the team

colleen baader



Colleen graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science in housing and environmental design. Her design focus was commercial interior design. The beginning of her career was primarily focused on corporate design environments. Colleen then spent 13 years in healthcare design. In the healthcare design field, she saw firsthand the healing power that interior design has on people. This truly strengthened her philosophy that the space you live and work in can affect not only your mindset but your health.

When the opportunity was presented to work with Rieke Interiors again (having worked with Todd Rieke from 1995-2001), she jumped at the chance and In 2014, Colleen created Vertical Interior Design Studio to expand the offerings to the Rieke clientele.

Her current role as co-owner of Rieke Interiors is focused on growing the business and expanding the offering we have for all our clients, both commercial and residential. Although she does not get the chance to design for clients anymore, she is inspired ever day by the interior designers on her team and the designs they create for our clients.

jamie leonard

creative director


Jamie showed her love for design in her youth, constantly rearranging her room and driving her parents crazy. Her interest evolved as she took an interior design class in high school, eventually deciding to pursue a career and degree in Interior Design. Jamie trained under an architect at a high-end residential firm Chicago where she continued to develop her career for the next decade, wining multiple design awards and publications. Having spent a lot of time in the demanding residential sector and with a blossoming family on the way, she decided to transition to the commercial design world. She found a home with Vertical Interior Design in 2017, introducing a softer side of design to the commercial segment. She developed her contract design skills and added to her award collection. In 2021, Jamie helped launch the residential segment of Vertical Interior Design, bringing her former training and knowledge into a new space. She now heads the Interior Design department and continues to work on both residential and commercial projects. 

julie hartman

commercial team lead


Julie graduated from the Illinois Institute of Art in Schaumburg with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design in 2003. Shortly after graduation, she joined the Rieke Interiors team in 2004 and later the Vertical Interior Design Studio team in 2015. Since that time, she continues to educate herself on commercial interior trends to provide solutions that address not only the needs of today, but can help accommodate projected future needs of your business. Julie works closely with her clients to achieve an environment that meets project requirements and exceeds her client’s expectations. Through space planning, finish and material selections and product specifications, Julie will create a unique design that reflects your corporate culture and image. And she has the awards to prove it! Julie is a 2022 World Design Award winner.



katie joyce

senior interior designer


Katie Joyce graduated from Western Michigan University in 2007 with a degree in interior design. Since graduating, she has taken on several different roles in the industry. She started her career as a purchaser and has worked in design and sales as well. Katie spent most of her career in an architectural firm as an interior designer focusing on Healthcare and Corporate projects. She joined the commercial team at Vertical Interior Design in 2022. Katie collaborates with her team to provide the best solution for her clients. She enjoys selecting finishes and materials that reflect her client’s branding, culture and to help them visualize the finished project.

vanessa beringer

interior design assistant


As an Interior Design Assistant, Vanessa works with the design team on various tasks, such as quoting, presentations, floorplans and design drawings, for both commercial and residential projects. She also helps out with site visits and project management. I also help establish relationships with vendors to build on the product lines and materials we offer to our clients.

join our team!

The Vertical Interior Design Studio team is excited to welcome new individuals to our team. See what positions we currently have open here.