PAVE Announces Winners of the 22nd Annual Student Design Competition Sponsored by Kroger


Hollywood, Fla. (November 16, 2016) - The Planning and Visual Education Partnership (PAVE) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 PAVE Student Design Competition sponsored by Kroger.

The competition 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. This annual competition is geared toward college-level students involved in retail planning, visual merchandising, and branding programs. Judging took place on November 8, 2016 at FRCH Design Worldwide located in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“Kroger is very proud to once again sponsor the 2016 PAVE International Student Design Competition. 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 2016 Student Design Competition Winners:

Visual Merchandising Category


1st Place - $5,000 – Emma White, Appalachian State University
2nd Place - $2,500 – Katie Taylor, Appalachian State University
3rd Place - $1,500 – Rebecca Ballard, Appalachian State University

Store Design Category


1st Place - $5,000 – Elizabeth Hundley, Appalachian State University
2nd Place - $2,500 – Rui Yang, FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
3rd Place - $1,500 – Tiam Rahmani, Humber College

School Awards for Students Placing in the Top Three of Each Category
$4,000 Appalachian State University
$1,000 FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
$1,000 Humber College

This year’s winners faced a competitive field of over 400 entries, including 350 plus in the overall store design category. Challenges for this year’s competition can be found online at

Judging the 2016 competition were:


Evelyn Alvarez –Western Region Project Manager, Fry’s
Philecia Avery - Vice President, Pharmacy, Kroger
Heidi Demers – Manager, Interior Design, Kroger
Christina Groth – Vice President, General Merchandising, Kroger
Colleen Lindholz – President, The Little Clinic, Kroger
Lillian MacGillivray – Drug/General Merchandise Clerk, Kroger
Ken Pray – Director of Store Design, Kroger
Alex Tosolini –Senior Vice President, New Business, Kroger
Harry Cunningham – Head of Store Development, Vera Bradley
Denny Gerdeman - Founder & Chairman, Chute Gerdeman
Bill Goodu - Chief Brand Officer, Fleetwood
Cindi Kato – Vice President, CallisonRTKL
HeeSun Kim – Vice President/Creative Director, FRCH

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. Additionally, PAVE seeks to encourage retail management, store planners, visual merchandisers, architects, and manufacturers to interact with and support design students. These objectives are accomplished through competitions, projects, seminars, workshops, and grants and scholarships funded by the annual Gala and other fundraising activities. PAVE is a 501(c)(3) educational foundation.