OUR 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

 

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 

 

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.

 

DAWN VIOLA, EXECUTIVE PROGRAM INSTRUCTOR

Dawn has a strong passion for teaching Art and Design and has dedicated the past few years to educating students at several schools both nationally and locally. “Teaching and helping students learn about the exciting world of design is so special.  It gives me the chance to experience the wonder of discovering it for the first time over and over again!” While earning graduate degrees in both Architecture and Construction Management, the world of Kitchen and Bath design found her.  After designing the first kitchen for a former Olympic ski team member, she was hooked and hasn’t looked back.  According to Dawn, “Kitchens are the most inviting rooms in our homes.  Just go to a party and see where everyone gathers!”  She is a certified Kitchen and Bath Designer (CKBD) through the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) and loves to share her experiences with students.  Dawn is also an avid oil painting artist and loves historic homes.  She has been actively involved in the historic preservation community throughout Colorado volunteering for both Historic Denver, Inc. and Colorado Preservation Inc.  Dawn will be teaching Intro to AutoCAD & SketchUp and Kitchen & Bath Design as well as the Fundamentals of Interior Design Executive Certification Program on Saturdays.

 

JUAN PADILLA, TECHNICAL RENDERING INSTRUCTOR

Juan received his Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture and Minor in Sustainable Environments from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. Throughout his career, Juan has worked for multiple top architecture firms which has allowed him to learn from the best in the industry, develop technical and design skills, and be successful in a demanding and evolving profession. His current position as an architectural designer at Gensler Denver has enabled him to build a close relationship to interior design through in depth collaboration. Working side by side with interior designers on a daily basis, Juan has been exposed to the knowledge and skills that it takes to succeed in the industry. From computer aided design to virtual reality, he has taken on the role of being a resource for both technical and visualization expertise at his office. This role, paired with his passion for teaching, has launched him to pursue a career as an instructor with Heritage School of Interior Design. He believes that any student who is provided with knowledge and the right set of tools will be successful in this highly rewarding design industry. Juan is devoted to helping designers discover and utilize their top talent while exposing them to the demands of the business. He will be teaching Photoshop/Illustrator, Revit, Advanced AutoCAD & Advanced SketchUp.

 

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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