Karen Kalmek – Founder
Karen’s passion for building an interior design company is rooted in many elements; her heritage, entrepreneurial background, work experiences and personal commitments.
Her undergraduate degree in Psychology from South Africa and Masters degree in Education from Israel led her into Human Resources with a Fortune 500 company.
She then worked in entrepreneurial environments before successfully launching two successful service companies. As an artist and business woman in Chicago, she sought out a not for profit organization that imported high end home decor from Africa and whose primary focus was poverty alleviation. From there, Green Home Chicago became a clearer vision and a reality within her grasp. In this company she is finally able to combine economic, social and environmental elements. She is committed to the ‘green collar’ idea of keeping jobs both within the United States, and, if possible, local. Her inventory is keyed to her ‘green’ 10-point classification system which educates clients and allows them to weigh aesthetic, environmental and cost factors for themselves.
Bill Homer – COO
As a co-founder of Green Home Chicago, Bill is thrilled to be able to combine many of his lifelong interests in building a new business. His experience as an engineer/project manager for a Fortune 50 technology company and his extensive international experience taught him how to solve complex problems under adverse circumstances. While in engineering school, he contemplated a move to architecture and worked on construction projects learning how buildings and interiors are put together. Bill grew up in the home furnishings business and had early exposure to good design aesthetics.
Amanda is the lead designer for Green Home Chicago. Her portfolio of work includes commercial and residential work where she aids in color and material selection, interior architecture, and FF&E selection. She incorporates functional design as well as innovative design solutions to produce a seamless transition for occupants of their space.
Collaborating with end users, owners and all design consultants is a priority for Amanda to deeply understand the desires, needs and requirements of the project. Amanda creates healthy, productive and inspiring environments. With each design an material selection, she strives to stimulate the senses and inspire creativity. Her design aspiration is a thorough understanding of how interior details relay back to facility users, paying close attention to color, texture and pattern.
Sustainable design is at the heart of Amanda’s work. She strives to incorporate sustainable concepts into the design of every architectural element, promoting the longevity and stewardship of the built environment. Amanda has experience as a LEED consultant and is an active member of the US Green Building Council.