A Reliable Team of Skilled Experts
We design, develop, host, and maintain high-performance, mobile-responsive WordPress websites.
Our goal is to provide custom, uniquely branded, professional websites that are not only attractive, but also optimized for search engines, rich in features, and tailored to meet real client needs.
The Team Behind Blue Heron
We are a collaborative team of experts with over 50 years of combined website, design, and technology experience.
Founded in 2015, Blue Heron was created to provide clients with a personalized, one-on-one experience. We understand that you are investing in the future of your business. We believe your unique needs can’t be met with a one-time, churn-and-burn transaction. Rather, we focus on building a lasting relationship with our clients, and a shared goal of building an amazing web presence while you build your business.
Founder Partner + Project Manager
Growing up in Kansas City, Virginia’s interest in art and design blossomed in at nine years old behind an easel during painting and drawing outings with her grandmother who was a watercolor artist. School art and photography classes piqued her interest in graphic design and commercial art including screen printing and printmaking.
Her education from the University of Southern California has served her well in a fast-changing digital landscape. With an extensive background in science, technology and photography, transitioning into website development was a natural progression.
Creative entrepreneurship, art, and culture run deep for Virginia. Over the years, she has founded a number of companies, traveled, lived abroad, and eventually began building websites in 1996.
As our founder and project manager, her primary focus is on client management. Her ability to shift between specific client needs and their long-term goals provides the vision to manage complex projects and plans. Virginia provides oversight and leadership on a variety of projects, and continues to work with many of her original clients, fostering long-lasting relationships.
The traits she considers essential for a web development business? Curiosity, problem solving and the joy of learning about her clients’ businesses, organizations, and interests.
Work + Life Balance
You will often find Virginia outside soaking up nature. She has a passion for food, cooking, baking, science, and organic gardening. When she’s not playing in the kitchen or in the dirt, she might be found bird watching on nature hikes, reading, or enjoying art exhibitions, theatre or international and vintage films.
Partner, Digital Developer
Her passion for art and design led her to a degree in Graphic Design at Millikin University. But Nicole’s super-human technological skills allow her to unlock the mysteries of website coding and navigate back-end intricacies to help Blue Heron develop powerful and engaging websites.
As Blue Heron’s resident troubleshooting wizard, if a request seems impossible, Nicole usually finds way to do it. Nicole is no stranger to putting in the hours to make sure the job is done on time, on budget, and that it exceeds the client’s expectations. Her eye for detail ensures that nothing goes unchecked.
Work + Life Balance
Nicole discovered a love for distance running in her adult life. She enjoys running races of all distances, but especially the half marathon. She is currently working toward a goal of running a half marathon in all 50 states.
She is also a Certified Personal Trainer, Adult Distance Running Coach, Sport Nutrition Specialist, and author of the Central Illinois race website, Fat at the Finish.
Partner, Creative Designer + Developer
At 14, she would ride her bike to a local garden store, where she worked painting murals and sculptures after school. Eventually, finding her way to design school, Sara received a degree in Graphic Design from the Illinois Institute of Art.
She brings with her not only Midwest hustle, but extensive in-house design for both small and large companies, design agency experience, and a talent for branding and print design.
Work + Life Balance
You can find Sara enjoying live music, traveling, exploring local eats and perfecting her home-barista game.
Over the Years
How we started and where we’re going.
Virginia founded Kestrel Technologies, Inc. as a company that offered commercial photography, reproduction of vintage and historic photographs, and personal computer consulting for businesses.
Kestrel branched out to network consulting, security, and computer training, filling a need in rural Illinois.
Seeing a need for expansion in the growing IT landscape, the business grew into Kestrel Tech & Website Development, offering custom database programming and website design. The company worked with a not-for-profit community foundation to provide dial-up Internet service for under-served rural areas in central Illinois and provided computer and Internet training.
Through an entrepreneurial business program, Nicole connected with Kestrel, working on a university community art and technology training project. Nicole began an internship with the company resulting in a full-time position as a web designer and technology problem-solver, after graduation.
The company began to develop websites on the WordPress platform and expand its scalable custom database programming. Sara began freelancing as a Graphic Designer while expanding her skills at WordPress website development.
People Are Talking
I have been working with Blue Heron for over 5 years. I originally had my old website built by a local company and didn't really use it to try to drum up business, in retrospect probably because I wasn't very impressed with it. That is far and away from my area of expertise.
However, since partnering with Blue Heron I have been much more proactive with it, mainly because their experts offer such insightful suggestions and have made it to be something I'm very proud of. It's so easy to just give them my version of what I'm looking for and they go to work producing an amazing website. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to any business looking for a better built, better managed professional looking website that they can be proud!
I have known Blue Heron Web Design & Graphics for over ten years in which they have assisted me in launching and maintaining websites for two separate companies. They deliver a very high quality product. I have always found their fees to be reasonable, which has yielded an prudent investment in our company infrastructure. In the last year, we have worked on Search Engine Optimization for our most recent project, and our company has experienced a definite uptick in our client inquiries as a result of these efforts. Blue Heron also delivers excellent and timely customer service. I give them my highest recommendation!
Although their design is stunningly superb, their business-to-business "you-attitude" is their major strength. They have a wide business perspective enabling them to focus on the results you want and quickly understand you and your goals, saving you time and money. The team at Blue Heron responds fast to the need for changes and updates. The text content is compelling and searchable. The websites loads quickly with reliable 24/7 hosting which is very secure. Blue Heron's work hits the marketing target and gets results for happy clients like me.
That's incredible, it's professional and attractive. I'm so proud! You and your team are very talented. I like the whole thing and I couldn't be more pleased!
I just want to say how terrific it has been working with you and your team. From the initial redesign phase of the site to the constant upgrades, tweaks, and updates everything has been handled expeditiously and professionally. It has been a joy working with you!