funded programs. After many years in the corporate design world she transitioned into the furniture and hospitality industries, while also starting her own company Schwab Designs, LLC.

Sarah is passionate about design and what it can do to transform space. She has a depth of knowledge for designing spaces that enhance form and function. Her passion and extensive knowledge have guided her to share her experiences with the next generation of designers at Heritage School of Interior Design where she will be teaching Commercial Design.

 

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!

 

michael-reper

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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