The Planning and Visual Education Partnership (PAVE), founded in 1992, has grown into the retail design, planning, and visual merchandising industry’s premier educational foundation, and a recognized advocate for design students. These students are the future of the industry—PAVE’s mission is to help them gain exposures and funds to further their educations, as well as their careers.

Educators, retailers, and industry suppliers support PAVE through active participation in the organization and generous financial contributions.

In 1992, PAVE’s founding board was comprised of educators, the media, manufacturers, retailers, and representatives of, at that time, the leading industry organizations.

Founding members and organizations included:

  • Ruth Mellergaard then president of the ISP (Institute of Store Planners)

  • Richard Stolls then President of the NADI (National Association of Display Industries)

  • Janet Groeber then editor of VM+SD Magazine

  • Cecil Besselleau of Belk Stores

  • Steven Bergquist of Federated Department Stores

  • Wayne E. Visbeen founder of architectural design firm, Visbeen Associates

  • Martin Pegler Senior Visual Merchandiser

  • Eric Feigenbaum then Sterns Department Store/division of Federated Department Stores

  • Larry Israel Walker Group/CNI


These individuals and organizations, with one goal in mind, chose the name PAVE for the new foundation. It began as a statement, "Paving the way for the future students," and later became the Planning and Visual Education Partnership.

The first logo was developed by Visbeen Associates and was later updated by GMG Design Inc.

The first officers of the organization were:

  • Brian Davies, PAVE Vice President of Education, University of Cincinnati

  • Eric Feigenbaum, PAVE Emeritus Board Member, Embrace Design

  • Larry Israel, Walker Group/CNI

  • John Kandalaft, SASD, University of Bridgeport

  • Mark Looper, Collective Brands Inc.

  • Timothy Opsomer, MGM Mirage Retail

  • Christian Davies, PAVE Board Member, FITCH

  • Cynthia Patino, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM)

  • Veronica Romano, Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)

  • Anne Tobe, The Art Institute of Ohio-Cincinnati

  • Lyn Tobman, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM)

  • Marjorie Lee Woo, LIM College

  • Rachel Zsembery, Bergmeyer Associates Inc