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The 25th Annual PAVE Gala in NYC: Celebrated 30 Years of Mentorship, Inspiration, and Connection

On Thursday, December 7th, the PAVE community of industry leaders, distinguished professors, and emerging student designers celebrated the 25th Annual PAVE Gala at the Frank Gehry-designed IAC Headquarters in New York City.

The event marked PAVE Global's 30th Anniversary and its mission to mentor, inspire, and connect students, educators, and professionals involved in creating consumer environments. The evening's award ceremony recognized and honored the achievements of numerous members of the PAVE Community.

PAVE President Jerry Fox (CEO, Bish Creative Display) and PAVE Vice President Joe Baer (Founder, ZenGenius, Inc.) kicked off the evening's festivities with a warm welcome to guests, special thanks to our sponsors, board members past and present, and a "year in review" of PAVE's student programs and their impact, highlighting all the scholarship recipients, events, and educational experiences of 2023. Moreover, it acknowledged all 107 participating schools and a total of $101,500 given to students in 2023 in the form of scholarships, student aid, and educational experiences.

The award celebration commenced with Sargenti Architects' Principal, Robert Sargenti, presenting the first award of the evening honoring the winner of the inaugural Sargenti Scholarship + Experience in which the recipient receives a $2,500 scholarship, a 2-day immersive experience at one of the Sargenti offices in New Jersey, Arizona or California (expenses covered), and a trip to the PAVE Gala to be recognized for their achievement (expenses covered).

Please join us in once again congratulating the winner of the inaugural Sargenti Scholarship + Experience:

  • Claudia Tsang, Interior Design, Bellevue College

Thank you to Sargenti Architects and our 2023 Sargenti Scholarship + Experience Judges:

  • Robert J. Sargenti, Principal, Sargenti Architects

  • Melanie Gifford, Senior Director of Business Development, Sargenti Architects

Next, PAVE President and CEO of Bish Creative Display, Jerry Fox, returned to the stage to award the winner of the inaugural Bish Creative Point-of-Purchase Scholarship + Experience.

In discussing one of PAVE's newest scholarships + experiences, Jerry shared how a dedicated birthday fundraiser at a private event raised the funds to support this scholarship for the next two years. The recipient of this unique scholarship is awarded $2,500, plus a 5-day hands-on learning experience at Bish Creative in Chicago, IL (expenses paid), and an invitation to attend the PAVE Gala to be recognized.

Please join us in once again congratulating the winner of the 2023 Bish Creative Point-of-Purchase Scholarship + Experience:

  • Karamalic Jimenez, Spatial Experience Design, Fashion Institute of Technology

Thank you to Bish Creative and our 2023 Bish Creative P.O.P. Scholarship + Experience Judges:

  • Jerry Fox, President & CEO, Bish Creative Display

  • Lori Taylor, Director of Client Relations, Bish Creative Display

  • Elizabeth Dasso, Executive Assistant, Bish Creative Display

Following the Bish Scholarship, PAVE's Executive Director, Dash Nagel, and Project Coordinator, Nikki Naar, were called to the stage to announce PAVE's very first student award- the Inspired by Design: PAVE Student Visionary Award.

This award was developed to recognize and honor emerging student visionaries who are expected to revolutionize the industry with their innovative ideas and designs, making a positive impact on the world.

Members of the PAVE Community who are interested in supporting this award are invited to participate in the PAVE Gala Tees & Totes Fundraiser, in which all proceeds directly fund this award for 2024 and beyond.

Please join us in once again congratulating the Top 3 Winners of the inaugural Inspired by Design: PAVE Student Visionary Award:

  • Sarah Baxter, Bachelor of Interior Design, Endicott College**

  • Jada Cannon, Master of Architecture, Cornell University

  • Nicole Niava, Master of Architecture, Yale University

Thank you to our 2023 Inspired by Design: PAVE Student Visionary Award Judges:

  • Bevan Blomendaal, Senior Principal, Chief Brand & Creative Officer, NELSON Worldwide

  • Chelsea Helms, Interior Designer, STITCH Design Shop

  • Christopher Weigand, Founder + VP Creative Services, Neon Carrot

  • Dena Yamaguchi, Associate Principal, Arcadis

  • Joe Nevin, Senior Vice President, Development, JLL Design Solutions

  • Matthew Almendarez, Job Captain, MBH Architects, 2023 PAVE Rising Star

  • Maximus Coric, Co-Owner, Vizex Branding

  • Mitch Pride, Principal, MG2 Design, 2018 PAVE Rising Star

** Sarah Baxter was unable to attend the PAVE Gala as she is currently in Ireland finishing up her semester internship. Sarah sent a recorded thank you message that was shared with the audience at the gala.

The final award to be presented before dinner has recognized and honored innovative, young leaders within the consumer environments industry for the last 16 years! The PAVE Rising Star Award proudly sponsored by ASI | Architectural Systems, Inc. was presented by ASI's President Andrew Cooper, and Materialista®, Gabrielle O'Connor.

Please join us in once again congratulating the winner and finalists of the 2023 PAVE Rising Star Award:

  • 2023 PAVE Rising Star - Taylor Ghost, Director of Interior Design, STITCH Design Shop

  • Finalist - Hannah Friskey - Associate, Design Practice Leader, Bergmeyer

  • Finalist - Laura Lewi - Associate, Arcadis

Thank you to our 2023 Rising Star Award sponsor ASI | Architectural Systems, Inc., and our Judges:

  • Gabrielle O'Connor, Materialista®, ASI | Architectural Systems, Inc.

  • Jennifer Acevedo, Principal, Marketing + Brand Strategy, NELSON Worldwide

  • Pirkko Lucchesi, AIA, LEED AP, Architect, B+N Industries

  • Zaiba Mian, Associate Dean, Material Art and Design, Sheridan College

Following a delightful meal and some light networking, the attendees returned to their seats for a special surprise. In celebration of PAVE's 30th anniversary, two of PAVE's founders, Wayne Visbeen of Visbeen Architects and Eric Feigenbaum of VMSD Magazine, were invited to take the stage and share their personal accounts of PAVE's inception, the origin of the name "PAVE", and several heartwarming anecdotes from the early days. At the end of their presentation, Wayne initiated an impromptu fundraiser that raised $31,000 to support student design.

The award ceremony resumed with the presentation of the second annual PAVE Educator of the Year Award proudly sponsored by Tag Worldwide. The award honors and celebrates full-time educators for their outstanding accomplishments and commitment to design education.

Presenting this award was Courtney Auringer, Account Director - Shopper Activation at Tag Worldwide, and PAVE's Immediate Past President, Cindi Kato, Principal, Global Retail Practice Area + Director of Retail Business Development, Arcadis.

Please join us in once again congratulating the winner of the 2023 PAVE Educator of the Year Award:

  • Professor Rebekah Matheny, Associate Professor, The Ohio State University, Department of Design

Thank you to our 2023 PAVE Educator of the Year sponsor Tag Worldwide and our Judges:

  • Kate Kyung-ha Lee, Senior Associate Vice President, Arcadis

  • Kyle Falbee, General Manager, Creative Operations, Tag Worldwide

  • Lauren Chipman, CEO & Principal, Chipman Design Architecture

  • Professor Nea Maloo, Professor of Architecture, Howard University, 2022 PAVE Educator of the Year

Following Professor Matheny's inspiring acceptance speech, VMSD Magazine's Carly Hagedon, Editor-in-Chief, Olivia Taylor, Managing Editor, and Eric Feigenbaum, New York Editor, took to the stage to honor this year's VMSD's Excellence in Visual Merchandising and Store Design in New York Awards and present the winning retailers with their coveted crystal apples.

Please join us in once again congratulating the winners of the 2023 VMSD Excellence in Visual Merchandising and Store Design in New York Awards:

  • Emporio Armani

  • Timberland

  • Tiffany & Co. Landmark

The final award for the evening celebrates the very essence of the holiday season and is also one of PAVE's newest awards. Presented by past PAVE Vice President, Anne Kong from the Fashion Institute of Technology, and PAVE Treasurer, David Terveen of DK Display Corp., the inaugural PAVE Window Awards recognizes and celebrates beautiful and whimsical holiday window displays in New York. Recognizing both department stores and specialty retail.

Please join us in once again congratulating the winners and runners-up of the inaugural PAVE Window Awards:

  • Department Store Winner - Bergdorf Goodman

  • Department Store Runner-Up - Saks Fifth Avenue/Dior

  • Specialty Store Winner - Ralph Lauren Children's & Baby

  • Speciality Store Runner-Up - Harney & Sons

Thank you to our 2023 PAVE Window Awards Judges:

  • Anne Kong, Program Coordinator for Spatial Experience Design & Professor, Fashion Institute of Technology

  • Emma Morgan, Founder & Principal, Emma Morgan Creative, 2021 PAVE Rising Star

  • Mike Dominick, Artist 7 Founder of the Molten Iron Painting Movement, Senior Associate Building Manager, Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Stacy Suvino, Set Decorator and designer for Award-Winning Films and Television, 2006 PAVE Rising Star Finalist

As the award celebration wrapped up, Jerry Fox, Joe Baer, David Terveen, Dash Nagel, and Nikki Naar returned to the stage to once again thank our sponsors and guests for supporting the future of our industry through PAVE. All of the students and educators in attendance were then invited onto the stage to introduce themselves and toast together in celebration of PAVE's 30th Anniversary.

The 25th edition of the PAVE Gala has been remarked by guests as being "inspiring," "extraordinary," and "meaningful," but the most inspiring, extraordinary, and meaningful aspect of the Gala is its purpose- to raise awareness of PAVE's mission and to raise funds to support design students. With the support and generosity of our fantastic sponsors, table hosts, and guests, the 2023 PAVE Gala raised almost $160,000 to fund and further develop PAVE's student programs that provide access to mentorship, enriching experiences, networking, and financial support for college-level students globally who are pursuing degrees related to the design and creation of consumer environments.

Thank you once again to all of our amazing sponsors, supporters, and guests who supported the future of design and our wonderful industry by attending the 25th Annual PAVE Gala!

If you would like to help further our mission of mentorship, inspiration, and connection here are a few ways you can get involved and give back:

  • Sponsor a student design challenge or competition.

  • Create a scholarship.

  • Join the PAVE Board or a committee.

  • Mentor a student.

  • Volunteer as a judge for a PAVE scholarship, award, or competition.

  • Encourage colleagues, mentors, students, and friends to get involved.

  • Make a donation or support monthly.

  • Wear your limited edition PAVE Gala Tee or Tote.

  • Subscribe to our emails or follow us on LinkedIn or Instagram to stay up to date on the latest PAVE news and programs.

Please contact us at for more details.


About PAVE Global

Founded in 1992 as The Planning and Visual Education Partnership, PAVE Global is a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, with all proceeds benefitting PAVE’s educational programs. The organization enables young talent to build successful careers designing and creating consumer environments. Our vision is to cultivate relationships with students, educators, and the design industry through financial assistance, top-industry thinking, inspiration, and mentorship.

For more information, please visit


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