Our Team

Valerie Steil, ASID


Since beginning her career as an interior designer in 1980, Valerie Steil has designed residences in diverse locations including Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Colorado, and Arizona. She has become a trusted voice on achieving livable interiors that are practical, comfortable, indicative of the spirit of the residents, and elegant as appropriate.
Valerie has learned to manage large complex projects, for a very discerning clientele, with the help of her capable staff, and knows the value and comfort of design that transcends time. She draws design inspiration from her extensive travels, constant reading, and her associations with other professionals, artists, musicians, cooks, and active families, including their active pets. Valerie walks through all the phases of the design process with confidence and grace while maintaining her humor, thus making what can be a stressful process easier, more fun and more relaxing.

Vincent Edwards

Operations Manager / Marketing Director

Vincent Edwards started working with Marc t. Nielsen Interiors back in July 2019. He moved to Valparaiso in August of 2007 to study Political Science at Valparaiso University. Vince wears many hats and keeps our office running smoothly. He is always working on the MTN social media accounts and website. During his free time, Vincent loves to hang out with his friends, playing golf/tennis, or watching the Chicago Bears!

Kathleen Cooper

Associate Designer

Kathleen Cooper, “Katie” is originally from Chesterton, Indiana, but currently resides in Valparaiso with her husband and daughter.  She received her Bachelors in Fine Art in Interior Design from Harrington College of Design in Chicago, Illinois.  Katie has enjoyed exercising her skills as a fine artist, as well as her experience working in the remodeling and lighting industries. She’s applying all of that acquired knowledge to projects here, at Marc t. Nielsen Interiors!

Alyssa McIlvain

Librarian/Design Assistant

Alyssa McIlvain started with Marc t. Nielsen in June 2019 as a Design Intern. She is now a part-time staff member. She is originally from Winamac, Indiana and currently lives in Valparaiso with her husband. Alyssa is currently in the process of attaining her Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree in Interior Design from the Academy of Art University. She will be graduating in May 2020. Alyssa has experience through school and her internship working on all scales and types of projects including new residential, residential remodel, restaurant design, office design, and healthcare design.

Virginia Phillips

Designer Emeritus / In Memoriam

Virginia Phillips joined Marc t. Nielsen Interiors in Chicago in 1953. Working with Mr. Nielsen afforded an opportunity to create interiors far beyond the scope of other beginning designers. His talent in working with people was distinguished by caring for his clients; understanding their needs and desires, and giving more to them than they even knew they wanted. Virginia learned that lesson well. Coupled with her natural creativeness, she was able to achieve beautiful environments.

Virginia had always painted, but infrequently, until 1987, when she became more of an abstractionist. When she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1997, showing “energy” in her paintings became more important, stretching colors far beyond reality. She abstracted the subject sometimes just to the point of awareness.
To view and/or purchase her work, go to her website, virginiaphillips.com.


Director of Security and Mistress of Hospitality

Mia started at Marc t. Nielsen Interiors in April, 2015. She is a rescue from Lakeshore Paws. Her favorite part of her job is greeting our guests. However, she is very comfortable in her kennel by Valerie’s desk when we have a guest who is not necessarily a “fan” of dogs.