Starfish signs & graphics team

Our Team

At Starfish Signs and Graphics, our team is the key to our success. Our employees are experts in design, fabrication and installation, and we are all dedicated to high quality products and the complete satisfaction of our customers.

LAURA REILLY

Top Dog

Starfish Signs and Graphics is a woman-owned business with Laura as our CEO and majority shareholder. Laura plays a key role in setting the vision for the Starfish Team, and in building and motivating the team on an ongoing basis.  Laura also embodies the expertise and tenacity that we bring to the permitting process – in fact, Laura will be your most ardent advocate in getting the permit for the exact sign that you want on your building.  Laura also spends a lot of her time and energy on work with nonprofit and community organizations.  You may well find her out and about in San Clemente and South Orange County volunteering at local functions and fundraisers. Prior to Starfish Signs, Laura had a long career in Occupational Therapy, working in both orthopedic clinics and assisted living facilities. It was this empathetic, hands-on career that forms the foundation for Laura’s commitment to customer care. Laura is committed to understanding your requirements and doing everything possible to ensuring that the Starfish Team delivers on all aspects of your project.

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MIKE REILLY

Big Star(fish)

Mike is the operations mastermind here at Starfish Signs & Graphics. Through the use of Lean Manufacturing and other continuous improvement methodologies, he has created a dynamic culture that values continuous learning and improvement, and a commitment to excellence.  Although Mike’s  Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering doesn’t exactly involve sign manufacturing, Mike’s attention to detail, and his skill at complex project management serves our customers well. In fact, maybe that is why we particularly gravitate toward novel and complex projects.  We are committed to building what you want, and if that involves a few experiments along the way, that is fine too.  We have built more than one prototype, to test out new ideas, to refine a design, and to ‘value-engineer’ a project to meet a customer’s budget target.   As a former Pittsburgh native, Mike loves the Pittsburgh Steelers and will be happy to talk with you about their prospects for the upcoming season.

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NICOLETTE BURNS

Workflow Wizard

Nicolette is Starfish’s Operations Manager. Nicolette brings a breadth of training and experience to her position. Her university education began with a Bachelor’s Degree from UC Santa Barbara in Communication and Multimedia Writing in 2013. Epitomizing the motto of continuous learning and development, Nicolette then completed an Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design at Saddleback College in 2014. At Starfish Signs, she leads our operations team, developing processes to increase efficiency and quality.
Outside of the office, Nicolette has her hands full with her new baby girl. She absolutely loves being a mom, and enjoys going to beach, cooking, and visiting local restaurants.

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LINDA KORNHABER

Project Puzzle-Piece

Linda is Starfish’s Project Manager. She graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in Literature. At Starfish Signs, Linda specializes in managing complex projects including interior and exterior signage for multi-family residential buildings, office HQ, and tenant improvement projects. Linda enjoys working with customers to ensure timelines and expectations are met. When not in the office, Linda likes to read, travel, visit Disneyland, and spend time with her toddler and new baby girl.

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MATT RINEHART

Production Ninja

Matt joined the Starfish Signs Team on a full-time basis in late 2019. Prior to that, Matt worked with us as an intern, learning the basics of print production and fabrication while studying at California State University Fullerton. Matt has since graduated with his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and elected to continue with Starfish Signs. His knowledge of design principles and industry standard programs make him a helpful addition to the team in proofing sign concepts and preparing quality production files. Matt is currently our production specialist, running our two new large-format printers. Matt’s interest in art began at an early age with a knack for drawing and painting. This later developed into a deep appreciation for graphic design and brand/merchandising. In his spare time, Matt enjoys hanging with family and friends, exercising, and designing graphics on and off the clock.

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STEPH WU

Design Overlord

Steph is our resident proofing superstar. Although she is new to the team, Steph is a master at quick turnaround, and helping to transform our customers’ vision into concepts that we can fabricate into beautiful new signage. Steph received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Consumer Behavior from the University of Southern California. Her interest in illustration inspired her to take graphic design classes at Saddleback College in 2020. In her free time, Steph likes to go to the beach, hike, and make ceramics.

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SARA DANIELS

Maven of Multitasking

Sara is originally from a Los Angeles but is now a San Clementian. She enjoys the fresh air and all ample free parking that South OC has to offer.
Though she attended a brick and mortar college as a young adult, Sara is currently attending the University of Wikipedia and has spent many years studying at the Institute of YouTube. A good portion of the skills she uses at Starfish have been learned at these fine institutions.

Her favorite task at Starfish is painting. Often you can find her with paint in her clothes, on her face, on her shoes, and in her hair. Her coworkers gave up telling her since it happens all the time and it doesn’t seem to bother her.

She enjoys (most of the time) being with her husband, daughter, and dog at the beach or in the mountains. She also enjoys just being with her dog sometimes.

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JOEY BALLARD

Master of Fab

Joey and Starfish Signs met in the middle of the pandemic. He had recently been laid off because of the shut down and we were on the hunt for a machinist. He has a love for all things in the machining and fabrication and is always trying to learn more. His fab days started in the garage with his friends in high school, cutting bikes apart and welding them back together to accommodate car tires. He has worked in many different industries as a fabricator and machinist including aerospace, prototyping, underground pipe, the off-road industry and now into the sign business. If he’s not running a CNC machine or at one of his girlfriend’s musicals, grab your binoculars and look west, you can probably spot him on a fishing boat out in the ocean.

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CAROLYN FLEISCHER

Happiness Hero

After about 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Carolyn shifted gears and joined the Starfish team in November 2020. She has been able to use her experience in sales and customer service and translate it to the sign industry. Carolyn has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from California State University, Fullerton. She was born on the east coast and moved to sunny SoCal when she was 8. Moving here meant you can play sports year-round. Carolyn grew up on the softball field. After 14 years of fastpitch softball, she now plays slowpitch two nights a week. On the weekend, you’ll find her on the golf course. She also has a side gig as a Crossfit coach at Beach Cities Fitness in Dana Point. Just like everyone at Starfish Signs, Carolyn wears many hats!

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