James Votanek


James Votanek is the co-owner and President of Transition Home Staging, a leading home staging company that has served property owners and real estate professionals since 2012.

With an eye for detail and an unwavering commitment to providing exceptional services, Transition Home Staging has long-been the go-to for real estate agents looking to make a great first impression when listing a home. From staging vacant homes, occupied residence, and multi-family dwellings, James and his team have the experience to help buyers envision an inspiring lifestyle and sellers make their transitions as smooth as possible.

With an emphasis on professionalism, client satisfaction, and staying ahead of market trends, Transition Home Staging is dedicated to helping clients get the most out of their home sale or purchase. In addition to their staging services, Transition Home Staging also offers consultations and design advice. Whether you’re just considering selling or you’re ready to move on, Transition Home Staging has the experience and resources to help you make it happen.

Terri Votanek


Since childhood, Terri Votanek has harbored a deep passion for home design and decor. In 2001, she obtained her RE Brokers License to fulfill this love, which exposed her to the world of Staging.

In 2012, Terri pivoted her career from selling real estate to staging it, and established Transition Home Staging. She is now an Accredited Staging Professional Master®, with an extensive portfolio that includes everything from small condos to a 24,000 square-foot estate home. Terri and her team specialize in staging both occupied and vacant homes in Chicago’s North and Northwest suburbs, and operate out of a spacious 5000 square-foot warehouse. 

Terri has been recognized for her staging expertise with multiple IAHSP Industry Staging Awards and Industry Staging Excellence Awards. She has been featured in articles about home staging and virtual staging in the Chicago Sun Times and Make It website. Terri has also presented at Women’s Council of Realtor’s meetings about staging and sponsored many of their larger events.

Heather Robak

Operations Manager and Lead Project Designer

Heather had a passion for design and creativity from an early age, which led her to pursue a degree in Interior Design in college. However, Heather soon realized that her true calling was in the beauty industry, and she successfully owned and operated a beauty salon for over a decade.

With her innate creativity and love for design, Heather eventually transitioned into the field of home staging. In October of 2017, she earned her Accredited Staging Professional® (ASP) certification and became a member of both the International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP) and the Greater Chicago IAHSP Regional Chapter (GCIRC).

Heather takes pride in creating impactful first impressions that leave a lasting impact on potential buyers.

Design team

Lisa Cumbo

Staging Assistant

Lisa obtained a degree in Fashion Merchandising and has accumulated more than 15 years of experience in the furniture industry. She has played a crucial role in setting up showrooms for trade shows, as well as participating in the High Point North Carolina Furniture Markets and Gift Shows.

Through her extensive knowledge of current trends and display techniques, Lisa has been able to assist furniture retailers, gift shops, home furnishing stores, and interior designers. Her passion for the furniture industry has allowed her to utilize her creative talent to work with Transition Home Staging since 2015.

In addition, Lisa has earned her ASP® Certification and is a member of both the International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP) and the Greater Chicago IAHSP Regional Chapter.

Design Team

Lynne Henderson

Warehouse and Logistics and Staging Assistant

Lynne earned a degree in Business with a specialization in Marketing and initially worked in both the retail and corporate industries. She eventually decided to shift gears and pursue a career in home staging. In 2020, Lynne obtained her Accredited Staging Assistant® designation and joined Transition Home Staging.

Lynne takes great pleasure in collaborating with a team of skilled designers, stagers, and movers to showcase the best features of each home. Whether utilizing the homeowner’s existing furnishings or hand-selecting art, furniture, and accessories from Transition Home Staging’s extensive collection of trendy decor, Lynne helps create a buyer’s dream home.

Nancy Loke

Staging Assistant

Having obtained a Business degree, Nancy worked in the industry for a decade before retiring to care for her two sons. Later, upon completing her parenting duties, she explored various options and stumbled upon the Staging industry, which fascinated her. In July 2015, she enrolled in a course and earned her Accredited Staging Professional® (ASP) certification. She also joined the International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP) and the Greater Chicago IAHSP Regional Chapter (GCIRC).

Nancy loves to keep herself updated on design and the latest trends by scouring various sources. She utilizes her knowledge to craft appealing spaces for the customers of Transition Home Staging.

Rebecca Sheridan

Staging Assistant

After graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in Hospitality Business, Rebecca relocated to Chicago to pursue a career in private club management.

She began her career at the Chicago Yacht Club and later transitioned to The Standard Club of Chicago, a prestigious 5-star Platinum Club of America, where she worked as a catering manager for nearly ten years. During her time there, Rebecca planned events for a diverse range of clientele, including industry leaders, politicians, and celebrities, in the Chicagoland area. She demonstrated her expertise in event planning by paying attention to every detail, being creative with menu planning, and contributing to the overall aesthetic of the event. Her dedication to providing excellent customer service was unwavering.

Now, Rebecca has shifted her focus to home staging, inspired by her personal experience of selling her home and renovating a new one. She has always been interested in decorating and exploring various design trends and styles from the past. As a certified staging expert with CSP® Residential Staging Expert™ from the Home Staging Institute, Rebecca’s philosophy is to create warm and inviting living spaces that make potential buyers feel at home. She understands the importance of a well-staged home in achieving a successful sale and strives to achieve this for her clients.