About LuAnn NigaraLuAnn Nigara co-owns, with her husband Vince and cousin Bill, Window Works in Livingston NJ. It is a 10-person firm, specializing in window treatments and awnings, with annual sales of 2 million+, and have serviced more than 25,000 clients since opening in 1982. LuAnn is the host of the #1, 5-star rated, interior design business podcast, A Well-Designed Business*. Each week, through engaging and thoughtful interviews LuAnn digs deep into meaningful content with each guest, revealing the methods and strategies required to operate a profitable, creative firm. She is known by her loyal listeners for three things, her ability to ask the question in their head, her ability to summarize and relate the information directly to them and her ability to make you feel like you are sitting with a long-time friend. Also, a talented and energetic speaker, LuAnn is sought after at many industry events. She keynoted at the 2017 IWCE (International Window Coverings Expo) in Charlotte, she has presented at the prestigious Hunter Douglas ACT Conference, The Design Blogger’s Conference in LA, ASID-NJ (American Society of Interior Designers) and IDS-LI, NY (Interior Design Society). LuAnn also moderates panel discussions at industry events around the country such as High Point Market, NC and Wanted Design, NY, NY. Her book, The Making of A Well-Designed Business* is a veritable how to for the small business owner detailing the best principles for starting, growing and managing a healthy, successful business. By sharing her 30+ year career as an entrepreneur, LuAnn teaches, encourages and inspires fellow entrepreneurs to make the commitment to running their business with proven business practices, ensuring their profitability and their success. A skilled and intuitive business woman, LuAnn is passionate about helping business owners intentionally grow their business confidence, their business skills and their profits. She is a business writer for the national Window Fashion-Vision Magazine and she was recently named Director at Large on the national board of the WCAA. (Window Coverings Association of America). Presently she is working on her new book due out in the 1st quarter of 2019 and she coaches both one on one and in virtual group settings.
About Amber D'AmelioAmber is an avid animal activist, philanthropist, environmentalist and fierce defender of the voiceless and helpless. Hre interest in animal welfare and the environment began at a young age. Since then she has consistently sought out opportunities to give back and make a difference in people’s lives. She is an alum of The Hippocrates Health Institute and has studied Reiki, energetic medicine, consciousness expansion, and remote viewing at the Monroe Institute in Virginia. Today, she speaks at schools, organizations and hosts meetings and conferences with speakers from around the world to inspire people to take care of their spirit, mind, body and the planet. She sits on the board of the Farm Animal Protection Team, which campaigns on behalf of farm animals and supports organizations such as Sea Shepherd, Mercy for Animals, and PETA. She sits on the advisory board for the Vegan Design Council. Amber was an associate producer on the documentary, Cowspiracy. She has extensive experience as an interior designer and collector of artwork and antiques. Amber passionately believes that vegan living should encompass all aspects of life, not just diet. A responsible lifestyle is a beautiful one. She works with people to change their lives through diet and lifestyle choices based around the belief that, as consumers we have the power to effect change and to send a message through what we choose to buy, or more importantly...NOT to buy.
About Chris RameyChris Ramey is president of The Home Trust International, Affluent Insights and a partner in Retail-Rescue. Ramey is the most quoted independent authority in the luxury segment and is considered one of America’s foremost authorities on marketing and selling to the affluent. The Home Trust International is a platform for high net worth families where they find the world’s finest products and services for their homes. Members of The Home Trust know it as an aggressive technology-driven marketing services firm hyper-focused on helping them penetrate the affluent market. Ramey is a professional speaker and member of National Speakers Association. His topics are marketing and selling, luxury, loyalty, branding and selling. Ramey consults with brands across all categories. He is also a columnist for Hearst Business Publications’ Floor Covering Weekly, and he has earned the ‘Top 5% appellation’ from Gerson-Lehrman for his work with private equity firms investing in home and luxury segments. Ramey sits on the RetailWire.com BrainTrust panel. Ramey and his wife reside in Palm Beach County, Florida and they have two grown children. He is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and can be reached at email@example.com.
About Sue SimmsSusan is the publisher of FIDO Friendly®, the well known Travel & Lifestyle pet magazine. Now in its 18th year, each issue includes hotel and destination reviews, adoption stories and the latest trends. Sue records a podcast for syndicated Animal Radio where she interviews people making a difference in animal welfare. Ten years ago she founded Get Your Licks on Route 66® where she travels from Los Angeles to Chicago, stopping at shelters along the way to support adoption events and raise money for the shelters. In the first nine years she and her husband have helped place over 11,000 pets in to new forever homes. She lives with my husband Greg of 34-years and their three rescue hounds, Junior, Jake and Honey and one feisty rescue cat, Charley. They all travel down America’s Favorite Highway each year and live by the motto of Leave No Dog Behind®. *full disclosure Charley stays with friends. Not the best road warrior.* Sue is a mother to Scott and Nicholas, and step-mom to Ryan and Nicole and grandmother to three boys. She’s a vegan these past ten years and is still a work in progress. She is reminded daily how living in compassion and doing ‘just one thing’ can make a world of difference to our animal friends.
About Nancy GanzekauferNancy Ganzekaufer is a focused, motivated, and dedicated Business Coach. Through her work, Nancy empowers creative entrepreneurs to build the life and business they have always wanted. As a mom of three young adults and a successful business owner, Nancy understands the unique challenges entrepreneurs face when pursuing their dreams of growing a profitable business. She leads by example through her hard work, encouragement, and most of all, her no-BS leadership style. Nancy offers individualized and group coaching to guide and motivate her clients to get clear on their business identity, offerings, and services. Then, she helps them set a plan to attract and close more of their ideal clients with effective marketing and sales techniques. In addition to Business Coaching, Nancy is a National Board member of the Interior Design Society (IDS) and the Current and Founding President of the IDS Virtual Chapter.
About Debbie KennedyDebbie Kennedy has always lived a creative life. She began as a little girl sewing and glittering with her grandmother and painting Santa cutouts with her mother. As she came into her teen years she became interested in decorating. She also seemed to be born with a deep affinity and compassion for animals. During these formative years concern developed as she became aware of the harsh realities of the suffering of animals. After a turning point in her life and becoming an empty nester, she returned to school where she earned her degree in interior design. Debbie launched Debbie Kennedy Designs- Kind Design in 2015. Sustainability, compassionate choices, healthy materials, and fair trade were a consideration in her specifications and branding. While attending furnishings trade shows Debbie began to become aware of the sheer number of products being shown that involved animal suffering, exploitation, or death. She also realized that many people often do not even think about where these products come from, nor have the correct information on their provenance. This began her journey to learn more and to help bring about awareness and change. After much searching and frustration with the lack of information available at the time the search brought her to Vegandesign.org and Deborah DiMare. While there is much to be done, Debbie Kennedy is beyond excited at the groundswell of awareness and action that is occurring regarding animal treatment, whether that be the food/farm, clothing, furnishings, or pet industry. Debbie lives in Archdale, NC with her three dogs Dorothy, Ozzie, and Hickory (yes, her dogs are always named for Wizard of Oz characters), and cat, Biscuit. She enjoys gardening, spending time with family and friends, going to hear great music, and volunteering with local festivals. Debbie is honored and thrilled to be asked to serve on the Advisory Board of the Vegan Design Council. This is an ongoing journey and there is so much more to learn and accomplish!
About Dave PittmanDave is an award-winning interdisciplinary designer and entrepreneur on a mission to reduce animal suffering. He is a co-founder of Unicorn Goods, the world's largest vegan store, and he was formerly a creative director at the multinational ad agency Y&R (Young & Rubicam). As a designer, he has worked for small non-profits, Fortune 100 companies, and everywhere in between. On top of Unicorn Goods, he has started six other businesses, including a print magazine, a Kickstarter-funded food company, and a co-working space for digital creatives. He holds a master's degree in industrial design from the Rhode Island School of Design (where he also teaches sometimes), as well as a bachelor's in cultural production from Vanderbilt University. Dave spends his free time trying to keep up with his fiancée/girlboss/business partner Cayla and their furry child JJ. The three of them live together in Rhode Island—in a small house with a big yard near the sea.
About Deborah DiMare“When I opened my eyes to the atrocities that are occurring every second worldwide to innocent animals within the textiles and furnishings industries, I had no choice but to change the direction of my life and business. VeganDesign.org was created so everyone, consumers & professionals alike, can have access to beautiful vegan options and understand the “why” of vegan alternatives. I believe that going humane in your furniture and décor is a way of life. It’s a choice to be made for ourselves, our children and future generations. I have chosen to be surrounded by environments that have no blood or tragedy attached to them. I have chosen healthier faux alternatives in place of highly treated fabrics that don’t contain poisonous chemicals and trigger illness. My lifestyle and decisions affect not only my children and those I love, but humanity, animals and the planet. My choice in refusing to offer furniture and décor made with living beings is saving animals from being slaughtered, workers from dying in filthy, toxic conditions and the planet from screaming in pain. My humane choices and way of life supports positive change. VeganDesign.org is not just a place to buy a vegan pillow, or a platform to join a "typical" business council. It’s about learning why that humane pillow is so important to the world and to the well being and health of all breathing creatures, humans and non. It's about connecting & growing businesses & connecting them with consumers with a shared mission. It’s about making change and GETTING LOUD!" Deborah DiMare is an accomplished humane design expert. She founded DiMare Design, an ultra luxury design business over 15 years ago. She is an author, TV personality, educational speaker, mother of 3 (including fur baby Lucca) and global influencer for the healthy & humane design movement. Deborah and her vegan design expertise have been featured on the Today Show, NBC, TLC and in the pages of The Huffington Post, Ocean Drive, VegNews and PETA. Deborah and her family reside in Miami, FL and when Deborah is not focusing on VeganDesign.org or DiMare Design, you can find her paddle-boarding and playing on the beach with her daughters and her little furry guy Lucca.
About Mariana NovaesWords I Live By: Stay humble, work hard & be kind. If I Could Be Any Animal I Would Be: A lion 🦁 Favorite Book: The Shack by William P. Young Location: Delray Beach, FL
About Andrea SanchezI am so honored to be a part of VeganDesign.org. The mission of the company is simple: to save the lives of innocent animals whose skins and furs are used in the home design. VeganDesign.org is reshaping the furnishings and decor industry and proving that humane design is more luxurious and beautiful than animal derived products. The team works day and night to make change and it thrills me to see the world responding and as we like to say…getting loud!
About LuccaWords I Live By: All you need is love and walks. If I Could Be Any Animal I Would Be: None, I'm comfortable in my own skin 🐶 Favorite Book: Marley and Me by John Grogan Location: Miami, FL
About Lisa CoopermanWords I Live By: You get what you give. If I Could Be Any Animal I Would Be: A monkey Favorite Book: Memoirs of A Geisha by Arthur Golden Location: Miami, FL