Growing up in Santiago, Chile, Charissa gained an appreciation for architecture at a young age. Her passion for design was evident early on, but she did what seemed logical and decided to pursue a Business degree when she graduated, building on her first job as a Bilingual Secretary. She worked full-time while going to school part-time and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with minors in Human Resource Management and Quality Management from Missouri Southern State University. She had a successful 10+ year career in Human Resources but found herself recruiting on college campuses for a Fortune 500 company, feeling like she’d missed out on the full-time college student experience. It was then she decided to go back to school for a second degree in Interior Design, determined to turn her hobby into a career. She poured herself into her studies and got involved in the student chapters of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), serving as vice president of IIDA for two years. She graduated from Pittsburg State University in the small town of Pittsburg, Kansas, but got international recognition when awarded the 2nd place prize in an international student design competition sponsored by the Retail Design Institute.
Charissa started her own business while finishing up her studies, specializing in home staging, redesign, and color consulting. She worked for a number of years in the Furniture, Flooring, Countertop, and Window Treatment industries before joining the Design Services group of the University of Missouri, providing Interior Design and Move Management services for the main Columbia campus. In that role, she became a member of the Association of University Interior Designers (AUID). She was just getting comfortable when life threw her a curve ball and an amazing opportunity presented itself for her husband to move back to his hometown of Indianapolis. After a few months of getting settled, she is ready to pick back up where she left off by joining the IDO team. Her business background combined with her broad range of experience in both Residential and Commercial design makes her uniquely qualified to assist in the areas of project management and customer service.
Charissa’s husband, Kyle, is a Worship Pastor so she is actively involved in their church and serves in ministry with him. She sings in the choir and occasionally on the praise team. She and her husband also have a passion for blended families and special needs ministries. Charissa is step-mom to Xabian, Xaydan, and Xylee, but “Melly Cat” is her fur baby. Kyle and Charissa are enjoying living in a big city again, but still love traveling as often as possible. They enjoy spending quality time with friends and family and love hosting people in their home.