Beyond the Basics with Greg Dodge

Greg Dodge, VP of Records Management & Data IntegrityAs VP of Records Management & Data Integrity, Greg Dodge is responsible for ensuring the accuracy of plan specifications and maintaining the plan database.

You’ve been with Design Basics for over 25 years! How did you end up at DB?
I started as an intern. Design Basics was looking for someone with Paradox [database program] experience. After the project was completed, I was offered to stay on part time, which later turned into a full time job.

How has your position evolved since you started?
I was hired to create a system to integrate the three computers Design Basics used and to create a database for tracking our clients (the previous system was a card file box!). As Design Basics grew, the IT requirements of the company also grew. In September of 1996, I and my fellow IT associate presented a project to launch a website; it was approved and launched in October of that same year. In addition to managing the IT department, I also became the Electronic Commerce Manager overseeing the evolution and development of the company’s website.

What do you find is most fulfilling about working at Design Basics and with our customers?
Working with and finding solutions for our clients, many of whom have been loyal to Design Basics since its inception.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy wood-working and remodeling projects. I recently completed our home bathroom remodel, and my youngest daughter and I created a custom wood-framed mirror.

It’s well-known around the office that you are a Disney fan. When/how did this begin? And, how many times have you visited a Disney park?
It began in 1966 with my first visit to Disneyland when I was six. There was this ride called The Mine Train, and I thought it was so cool, I was hooked! Total visits to any Disney property (including just this last month) would be at least 15, and counting…

I hear you like to go to the movies. What types of movies do you enjoy?
Mostly I like science fiction, thriller, and action movies. I also enjoying Mama Mia, Legally Blonde, and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, but I might deny it.

And, are you a Star-Trek or Star Wars fan? Both?
Both, but I lean towards Star Trek.

Tell us three things someone might not know about you:
I lean to the right politically, I love history, and I love visiting our national parks!

Learn more about Greg by visiting our Contact page.

Beyond the Basics with Yen Gutowski

Yen Gutowski, Graphic Arts Designer at Design BasicsAs the graphic arts designer, Yen is responsible for creating compelling visuals for our customers as well as marketing and sales materials for Design Basics.

What do you like best about working at Design Basics?

I really enjoy the people–even though we are a small company, we have a great team that works well together and takes enormous pride in all that we do. I also love being a graphic designer. Creating eye-catching graphics and presenting creative ways to showcase our plans and content is always a fun challenge!

What do you find most fulfilling about working with our customers?

It is very rewarding to start a project with a builder or client and watch it take shape. Sometimes it morphs into all these other ideas and involves thinking outside the box!

For example, starting with a black and white front elevation and floor plan turns into having us render and colorize the artwork; then, creating sell sheets, yard signs, and other marketing materials. Some customers are building whole communities where we create billboards, entrance signs, and showroom/model home graphics. The finished product is always so rewarding…just like building a house–the pride you have with the finished home when you started from a construction drawing. And, what better way to stand out from your competition!

You enjoy a good superhero movie. Who is your favorite superhero and why?

Captain America. He is a moral, ethical superhero that fights for a greater cause and will always do the right thing…or, at least try. Iron Man comes in a close second because, well, he’s Iron Man. Oh, and, Robert Downy Jr. is just hilarious in this role!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love spending time with my family. We enjoy traveling/road trips, visiting amusement parks, exploring new places, and dining at unique restaurants. We also enjoy watching movies, biking the trails around town, and playing board games. On my own time, I love to read.

Tell us about your favorite vacation.

Since I love to travel, I don’t have one specific place per say, but one of my favorite trips was driving west to Seattle. We drove through South Dakota while the sunflowers were in bloom. Though not poppies, it reminded me of the Wizard of Oz with miles and miles of Sunflower fields! We passed through the Rocky and Cascade Mountains, across the Continental Divide, and past the gorgeous lakes and rivers into Washington State. It was one of the most picturesque drives as well as memorable to me, even though we have been to London and France.

Place you most want to visit?

I would love to visit Hawaii. I think I would really enjoy exploring the islands and experiencing the culture.

What’s an interesting thing that someone might not know about you?

The youngest of 10 children, I was born in Vietnam but came to the United States when I was 3 1/2 years old. How we ended up in Omaha, Nebraska, is still a mystery to me! And, as I mentioned, we love to ride bikes. One summer we rode over 500 miles and even raised money for some charity events.

Learn more about Yen by visiting our Contact page.

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