Our mission is to make available educational and networking opportunities, to encourage a code of ethics for fair practices, and to work for the betterment of the window coverings industry. We believe that soft furnishings businesses and blinds / shutters companies deserve a partner.
We are committed to providing professional networking opportunities, investing in educational opportunities that support the code of ethics and best business practices, and promoting the value and visibility of our professional members within the industry and to consumers.
National Board of Directors
Tracie holds a Bachelor's degree in Apparel Engineering and a Master's degree in Quality Assurance Technology from Southern Polytechnic State University. She worked in the apparel and the consumer products industries for 12 years.
Tracie opened Custom Creations in 1996, fabricating custom window treatments and accessories . With her engineering background she has built a business specializing in one of a kind and challenging design solutions for clients; such as custom cornice boards, headboards, ottomans, draperies, valances, bedding, pillows, etc.
Tracie's work has been seen in publications such as Southern Living, Jezebel, Better Homes and Gardens and Kid's Rooms. Collaborating with her on some of her projects is her husband Brian, who has a degree in Architectural Engineering. He is a huge asset in designing and building custom projects with her for clients.
Liz Hawkes has owned and operated Windows by Liz since 2005. Windows by Liz is an award-winning custom curtain studio located in Harvard, MA.
Liz works with both homeowners and interior design professionals to create unique window treatments and other soft furnishings for homes and offices. Liz holds a bachelor's degree in Home Economics from Sheffield Hallam University in the U.K. She believes in the value of continuing education, she regularly attends conferences, classes and seminars and is an alumnus of the Custom Home Furnishings Academy.
In 2006 Liz earned the Certified Workroom Professional designation from WCAA. Liz has been an active member of the Eastern MA WCAA Chapter since 2005.
Steve Landis is President/CEO and co-owner of Merrill Y. Landis, Ltd (MYL), located in Telford, Pennsylvania, with over forty years experience in all aspects of the custom window covering industry.
MYL is a family-owned and operated business with an 18,000 square foot facility and approximately 70 employees. They service the wholesale market in the mid-Atlantic states with free pickup and delivery service in most areas and ship their products throughout the United States.
Steve has a Bachelor's degree in business marketing and management from Temple University, has been trained in lean manufacturing techniques and is currently the Board Chair of the Bucks-Mont Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Since 1994, Laura Nelson has been the owner of Sew Nice, an award winning workroom, specializing in soft and hard window treatments, slipcovers and other soft home furnishings.
Sew Nice is a Certified Window Treatment Workroom and Woman Owned Business Entity with the State of Indiana.
A member of WCAA since 2008, Laura is currently the Vice-President of the Indiana Chapter.
John Vince is co-owner of Custom Elegance along with his wife Kristen. Custom Elegance is an award winning, to-the-trade workroom specializing in drapery and upholstery located in St. Cloud, Florida.
John has a bachelor's degree in Business Management with an emphasis in accounting and finance from Youngstown State University. John's career spans many management positions with Fortune 500 companies prior to his work with Custom Elegance.
He is certified in motorization and installation from the Custom Home Furnishings Academy.
Jayna Manzelli graduated from Brandeis University with a BA in Biology and began a career in pharmaceutical quality control. Experience gained in analysis, equipment, procedures/specifications, organization, and personnel management became especially relevant when Jayna began her new custom workroom business.
With a keen eye for detail and a passion for creating beautiful things, Jayna opened JM Custom Creations in 2008. JMCC is now a to-the-trade workroom, specializing in draperies, roman shades, top treatments, pillows, and cushions. Jayna became a member of WCAA in 2010, served as VP of the Eastern MA chapter 2015-2016 and has been President since 2018. Outside of work, Jayna enjoys cooking, gardening and spending time with family.
Kate Greunke (better known as Kate the Socialite) is a published author, entrepreneur, podcaster and marketer. She is the founder of Socialite, a marketing firm that specializes in helping home professionals with email newsletters, websites, graphic design, and social media.
Kate's business is centered on the home industry exclusively, and she has a strong passion for small business owners with three or fewer employees. She stands up for those who feel overwhelmed by marketing and teaches her followers how to market their businesses without relying on paid advertising.
Her weekly podcast, The Kate Show, is an iTunes Top 200 Business podcast that teaches home professionals how to easily market their businesses and find their confidence.
Sandy Drum is the Corporate Trainer for United Supply Company, a wholesale fabricator and distributor of quality window covering products, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Utilizing her background in sales, marketing and communication, Sandy has represented United Supply Company nationally at window covering seminars and trade shows. Her close relationship with designers and workroom professionals has allowed her to respond to industry trends through training and product development.
United Supply Company is a strong advocate for WCAA and a Gold Level Industry Partner since 2000.
LuAnn Nigara co-owns Window Works in Livingston, NJ, specializing in window treatments and awnings. With annual sales of over $2 million and more than 25,000 clients on the roster since 1982, LuAnn brings a high level of business acumen to the WCAA.
In addition to being the host of the #1 interior design business podcast, A Well-Designed Business, LuAnn has presented at IWCE, the Hunter Douglas ACT Conference, The Design Blogger's Conference, and the Interior Design Society, LI Chapter. LuAnn also moderates panel discussions at industry events around the country.
Her book, The Making of A Well-Designed Business, is a veritable how to for the small business owner detailing the best principles for starting, growing and managing a healthy, successful business.
Julie A. Wood is the owner of The Leading Edge Drapery, LLC, a wholesale business for Soft Home Furnishings, Slipcovers, and newly added Upholstery (headboards, ottomans and small furniture). Julie is a graduate of Our Lady of the Elms College, Chicopee, MA with a BA in Art Education. She worked as an Art Educator for 9 years in Londonderry, NH public schools. Julie then completed a certificate in Interior Design at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. She registered her company in 2006 and has since created an addition to her home to accommodate her growing business.
Julie holds certifications with WFCP and is a Window Treatment Professional through CHF Academy. Continued education is a priority to Julie. "The more you know the more you grow." Julie also teaches a "Soft Furnishings" course at New Hampshire Institute of Art. She resides with her husband, Dan and son in Derry, NH.
Jennifer Smith has 19 years experience providing window coverings and a wide variety of design services. She is an award-winning specialist who supplies unique blinds and shades, soft home fashions, design and remodeling services. Jennifer has a vast portfolio of clients. She has completed design projects for Fortune 500 executives, some of the country’s most talented music and athletic industry professionals and hundreds of families throughout the southeast to meet their home design and decor needs. Her company, JLS Designs, is backed by an international network of vendors and suppliers.
Jennifer is a graduate of Texas Tech University and holds a degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising. In her free time she enjoys painting, gardening, cooking, reading, crafting and being outdoors. Jennifer has served on numerous boards and spent countless hours as a volunteer serving the local school district and other special interests.
Renee Williamson is a native of Augusta, Georgia and now lives in beautiful Wilmington, NC. With over 20 years of leadership experience in the non-profit and for-profit sector, Renee brings a wealth of knowledge to the WCAA.
Previously she was the Executive Director of a community organization in Murrells Inlet, SC, where she lead the organization in a new Strategic Plan that they continue to use today.
After becoming the Executive Director of the WCAA, Renee began working with the Board of Directors on a new Strategic Plan as well as rebranding the organization.