|Soraya Dancsecs, Co-Founder and Creative Director
Soraya Dancsecs is the Co-Founder and Creative Director of Portera Antique Spanish Doors, the United States’ exclusive purveyor of antique Spanish doors based in Pasadena, California.
Born into a culturally diverse family of Afghan-Italian descent, Soraya grew up fully immersed in foreign culture and traditions. Well-traveled and passionate about art and design, she found the perfect culmination of art history and functional design when she formed Portera in 2006.
Soraya graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in English studies. Following graduation, she began her career as an executive assistant to actor/producer/director, Kevin Costner. In 2001, Costner promoted Soraya to Head of Development at his production company, Tig Productions, where she managed several film projects.
After a long and fulfilling career in entertainment, Soraya left Tig Productions in 2005 to pursue her passion for art and design. It was then that she and friend, John Simpson, realized that there was a void in the US marketplace for authentic Spanish antiquities. In an effort to make Spanish culture and tradition more accessible to consumers, architects and designers in the U.S., Soraya and John created Portera. Since launching in June, 2006, Portera boasts the largest collection of antique Spanish doors the world has to offer.
Soraya Dancsecs is a newly elected member of the Board of Directors for the Southern California chapter of the ICA & CA (Institute of Classical Architecture and Classical America). She also plays a very active role in the Pasadena community where she serves as a committee member of SCRUBS in support of the Huntington Hospital.
Soraya currently resides in Pasadena, California where she lives with her husband and two children.
John Simpson, Co-Founder and Managing Director
Best known for the development of technology-based service firms, Simpson turned his focus to another niche market when he established Portera in June 2006. While renovating his 1920’s Spanish-style home in San Marino, California, Simpson realized that there was a void in the U.S marketplace for genuine Spanish antiques. He traveled to Europe in search of the perfect entryway to outfit his new home and it was there in Spain that the inspiration for Portera was born.
Prior to Portera, Simpson worked in a variety of leadership roles at Deloitte & Touche, and at age thirty was widely believed to be the youngest Partner admitted. Following his tenure of thirteen years at the firm, Simpson left to form the California Credits Group, a company that developed a tax incentive screening technology for Fortune 500 and middle market companies. In keeping with his background in technology, Simpson created yet another successful venture when he founded Cyntron, a premier software provider offering fully customizable payroll solutions
to the accounting and insurance industries.
Since its inception, Portera has created the only comprehensive collection
of one-of-a-kind antique Spanish doors available to the US boasting over
eighteen hundred unique designs.