February 18, 2016

Tonight is the big night our finalists have been waiting for. In a few short hours, these students will be surrounded by industry giants, anxiously awaiting the announcement of the Young Designers Competition winner. As event sponsors, we can’t wait to find out either!

Chris Birchby, Founder and CEO of award-winning COOLA® Suncare, will be the keynote speaker for the 2016 Young Designers Awards Dinner and Ceremony at the Island Hotel Newport Beach, CA. Mr. Birchby, an accomplished “eco-entrepreneur” and artist, serves as a role model for aspiring designers and innovators in the cosmetics and personal care industry.

“We are honored to host Chris Birchby as our keynote speaker for our Young Designers Awards this year. Chris is a passionate business leader and advocate for skincare who has a remarkable story to share about how he formed the company and achieved overall success that is sure to inspire all who attend,” said Pamela Jo Busiek, President and CEO of ICMAD. “

Mr. Birchby and his company COOLA Suncare have received numerous industry awards and recognition, including ICMAD’s Cosmetic Innovator of the Year – CITY Award – in 2015 and the 2015 CEW Eco Beauty Award.

The annual ICMAD Young Designers Awards program, now in its 17th year, recognizes excellence in emerging packaging design talent among graphic art and design students from colleges and universities across the country. This year, three winners will be named and celebrated, along with two honorable mention participants who competed against more than 135 contestants from 14 schools.

Read about the contest announcement in our last blog post.

About Chris Birchby, Founder & CEO, COOLA®

Chris BirchbyChris Birchby is Chief Eco-Entrepreneur and Founder of COOLA Suncare, located in the heart of sunny and cool San Diego. While always having had a great admiration for Mother Nature and the fine line she draws between health and risk, Chris had not always been attentive to the dangers of being out in the sun. As a child and the oldest of four boys, Chris’ passion for the ocean and outdoors led to summers spent giving surf and windsurfing lessons. With a family sunscreen drawer comprised of SPF 4’s and 8’s, sunburns were commonplace. It was not until 2002 when his parents were diagnosed with melanoma, that Chris began investigating proper sun protection and became motivated to create something better than was available. Inspired by the organic lifestyle he enjoyed upon moving to California, Chris dove headfirst into sun science and organic skincare formulation research. Aligning himself with an elite team of industry professionals and experts, COOLA was born and has fast become the most sought-after collection of organic and natural sunscreens. COOLA most recently became the proud recipient of the 2015 CEW Eco Beauty Award. Chris received a BA in English and Art from Lafayette College in Easton, PA and an MFA from the Art Center of Design in Pasadena, CA. Prior to founding COOLA, Chris exhibited his paintings in numerous respected galleries and was a professional poker player. Chris is grateful to call North County San Diego home where he enjoys time with his beautiful wife AJ, their new baby girl Bellemy, and a pack of three rambunctious dogs.

The above information was originally posted in a press release from ICMAD.