Our corporate team is committed to encouraing and supporting our students’ personal growth and long-term professional success.
STEPHANIE THORNTON 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.
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: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
AMY WHITE, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS | PORTLAND
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 attended Heritage School of Interior Design where she learned the essentials of design and received her Certificate in Interior Custom Design. Amy 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 began working with Stephanie in 2015 to enhance the online presence of the school with an updated website, blog and social media. Over the last several years her role has grown and she is now the Director of Operations at the school. Her role includes student relations, business management, website management and marketing.
KRISTIN SIDORAK, DIRECTOR OF LEARNING & ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Kristin Sidorak brings a decade of experience in Learning & Organizational Development, Sales, Marketing and Analytics from Google, Airbnb and NIKE as well as the dynamic pulse of a lifetime of creative pursuits as a recording musician, visual artist and most recently, interior designer. Kristin completed Heritage Fundamentals in 2018 while working full-time in sales and sourcing at Nest Showroom in Portland, OR. Her ultimate goal is to collaborate and orchestrate the most effective and empowering learning experience for each Heritage student in every location.
This goal will be met by bridging analytical tendencies, passion for effective learning programs and creativity with a listening-centered, open-minded collaboration among staff, students and the design community in each HSID location. HSID course offerings will always optimize per student and instructor feedback and the progressive design industry and local communities. We aim to empower individuals to live the life they’ve always wanted. We believe this involves being forward thinking while making constructive moves in the present.
As well as being a certified interior designer and independent artist, Kristin is a certified health counselor via Institute for Integrative Nutrition. In her free time she’ll be found adventuring and eating well with loved ones, working on a new painting or song, evolving the look and organization of her or her friend’s homes or running cathartic laps around Portland’s local parks. Kristin moved to Portland almost six years ago after seven years of climbing the ranks within both Google and the independent music scene in NYC.
CARA MURRAY, STUDENT RELATIONS MANAGER
Cara Murray joined Heritage in 2018 as our Student Relations Manager. Cara has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Product Design from University of Oregon with a focus in textiles and home furnishings. She also studied jacquard weaving at the Fondazione Lisio in Florence Italy, where she gained an appreciation for fine craftsmanship and textile construction.
Before joining the Heritage team, Cara worked at a Digital Textile Printing Startup in Portland where she collaborated with local interior designers and other small businesses to bring their designs to life on custom printed fabric. She loved being a part of Portland’s diverse and supportive community of small businesses, makers, and designers.
Cara’s role at Heritage will include building connections and relationships with students, the industry, and design professionals. We are so excited to have her on our team!
AMY TROUTE, ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER
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 MEMBER
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, ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER
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 MEMBER 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.