Ted says that starting Designmaster was and is a calling for him. He received an A.B. degree in Economics from Hamilton College in 1967. His time of serving as a communications officer in the United States Navy on board a frigate was followed by nine months of travel and work in Europe, Ted earned an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He worked for Bloomingdale’s for nine and a half years, the last three as Merchandise Manager for furniture, fabrics, rugs, and interior design. Ted is a “retailer at heart”, a perspective that has been a great asset in his work as President of Designmaster since it began in 1989. Ted and his wife, Lucy, have been married for 37+ years and have four children and four grandchildren. Ted enjoys serving the Lord while working at Designmaster (and while not working at Designmaster), spending time with his family, doing puzzles, and traveling.
Steve is a graduate of Appalachian State University, where he received a B.S. in Business Administration and a minor in Secondary Education. He has worked in the furniture industry since graduating: 39+ years and counting. He and his wife, Penny, have been married for 37+ years and have one son, Alex, and one granddaughter, Olivia. Steve appreciates the teamwork approach found in the Designmaster community. He also enjoys the challenges of manufacturing and helping to train skilled craftspeople. Steve enjoys time with his family, working at church, gardening, and going on trips in his RV.
Angie came to Designmaster after having worked in both the furniture and textile industries. In leading the customer service department, she works closely with sales reps, dealers, and the manufacturing team, all with the goal of providing excellent customer service to our dealers. Angie enjoys working for a family-owned business in a community environment. She appreciates the fact that prayer and seeking God’s will are an important part of the work she is blessed to do with people who really care about one another and work as a team. Angie and her husband, Bobby, have three children and four grandchildren. She enjoys camping and other opportunities to spend time with her grandchildren.
Sandra studied Accounting at Caldwell Community College. She has two grown daughters, Amanda and Brittany, and two grandchildren. Sandra enjoys the sense of community found at Designmaster Furniture and the blessing of working with so many kind and thoughtful people. In her spare time, Sandra likes to work in her yard and planning for many fun activities with her grandchildren!
Roy studied Business Administration and Personnel Management at Caldwell Community College after serving in the US Army. He has two children , as well as three grandchildren. With 45+ years in the furniture industry, Roy has a great appreciation for the community approach to management at Designmaster, as well as the opportunity to work with all the craftspeople we have in our factory. In his spare time, Roy is a “cheer granddad,” regularly taking his granddaughter, Gracie, to competitive cheer practices and competitions.
A graduate of UNCG, Amanda came to Designmaster with almost 30 years of experience in customer service. She has a great appreciation for the “family first” attitude she has found working at Designmaster. In her free time, Amanda loves volunteering, backpacking, and doing things outside of the house.”
Shauntae first heard about Designmaster Furniture while entering our foam orders at Barnhardt Manufacturing – Hickory. She worked at Barnhardt for 11 ½ years before they shut down in December of 2018. After Designmaster heard about Barnhardt closing, a position in credit & scheduling opened up so we contacted her to offer her the job. After interviewing & seeing that Designmaster was a Christian company who put God first & family second, she quickly jumped at the opportunity. Being a single mom since 2004, Shauntae is thankful to be working for a company who not only understands her love for her son but encourages her not to miss any important milestones in his life.
Terri majored in English at UNC Charlotte. While working with Designmaster is her first experience in the furniture industry, she has had prior experience in sales for both the print media and cellular phone industries. She has also co-owned a local restaurant. Terri has two sons, Trace and Josh. At work, she enjoys the time she spends with her co-workers. She also likes working with the sales reps and dealers to give them what they need to effectively and efficiently sell Designmaster dining chairs. Terri loves to read in her spare time in addition to being outside, preferably in the mountains.
Laura first heard about Designmaster Furniture through a story written for Guidepost magazine in March of 1999. She felt led to contact Ted in a letter about becoming a personal assistant. Six weeks after her first interview, she was hired. Laura says the relationships she has are her favorite part of working with Designmaster, with lots of special memories made along the way. Laura and her husband, Steve, have been married for 13 years. She enjoys time with her nieces and nephews, as well as reading, bowling, and photography. She and her niece are currently making plans to go on a sky-diving expedition. .
Shera attended Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, receiving a degree in Business-Computer Programming. She and her husband, Mike, have been married for 20 years and have teenage twins, Braxton and Bryson. Being a part of Designmaster’s awesome family atmosphere is something Shera enjoys about her job. She also likes to see beautiful chairs built from the ground up. Family is a priority for Shera. She also enjoys church, shopping, and spending time at the beach.
Born and raised in the Lone Star State, Stephanie attended the University of Texas in Austin before moving to New York City. She worked both in non-profits and advertising before following in her parents’ footsteps by becoming a furniture rep. Stephanie is proud of the relationships she has built with her customers and the people in the factory during her time at Designmaster. She has two dogs, Melvin and Hazel, and enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family.
A graduate of the University of Toronto with a BSC in plant pathology, Susan’s career experiences prior to becoming a furniture manufacturer’s rep include research in plant pathology, professional ballet, and serving as a flight attendant. Susan loves working with the people of Designmaster and describes them as “creative, honest, integral, caring and fun.” Over the years, Susan has had 47 Bull Terrier puppies and in her spare time she is passionate about studying and learning new things.
John was born in Minneapolis and has lived in Minnesota his whole life. He attended the University of Minnesota, receiving a major in finance. John began his career in furniture in 2007, although he's been indirectly involved for much longer; his mother, Helen, has been a sales rep for 35 years and his sister, Amie, has been a rep for 20 years. John and his wife, Keri, have an 11 year old son, Gavin, and a ferocious seven pound Morkie named Maximus. Outside of work, most of John’s weekends are Gavin’s participation in football and year-round traveling basketball. John enjoys movies, rock music, cooking, martial arts (he is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do), and spending time with family and friends.
Steve graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Education before receiving master’s degrees in History and Political Science at Brooklyn College. He taught middle school for five years before going into furniture retail in NYC. He has been in the industry for over 40 years, working as a sales representative for 35 years. Steve and his wife, Alice, have been married for over 40 years and have a son and a daughter, as well as four granddaughters. Steve has a great appreciation for the entire team at Designmaster Furniture – “their integrity, values, and the pride they take in what they do.”
A graduate of California State University Chico with a BS in Home Economics/Interior Design, Deborah worked as an Interior designer before furniture sales representative. She loves working with dealers and designers and says helping them feeds her creative side.
Deborah loves to snow sky, although snow isn’t readily available in Florida! At 16 years old, she was the youngest person to achieve National Ski Patrol certification. She also loves to travel, having once taken three months to travel throughout Europe. Her husband, Sofien Barkouki, is fluent in several languages, so she has found him to be an excellent travel companion!
Alberto was born in San Juan, Puerto Roca and graduated from the University of Puerto Rico before earning a graduate degree from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Lourdes, have both a son and a daughter, as well as four grandchildren. A sales rep for over 25 years, Alberto says his work at Designmaster is made easier by quality – the quality of the product and the quality of the people who work in the company. Reading on the beach is one of his favorite pastimes.
Jim received a BS in Business Administration from SUNY University of Buffalo before doing graduate work in Architecture. After school, he worked for Tiffany’s in NYC before starting his career in furniture: 17 years in retail and 23+ years as a manufacturer’s sales representative. Jim and his wife, Ruth, have been married for 32 years and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their first grandchild in April. Jim is thankful to represent a great product like Designmaster, but says working with the people of Designmaster and dealers is his favorite part of his job. In his spare time, Jim enjoys gardening, cooking, and helping his two sons with their home projects.
Ric Hutterly and Sandy Wiedemer have been married since 1989. Ric has a degree from Shepherd University and a graduate degree from North Texas State. Sandy attended Stephens College. Ric comes to Designmaster after having been a Hall of Fame college swimming coach and the East Coast regional manager for Pier 1 Imports before becoming a gift and accessories rep. Sandy was a department store buyer and a sales rep in watches and jewelry prior to her start as a furniture rep.
His career in gift, tabletop, and furniture sales spans over 42 years; she has 39 years of experience in the same areas of expertise. Ric has three children: Bill, Anne, and Mike, as well as four grandchildren whose ages range from 14 to 22. They both enjoy interior design and working with high-quality upholstery and accessories. Their home reflects this love of furniture and interior layout. Designmaster fits perfectly into this picture because of its high quality, great customer service, and how it fills a special niche place in the furniture industry.
Ric and Sandy both make exercise a priority. They enjoy weight training, walking/running, and walking with their dog, Eddy. Ric skis downhill every winter. Sandy spends time weekly caring for her 97-year-old mother. Both Ric and Sandy like to travel locally and around the eastern-half of the country.
Deborah attended BFA Institute of Art, receiving a degree in Computer Graphics before starting a career as both a television producer and art director. She has now been a part of the furniture industry for almost 30 years in product development and design, merchandising, and sales. A charter member of Withit, an organization for women in the furniture industry, she has served on both the board of directors and as a regional director. Deborah finds great satisfaction in being a part of making people’s homes beautiful and tranquil. She and her partner, Carl, live in Brooklyn and enjoy time with his three children and four grandchildren. She also enjoys movies, tennis, and time with her cats.
After graduating from Western Carolina University with a major in Mathematics (and a concentration in Economics), Hugh soon started what has now been 40+ years in the furniture industry. Hugh says he is impressed by the culture of Designmaster and loves working with the people he has gotten to know through his job. He enjoys spending his free time with his three children and six grandchildren. Hugh also like to hunt, fish, and play golf.
Julie lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, and has represented home furnishings, art and accent manufacturers for over 20 years. She and her husband, Jeff, have one son; he recently started to follow in his parents’ footsteps by becoming a furniture industry representative, as well. Julie says she enjoys the relationships she is able to build with designers and retailers through her work with Designmaster. She appreciates the value of Designmaster’s product, as well as the high-quality construction and the selection of on-trend fabrics. Julie treasures time with her family and enjoys golf and travel.
After graduating from John F. Kennedy College in Nebraska, Mike served as a manufacturer’s rep to the gift and light trade. He also served in the Army National Guard for six years and has now worked in the furniture industry for 30+ years. He and his wife, Becky, have been married for 50+ years and have two sons and five grandchildren. Mike enjoys how his work offers opportunities to serve others every day. He finds great joy in working for a company that cares about its customers and its employees. In his spare time, Mike enjoys Bible studies and service at church.