Barbara Miller

by Autumn McGarr

Barbara Miller, NCIDQ, ASID, CAPS, is described as a practical visionary who analyzes things through her unique lens and then takes action to create change in business and design. Miller’s 25-year career in remodeling has grown from an entry-level drafting role, through owning her own award-winning design firm, to her current post of design director for Neil Kelly Co. in Portland, OR, where she heads the firm’s largest design sales team.

When Miller moved into her present position, managing a team of 15 designers, sales grew in her first year by over 40 percent. The leadership she showed taking on a new role, establishing new working relationships with her peers, and creating a working atmosphere where individuals thrived impacted her division in a measurably positive way.

As a manager, Miller fosters an environment of teamwork and connection, and strives to help each designer develop their unique skill set and achieve their full potential. Her role on Neil Kelly’s leadership team has led to significant improvements in onboarding, managing and retaining top-level designers.

Miller was also at the forefront of incorporating scientific evidence to create psychologically comfortable residential environments. The idea of using scientific research to understand client’s needs and wants is at the heart of her designs today and how she works with and educates the designers she manages.

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