Featured Alumna: Christine Fariss

Christine Fariss is a creative, process-driven design and project management professional who has 12 years of project management, program management, construction management, interior design and strategy experience in both academic medical center and residential industries. Fariss graduated from ECU’s College of Health and Human Performance in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. She also received an MBA from Wake Forest University in 2017.  

Since graduation, Fariss has creatively spaced programs, plans and executes projects from initiation to close out by communicating effectively with business development, strategy teams, users, architects, engineers, commissioning agents, property managers, contractors, developers and corporate services. She also builds project schedules, budgets and scope packages that are innovative and meet client goals. 

Fariss began her career by working for Lowe’s Companies as a Project Specialist for interiors, helping design residential customers’ kitchen and bath projects and bringing the projects to life. After two years, she moved into a new role as an Interior Designer at the Department of Facilities and Construction at Wake Forest Baptist Health, where she spearheaded projects focusing on ergonomics and medical center-wide furniture standards. She was promoted to a project manager role in 2017, when she designed, budgeted, scheduled and managed projects through occupancy for assigned capital interior finish and furniture projects in office, inpatient and outpatient clinical environments. 

Fariss’ success in her role as project manager quickly translated to another opportunity and she was named the Capital Project Manager at Wake Forest Baptist Health in August of 2017. In this role, Fariss collaborated with Wake Forest Baptist Health’s strategic planning, property management and business development teams to facilitate network optimization initiatives, consolidations, mergers and acquisitions, and facility improvement projects. This portfolio spanned 18 counties throughout western North Carolina.  

Today, Fariss serves as the Principal and Owner of Hayden Design. Hayden Design is a woman-owned established, award-winning design firm specializing in commercial and residential interior design, space planning and sustainable design. Founded in 1981, the firm has more than 40 years of design experience in healthcare, corporate, financial, senior living, hospitality, education and worship sectors. Hayden Design is diversifying in 2022 with expanded project management and residential design services across the Carolinas and beyond. 

When Fariss is not working, she takes on a variety of volunteer and leadership opportunities.  She serves on the SECU Family House Services & Facilities Committee,  is an involved member of the North Carolina Healthcare Engineers Association (NCHEA), and supports local canine rescue organizations,  In addition to her degrees, Fariss is certified from the Construction Infection Control Training Institute (CICTI)  as a Certified Healthcare Manager (CCHM).

When asked about her time with ECU and HHP, Fariss shared, “ECU was my home away from home. I thrived while at ECU because my professors and cohort empowered me to ask questions, learn and lead. The opportunity to study abroad in Italy and Switzerland further expanded my perspective on the interior design profession. ECU has it all!” 

Her advice for students? “It is OK to make mistakes. Never get paralyzed by uncertainty or setbacks. Set goals, ask questions, be persistent and follow your heart! You’re not on this journey alone.”