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Introducing the Judges for HOT NEW NEXT, a Design Competition

On April 16, 2018, at Design Within Reach in Portland, GRAY will debut HOT NEW NEXT, the dynamic competition that showcases contestants presenting a rapid fire pitch of design-related ideas to a panel of experts. This panel will provide real-time feedback to help hone the pitches, and provide guidance about how to best prepare their idea for success. Think Shark Tank, but with less snark.

Introducing the judges:

Amy Golden

Marketing & Messaging Pro


Amy is the co-owner of Paxson Fay, a Seattle-based marketing and communications firm specializing in architecture, design, and art. After five years of working in advertising in New York and Los Angeles, Golden returned to her hometown of Seattle in 2015 and launched Paxson Fay with co-owner, Tessa Andrews, and serves clients in the architecture and design industry across the country.

Kim Kovel

Design & Innovation Pro


Before her current top-secret role as Nike’s Sr. Material and Color Innovator, Kovel helped craft Nike’s creative vision as the Global Color Design Director for footwear. Kovel’s broad career experience, from launching her own snowboard apparel brand and collaborating with brands such as Adidas-Salomon, Fila, Patagonia, and Moncler makes her visionary in product and branding world-class.

Linda Lowry

Business & Business Investing Pro


Lowry has 20 years of corporate and entrepreneurship experience providing strategic marketing, sales relationship consultation, and tactical business development in the technology, creative arts, and life sciences sectors. In addition to her experience as an investor and with VC organizations, Lowry’s professional career has included Nordstrom, Enterprise (Ride Share Division), and Pitney Bowes, plus her own start-up projects Just4Fund, Cin’atra Vodka, Tiger Mountain IT, and DSA Solutions.

Jeffrey Valles

Sales & Merchandising Pro


Jeffrey W. Valles is a seasoned marketing and sales executive with five decades of experience in merchandising, manufacturing, and a variety of business models. Formerly of Phylrich and Forte, Valles now leads Chown Hardware’s decorative hardware, plumbing, and lighting showrooms in Oregon and Washington.

Hot New Next is produced by GRAY in partnership with Chown Hardware and Design Within Reach.


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