Sara is experienced in all aspects of programming and space planning and firmly believes that every project requires a strong line of communication from concept through construction. Sara takes a holistic approach to design based on the needs and desires of each individual client. She believes that design is constantly evolving with society and continues to push the creative process to reflect that development.

Sara joined SVPA in 2003. Prior to that, she was an intern at SVPA, while completing her degree at Iowa State University. She also gained additional experience at a firm outside of the Iowa market after graduation. Sara became an Associate in 2008 and Vice President in 2011.


Iowa State University, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Interior Design, 2001

Professional Affiliations

International Interior Design Association (IIDA)

West Des Moines Development Board

State of Iowa Interior Design Examination, Past Board Chair

Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, Past Board Member

IIDA Great Plains Chapter, Member, Past President


National Council for Interior Design Qualification, Certificate Holder

Licensed Interior Designer in Iowa

U.S. Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional

Honors & Awards

IIDA Gold Award, Government Category – Urbandale City Hall

IIDA Silver Award – Waukee YMCA

IIDA Silver Award, Educational/Religious Category – United Methodist Church

Des Moines Business Record “Forty Under 40”, 2009

Community Involvement

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa, Board Member

Notable Project Experience

  • Athene, West Des Moines, IA
  • B.E. Smith Family Center, Shawnee Mission Medical Center, Shawnee Mission, KS
  • ChildServe Campus, Johnston, IA
  • Nationwide 1100 Locust, Des Moines, IA
  • Drake University, Collier-Scripps Hall, Des Moines, IA
  • Des Moines Register, Des Moines, IA
  • Vermeer Yellow Iron Academy, Pella, IA
  • Hy-Vee Corporate Headquarters, West Des Moines, IA

I take a holistic approach to design based on the needs and desires of each individual client.

- Sara E. Herman, IIDA, LEED AP