Meet Our Team

Fred Kumpel | Owner

When you ask Fred Kumpel’s team about him, they all say one thing: He’s a great leader. Fred joined Strickland’s at the ripe age of seventeen, working for Strickland’s Window Coverings part-time.
He worked there through college, and after graduating with a degree in Business Management from UNC-W, he joined the company full-time. Fred learned everything he could about the business from his mentor, Mr. Strickland. When Mr. Strickland retired in 2008, he offered the purchase of the business to Fred first, and he went for it. Four years later, Fred acquired Strickland’s Closets & Home Organization. As the leader of these companies, Fred upheld the Strickland family’s legacy for superior customer service and added to it an expanded portfolio of products and services. Today, Fred continues to grow Strickland’s, with the most recent division, Strickland’s Draperies & Fabrics.

When he’s not tackling a new project in entrepreneurship, Fred enjoys interacting with the local business networking community and giving back to his community. As a partner with Welcome Home Angel, Strickland’s provides children recently diagnosed with life-altering conditions custom-organized, functional spaces. In his own home, Fred enjoys working on home improvement projects and the Honey-Do list for his sweet wife Melissa, a recently-retired middle school teacher.

  • Dream wallpaper: Vintage newspaper wallpaper in the bathroom
  • Yea or nay for throw pillows on bed? Yea. “But not too many…”
Fred Kumpel Owner Strickland's Draperies & Fabrics

Carol Pendergrass | Drapery Designer

Born in Washington, D.C., Carol has spent most of her life in the Carolinas, living in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Wilmington. After graduating from ECU with a B.S. degree in Housing and Management, she began her career as an Interior Designer.

Carol has spent nearly 40 years in the field, and, at one time, operated her own drapery, blind and wallpaper business. She has also worked as an active Realtor for the past 14 years.

Now, Carol is proud to be the lead drapery designer at Strickland’s: “I love being creative, and every project is unique. Custom draperies give a home such a sophisticated, finished look. I’ve also enjoyed working on commercial window treatments for venues like restaurants and clubhouses.”

Outside of work, Carol loves reading, knitting, and soaking up interior design inspiration. She also enjoys movie nights with David, her husband of nearly 30 years, and time spent with their two children, Maggie and Zack, and Zack’s wife, Emily.

  • Dream wallpaper: I love using wallpaper to create a statement or add impact. Using color and texture adds another dimension to any room!
  • Yea or nay for throw pillows on bed? Absolutely!
Carol Pendergrass

Laura Salo | Operations Manager

Laura Salo grew up in West Virginia, but the majority of her life, she’s been on the coast -first in Cape Cod, MA, and then here in Wilmington, NC. Laura moved south for the warmer weather and found a home at Strickland’s as its operations manager in 2003. Fifteen years later, she is a cornerstone of the company, ensuring its efficiency, organization, and success on a daily basis. She keeps everything going at Strickland’s, overseeing operations for 5 divisions.

For Laura, the best part of working at Stricklands is, as she puts it: “who I work with and for.” She raves on: “We have the most talented, dedicated team. Most of the time things go perfectly, but when they don’t, we work hard until they are perfect.”

When she’s not running the show at Strickland’s, Laura enjoys going on bike rides with her daughter, hosting football parties and cheering on the Green Bay Packers, and camping out on the beach with her family and friends. Her dream view would overlook the woods in her front yard and a pool (or the beach!) in her backyard.

  • Dream wallpaper: Lilly Pulitzer botannical
  • Yea or nay for throw pillows on bed? Yea!!!
Laura Salo Operations Manager Strickland's Draperies & Fabrics

Keecha Anderson | Accountant

Keecha Anderson began her career at Strickland’s in 2006 as Mr. Strickland’s assistant in the field and helper in the showroom. She advanced to the position of full-time bookkeeper and showroom organizer. Today, she keeps track of Strickland’s bookkeeping and maintains a tidy, welcoming, and well-organized showroom.

A native Wilmingtonian, Keecha worked as an office administrator and childcare teacher before finding her place at Strickland’s. She believes Strickland’s is a perfect fit for her because of the company’s values. As she explains: “It’s a privilege for me to work for a company that encourages its employees to grow and learn in their profession, but also as individuals. It means a lot to me that the management team here believes in strong business ethics and integrity.”

When Keecha isn’t managing orders and tidying up in the showroom, she enjoys bonding with her two beloved children. She and her daughter enjoy ‘feeding the soul’ baking in the kitchen and ‘traveling’ through books at the nearby bookstore. She and her son enjoy motor cross and boxing – “I sling mud and hang tough right there with him!” she says.

  • Dream wallpaper: Light sand Mabler & Handler woven wallpaper
  • Yea or nay for throw pillows on bed? Yea! – “The more, the better!”
Keecha Anderson Accountant Strickland's Draperies & Fabrics

Beckah Daggett | Customer Service

Beckah Daggett was born and raised in Wilmington, NC. She grew up catching waves at Wrightsville Beach with her father and brothers, and in her free time, she still loves to go to the beach with her family. When she’s at work, though, she is absolutely focused on the job at hand – and a handful of others! When Beckah joined Strickland’s in early 2016, Fred and Laura knew they had found the ideal person for the position. Her attention to detail and communication skills make her a strong point of contact for Strickland’s clients across numerous divisions, including Strickland’s Draperies & Fabrics. As a Film Sales Rep. for Strickland’s Set Services, Beckah serves local Wilmingtonians as well as filmmakers looking for window coverings for their movie sets.
While Beckah keeps the desk organized at Strickland’s showroom, she credits her co-workers as well. As she says: “We have a great team. Everyone brings something different to the table, their own area of expertise, and we all work well together.”
When Beckah is finished with a busy day at Strickland’s, she enjoys relaxing by the beach or finding a new hiking trail with her husband, a professional firefighter, and her stepson. They share their home with three rescue pets: two cats and a dog.

  • Dream wallpaper: “Anything that’s beachy!”
  • Yea or nay for throw pillows on bed? Yea! – “I have very decorative bedding which involves a lot of pillows!”
Beckah Daggett Customer Service Strickland's Draperies & Fabrics

Mike Philpot | Customer Service

As Strickland’s Draperies & Fabrics full-time showroom host, Mike Philpot loves working with people. A native Kentuckian, Mike originally got a degree in electronics before deciding he’d rather work with people than computers. After running his own kitchen and bathroom remodeling company for a while, he decided to relocate to North Carolina and join Strickland’s team. In the showroom, Mike enjoys helping customers find the draperies and fabrics that suit their own personal needs and aesthetic. As he explains: “If someone says they want all purple in their house, then have all purple in your house!” Mike prides himself in providing judgment-free advice and help for every customer’s project, and often, he finds himself volunteering after hours to help some more. “We really care here,” he says, “and if we have a chance to do something good for someone else, we’ll do it.” When Mike’s not making people laugh and helping them navigate the showroom, he enjoys spending time with his 6 grandchildren and wife of 9 years. They recently built their own home in Rocky Point which they share with their two beloved rescue cats Simon and Carson.

  • Dream wallpaper: Something special for an accent wall
  • Yea or nay for throw pillows on the bed? Yea – “My wife’s in charge, so we have throw pillows…”
Michael Philpot Customer Service Strickland's Draperies & Fabrics

Jamey Carver | Installation Manager

A native Floridian, Jamey left the Sunshine State for the shores of Carolina in 1996. He worked as a carpenter for more than 15 years before joining Strickland’s team. During that time, he developed expertise in custom trim, decks, and exterior wood projects. As installation manager, Jamey oversees all commercial and home installations for 5 divisions of Strickland’s, including custom draperies and fabrics. For Jamey, Strickland’s is the right fit thanks to its friendly company culture. As he says: “It’s a small, local business with a family feel. I really enjoy the people I work with, and we all share the desire to delight our customers.”

When Jamey isn’t managing installations of custom fabrics and window treatments, he enjoys learning more about the construction trade. He’s taught himself how to do tiling, plumbing, painting, and electrical work. He also enjoys gardening and hydroponics – so much so he’ll make you your own system if you ask! In his free time, he enjoys sharing good food and fine wine with family and friends.

  • Dream wallpaper: Architectural drawing novelty paper for my home office
  • Yea or nay for throw pillows on bed? Nay.
Jamey Carver Installation Manager Strickland's Draperies & Fabrics

Don Cunningham | Installer

For Don Cunningham, working in installation made sense from the very beginning. As he says: “My dad was a contractor, so I picked it up from him over the years. I’ve been doing contracting work for my entire life.” Straight out of high school, Don snagged his first installation job, and he never looked back. At Strickland’s, Don has found the perfect fit – “It’s a great group of people,” he says, “a lot like a family.” Don and his wife Kathleen have been married 30 years and have two children, one in college and one that’s graduated. In their own home, white faux wood blinds keep their space cool and well-insulated. Don’s dream view would be of the Caribbean coast, though “as long as there are waves, I’m happy,” he says. Don and his family enjoy beachin’ together and playing with their two rescue black labs, Bella and Callie.

  • Dream wallpaper: Something simple and masculine, like classic plaid
  • Yea or nay for throw pillows on the bed? Yea! – “They’re fine as long as I’m not the one who has to arrange them.”
Don Cunningham Installer Strickland's Draperies & Fabrics

Paul Libal | Installer

Paul Libal is a full-time installer at Strickland’s Draperies & Fabrics with over 25 years of experience. He worked as a commercial and home installer, kitchen and bathroom designer, and independent contractor for many top-tier companies before joining Strickland’s team. Paul enjoys working for Strickland’s because of the wide variety of jobs it allows him to do on an everyday basis. As an installer, Paul prides himself in getting measurements exactly right and tackling difficult, detailed projects. A former resident of Hawaii, Paul especially enjoys working on homes on the coast. His dream view would overlook the Florida gulf coast or the intercoastal waterway here in Wilmington. After a day of window hardware installation and drapery hanging, Paul enjoys biking, reading, and gardening. He and his wife of 33 years have two children, a son nearby and a daughter in Hawaii.

  • Dream wallpaper: Sand-colored grasscloth – “Keep it simple.”
  • Yea or nay for throw pillows on the bed? Nay!
Paul Libal Installer Strickland's Draperies & Fabrics

Todd S. Grimes | Warehouse Manager

Todd Grimes believes the best part of working with customers to provide custom drapes is the opportunity to find them the perfect product for their home. After spending two decades in customer service and sales positions, he recently found a home with the Strickland’s team.

Originally born in the outskirts of Philadelphia, Todd moved to Wilmington over twenty years ago to spend more time near the ocean. Now he uses his Associate of Science degree from Delaware County Community College to connect with Strickland’s customers and help them decide on the best drapes for their home or business.

When he has some free time, Todd loves surfing and boating out on the ocean. He also has a passion for traveling. He once spent three months touring western Europe, where he ran with bulls in Spain and sky dived over the Swiss Alps. In quiet moments, Todd prefers to spend time with family and friends or watch Law & Order marathons.

  • Dream wallpaper: Anything that uses colors drawn from the ocean
  • Yea or nay for throw pillows on the bed? Of course!
Todd Grimes

Communities We Serve

Strickland's Draperies & Fabrics proudly serves Bald Head Island, Bolivia, Burgaw, Carolina Beach, Castle Hayne, Hampstead, Holden Beach, Jacksonville, Kure Beach, Leland, Long Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Porters Neck, Topsail Island, St. James Plantation, Shallotte, Southport, Sunset Beach, Surf City, Wallace, Whiteville, Wilmington, and Wrightsville Beach.