IWCE 2017 SPEAKERS
Deb Barrett – window fashion visionary, creative catalyst and design confidante – has been actively working in the design and window coverings industry since 1975. She has a varied background and experience that is a rare mix in the industry. As a design entrepreneur, she combined her twin passions: design and windows when she founded Window Dressings, a couture window treatment and soft furnishings firm. As a nationally known award winning designer, she has built a reputation for cutting edge couture treatments whose specialty is finding creative solutions to challenging design problems. Her design career has taken many paths, but her fascination with what’s around the corner has led her to her current roles as a much sought-after speaker, consultant and design blogger. You can find Deb on the web at www.debbarrett.com and blogging at Design Confidential.
CARL DELLATORE – KEYNOTE SPEAKER
An industry veteran, Carl Dellatore began his career as a textile designer in New York in the early 80’s, and has worked extensively in shelter publications including producing editorial content for House and Garden, Martha Stewart Living, and House Beautiful. He also owned a custom curtain and upholstery workroom from 1997 through 2008, making him uniquely qualified to both attend and present at IWCE.
Staci Faulkner is the owner and operator of Staci Faulkner Designs in Ruston, LA, and the WFCP Workroom Director. She has been involved in the interior design business for 23 years. Staci studied Fashion Merchandising at Louisiana Tech University. After graduating and creating custom clothing and wedding gowns, Staci turned her interest to sewing for the home, sparking a passion for interiors. She now owns and operates a home-based workroom in Ruston, LA.
Welton Hong, founder of Ring Ring Marketing® , is a leading expert in helping window covering companies convert leads from online directly to the phone line. Based in Silicon Valley, Ring Ring Marketing has successfully helped many window covering companies increase their revenues in a short amount of time.
Welton is the author of Making Your Phone Ring with Internet Marketing for Window Covering Companies. He has a graduate degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Prior to starting Ring Ring Marketing, he was a senior technologist at R&D facilities for Intel, Sun Microsystems, and Oracle.
Industry expert Laurie Medford is a sought-after workroom educator, presenter and speaker around the world. Laurie joined Rowley Company in 2009 as Customer Engagement Manager, responsible for training both internal employees and customers on products, processes and industry trends. During her time with Rowley, Laurie has completed hundreds of product videos and recorded more than 150 educational webinars which can be found on the company’s current website. Prior to joining Rowley, Laurie owned and operated Centsible Creations, Inc., located in Fenton, Michigan, where she designed, fabricated and installed award-winning draperies and home décor furnishings. Laurie previously taught upholstery technique classes and workshops at Custom Home Furnishings Academy and continues to share her knowledge with many other industry organizations. In her spare time, Laurie enjoys spending time with her husband and two Old English Sheepdogs.
ANN K. JOHNSON
Ann owns Sew Easy Windows, a wholesale workroom established in 1992 in Ohio. Author of The Professional Workroom Handbook of Swags and publisher for Kitty Stein’s Price Your
Work with Confidence! Ann offers private training, seminars, and hands-on classes in workroom fabrication, pattern drafting, efficiency and pricing. Ann is a popular industry instructor, a representative for DreamDraper, and a member of the GCDP and WCAA. www.seweasywindows.com
O’D is a master in the motorization of window coverings and has over a decade of experience with motorized window coverings including fabrication, installation and selling. He has been involved with the motorization of yachts, RVs, custom homes, government facilities, and corporate commercial buildings. He has worked with clients worldwide. O’D is also a professional educator and his teaching methods allow for complex concepts to be broken down into simple steps that are easy to understand. His seminars are consistently rated with the highest reviews.
LuAnn Nigara is an award winning window treatment authority, author, and host of one of the most popular podcasts for the design industry, and overall business dynamo. Based in Livingston, New Jersey, LuAnn got her start in 1982 when she, her husband and cousin purchased a franchise of the Florida based window treatment company, Window Works. With LuAnn at the helm of sales, they quickly expanded from New Jersey to serving the entire metro area from Philadelphia to Connecticut, and became the leading showroom in gross sales of the more than 120 stores Window Works stores around the country. “I’ve always been fascinated by sales and the components of a sale,” explains LuAnn, who brings an unmatched passion and expertise to the business of window design. “At 10 years old, my aunt gave me the book, The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino and I devoured it. That was just the beginning of what became my obsession with the art and skill of the sale.” Soon after running Window Works’ leading franchise, LuAnn had an idea that took her business to another level and changed the trajectory of her career: “I thought, why not work directly with interior designers?” says LuAnn and laughs as she remembers cold calling designers. Today, she counts Sussan Lari Architects, Alexandra Angle Interiors in Los Angeles, Anyon Designs (San Francisco), Funk Design Studio, Pembrooke & Ives, and Charles Pavarini as clients. After more than thirty years of creating and installing window treatments for the most discerning clients, LuAnn is recognized as a leading voice in the business of windows and design. In addition to speaking at the American Society of Interior Designers (ASIDNJ) and the world renowned Hunter Douglas conference, she is regularly called on by Design NJ as a resource. She was featured in Design NJ and appeared on House Smarts TV. In 2012, LuAnn authored the e-book, 10 Things to Know about Window Treatments and was featured in the Big Bold Business Women of New Jersey. In the summer of 2015, LuAnn was searching for radio shows that spoke to her interest of design. When she turned up with nothing, she had an “aha moment” and decided to start a Podcast of her own. Today, she hosts a weekly 60-minute Podcast, ‘A Well-designed Business.’ The twice weekly show on iTunes features in-depth conversations with interior designers and industry professionals on just about every subject on the business of interior design, from “Branding for Designers,” “How to Get PR,” and “How to Structure Your Fees.”
Tammy Paradoski is the owner of Daisy Chain, LLC, a full service retail drapery and slipcover studio created in 2000. She specializes in the high quality craftsmanship of window treatments, bedding and slipcovers with attention to detail. She is also the co-founder of Drapery & Design Magazine, the only multimedia publication in the industry. Her passions include teaching others and sharing the knowledge she has gained over the years. Tammy is a member of the WFCP Advisory Board, WCAA, and the founder of the Chicagoland Workroom Professionals. For more information, go to www.daisychainllc.com
JANA PLATINA PHIPPS
Jana Platina Phipps is well known as a trimmings designer with a refined vision for the use of modern embellishment in home furnishings, fashion and luxury DIY. She chronicles how the design community creates with trimmings through her social media channels as Trim Queen, with a passion for creativity and how things are made. www.TrimQueen.com
Susan has 25 years’ experience reporting on the design and window fashion industry. She is currently the editor of Window Fashion Vision magazine and travels internationally to home furnishing trade events, discovering new products, trends and up and coming designers.
JULIE WOOD & RENEE RUCCI
Julie Wood is the owner of The Leading Edge Drapery, LLC and has been in business as a workroom since 2006. She caters to the high end, luxury designer with large whole home projects.
Julie prides herself in education. She holds certification in the designer and window treatment WFCP programs. She is also a graduate of an interior design certification program at New Hampshire Institute of Art. She has completed the Window Coverings Professional Program through CHF Academy. She continues to add to client services based on the continuing education she receives. Julie is currently the Vice President of WCAA National.
Julie enjoys giving back. She has taken part in several Building on Hope service projects in NH, providing window treatments to newly renovated non-profit associations. She has participated in WCAA service projects for My Brother’s Keeper and Little Dresses for Africa. The sense of family developed while working on these projects with colleagues is wonderful and rejuvenating.
Her expertise is high end, detailed window treatments, bedding and soft furnishings. She won the 1st Place Bedding and Pillow Award for the2015 Ingenuity Workroom Competition given by Window Fashion-Vision.
Renee Rucci is the owner of the Interior Design firm Renee Rucci Design, LLC, in Atkinson, NH. Renee concentrates her practice of residential design as well as small commercial projects in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine. Her background is in Art education, having taught Art for 11 years. She has been involved as part of the design team for the renovation and restoration of the historic Endicott Hotel in Concord, NH, a Designer for the Governor’s Show House in Concord, NH, the York Designer Show House in York Maine and currently serves on the board of Building on Hope, a community outreach program that renovates buildings for non-profit organizations in NH.
Renee has received her Certificate in Interior Design from the New Hampshire Institute of Art and owns a store front, Decor, in Ogunquit, ME where she caters to high end and complete home design. She is able to take a client from the beginning vision to completed project all the while managing contractors and pieces of a project seamlessly. Clients are part of the design process and enjoy leaving the project details to Renee knowing that their vision will be achieved. Renee’s attention to detail of finishes and accessories is impeccable. She enjoys seeing a project through to completion. Her design of the Master Bedroom in the 2014 York Museum Show House, York, ME, was awarded 1st Prize in Bedding and Pillow fabrication at the 2015 Ingenuity Workroom Competition at IWCE conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Michele Williams is the owner of The Scarlet Thread, LLC. She runs a successful Business and Life Coaching practice, offers business education around the country and continues to offer window treatment design and fabrication services. Michele serves on the WCAA National Board of Directors as President and is a past president of the Atlanta Chapter. She is also a member of the Designers’ Workroom Council and Design Collective. Michele is the former Communications Director of the CHF Academy and Drapery and Design Professional Magazine Editor-In-Chief. www.scarletthreadconsulting.com
Jim has over 40 years of experience in the custom home furnishing industry. He has been teaching at to-the-trade conferences for over 13 years and has written many articles for trade magazines and publications. Jim is the owner of Simply the Best Window Treatments which serves the greater Charlotte, NC area and their high-end clientele. Jim is considered an expert at plantation shutters, motorization and difficult to impossible installations.
“You really like what you do!” is the number one comment that Jim receives from customers, and he considers that to be one of the nicest compliments that one can receive as well.
Tracy Windley is the owner of Sew Elegant Fine Window Designs, established in 1994 and located in Searcy, Arkansas. Sew Elegant is a retail/wholesale fabrication studio which offers custom window coverings, slipcovers, and light upholstery. The studio specializes in detailed fabrication and couture finishes. Tracy is a former student of the Custom Home Furnishings Academy, a contributor to Drapery & Design Magazine, and a webinar presenter for the Drapery & Design Professional Network and WCAA Virtual Chapter. She will also be an instructor for the WF Vision IWCE and the Custom Workroom Conference in 2017. Tracy is a member of the Window Coverings Association of America (WCAA) and Co-President of the WCAA Virtual Chapter.
JOANNE LENART WEARY
JoAnne Lenart-Weary is a Professional Interior Decorator and 40 year industry veteran. This experience led to appearances on HGTV, WJET-TV ABC, Good Morning Atlanta and other regional TV stations.
In 1999, JoAnne founded what is now called The Decorating and Staging Academy and has taught thousands of Professional and DIY Decorators and Stagers around the country. She is a frequent national speaker for groups like RESA, IDS, WCAA, IWCE, CHF Academy, and is the creator of many industry tools such as the Confident Consultation, Decorating in the Zone, the Confident Color System, the DIY series and DIY-Decorate It Yourself. She has recently been named the National Director of Education for the Staging and Design Network. JoAnne believes in arming you with information that is practical and helps you do your job more efficiently and profitability.