Stroud one of top 35 US designers

Published 12:04 am Saturday, March 16, 2013

Biz Bash named Andalusia native DeJuan Stroud one of the top 35 event designers in the country.

Stroud, who with his wife, Debra Merrill Stroud, also an Andalusia native, owns DeJuan Stroud Inc., left a career on Wall Street to become a designer in 1996. The couple started the star-studded business in their basement. Among his clients are the New York City Ballet, University Pictures, and HBO.

Biz Bash is a magazine that focuses on event and meeting style, covering events of all sizes and type throughout North America.

“Today’s event designers are not simply florists,” the magazine said in announcing the list. “In order to stand out in a highly competitive marketplace, they must create immersive, visually creative environments that help their clients send messages in targeted, elegant ways. Tables, chairs, linens, lighting, dinnerware, and flowers are not only decorative—in the best hands, they’re transformed into a sophisticated communication medium that influences how people interact with their hosts and with one another.”

In its slide show highlighting the 35 designers and their best event of the past year, Biz Bash featured Stroud’s designs for the New York City Ballet Spring Gala.

“The inspiration was a formal French garden, which originated from the French dances performed that evening,” Stroud said. “To make the vast space seem cozier we floated panels of lattice with wisteria and smilax over the dinner tables. ”

The slide show is available at

Biz Bash said it compiled its list after reviewing work from across North America.

“We looked at not only the quality and volume of their work, but also the designers’ clients and reputation,” the magazine’s editors explained.” “The list favors those who work on corporate and nonprofit events, although we included some social event specialists. Most importantly, we sought innovation—work that made the editors gasp or say, “I’ve never seen that before.”