Editor's Memo: Cover Up

This year, our much-anticipated annual Best of Westchester issue features the best of the county from cover to cover—literally. We held an open contest for designers, amateur and pro alike, to take a crack at designing the cover. After careful review, we unanimously selected Justin Negard’s colorful retro design. 

Designer Justin Negard of Somers won our 2014 Best of Westchester design contest.

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The 31-year-old Somers native—who lives in Chappaqua with his wife, Maribeth, and their 9-month-old son, Vincent—runs his own design business, Future Boy Productions. The company specializes in graphic design, websites, photography, and advertising work. “Cover design has been a passion of mine since I was a kid, when I would spend more time on the covers of my book reports than reading the actual books,” Justin recalls. “I love being a designer; it’s such an important part of everything we enjoy in life. The cars we buy, the homes we live in, the clothing we wear, and even the food we choose to eat are all influenced by great design. I love being a part of that process, whether it’s a simple business card, a new website, or a complete aesthetic upgrade of a company. There is art in everything we do, and it’s my job to present that art to the world. It can be challenging, but I love every minute of it.”

For his winning cover design, Justin “wanted something that felt fresh and new, but also vintage and timeless at the same time. I wanted it to pop out on the shelf and leave the reader feeling like this issue is a very important one. ‘Don’t miss out!’”

Indeed, don’t miss out on our 341 winners. You can begin reading about here. Managing Editor Kate Walsh couldn’t wait to avail herself of them. She needed the front door of her home fixed ASAP, so she called this year’s winner for best handyman shop, Home Services Shop in Pleasantville. When a gentleman from the shop returned her call and left a voicemail message, the name he left gave her a sense of déjà vu. Could he be the same Kurt McKinney who was a soap-opera star in the ’80s and ’90s—on ABC’s General Hospital as Ned Ashton, and on CBS’ Guiding Light as Matt Reardon? (In our past lives, Kate and I were, for many years, the managing-editor team at Soap Opera Weekly, and knew Kurt.) Nah, she thought, it’s a pretty common name. But after Kurt showed up at the house and Kate’s husband mentioned that the handyman looked like he’d stepped out of Central Casting, Kate emailed her husband a photo of McKinney, and, sure enough, the man who made the cover of Weekly in 1995 was the man who showed up to fix their door. “I called Kurt immediately to confirm his identity,” says Kate, “and we both got a good laugh out of it.” I’m sure he’s had people ask him that question before, but not the person who conducted one of his first celebrity interviews back in the day.

We hope that you mark your calendars for our Best of Westchester party, which will be held on July 23 at the Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle. Our annual celebration is a great opportunity to meet many of the winners and to experience for yourselves why they were chosen as the Best of Westchester. At our party, you’ll find plenty of the best food, drink, services, and entertainment to be had in our fair county.

Justin, Kurt, Kate, the rest of our staff, and I will be there—please look for us and say hello. For more info or to purchase tickets, click here.

Our Wine & Food Festival returns June 4-9!

Our Wunderkinds event takes place on May 23!

Our Best of Business Ballot is open through May 15!

Our Healthcare Heroes Awards event takes place on May 9!

Our Westchester Home Builders Awards take place on April 4!

Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Forum is March 14!

Unveiled: A Boutique Bridal Brunch is February 25!

Our Best of Westchester Elimination Ballot is open through March 6!

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