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Katelyn HerrygersWed, May 24, '236 min read

User of the Month – Melissa Harper from MOI

Melissa Harper is a Senior Designer at MOI in Maryland, USA.   

With nearly 20 years of experience in the industry, almost a decade of experience working in CET and a confident, caring personality, Melissa Harper is a true dynamo. Her family-first approach to life and her built-in ability to teach make her a joy for her clients to work with. We recently caught up with Melissa to learn about her design experience and use of CET Commercial Interiors in her work. 

In addition to our one-on-one interview, Melissa completed a CET design challenge—giving her 10 minutes or less to create a private office space from a blank digital canvas and convert it into a 3D rendering. To make the experience a little harder, she was asked to answer additional questions while drawing in CET Commercial Interiors. Check it out:      




Configura: What project are you most proud of and how did CET Commercial Interiors help support your design process? 

Melissa: I work on so many great projects, it is hard to just pick one! Honestly, the best projects are the ones where I make true connections with my clients. I value when our relationship goes beyond the project itself. Sure, I am designing a space, but it’s for people to experience. And people are fascinating!  

I like to design with high-quality standards to reach client goals, going above and beyond to exceed their expectations. When clients come back to work with me again and again, that’s what makes me proud. To me, the continued dependability clients see in my work is success.  


Configura: What are your go-to CET tools?   

Melissa: CET Commercial Interiors is great. Earlier in my career we were working with mostly 2D renderings that were hardly engaging and weren’t interactive at all. With 3D and video capabilities, we get to immerse our clients in a true vision where they can see for themselves what a space could be. For me, the fact that I can use CET with a client is remarkable—live design is where it is at!  

One of my go-to CET tools is Examiner. It is extremely helpful to dive into layers and categories. Most days, I use the Edit Graphics tool. I also like Snip It to PhotoLab—which I use multiple times a day. 

In addition to CET software, Configura is a great company to work with. I don’t think I’ve ever reached out about a question or issue and not been helped. Even if the answer takes a little back and forth, Configura puts in the time and effort needed to find solutions. It is a great system and software, but even more importantly, the people behind the scenes are what make it so great.  




Configura: How did you get into this line of work? 

Melissa: I joined MOI about three years ago. I have over 20 years of experience in design and about nine years of experience using CET software.  

I started out in the healthcare industry early on in my life and then decided to focus on family. I always wanted to be a mom—I prioritized that role in my family for many years. When both of my kids were in school, I went back to school myself.  

I attended Harford Community College for design and graduated top of my class. I am now LEED certified as well. I care greatly about people and the environment. My designs are people-focused with built-in processes that help eliminate waste—less printing on my end and designing spaces with less paper storage, adding recycling receptacles, etc. for clients.  

During my time working in the design world, there have been a lot of changes. I started out using AutoCAD and ProjectMatrix (which is now part of Configura). I no longer use AutoCAD in my design process because I don’t need it. Since being trained to use CET, it has been my go-to design software. I think it is the future—CET is where everyone in this industry needs to be working.    

Just this year, I met with someone who was jazzed about their office space. It sounded familiar to me and when I looked it up, I realized I worked on their office project nearly 15 years ago. That’s a testament to strong design, forward-thinking layout and product placement. When thought and intention go into a design, a space will withstand the test of time.  




Configura: What do you enjoy about your day-to-day responsibilities?   

Melissa: The culture at MOI is amazing. I am encouraged to learn new things and investigate new trends.  

Right now, pods—like phone pods and meeting pods—are on the rise. With so many people working remotely or in hybrid scenarios, the office space is consistently becoming more open. Employees stepping into the office are looking for comfortable and inspiring touchdown spaces and semi-private options for phone calls or meetings when needed. It’s rare today if a client doesn’t bring remote or hybrid employee support up in the design process. I work in a hybrid model myself. Some days I work from home to do planning and design focus work, but I am generally in the office a few days each week, especially if I have client meetings.  

Live design is my go-to. I can do it in person or remotely, but I prefer to be in the same room as a client during this process. It's always inspiring to show them what a space could be and make changes on the fly as they make requests or voice new challenges.  

Sometimes clients request a change that simply will not work—like extending a desk space by a few feet. In a live design scenario, I can show them that extending the desk per their request might go too far into the floor space and limit the walking path or require moving a whole structural wall. It is far more productive to show them through real-time design what is possible within the parameters of their space.  

People are my passion. In addition to designing great spaces, I strive to be someone who talks the talk and walks the walk. I believe in what I do. I am always willing to put in the extra time to truly know my clients. I love helping people. It’s a thrill meeting someone at an initial meeting and then working together to design, select products, pick materials and finishes and see renderings and video walkthroughs come to life. 


Configura: What are your goals for the next five years?   

Melissa: I really enjoy training newcomers to the interior design field and to MOI. Honestly, I love training people who’ve also been around the industry for a long time; there is always something new to learn.  

When we share our experiences, we help each other grow and move forward with what we are capable of. I think this is where the mom in me thrives in the workplace—I am willing to do everything I can to help people be the best they can be. I am proud when my coworkers and peers succeed. Over the next few years and beyond, I want to ensure my work helps more people be the best versions of themselves.  

I encourage anyone I meet to enter a rendering or success story into the CET Awards competition for CET Experience each year. It's a great opportunity to showcase a job well done. 


To read additional CET User of the Month profiles, see the Community tab on Configura's blog page 


Do you want to be our next User of the Month or are you interested in nominating an outstanding colleague for the honor? If so, apply for consideration today!



Katelyn Herrygers

Katelyn is the Inbound Marketing Writer & Content Coordinator at Configura. She brings with her a decade of experience in communication focused roles including content management, digital community management, project and trade association management, social media management, copy writing and editing, blogging, web landing page content development, digital advertising, print journalism and event planning with for profit businesses and nonprofit organizations. Katelyn joined Configura in 2022. She resides in Holland, Michigan, USA with her husband, two kids and a dog.