About DDS

Our Team divider-right

Merit Lee

CEO & Founder
Merit Lee, Founder and Creative Director of Digital Design Solutions and SearchThruster, graduated with a degree in Internet Technology & Design from San Francisco State University and founded Digital Design Solutions in 1996.
Merit has been building lucrative internet companies for over 25 years and, in addition to her the flagship companies; she also founded Google Map Builder. She combines her love of design and her talent for sales to create websites that are not only visually stimulating, but focus on usability and ROI. Her organizational skills and passion for her staff and her clients contributes to the on-going success of Digital Design Solutions. Merit fully recognizes the importance of being a full-service, state-of-the-art digital marketing firm and is committed to stay on top of the very latest design trends and technologies.

tara

Tara Jones

Creative Director
Tara Jones, Creative Director / Web Designer earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Boston University.
She is an experienced professional with strong success in project management, product marketing, client services, sales support,
logistics and P&L support.
Each of these items is a critical component for our clients as well as Digital Design Solutions when developing website design with a compressed schedule and ensuring responsible cost control.
Tara’s dynamic personality, boundless energy, and remarkable creativity contributes to her exceptional service and leadership skills. She is a valued team leader, group leader, and individual contributor.


Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson

Business Strategist
Michael brings 25 years of senior business experience with an overarching background in business strategies and technology, driven innovation and revenue optimization. Michael has founded several leading edge technology companies including Intensive Resources International, which focused on technology for building operations. As CEO and Founder for Vigilant Technologies, Michael specialized in leading edge security technology. He also developed multiple US patents for Ultra WideBand RFID, Video Analytics, GPS and VPN based Vendor Neutral Access Control. Michael then founded US Health Programs, a company focused on patient driven technology that delivered Behavioral Health integration to all verticals of the healthcare industry. As the Founder and Primary at The Alar Group Consulting, he has been hired to serve as a Fragmented CEO for multiple technology start-ups. For other Alar Group clients, he focused on marrying effective technology strategies with clearly identified business strategies, to improve operations and develop unrecognized revenue streams.

His industry experience includes B2B Innovation and Business Consulting, Public and Private Sector Companies, Information Technology, Healthcare (Medical Practice, Group Organizations, Insurance / Payors), Defense Related Security Technology (DoD, TSA, DARPA, FBI), Education (K-12 and University), Pharmaceutical, Clinical and Academic Research, Supply Chain Management, Venture Capital, Non-Profits, Tele-Communications and Aviation.

Michael’s educational background features an undergraduate degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and an MBA from the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business. He continued his quest for knowledge with Post Graduate Studies in Leadership and Growth and Innovation from The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Tonja Laing

Tonja Laing

Website Consultant
Tonja Laing has been an integral part of the Digital Design Solutions team since 2010. She is solely responsible for website maintenance updates for new and existing clients. Additionally, Tonja expertly manages creative website development from conception to implementation for a wide range of clients, including hair salons, photography studios, pharmacies, art galleries, dedicated sailing and power-boating boaters, and fine cuisine as well as many others. She is particularly adept at redesigning dated websites into fresh, state-of-the-art versions of their former selves. The clients are stunned and grateful for the “before and after” changes to their websites thanks to Tonja’s ability to actively listen to client concerns and creatively translate their needs into the new and vibrant website. She loves what she does!

Rachel Chester

Social Media Director/Designer
Rachel is an active duty military spouse and a mom of two sweet boys (one has special needs). Rachel graduated from Florida State University in 2008 with a degree in Biological Sciences. She worked as a microbiologist, virologist and serologist from 2008-2017. Rachel worked with the Florida Department of Agriculture, the Florida Department of Health and the CDC!

In 2017, she resigned from her career as a microbiologist to care for her special needs son. That then prompted her to start her own business as a certified Fashion Stylist. She has always had a passion for style, fashion, color and design.

Rachel is also a certified Social Media Director and has several years of experience in the social media marketing world. Rachel is constantly training and studying the ever changing trends and algorithms of social media to ensure that each client’s presence stays in front of their market at all times.

She is beyond excited to combine her love for science, fashion, style and design, to work alongside an incredible team here at Digital Design Solutions!

Melissa Lampugnano

Melissa Lampugnano

Social Media Marketing & Project Manager
Melissa has worked in the internet technology field for 21 years. Melissa graduated from Benedictine University located in IL in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. She immediately went on to receive her graduate degree in Software Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Melissa worked at Argonne National Laboratory, Motorola, and Citibank. Melissa worked as a front-end developer and user research lead throughout her career. She is a Certified Usability Analyst.

In 2012 Melissa created her own business, Jacksonville Business Connections, with the mission to help businesses connect to the community through various events hosted in the North Florida community such as Taste of Jacksonville, St. Augustine Vegfest, home shows, craft shows, and fun family-oriented events. Melissa enjoys connecting with local businesses and has her own monthly networking event, Business Directory, and podcast that spotlights local North Florida businesses.


Bree Nolan

Bree Nolan

Social Media Manager
Bree was raised in the suburbs of Chicago in the small town of Fox River Grove. She attended Cary-Grove High School where she was part of their Advanced Placement German Program and where she also found her love for Media in her Rhetorical Analysis of Media class, taught by Mr. Neff. Her work in Social Media started as a small curiosity that quickly grew to an obsession, fueled by her interest in the “science of why”. She credits all of her work to her High School teacher Mr. Neff, had it not been for his style of teaching and support she would not have pursued a career in this field. Bree is quick to love any animal she sets her eyes on and has rescued 4 dogs, 2 cats, a rabbit, and a bearded dragon. You’ll often see her furry friends saying hello in the background of a video call.

Bree came to us with years of experience working as a webmaster in the service industry, where she had to operate a jack-of-all-trades. Single-handedly providing technical, graphical, and business strategies to her clients for both website and social media. Although she possesses a skill set that spans most online disciplines she excels in Social Media Marketing and Graphic Design.

She works with her clients to develop and refine their desired message marketing to promote engaging content while using creative assets to drive lead conversions. Her ultimate goal is to find the platforms that will work best for her clients, listen to their market communities on social media and strategically plan and develop a marketing campaign with personalized graphics to really drive your content home. For her, she genuinely enjoys figuring out “what makes your consumers tick” and loves working with her team to make your business grow!

Ronnie Musselwhite

Ronnie Musselwhite

Brand Storyteller
Ronnie is an award-winning communications professional with more than two decades of experience in content marketing, brand storytelling, public relations and advertising.

Over the course of his career, Ronnie has written about everything from business and technology to health and wellness, manufacturing and distribution to lifestyle and entertainment. His specialty is transforming most any subject into content that engages, informs and inspires.

Durga Prasad Samireddy

Durga Prasad Samireddy

Project Manager / Web & Graphic Designer
Prasad S has been working with Digital Design Solutions since 2010. Prasad is a highly experienced Graphic Designer and Web Developer.

He brings skill sets in Design and Front-End Development. In his spare time, Prasad enjoys spending time with his family.


Lisa Manning

Lisa Manning

Assistant Project Manager

Lauren Clark

Lauren Clark

Social Media Specialist & Graphic Designer
Lauren graduated with a BFA in Illustration from the American Academy of Art located in the heart of downtown Chicago in 2013. Her artistic background led her to a creative career in Graphic Design and Freelance Illustration (she has even illustrated and written children’s books!) . Lauren is our Midwest native. Born and raised in Chicago and the nearby suburbs, she currently resides in the Illinois countryside supporting her local farmers. She is the mother of a beautiful sensory sensitive little girl and is often out exploring the world through her eyes when she is not busy working on eye-catching projects and engaging content. She grew up with social media and has grown with the platforms Myspace, Facebook, and TikTok. Silly cat TikToks are some of her daughter’s favorite stims. She has a passion for using social media platforms to connect with your targeted audience and is excited to help build up brands with her design background and graphics expertise

Ashley Thibodeau

Ashley Thibodeau

Ashley is an experienced and passionate Web Design and Developer from Worcester, Massachusetts, specializing in graphic design, front-end, and full-stack web development. She came to us as a Web Director for a fast-paced expanding company in the fitness industry. However, Ashley’s start in her web development journey began simply in 2007 as a Freelancer as she would design profiles for popular social sites such as MySpace. Though she no longer accepts payment in cookies, what keeps Ashley in her field is her love and passion for making the internet a more beautiful place to browse.

After graduating high school in 2011, Ashley focused on her other interests in graphic design and watercolor painting, which led her into apprentice tattooing in England. There, she would fall into her Web Design and Development again as she redesigned her tattoo studios’ website while traveling with her mentor. Soon a pattern would emerge as she would change industries, gain experience, then find herself the computer expert in her hospitality and medical fields. To apparent not to notice, Ashley decided to make her career in Web Design and Development permanent by applying for the Computer Information Science at her local community college. Holding a steady 3.89 GPA, She obtained an internship within her freshman year to work for the Worcester District Attorney’s office to lead, design, and recreate their internal database and portal systems after the dean granted special permission. Requiring further challenge, to give her experience edge, Ashley applied to Full Sail University’s accelerated Web Design and Development Degree Program in 2020 during the COVID Pandemic. While working full-time in the medical field, she graduated in May 2021 as Valedictorian of her graduating class.

Since then, she’s only grown more passionate in all the components that intricately wire
every aspect of a web application together, whether it is with project management, the designing, or the code behind it. Ashley looks forward to meeting new clients and helping them grow their business in whatever way she can.


Digital Design Solutions was founded in 1996 to provide top-notch web solutions that fit any business needs. We have evolved as the premier source for E-Commerce set-up and management. Our stunning and visually appealing designs blend functionality with innovation ensuring the site showcases your business and targets your future.

We recognize that your online presence is a strategic asset. Well conceived website design combined with product branding is integral to successful marketing and growth, whether E-Commerce or brick & mortar. Digital Design Solutions will develop a formidable on-line presence. Whatever your product, market, or niche!

Merit has developed a team that covers all forms of marketing, website design, maintenance, custom programming, Search Engine Optimization, and content development. We are a full service web site development company with unsurpassed customer service and the personal touch of someone to talk to for your website needs.

Services We Offer Through Our Strategic Partners