- Melinda Sechrist, FASID, President
- Interior Designer
- B.A. Interior Design, Washington State University, 1978
- T. Michael Sechrist, Secretary-Treasurer
- Landscape Architect
- B.S. Landscape Architecture, Washington State University, 1978
Mike checks out a recent lawn installation.
Hmmm…looks like monkeys laid this.
Growing up on Vashon Island, Mike learned early in life that landscape architecture was in his future. It didn't take a genius (thank God) to realize that it would be better to design great spaces then maintain them. Inspired by working on small projects around the home with his father and mother, Mike left for college at Washington State University where he began to focus on landscape architecture.
After four years of diligent studies of the Palouse baseball, football, and soccer fields as well as the various gymnasiums and their landscapes Mike was ready to forge ahead into the “real world”. Graduating in 1978 he then worked for three landscape architecture firms in the Seattle area. Mike's hands on experience with both residential and commercial design and installation helped to solidify his love for creating new, inviting spaces where people and detail are the most important.
Mike joined forces with his business partner and wife Melinda in 1984, making Sechrist Design a multidiscipline design firm. Along the way they managed to have three wonderful boys, Todd, Brett, and Andrew. Like typical males the boys were into sports. When not designing, Mike could be found coaching various soccer, basketball, and baseball teams. The team concept is emphasized at Sechrist Design for all design projects.
Even today you can find Mike coaching high school baseball in the spring, and of course voicing his encouragement at the occasional Mariner game.
While growing up, Melinda was always working on a “project” that would create a new “place” to play, fix up, or escape to in the old barns and buildings surrounding the house that her great grandfather built and where she lived on Vashon Island. Melinda didn't know what an interior designer did at that time but looking back could see that her design career has been a life time in the making and that the ability to play at your work helps the creative process. Her vision for Sechrist Design comes from the values she learned working and playing with her four siblings and neighborhood friends. Basically - play fair, show up for the game and have a good attitude, stand up for yourself but be willing to listen, and NEVER quit in the middle of the game!
Melinda began her college career in the business school at Washington State University. However, after taking a basic design class, she realized that business alone could not fulfill her creative side and she soon joined the interior design program and completed a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design in 1978.
As President and Creative Director of Sechrist Design Associates, Melinda has been widely recognized for her innovative and creative design solutions as well as for her leadership within the profession of interior design. Melinda is a sought after speaker for many ASID national and local seminars and events. One of her many passions is the support of and development of interior design students and their career paths. She regularly meets with local colleges and universities with interior design programs and consistently mentors interior design interns.
Melinda has worked to keep the size of her organization large enough to cope with the most complex projects, while at the same time small enough to enable her to connect with each client on a personal level. She is proud to note that over ninety percent of our work has come via referral. Along with a reputation for excellence, she has built up an experienced and multi-talented staff with diverse backgrounds and specialties that are able to deliver functional and beautiful design solutions for many project types.
Melinda still plays at work and life. When not working on the overall strategy of the company or specific design projects, she spends time with her family, sings in the choir at church, skis, hikes, volunteers for misc organizations, travels, and tries to learn something new everyday! To be a good designer, Melinda believes you must love to learn, and if she could fit in a few more hours in a day she's sure she could master French, the piano, economics……well maybe not economics.
The talented design team at SDA has design in their blood and while most firms talk about team work and listening to their clients, Sechrist Design lives it!