Preston Bailey, Michael Berry, and Kimberly Oldis will judge the floats in the 130th Rose Parade
by Laura Berthold Monteros
The Tournament of Roses announced the three judges who will determine which float entries receive awards in the 130th Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2019. The three are event designer Preston Bailey, president/CEO of the Kentucky Derby Festival Michael E. Berry, and floral and float designer Kimberly Oldis. The judges will distribute the 24 awards based on criteria including creative design, floral craftsmanship, artistic merit, computerized animation, thematic interpretation, floral and color presentation and dramatic impact.
Readers know The Rose Examiner usually does not state an opinion on the choices made by the Tournament, but this time, we will make an exception. Readers may have their own opinions, based on the bios below. Please state them in the comments.
First, we are not sure why only computerized animation will be considered. Manual animation on floats is rare today, but it does occur, and animation is still animation.
Then, there are the judges. Kimberly Oldis has, in our opinion, sterling credentials. She is not only a floral designer, but has designed Rose Parade floats for Charisma Floats from 2005 to 2010 and for Cal Poly Universities. But what about the others?
Preston Bailey has created stunning designs for weddings and other events, many of which would work as an element on floats, but they are not floats. A stationary installation is different from a moving sculpture. Will his experience translate into an understanding of how float design works? That it can’t be just a pretty piece, that it has to tell a story in 30 seconds that works on both TV and a city street?
Michael Berry certainly has event creds, but he will not be judging events. He will be judging floats. If the Tournament wanted to bring him on to help them jazz up the events surrounding the Rose Parade—pre- and post-parade viewing for example—it would be welcome. But a Rose Parade float is not an event, it is a creation.
Our biggest question is why, after recently moving away from the obligatory celebrity judge that was part of the equation for years, would the Tournament select two people who, in our opinion, are not qualified? What is the Tournament looking for?
Meet the judges
Here they are, straight from the media release (with style corrections), the three people who will decide who gets what in the 2019 Rose Parade.
Preston Bailey was named one of the best wedding planners in the world by Vogue Magazine and has been globally-celebrated for his unique ability to transform ordinary spaces into lush, theatrical environments. As a premier event designer, he has established a client roster that includes celebrities, royal families, CEOs and athletes. Since opening his design studio in 1980, Preston has been sought out to create one-of-a-kind, transformative designs that serve as backdrops for some of the most memorable moments of his clients’ lives.
A designer with a passion for creating designs to be enjoyed by the public as well as his clients, Preston has created numerous art installations featured across the world with showcases in New York, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Taiwan, Macao and London. This passion for creating designs, also translated into his tabletop linen collection, a collaborative effort with Nüage Designs. He has also developed many licensing agreements, with, Sandals Resorts, Godiva Chocolate, Uncle Ben’s Rice and Hewlett-Packard among others.
Preston’s dedication to supporting and remaining accessible to the event designing industry, initiated the idea for his PB Protégé program, a series of specialized master classes that offer mentorship and education to industry professionals at all levels. The author of seven books—five of them bestsellers—Preston is often asked to share his experience through speaking engagements, seminars, editorial profiles and television and radio interviews.
Michael E. Berry is the longest serving President/CEO in the history of the Kentucky Derby Festival, one of the nation’s largest civic celebrations. Beginning his career at Festival in 1986, following service as an assistant to Kentucky’s governor, Mike’s experience has been 32 years in the making. Mike oversees the planning and production of the award-winning celebration with nearly 70 events on the Festival’s official schedule. With a staff of 22 and a 75-member board of directors, Mike orchestrates this award-winning celebration each year. The Derby Festival spans over two-weeks and seeks to dazzle and delight spectators from Louisville and surrounding areas.
Mike is a member of WDRB/FOX 41 Advisory Board, the Bellarmine University Communications Department Task Force, treasurer of the General Grand Chapter of Eastern Star, and a trustee of the Episcopal Church Home Foundation of Kentucky.
He has served on the boards of several organizations including the board of directors for the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA), IFEA Foundation, Music Theatre of Louisville, Stage One Family Theatre, Louisville Theatrical Association, and Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau. In 2008, Mike was an inductee in the International Festivals and Events Association Hall of Fame and an inductee in the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity Hall of Fame. In 2012, Mike was inducted into the DeMolay International Hall of Fame and was the 2011 recipient of the Louisville Defender Outstanding Community Service Award.
Kimberly Oldis AIFD has been involved in the floral industry for over 44 years, including 21 years as a member of The American Institute of Floral Designers. Kim serves as the past president for the AIFD National Board. She previously held many elected offices in the North Central and North West Regional Chapters of AIFD. In 2008, Kim was the AIFD Symposium Chairman in Chicago. Volunteering for the Institute is her contribution to the floral industry.
Kim was involved with the Rose Parade from 2005 to 2010 as a Rose Parade float designer with Charisma Floats. Most recently she had volunteered as a designer with Cal Poly. Through Charisma, she had the privilege to be on the floral design team at the Academy Awards for four years. Kim had the honor to design for the 2004 Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C. and was invited to design in 2015 at the White House.
Currently Kim is a freelance and event designer. For 16 years she owned Kimberly’s Flower Shop in Glen Ellyn, Ill. From 2001 to 2007, she was the assistant director of the Chicago Flower and Garden Show. “Engage, Educate and Enlighten” is the mantra that drives Kim’s floral mission; floristry is her passion.