PAVE Announces Winners of the 21st Annual Student Design Competition Sponsored by Kroger


Hollywood, Fla. (November 2, 2015)-­ The Planning and Visual Education Partnership (PAVE) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 PAVE Student Design Competition sponsored by Kroger. This annual competition is geared toward college-level students involved in retail planning, visual merchandising, and branding programs.

The competition’s design challenges consisted of a visual merchandising category and a store design category; it also provided an excellent opportunity for students to obtain real-life retail design experience. Prizes included grants to students and schools, and winning students may even see their designs come to life. The competition was open to undergraduate students only. Judging took place on October 28, 2015 at Kroger’s headquarters located in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“Kroger is very proud to sponsor the 2015 PAVE International Student Design Competition. This is the first time the PAVE competition challenge has ventured into the area of food marketing and we are extremely pleased with and inspired by the quality of designs presented. This year's project submissions reflect a remarkably high degree of engagement and design talent representing a broad diversity of schools and design programs across the globe. We look forward to continuing our connection to the PAVE organization and with participating schools and students in coming years. Kroger congratulates each of the finalists and extends our appreciation to every student that submitted solutions for this year's competition.” - Ken Pray, Kroger Corporate Director of Store Design

Congratulations to the following PAVE 2015 Student Design Competition Winners:

Visual Merchandising Category


1st Place - $5,000 – Aliene Chidester, University of Cincinnati
2nd Place - $2,500 – Seth Huxel, University of Cincinnati
3rd Place - $1,500 – Arjun Kainth, Marymount University
Honorable Mention - $500 – Michael Preston, Santa Monica College

Store Design Category


1st Place - $5,000 – Neesha Reddivari, University of Cincinnati
2nd Place - $2,500 – Akansha Osmond, Humber College 3rd Place - $1,500 – LeaMarie Villafana, FIT
Honorable Mention - $500 – Kelly Geig, University of Cincinnati
Honorable Mention - $500 - Caitlin Porter, University of Kentucky

School Awards for Students Placing in the Top Three of Each Category
$3,000 University of Cincinnati
$1,000 Fashion Institute of Technology
$1,000 Humber College
$1,000 Marymount University

This year’s winners faced a competitive field of over 425 entries, including 325 plus in the overall store design category. Challenges for this year’s competition can be found online at

Judging the 2015 competition were:


Alex Tosolini, Corp. SVP New Business Development, Kroger
Daniel Hammer, Corp. VP Culinary Development, Kroger
Heidi Demers, Corp. Manager of Interior Design, Kroger
Ashley Checa, Co-manager of Deli/Prepared Foods, Kroger
Laurent Saville, Fred Meyer Store, Manager of Floral
Ken Pray, Corp. Director of Store Design, Kroger
Denny Gerdeman, Founder & Chairman, Chute Gerdeman
Bill Goodu, Chief Brand Officer, Fleetwood
Jeffrey Hutchison, Owner, Jeffrey Hutchison and Associates
Aaron Spiess President & Co-Ceo, Big Red Rooster
Ken Stolls, President, Global Visual Group

You can follow PAVE on all social media platforms for news and updates.

About PAVE, Founded in 1992, The Planning and Visual Education Partnership’s (PAVE) objective is to encourage students to study in the field of retail design and planning and visual merchandising through its annual Student Design Competition. Additionally, PAVE seeks to encourage retail management, store planners, visual merchandisers, architects, and manufacturers to interact with and support design students. This is accomplished through projects, seminars, workshops, and the annual fundraising Gala with proceeds dedicated to educational programs and projects benefiting students. PAVE is a 501(c)(3) educational foundation administered by A.R.E./POPAI-The New Association