Our Key Personnel
Sandy Harris, Controller and Operations Manager
Sandy joined the Sun Design team in April 2008. As the Controller and Operations Manager, she plans, directs and coordinates administrative services, including human resources, company benefits, departmental processes and general office support. In addition, she serves as a member of the management group and the board of advisors where she participates in the development of organizational strategic plans, contributing expertise and information within the area of administration, as well as coordination of intra-departmental objectives and initiatives.
Prior to working at Sun Design, Sandy accumulated 20 years of administrative experience while serving as director of operations for the Federal Research Service and as general manager for Quicksilver Restaurants. “I love working at Sun Design because of our team-spirited and customer-focused environment,” says Sandy.
Beth Walters, Director of Communications
Beth joined Sun Design in January 2011. As the Director of Communications she analyzes our market and proposes and implements strategies through market research, advertising and sales promotion programs. This involves designing, implementing, and facilitating annual marketing plans for the firm, translating business objectives and strategies to develop brand portfolio objectives, developing strategies to facilitate business growth, and developing all promotional and marketing materials.
She brings to Sun Design and its clients nearly a decade of experience in land development, community associations management, new home construction, remodeling, interior design and marketing. Before joining Sun Design, Beth was Marketing and Designs Manager for a leading new home builder in Virginia Beach, VA. Prior to that, she was the Community Associations Manager for KETTLER in McLean, VA. She has earned certifications from a number of urban planning, real estate and development organizations.
“I’ve always had a passion for architecture and then developed a craze for generating buzz. When my husband and I decided to move back to our home town I interviewed at a couple places, but when I met with Sun Design, it was love at first sight. The atmosphere in the office is electric… very addicting to one that likes high energy.” Beth is married with three kids at home to keep her on her toes 24-7.
Cathy Ryals, Director of Administration
Cathy joined the Sun Design team in October 2014. As Director of Administration, she keeps the office running seamlessly, supporting various staff and making sure everyone has what they need to provide an exceptional client experience.
Cathy brings several years experience in office management to the Sun Design team. She studied Information Technology Management at George Mason University and uses that experience to provide on-site IT support to our staff.
“I love working at Sun Design – our employees are an eclectic blend of folks with really cool ideas.” Cathy says. In her spare time, Cathy likes to travel, and spend time read and entertain.
Jeremy Fleming, Director of Education and Development
Jeremy joined the Sun Design Family in 1995 and has held many different positions over the years before creating his role as Director of Education and Development. He now focuses on the growth of the company as a whole, through the education of its employees. One of Sun Design’s core values is the growth of the individual, which Jeremy has always been passionate about.
“I love the core value of growth of the individual here at Sun Design,” Jeremy said, “building a business of business-people is an important part of growing as a company and as a team.” He supports this particular core value by both developing and implementing training programs for each employee and operating Sun Design University, our online eLearning Portal.
He spends most of his free time in front of a computer learning new skills and enjoys making video games and learning to code.
Maryam Sodeifi, Client Support Manager
Maryam joined Sun Design in 2015 and has the role of Client Support Manager. In this position she supports both our internal staff and our clients alike. She helps the office function smoothly day-to-day, manages Sun Design’s master schedule, as well as special projects like EPA compliance. She is also the first point of contacts for any Warranty concerns, and is spearheading Sun Design’s new Forever Home Care program with Warranty & Service Manager, Jeff Nichols.
Before joining Sun Design, Maryam dedicated her career to the nonprofit sector, supporting a variety of teams and clients with limited resources. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from George Mason University, and brings leadership and facilitation experience to the Sun Design team.
Maryam said, “I heard about Sun Design from a friend and employee. I really love the community of people here at Sun Design, and admire the level of care they bring to our clients at every step through the remodeling process!”
Outside of work, Maryam enjoys gardening, swing dancing, spending time with her family and friends.
Dave Cleary, Chief Estimator
Dave joined the Sun Design team in July 2007. As Chief Estimator, he is responsible for working with Accounting to develop standards of estimating, and to maintain estimating processes and methods. He works closely with the Sales and Design teams in order to gathering complete and accurate estimates of overall project costs to help ensure the clients goals are met, as well as the Sun Design standards.
Before coming to Sun Design, Dave spent over a decade working at his Father’s construction company. Building custom homes and remodeling projects all over Northern Virginia, Dave helped review plans, estimates, and contracts, and oversaw several building projects.
He says, “Coming from a large family, it’s comforting to be able to work at a place that has that same atmosphere of camaraderie and humor as you get at home.”
When not at work, Dave enjoys the outdoors. He likes to spend his time hiking, fishing, or floating down a river. When not outdoors, he likes to create in the kitchen, cooking delectable meals, some of which he shares with his coworkers…….if they’re lucky.
Tim Beer, Trade Management Specialist
Tim began working for Sun Design in June of 2018. He works closely with our Trades, ensuring that they understand the scope of work and Sun Design’s unique process for every project. Additionally, he maintains relationships between our Trades and projects, while working as a team with our designers and consultants to guarantee smooth sailing for our clients. Tim works closely with management as well, to interview and hire trade partners in order to maintain an adequate pool of qualified trades and certify quality work for every project.
Tim brings to Sun Design 5 years of professional experience as a Specialist in Strategic Sourcing for one of the world’s largest aerospace suppliers. He received his MBA from Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business in Boston, Massachusetts, where he fostered his fundamental understanding of Supply Chain Management.
“Sun Design is a place like no other. The company fosters a “People First” mentality that you can’t find anywhere else. You really feel like you are part of a team that has one common goal!” Tim said. Outside of Sun Design Tim loves to golf, play basketball, and spend time with his two sons, daughter, and wife. Teamwork and integrity are two fundamental values that drive Tim towards success. Sun Design’s unique culture and team atmosphere is what drew him to join the family!
Dana Bailey, Accounting Assistant
Dana started with Sun Design in 2017 bringing with her four years of experience as a bookkeeper in custom homebuilding. She is responsible for payroll processing, payment of bills and reconciliation of statements, generation of relevant reports and general filing for the department.
Dana says, “I really resonate with the company values: Truth, Fun and Charity. Sun Design is really well run and I like that they value me as much for who I am as what I bring to the table.”
Dana has an Associates of Science from Stratford University in Baking and Pastry Arts. In her spare time, she does cake decorating and gardening.
Grace Garvey, Director of First Impressions
Grace holds a position that few companies even have – but one that all Sun Design clients appreciate – Director of First Impressions. Grace joined Sun Design in September of 2018 and is the first person that every prospective client speaks to. She is an intricate part of the process to understand what potential clients will need or desire and, in turn, educates them on what it is that Sun Design does. Further, as Director of First Impressions, Grace maintains a constant flow of contact with both our prospective and current clients to ensure the success of our Design Consultants. Grace makes taking that first step toward your dream home an easy and enjoyable experience!
Before joining Sun Design, Grace worked for three years in sales and customer service. She achieved the highest sales rate for a year in her previous position and has been working for client satisfaction throughout her whole career. Grace demonstrates positivity and kindness in every interaction and said: “Charity is a huge part of Sun Design and being in an environment where that is at the forefront is very important. Sun Design’s culture is unparalleled to anything I have ever experienced. Everyone truly values each other. Whether it’s between clients, co-workers, trades, or anyone else we work with, Sun Design truly cares. We sincerely are one giant family.”
In her spare time, Grace enjoys relaxing with her husband and three children, and on weekends they often find themselves exploring outdoors or visiting family and relatives.
Helen Francis, Sales and Marketing Assistant
Helen began working at Sun Design in January of 2019, as our Sales and Marketing Assistant. She assists both the Sales and Marketing departments in everyday tasks and strives to support both teams to be successful. She coordinates our events and executes them to meet Sun’s standards and vision, creates marketing materials, and generates content through blogs and articles in collaboration with the Marketing team. Helen also assists our Director of First Impressions in her work, by keeping in touch with interested clients and helping our Design Consultants prepare for their meetings, as well as speaking with clients in order to understand how we can best help them achieve their remodeling goals.
Helen previously worked as a teaching assistant at a Montessori school, assisting with school events and administration. As well, she was a tutor at Virginia International Academy, and taught English to boarding school students. Helen’s experience teaching has prepared her to work well with other’s and helped to develop communication skills that she utilizes everyday with our clients.
Helen said, “I truly value honesty, thoughtfulness, and charity – without these I don’t know how any group or company can thrive, and fortunately these are the values that Sun Design shares!” In her spare time, Helen enjoys going to breweries with her friends and family, meeting new people, and writing.
Cat Davis, Design Coordinator
Cat came to work for Sun Design back in 2017 as our Design Coordinator where she efficiently collects and communicates the needs between each department and facilitates the seamless hand-off of every project as they move through our process from Sales, to Design, and lastly to Production. Cat ensures that every client’s unique needs and desires are available by maintaining accuracy and accountability within the Design department.
Cat brings with her 10 years of experience as a Master Carpenter for regional theater, and 5 years as an Estimator and Purchasing Agent for Building Automation Services. Her skills as a Carpenter and Purchasing Agent make her the ideal Design Coordinator for Sun Design, and verify that with every project we undertake our clients receive the best in quality and design. Cat said of Sun Design, “I love the family-oriented attitude and collaborative effort everyone puts into the final product.”
When she isn’t exceeding our clients’ needs, Cat enjoys camping, running, gardening, and renovating her house with her husband.
Kim James, Assistant to the Director of Design
Kim joined Sun Design in 2014 after a diverse career in sales, marketing, and education. She is also a former NFL cheerleader, a motivational speaker and author. As the assistant to the director of design, Kim directs and facilitates the administrative needs of the design department and helps communicate client needs to the design team. Further, she maintains our online client portal and paves a smooth path for all of our clients as they begin the design phase of their remodel; which includes such things as submission of permits, scheduling, and client interaction.
Before joining Sun Design, Kim was director of sales for Capital Yacht Charters in Washington, D.C. where she handled private charters and public ticketed events and trained and supervised the sales staff. She is founder and former president of the Dream in Color Foundation where she handled scholarships, proposal writing, fundraising and supervision of staff. She was assistant director of Grasshopper Green School in Annandale, VA, a theater arts teacher, a varsity dance team director, and a life coach. Kim earned a BA in speech communication and theater arts with honors from Hampton University in Hampton, VA, and participated in the extended studies program in secondary education at George Mason University.
When asked why she chose to join Sun Design Kim responded, “I consider it an honor to be a part of a team that exemplifies the qualities that I most value in my personal life ‘Truth, Fun and Charity!”
Pam Sommer, Administrative Assistant
Pam came to work at Sun Design in February of 2021 as our Administrative Assistant. She is the first face our clients see when they visit us at the Burke office location, and the first voice on the phone when a client calls in. Pam assists in the day-to-day duties of our Administration, by communicating skillfully with all our departments and organizing all circulating information and details, which ensures that nothing will ever slip through the cracks! Most importantly, though, she provides a friendly face and calm, positive demeanor that sets the tone for our clients’ interactions with any other Sun Design member.
Pam has worked in a few different fields over the last eight years, including a tax accountant’s office, an art gallery, and a veterinary clinic. While those are vastly different experiences in many ways, they have provided her with very transferable skills and experience, including precise organization, efficient problem-solving, and client relations. She received her Bachelor of Arts Major in Art History, then went on to earn her Master’s Degree in Art and Business from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
When asked what some of the values are that motivate her, Pam replied: “My driving “purpose” in life is to cultivate honor, and enrich my relationships, from family and close friends to clients I encounter in my work. Being a helpful, kind, supportive, and reliable presence in someone’s life brings me great joy.” In her spare time, Pam runs a small art business, specializing in watercolor and mixed media illustrations. She has also traveled quite a bit, and plans to continue doing so.
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”We have found all of the people who we have worked with from Sun Design--from the co-owner, to the designer, to the sales manager and the construction team--to be of the absolute highest quality and character. The experience has far exceeded our expectations. Sun Design.”Kieran and Kathleen