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 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.
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.
AMY WHITE, 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 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 DIRECTOR
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!
JANIS HOWARD, FUNDAMENTALS 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.
ANGIE MORSE, FUNDAMENTALS & STAGING INSTRUCTOR
Angie Morse is an award winning interior designer and home stager based in SW Portland. As a sixth generation Oregonian, Angie grew up in Bend with parents who were “house flippers” long before it was mainstream. Living in ever evolving homes, she experienced first hand the possibilities within each home and saw that transformations were only limited by ones imagination, a creative budget, and how far Dad could test Mom’s patience.
Angie holds a BA in Journalism/Public Relations from the University of Oregon and is a graduate of the Heritage School of Interior Design. She is also a certified consultant with Dewey Color and Color with Confidence and has won awards for interior design, professional organization, color usage, home staging, redesign, and has been named Interior Design Society’s Designer of the Year nationally for window treatments and holiday design.
Angie is a proponent of sharing knowledge, giving back to peers, and inspiring new designers. She believes that the profession is much stronger by fostering a community of camaraderie versus competition and that is reflected in her involvement with various design related associations. Angie is recognized as a RESA-Pro by the Real Estate Staging Association and has also served on the Portland RESA Chapter Board and the IRIS (Interior Redesign Industry Specialists) National Board of Directors. She is currently serving her sixth year on the Board of Directors of the Portland Chapter of the Interior Design Society (IDS) as immediate Past President and Chair of the Swatched event committee.
A familiar face in the halls of Heritage, Angie has been educating our students in the craft of Professional Home Staging for the past few years. She is excited for her expanded role as an integral part of the Heritage team. She is continually impressed by the School’s progressive approach to education, focused learning, and spirited collaboration among staff.
In her spare time, she can be seen in the stands at University of Portland baseball games watching her youngest nephew, traveling with her husband of 20+ years, or hanging out with family and friends.
JOSEPH NGUYEN, ONLINE & FUNDAMENTALS INSTRUCTOR
An award-winning interior designer of residential and commercial spaces, Joseph strives to design unique interiors that will have a positive impact on his clients’ lives. With many years of extensive and considerable experience, he possesses an innate desire to design and construct experiences that exceed clients’ expectations. With an eye for quality, a superior sense of style, and a client-centered/ownership mentality approach to business, Joseph has proven himself as an innovative designer. He offers a balance of creativity, collaboration and efficiency. Joseph works with a passionate, organized and detailed energy; enabling him to deliver focused development, project management and completion to diverse sizes of projects and budgets.
In his previous roles at companies such as Forever 21 Corporate, Hirsch Bedner & Associates, and a number of smaller firms- Joseph has led large-scale residential and commercial projects and partnered on projects for the multi-billion dollar retail industry. During this time, Joseph also led and partnered on smaller but equally exciting residential kitchen and bathroom remodel projects of differing scale and depth of involvement. Joseph is a licensed contractor and developer, he is an advocate of the design-build model and works with his clients from the initial consult, through construction and to final permitting and occupancy. He is always interested in new clients and is currently consulting on the development of several high rises in Vietnam.
Born and raised in Portland, Joseph’s ultimate passion embraces an entrepreneurial spirit, and helped him found his own multidisciplinary firm. His inspiration is to transform ideas into realities. Partnering with clients to anticipate and shape the future, Joseph strives to transform organizations and homes to advance the human experience. His passion often transcends the built environment and reaches across specialties to deliver expertise and insight to his clients’ toughest design problems. His passion embraces not only interior design and construction but also disciplines such as product manufacturing, graphic design and beyond.
In his spare time, Joseph enjoys spending time with his wife Jelena and their French Bulldog- Emi. They love exploring cultural, art, and food scenes, as well as traveling worldwide for experiences and inspiration.
IDA YORK, COMMERCIAL DESIGN INSTRUCTOR
Ida is the principal designer at Ida York Design Group, Inc. She has a BFA in Interior Architecture & Design from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California. Ida has been designing interiors since 2006 and started her company in 2009. Mrs. York’s career began in the commercial sector-primarily designing restaurants. Her passion with commercial design is to help companies improve their revenue through beautiful and functional interiors. Ida’s commercial design experience include restaurant, night club, hotel, commercial kitchen, retail, and corporate projects. When she is not designing, Ida is an active Rotarian and mentor to high school students. She even finds time to perform music and grow an outstanding vegetable garden with her husband.
To see her design work, visit her website here.
HANNAH HACKER, KITCHEN & BATH INSTRUCTOR
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. Hannah loves to share her industry knowledge and experience with students. She taught training courses at Neil Kelly for new employees and has also volunteered with interior design students at Portland Community College, Oregon State University, George Fox University and the North Clackamas School District.
AMY PEARSON, AUTOCAD INSTRUCTOR
Amy Pearson is an interior designer and design team member at Adapt Design. Whether it’s remodeling your existing home or designing your new home, Amy will guide you through the process from start to finish and has the knowledge and experience to plan and design a beautiful and functional space. Amy is committed to collaboration with her clients, creating design plans that are focused on the unique needs and wishes of each individual client. Amy’s passion for interior design began as a young girl after listening to the architect and designers involved in her parent’s complete home remodel. At every opportunity during the project Amy asked questions, constantly seeking to understand every aspect of the build. That same hunger for knowledge is a corner stone to how Amy operates her business, including how she approaches her client projects and seeking to understand their unique needs, participating in continuing education and advancing technical skills, and sharing the professional and technical skills she has acquired through teaching local students AutoCAD and Sketchup.
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. “It is an honor to be invited into a client’s home, working together to design a space that they love and are proud to share with friends and family. It is rewarding to create an environment that speaks to them and their lives together.”
Though life took Amy down several different paths, the passion for interior design never faded. After graduating college, getting married, 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, creating functional and beautiful spaces that reflect their personalities and lives. “It is an honor to be invited into a client’s home, working together to design a space that they love and are proud to share with friends and family. It is rewarding to create an environment that speaks to them and their personalities.”
ANDREW EGHBALPOUR, SKETCHUP INSTRUCTOR
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!
SEVERIN VILLIGER, REVIT & PHOTOSHOP, ILLUSTRATOR & INDESIGN INSTRUCTOR
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.