Tournament of Roses announces 2018 float judges: Carrión, Kaye, Sutton

María Eugenia Carrión, Bradley Kaye, and James Sutton will choose the 2018 Rose Parade float trophy winners


by Laura Berthold Monteros (from reports)

The three judges chosen by the Tournament of Roses to award trophies to floats in the 129th Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2018 have impressive backgrounds in floral design, horticulture, floats, and pageantry, and they all fit the theme “Making a Difference.” The judges are María Eugenia Carrion, Bradley Kaye, and Jim Sutton.

They will award trophies to 24 of the 40-45 floats that participate in the parade using the updated award criteria for 2018, which include creative design, floral craftsmanship, artistic merit, computerized animation, thematic interpretation, floral and color presentation, and dramatic impact.

The 2018 Tournament of Roses President, Lance Tibbet said, “Being a horticultural professional, managing and owning a wholesale nursery, it’s an honor to welcome these professionals to the Tournament family. I’m excited to have these very talented members of the floral and design professions judge our floats this year.” He will announce the award-winning floats the morning of the parade on the front steps of Tournament House.

About the 2018 Rose Parade Float Judges

María Eugenia Carrión comes by her talent naturally. The daughter of Luis Justo Carrión Tejeda, a pioneer of the professional floriculture in México, “Maru” has been in the industry since 1968 when she began as Sales Manager of her father’s company, Viveros Mexicanos, S.A. She opened her first retail shop, Enviflora in Mexico City in 1979. In 1996, Carrión was the first Mexican accepted into the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) and to earn the European Master Certification (EMC) in Belgium in 2014.

As one of the few Mexican designers who had the opportunity to study abroad, Carrión has made a difference by actively working to bring the EMC to Mexico. EMC provides the knowledge and tools to appropriately express feelings through flowers while applying key design elements and principles. She has also promoted continuous education and strengthening ties among industry participants.

Bradley Kaye has been with Disney Parks Live Entertainment since 1998, starting with the Tokyo DisneySea opening entertainment design, and now as Principal Art Director based at the California Disney Resort. In addition to key projects in Disney parks around the world and on Disney cruise ships, Kaye designed the 2006 and 2013 Rose Parade floats for Disney. He has also worked on parades at the Disney properties and designed Disney floats for the Shanghai Tourism Festival parade.

Kaye makes a difference by donating his time designing shows for Chance Theater in Anaheim,  as well as having designed the lobby and marquee for their new venue. He serves on the advisory board for the Laguna Niguel Community Theatre, consulting on their shows, outreach program, and working with their volunteers in mentoring young design students.

Jim Sutton is the Display Designer for Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa. Founded by Pierre S. du Pont, Longwood is one of the world’s great gardens, encompassing 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains and a 4-acre conservatory complex. Sutton is the aesthetic gatekeeper for Longwood, responsible for conception, designing, and implementing Longwood’s renowned Conservatory displays. His aesthetic expertise and plant savvy have made him a sought-after judge at the prestigious Philadelphia International Flower Show and for the America in Bloom program, which promotes community enhancement programs through the use of flowers, plants, and trees.

Sutton made a difference as a former Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras. He implemented and demonstrated techniques for soil conservation and improvement and taught environmental awareness during his two-year assignment. In addition to his design role, Sutton teaches courses in floral design in Longwood’s Continuing Education Program and lectures on horticultural topics across the country.