You started working at Design Basics on a part-time basis, and now you are the President. Tell us a little bit about what that journey was like for you.
When I came to Design Basics, I was hired to do Accounts Payable; I quickly became more involved with helping in other areas of the Business Office. With the CFO living out of state, I was able to fill in with various tasks in the [Omaha] office and quickly took on more and more. Within just a few weeks I went from part-time to full-time. Soon, I had moved into the role of Assistant Controller; then, to Vice President of Operations. When the President of the company announced she would be retiring soon, I was approached by the owners about taking on the position. It just goes to show that you never know where life’s going to lead you next!
What do you enjoy most about working at Design Basics?
The staff at Design Basics truly cares about one another. Most have been here for several years – some 20-25+ years! – and, they made it easy for me to dive in and become part of their “family.” I love working with the great team of people that we have here!
What do you like to do outside of the office?
My husband and I enjoy camping (in our motorhome, not roughing it!), biking, hiking, walking, and spending time with our children and grandchildren.
Name three things someone might not know about you:
I was a cheerleader in high school.
I used to own and operate a coffee shop. Since I still have some supplies, I have my own little coffee bar at home so I can make specialty coffee any time. In fact, my husband and I just hosted a coffee bar for a friend’s daughter’s graduation and it was a big hit!
We have 10 grandchildren, the oldest of which is six, and two more on the way! We are a close-knit family and enjoy getting together often.
I went on a mission trip to Russia visiting orphanages where our group put on a variety of performances such as skits, songs, etc., spreading the love of Christ; we also visited a women’s prison and a boy’s prison. It was an unforgettable experience and a real eye-opener for me.
What’s your vision for Design Basics in the next 3-5 years?
To grow awareness of Design Basics’ home designs, services, and brands, both in our local market as well as across the United States. I am looking forward to our team designing more Woman-Centric homes and introducing plans that offer the most forward-thinking amenities. Most importantly, we want to help more builders sell more homes.
Learn more about Kathy.
What do you like best about working with Design Basics?
Design Basics has been a part of my life for a long time. I have met a lot of life-long friends over the years and we currently have a great group to be a part of.
What made you decide to become a designer?
I have been in drafting classes from 7th grade through high school. I felt this was what I was meant to do up until my senior year. I was very active with my church at that time and at the last minute I decided to go to a Bible College to become a youth minister. During my second year there, I really missed drafting and designing and made the decision to come back to Omaha to study at the University of Nebraska – Omaha.
What do you find is most fulfilling about working with our customers?
I love working with people and love designing houses. I am in a great position. I find that the excitement I see in my clients after I walk them through their final plans is the most fulfillment you can get out of a job well-done.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
What is spare time? Ha-ha! Every bit of spare time I find is spent with my family. I tend to work so much that I cherish the time I can get away with them. We enjoy going to the UNO Lancer hockey games and the Omaha Storm Chasers baseball games.
You hold a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. What do you enjoy most about it and do you still actively practice the discipline?
Unfortunately I don’t get to work out any more, but I still have a family in the martial arts that greet me with open arms when I get the chance to see them. The thing I liked most about training is teaching as I love being able share the tremendous information I have been taught.
Your son plays hockey and you host hockey players. What sparked your interest in the sport?
Jena [my wife] and I started going to Lancer games in the early 90’s. Neither of us had played the sport, but met a lot of great people at the games and got hooked. One game we were at in 2000, the staff announced they needed host families to house some of the players. Christian [my son] was 4 at the time and since we couldn’t have any more children, we thought we would open our home to these young men. That same year Christian started skating and enjoying playing the game. We have had 24 players, including 4 Europeans, over the years, and keep in touch with all but one. Christian is now playing for Missouri State and we enjoy getting down to watch his games whenever we can.
Name three things someone might not know about you:
- I was blessed to be born with two spleens! I got in a bike accident when younger and needed to have one removed; the second spleen grew, so I didn’t need shots.
- I met Jena’s kidney donor 30 years ago and didn’t realize it until two years after the transplant.
- In 30 years of martial arts, my only broken nose was when I won a light-weight title and had to fight the heavy champ for a Grand Champion title.
Learn more about our Team on our Contact Us page.
CenturyLink Center Omaha
April 7-9, 2017
Omaha Home Show Website
On the heels of the NAHB International Builders’ Show, I am excited about the reignited energy of the home building industry. If you were able to stop by our booth, you probably noticed it was hopping! I’m not sure how many people you can fit in a 10 x 20 booth, but it was more than I imagined. Thank you to everyone that stopped by to meet our team, learn more about Design Basics, discuss home plans, or even just to say “hi.”
As I reflect back on 2016, I recognize some key accomplishments at Design Basics. First, we have been meticulously developing a new database. Though more of an internal project, it is crucial for keeping our plan search and ordering process running smoothly. With an 18+ month development and testing time, we were happy when it went live in the fall.
Second, we were delighted to introduce a new blog site. Not only is it a great place for you to find valuable information, but it is also a more efficient way for us to communicate with you. Easier navigation with just four topic categories; all newsletter, promotion, and other communications pass through the blog, which saves everyone – readers and internal staff – time. If you haven’t checked out the new Design Basics Blog yet, please do!
Most importantly, our designers have been working diligently to develop new plans to add to our library of home designs. At IBS, our booth showcased many new designs with the most desired amenities, such as multiple owner’s suites, large walk-in showers, and the Casita concept. As multi-generational living is a hot topic these days, many of our plans are designed with this flexibility in mind.
I am pleased by the progress we made this past year with updating our database, introducing a new blog, and expanding our plan library. This gives us a great start to our goals for 2017, and beyond! As always, you can count on the Design Basics team to deliver innovation and leadership through creative home design, marketing, and business transformation solutions.
Design Basics…where great design matters.
Passion ~ Adaptability ~ Courage ~ Teamwork ~ Self-Realization
Visionary ~ Effectiveness ~ Integrity ~ Learning ~ Leadership ~ Efficiency
WHAT DREW YOU TO DESIGN BASICS?
I liked that was a new industry for me. I do not have experience in the construction/home plan industry, so working at Design Basics would allow me to use my talents and experience in new and interesting ways while learning about an entirely new industry.
SO FAR, WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT WORKING HERE?
I love that no two days are ever the same. There is always something new to learn and I am surrounded by professionals with decades of experience.
YOU RECENTLY GOT MARRIED. WHAT WAS UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR WEDDING AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO DO THAT?
My husband and I love to go skiing in Colorado and we wanted to share our love of the mountains with our close friends and family. We decided have a small wedding at our favorite ski resort in Colorado, which allowed us to use a venue that was mid-mountain. It is not accessible by car (only by ski, snowmobile, or off the gondola), so our guests were treated to gondola rides up and down the mountain and the wedding party took a giant snow cat. We were able to take pictures all over the mountain. It was so beautiful and a memory I will never forget.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?
I am currently completing my MBA, so free time isn’t something I get to experience very often. When I do have some time, I love to spend it with my husband, Ryan, and our two dogs, Winnie and Griffin. Ryan and I both love to cook and so you can usually find me in the kitchen if I am not studying. Ryan says that my favorite hobby is finding projects on Pinterest for him to complete.
FAVORITE PLACE YOU’VE EVER VISITED AND WHY?
I love to visit the mountains. For me, being in the mountains is the epitome of serene. Everything is so quiet and the air is crisp. I love to go skiing first thing in the morning after a night of constant snow. The world seems fresh and sparkling. On the other side of the spectrum, I absolutely love Manhattan. I love the energy of the city and that you can do anything there. You are only limited by your own imagination and work ethic. And, any place I can get an authentic gyro at 2 am is my kind of city!
PLACE YOU MOST WANT TO VISIT AND WHY?
I would love to visit Geneva. Geneva has the best of both worlds – unbelievable scenery while also being a global hub. It is a diplomacy magnet and houses cultures from around the world.
NAME THREE THINGS SOMEONE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU:
- I used to competitively ride/show quarter horses.
- My previous work experience includes working on political campaigns.
- I am big Led Zeppelin fan.
Learn more about our Team on our Contact Us page.
Thank you to everyone that stopped by our booth at IBS – we really enjoyed visiting with you!
Here are some photos from our booth:
We hope to see you again next year – Jan. 9-11, 2018 in Orlando.