October 3, 2018
By: Bushra Sandhu
Luis Stauffer was adopted from Guatemala by American parents. His father’s work was in community development, which forced the family to travel frequently. Luis was able to travel across Latin and South America for 13 years. During these formative years of his life, he was exposed to numerous religions and cultures and went to schools with students from different nationalities. Being exposed to this diversity gave him the foundation of how he sees the world and what motivates him today.
“My mom always told me to “celebrate the diversity of relationships that you have”. As humans we gravitate toward similarities and what we have in common with people, but my mom always taught me the opposite, “to fill yourself with curiosity and let curiosity drive you and celebrate that we are not alike”. That has been engrained in my soul and spirit.”
After returning to the U.S., Luis came to Ohio to finish school in a small, homogenous community. Reflecting on his past, he knew he wanted to use his experiences to impact others. Luis went on to attend The Ohio State University and studied Linguistics and seven different languages, yes seven! Luis also met his wife, Cheryl, while she was going through Design school in Ohio.
“I was drawn to her spirit from our conversation that the world is so much bigger. We were best friends for 15 years before we started dating. Now we are married for 10 years and have two beautiful daughters Gabi, 4, and Mia, 1.5”.
Cheryl, born in Paraguay, always knew she wanted to start her own business. She says she is a businesswoman first and designer second. With that mindset, she founded Crimson Design Inc. in 2003 where she is currently the CEO & Principal and Luis is the President.
“We focus on relationships here at Crimson Design and Cheryl has laid the foundation of the culture we have here. She started working [from] home and continued to grow the business over time. I married Cheryl and I had to learn the design industry and learned how to work with a spouse. We weren’t afraid to ask for professional advice to grow the business. [We] started as a residential design firm and grew into a full service residential and commercial design. We focus on luxury market when it comes to design”.
Both Cheryl and Luis love to travel the world. Luis says, “Travelling helps us breathe when we are maxed out. It feeds our soul”. They have travelled to South America, Latin America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. Luis and Cheryl are proud supporters of the Columbus Council on World Affairs.
How did you get involved with CCWA?
“When I came across CCWA, I felt excited and I was surprised to see a great organization like CCWA in Columbus and I knew I had to get connected with the organization. As our business grew we started focusing more on how we can give back to the community to organizations that are global and who we believe in their mission. CCWA was on top of our list and it was one of the best decisions we ever made.”
Why do you think our Global School Diploma is important to the community?
“Where do I start? Being exposed to cultures other than your own changes us as human beings and our infrastructure of how we view the world and how we treat other people. As I see the GSD program, I see young adults learning and absorbing [the world around them]. I see that as crucial in their development. CCWA is giving opportunities and possibilities to view the world in a completely different way.”
Why should others join you in supporting CCWA?
“Why not? You become part of something that’s bigger than yourself and you become part of the community in a global way. When you get involved, it has a ripple effect, even if that’s by giving a small donation or speaking to a GSD student. To me, it’s amazing how small the world [is] and we are all connected in some shape or form as humanity. It’s always an honor to be part of this ripple effect.”