pave leadership

PAVE Officers

  • Cindi Kato

    Cindi Kato

    Vice President,

    President, PAVE


    Cindi Kato is Vice President and Business Development Director for Global Retail. As a 25-year veteran of the design industry, she has managed retail, hospitality, restaurant, healthcare and banking projects across the U.S.

    Her success through the years has been based upon a leadership style which fosters and encourages strong collaborative relationships between clients and project teams. She cultivates trust and loyalty throughout the teams she manages, ensuring they are committed to a shared vision and to achieving the clients’ goals.

    She has worked for a diverse and exciting portfolio of clients, including:

    • Sperry Top-Sider
    • Smashbox
    • Target
    • Dockers
    • Crocs
    • T-Mobile
    • Cole Haan
    • Nordstrom
    • Nike
    • Adidas
    • Sterling Bank
    • Got Sleep?
    • Ross.
  • Harry Cunningham

    Harry Cunningham

    Vice President, Creative Services, Vera Bradley

    Past President, PAVE

    CloseHarry Cunningham is the Vice President of Creative Services for Vera Bradley. This involves developing and implementing innovative visual merchandising and store design, overseeing new store construction and remodels, and selecting the real estate and sites for new stores.

    Over the course of 25 years Harry worked his way through increasingly prominent visual merchandising roles with Liz Claiborne, Saks Department Store Group and Dillard's, before becoming Senior Vice President of Store Planning, Design and Visual Merchandising at Saks Fifth Avenue prior to joining Vera Bradley  

    During his time at Saks Fifth Avenue, Harry was instrumental in the re-launch of the company's award-winning men's stores in Beverly Hills and Chicago, as well as developing their award-winning fashion windows and legendary holiday displays.   
    He also launched new designs for the company's signature designer and contemporary businesses, and 10022-SHOE, the vast designer shoe floor.

    Harry has won numerous industry awards including Design: Retail Magazine's prestigious Markopoulos Award in 2014. He was also recognized by the publication as a "Retail Design Luminary" in 2012 and as a "Retail Design Influencer" in 2011, 2013 and 2014. He is also heavily involved in the wider industry, serving on the board of directors of PAVE and as a member of several advisory boards.

    Harry is regularly invited to participate in panel discussions and speaking engagements worldwide, sharing his experiences and knowledge with students and industry professionals alike.
  • Anne Kong

    Anne Kong

    Fashion Institute of Technology

    Vice President, PAVE


    Anne Kong is an educator and a designer specializing in Visual Presentation, Exhibition and Special Events with more than 20 years of experience developing design concepts and solutions for retail, showrooms, trade shows and promotional events. As a Professor and former Chairperson of the Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design Department at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, she is best known for innovating professional collaborations between retailers and brands to enhance the classroom experience for her students. Anne is a partner of creative services for her own design company, A+D Kong that she shares with her husband David, working with a vast range of clients on consulting and producing large-scale installations. She is an advisory member for Retail Design International [RSD Publishing] and serves on the PAVE Committee [The Partnership for Planning and Visual Education] and is responsible for organizing the Annual PAVE Gala Student Exhibition each year.

    Her design work has been recognized by the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum and she has developed programs and lectures in participation with the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.


  • Jerry Fox

    Jerry Fox

    President / CEO,
    Bish Creative Display


    CloseJerry Fox is the President / CEO of Bish Creative Display. He is a 35-year veteran in the point of purchase industry and has spent his entire career with the company, taking ownership in the year 2000. Since then, Jerry continues to lead Bish to its current position as a global leader in creative in-store merchandising.  He challenges himself and his team to continue to make their mark on being the leader in design, development, creation and innovation of award-winning merchandising programs from temporary, semi-permanent and permanent displays to complete store-within-in-a-store concepts.

    Jerry has served on the POPAI Board and was the Treasurer on the Shop! Board of Directors. Jerry was also co-chair for the East Coast Pop-Up Gallery, a judge for the West Coast Pop-Up Gallery and an OMA and Display of the Year Judge at Global Shop. In 2017 he was selected to be a speaker at the international conference “POSitive-2017” held in Moscow, Russia and was recently inducted into the 2018 Shop! Hall of Fame.  

    Jerry’s vast community contributions include support of the local YMCA, serving on the Board of the private high school that his two children attended and starting an elite travel baseball program in his local community that has grown to 22 teams, and has involved an estimated 3,000 young athletes over the last 15+ years.

    When Jerry is not involved in business relations or volunteering his time, he is enjoying his life with his wife of 31 years, two children and their dog Coconut. He is a diehard Cubs fan and during the summer season, you can find him at Wrigley Field, cheering on his World Champion Chicago Cubs. 
  • Nicki Albrecht, MaRC, CSP

    Nicki Albrecht, MaRC, CSP


    Vice President of Education, PAVE

    CloseNicki is the president and owner of VIDPro, a company she joined in 1997 and purchased in 2012.  As part of her company’s services, she created THE ENGAGED SHOPPING EXPERIENCE™, which helps customers make informed and educated buying decisions to sell more product and increase sales. She is a leading expert in Point-of-Purchase Visual Merchandising and an industry force in various organizations including the Global Association for Marketing at Retail (POPAI) and the Canadian Professional Sales Association. She is currently a member of the Global Education Committee and Chair of the North America Education Committee for the New Association.
  • PAVE Board of Directors

    • Lena Lim

      Lena Lim

      B+N Industries

      Business Development

      CloseLena Lim is a Business Developer for B+N Industries, where she has led its New York City office and East Coast practice for the last 10 years. Throughout her 20 years in the Retail Design industry, Lena is proud to have supported and collaborated with retailers, architects and design firms on a number of innovative and beautiful projects.  Lena has worked also for companies such as Propaganda, Bay Area Display San Francisco, and LOOK.

      Lena is a longtime active member of New York’s retail design community, including serving as co-Chair of the 2016 PAVE Gala as well as participating on other PAVE committees. She is a member of the Board of the Retail Design Institute New York Chapter, where she programs events exploring and celebrating the best of retail design in New York.  She also serves as a Board Member of NEWH’s New York Chapter.

      Lena holds a Bachelor of Arts from State University of New York at Binghamton, where was a member of Alpha Phi and the Women’s Rugby Club. A consummate New York City native, Lena exemplifies the city in her love of food, drink, art, and travel as well as her lifelong refusal to learn how to drive.
    • Jennifer Block

      Jennifer Block

      Maya Romanoff

      Vice President of Business Development

      CloseAfter joining Maya Romanoff in 2009, Jennifer assumed the role of Vice President of East Coast Operations in 2012 in advance of the opening of Maya Romanoff’s New York showroom. She manages East Coast sales, both from the Maya Romanoff New York showroom in Manhattan’s D&D Building and from outlying territories.  

      Jennifer attended Purdue University and earned a BA in Psychology. She graduated with Honors and continued her studies at Carnegie Mellon, where she graduated with an MS in Human-Computer Interaction. Having held positions at both large corporations in Silicon Valley and dot-com start-ups, Jennifer’s management capabilities and technological savvy proved to be significant assets to the company.  

      Her personal accomplishments include finishing three marathons, completing two Century Bike Rides, and trekking to the Mt. Everest base camp. Step-daughter of the company’s founder and namesake Maya Romanoff and daughter of the company’s current CEO, Joyce Romanoff, Jennifer has inherited her mother’s boundless energy and passion for the company, product and mission statement, “It’s got to be beautiful.”  

      Jennifer lives in Armonk, New York with her husband and two beautiful daughters, Elah and Amy.
    • Andrew Cooper

      Andrew Cooper

      Architectural Systems Inc.

      Vice President of National Accounts

      CloseAndrew Cooper, Senior Vice President of National Accounts at Architectural Systems. Inc., has over 15 years of dedication and passion for the retail industry.

      Building strong relationships and a trusted reputation with leading retail brands and designers Andrew is known for his ability to work closely to develop and customize signature and iconic materials for branded environments, creating custom finishes that are unique, pushing the boundaries of what is possible for each division of a brand. And that is just the starting point! As a strategic material partner, ASI is fortunate to have Andrew as an “ambassador” providing the whole spectrum of services to key national accounts: warehousing and logistics globally, project management and takeoffs, value engineering, offering solution based products, onsite support and materials that are delivered on time and on budget.

      Andrew is a proud supporter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), SHOP (formerly, ARE the Association for Retail Environments), The Network of the Hospitality Industry (NEWH), past board member of Retail Design Institute (RDI), and recently appointed board member of The Planning and Visual Education Partnership (PAVE).
    • Zaiba Mian

      Zaiba Mian

      Humber Institute of Technology


      CloseZaiba Mian studied architecture at McGill University in Montreal and later completed a Masters degree in Interior and Spatial design at Chelsea College of Art & Design in London, UK. She has extensive work experience in both architecture and interior design.  

      Zaiba has taught at several colleges in Ontario and at Chelsea college of Art & Design in London, UK.  She is currently a full-time professor at Humber College in Toronto, Canada.  

      Zaiba is interested in making well-designed spaces which make reference to strong conceptual ideas.  She espouses an interdisciplinary approach which blurs the boundaries between architecture, interior design and fine art.
    • Gwen Newland

      Gwen Newland


      Design Director

      CloseGwen Newland is a Design Director for Chick-fil-A.  She joined their Restaurant Development Team in 2013.  With a group of designers across the country, her team designs restaurants that lead the fast food industry in sales and volume while creating stages for human connection where the transaction of a chicken sandwich is delivered with an abundance of service and a genuine " my pleasure".
      For over 25 years Gwen has designed food retail experiences and led multi-discipline creative teams.  Her experience prior to Chick-fil-A includes two Texas local favorites Focus Brand’s Schlotzsky's and regional grocery company H-E-B.  Working on brands with strong local roots and exceptional guest loyalty was a great launching pad for the work she does at Chick-fil-A.
      With a degree in architecture, her journey started in the design studio of an architectural firm and quickly transitioned to a corporate design teams.  Known for needing a marker and sketch paper in hand to fully express herself, she loves creative collaboration, envisioning new brand environments and finds happiness in discovering the coolest of cleverly designed retail experiences.
    • Heidi DeMers

      Heidi DeMers

      The Kroger Co.

      Manager of Store Design

      Close"Heidi DeMers, Manager of Store Design, The Kroger Co., is an architect and interior designer who has been practicing retail design for 24 years. She brings a unique perspective, given her experience working for retailers, architectural firms, and display and trade booth manufacturers. From the Corporate offices in Cincinnati, Heidi currently manages the breadth of store and interior design for all of the 20 banner brands under the Kroger Co. umbrella."
    • Sharon Lessard, RDI

      Sharon Lessard, RDI

      Under Armour

      Senior Director, Global Store Design & Development

      CloseSharon is Senior Director, Global Store Design & Development for Under Amour.  She leads a design team focused on designing, developing, creating new store concepts, as well as creating and communicating guidelines, standards and tools.  The team ensures that the designs are communicating strong storytelling and consumer-centered design always aligning the retail environment with an engaging and integrated channel-less brand experience.
Our diversified global retail landscape includes flagships, commercial formats,  pop-up shops, concept shops, and temporary shops.
      Sharon is the International Vice President for the Retail Design Institute, member of the PAVE board of directors, and advises on the design:retail editorial board. She is an influencer of the customer experience, and has a reputation for introducing people to new thinking and problem solving through design. With a BA degree in art history/painting and over 25 years of experience in the retail industry, Sharon brings a unique understanding of business-driven design to her clients. Her creative direction combines discipline and intuition, and brings together people with varying perspectives to create unexpected experiences that inspire transformational connections. By combining physical, emotional and sensory elements, she brings a brand to life and ensures the customer is at the center of all decisions.
    • Melisa Flickinger

      Melisa Flickinger

      Vera Bradley

      Director of Store Planning, Design, and Visual Merchandising

      CloseMelisa Flickinger is the Director of Store Planning, Design, and Visual Merchandising for Vera Bradley. In this role, Melisa is responsible for developing and implementing innovative store design & merchandise planning, and overseeing store renovations. She also leads creative brand direction for the company's visual merchandising program.

      Melisa has more than 15 years of experience in retail, commercial, and residential interior design. Prior to her current role, Melisa held the title of Senior Visual Manager for Vera Bradley.

      During her time at Vera Bradley, Melisa has worked developed designs for the expansion of Vera Bradley retail store fleet, and has created exciting brand environments for the company’s shops-in-shop with their retail partners. She was instrumental in bringing the new brand vision to life in the company’s two newest flagships stores, located in Soho, New York, and Disney Springs, Florida.

      In 2017 Melisa was named one of Design: Retail "40 Under 40", a recognition celebrating future leaders of retail design. Melisa is regularly invited to participate in numerous industry panels and share her knowledge of the retail industry, nationwide.

      Melisa is an Indiana native and is proud to be part of an organization that was founded and is based in the Midwest.