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Monica Smiley

Monica Smiley is Editor & Publisher of Enterprising Women. The magazine will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2020. She is also the President and Founder of the Enterprising Women Foundation. To learn more about Enterprising Women or to donate to the Foundation's initiative to mentor and inspire the next generation of women leaders, please email Monica at msmiley@enterprisingwomen.com or call 919-362-5151.

Rieke Office Interiors Announces New Partnership Between CEO, Melissa Kehl, and Colleen Baader, Senior Vice President

(Elgin, IL) Sept. 22, 2020—Rieke Office Interiors (ROI) is excited to announce that it now has two optimistic and fearless women leaders pooling their talents as they head into 2021. ROI’s CEO, Melissa Kehl, and senior vice president, Colleen Baader, have formed a new partnership to move the company forward.

As part of the partnership, they have decided Kehl will lead the ROI arm of the company, while Baader will be in charge of the Vertical Interior Design (VID) division. Kehl is enthusiastic about what Baader brings to the partnership and noted, “We complement each other very well. I want to empower strong women and she is a wonderful asset to the company. Hopefully, someday she will buy me out so I can move to the beach.”

A Background in Design
Baader earned her bachelor’s degree in commercial interior design from Illinois State University and began her career in corporate design. She then jumped to healthcare design and project management before coming on board ROI six years ago as creative director. In 2018 she took on the role of senior vice president, spearheading design and support teams.

Committed to exceeding client expectations, Baader has a philosophy in design and leadership that builds from creating connections with people. This translates into an environment for each client. VID’s goal is to provide a design experience like no other company.

This partnership takes Baader full circle. She explained, “I worked for ROI in 1995-2001 as their first interior designer when Todd Rieke was starting the business. ROI has always felt like a family to me, and I was so happy to come back in 2014 and grow the business with Todd and Melissa. VID has changed the way ROI markets to our clients. We are not just selling office furniture anymore; we are selling an environment and an experience.”

Complementary Philosophies
As partners, Kehl said they plan to “take one plus one and turn it into 100.” Kehl is dedicated to a continuous cycle of improvement at ROI, something that demands every department look closely to see how they can do better. They then take the steps to not only make the improvements but to make sure all members of the team are involved and support it as well.

At one point, Kehl held several positions in ROI simultaneously. She knows the value of solid partnerships and working with others who love what they do as much as she does. Both women hold similar values and philosophies when working with clients, as well as their teams at ROI and VID.

Together, Kehl and Baader are dedicated to transforming spaces into places where people want to LIVE. They have been doing this even through the challenges faced during the Covid-19 pandemic, helping countless companies across many different industries to reopen safely by using their revolutionary SafeSpaceä products.

The VID team loves seeing projects come to life, giving clients exactly what they hoped for and needed. One of these innovative designs is the subject of a new case study, Under Construction.

As they look ahead, Kehl anticipates “celebrating big wins.” With an everchanging environment both in commercial and residential design, Kehl and Baader are focused on staying ahead of the trends and keeping ROI and VID very busy. One of our new ventures is VID Lifestyle, a residential design division of our VID team.

About Rieke Office Interiors
Rieke Office Interiors (ROI) has an impressive, state-of-the-art, 150,000 square foot, office furniture manufacturing facility in Elgin, Illinois. As a certified WBE business in its 27th year, ROI provides innovative products and services that are fully customizable, a unique capability that isn’t found anywhere else in the office interior industry. This flexibility allows ROI to create a big impact for any budget, streamlining the project process to make each vision come to life. ​ For more information, visit Rieke.com.

About Vertical Interior Design
Vertical Interior Design (VID) is a full-service interior design firm committed to designing office interiors that are healthy work environments. Their diverse staff includes multi-disciplinary experts in interior design, space planning, workplace strategy, project management, and furniture design. Each project is a collaboration from space planning to finish selection, furniture, lighting, and accessories, and results in a tailored solution for each client. For more information, visit VerticalInteriorDesign.com. ###

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