Meet the Design 1st team

All Team Members

Kevin

CEO and Founder

A passionate product designer and business executive, Kevin Bailey helps guide CEO’s, startups, and established companies through the maze of hardware product development.

Ian

VP Sales

Ian is on the frontline at Design 1st helping clients transcribe physical ideas into actionable requirements and a set of deliverables the team can sink their talents into.

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James

VP Design

James’ critical role is to connect a client’s vision of the users with a clear product design direction that guides the engineering teams working on the project.

Matthew

VP Engineering

Matthew’s leadership and technical expertise touch every project as the manufacturing direction and technical feasibility of new products are determined.

Joan

VP Design Strategy

Joan’s 30 years of experience managing client relationships and developing market strategies helps guide clients on their go-to-market plans.

David

VP Manufacturing

Dave’s deep manufacturing experience helps clients punch above their weight and negotiate favorable agreements with suppliers and manufacturers.

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Donovan

VP Electronics Engineering
Donovan’s three-decade track record is ignited by an unwavering devotion to technology and an insatiable curiosity to unravel devices and understand how things work.

Yih-Shyang

VP Embedded Software

Yih-Shyang, an accomplished software engineer, is fueled by a deep passion for technology, AI, machine learning, and the development of connected autonomous robotic devices.

Dave

VP Regulatory Support

Dave’s rich experience navigating project management and regulatory hurdles helps clients streamline their path to manufacturing and market.

Phil

Senior Mechanial Designer

Phil is a passionate Mechanical Engineer specializing in airflow, mechatronics, and tackling challenging technical obstacles with finesse and creativity.

Allan

VP Analytics

Allan’s deep knowledge of the web helps companies understand the market forces impacting their business through concise analysis of online research.

Andrew

VP Digital Infrastructure

Andrew helps ensure the stability of our systems, facilitating a seamless hybrid work environment, and safeguarding digital security.

Don

PCB Layout

With decades of experience, Don works his magic in PCB Layout, skillfully designing and optimizing our printed circuit board layouts.

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Vimal

Embedded System Engineer

As an Embedded Engineer, Vimal bridges the gap between the physical and digital world through his deep understanding of software and electronics.

Chris

Senior Industrial Design

With a wealth of experience as an Industrial Designer, they excel in the realm of softgoods and innovative materials, turning creative visions into tangible products.

Julio César

Electronics Designer

A passionate electronics engineer, Julio is committed to prototyping, testing, and prepping our electronics projects for quality manufacturing.

Ray

Senior Mechanical Engineer

With experience from the world’s largest contract manufacturer, Ray contributes a wealth of design-for-manufacturing expertise to our client projects.

Sergio

Senior Mechanical Design

Seasoned mechanical engineer with 15 years of expertise designing intricate mechanical systems for cutting-edge products, Sergio brings innovation and precision to every project.

Steve

Senior Hardware Engineer

Experienced electronics engineer, Steve, possesses a wealth of knowledge with 30 years of expertise in developing and prototyping electronic devices, driving innovation and optimal performance.

Steven

Senior Electronics Engineer

Steven, an accomplished electronics engineer with three decades of experience, specializes in developing advanced electronic devices for the hi-tech industry, pushing the boundaries of innovation.

Gurpreet

Software Engineer

Gurpeet, an embedded software engineer, specializes in developing software solutions to seamlessly connect physical devices, bridging the gap between the digital and physical worlds.

Yana

Senior Industrial Designer
Yana is an industrial and interaction designer who skillfully bridges the gap between physical interfaces and human interactions, creating meaningful connections for physical products.

Jenna

Operations Manager

With her responsibilities in office administration, Jenna contributes to the smooth functioning of the business, ensuring accurate financial records and client satisification.

Corinne

Project Operations Manager

Corinne, a skilled electronic engineer, excels in overseeing client projects, meticulously managing resource allocation, and coordinating work orders for our client projects.

Derek

Senior Industrial Designer

Derek, a seasoned senior industrial designer with 20 years of experience, brings a passion for assisting clients in finding the perfect market fit for their new products.

Pat

Senior Industrial Designer
With a rich background of two decades designing products and an extensive knowledge of manufacturing methods, Pat has delivered remarkable, award-winning designs for clients spanning the globe.

Josh

Industrial Designer
With a keen attention to detail, Josh, an industrial designer, is renowned for his ability to conceptualize and meticulously craft stunning, functional products that seamlessly blend aesthetics and practicality

Faiz

Embedded Software Engineer
Faiz, an embedded software engineer, adeptly untangles the intricacies of device electronics to overcome technical challenges and ensure seamless manufacturing processes.

Sage

Chief Happiness Officer
Meet Sage, the charismatic office dog who brightens everyone’s day with a wagging tail and a warm greeting, while also playing an integral role in the seamless operations of shipping and receiving packages.
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Kevin

Senior Mechanical Engineer
Kevin provides creative and robust mechanical solutions for every project using his experience with product design and validation in medical, industrial, research, and consumer industries.

Pao

NPI Product Engineer
As a trained civil engineer, Pao excels in managing the intricacies of client project operations, utilizing their knowledge and skills to streamline processes and achieve project objectives.

Vince

Senior Electronic Engneer
Vince, our electronic hardware guru, possesses an unmatched ability to troubleshoot and resolve technical issues, while seamlessly bridging the gap between the physical world and electronics to create innovative new products.

Community Contributions

We create direct social impact for a variety of organizations and charities by contributing our time, our financial support, our experience in business, and when needed, our technical product design and engineering skills.

A Brief History of Design 1st

Kevin Bailey, CEO of Design 1st

1996: Founded by Kevin Bailey

Founder and CEO, Kevin Bailey, came out of Nortel with a vision to make tangible, real-world products people love.

An engineer and designer by profession, Kevin’s passion stemmed from growing up tinkering alongside his dad, building and re-building things with his hands until he was satisfied with the results.

Design 1st continues to thrive today under Kevin’s leadership.

2002: Team and Projects Doubled

What started as a few individuals, in 1996, doubled in 2002 as the referrals came in.

The company carefully built an integrated, cohesive, and diverse in-house team of design strategy, engineering, and manufacturing support specialists, focused on industry-leading physical product innovation and client satisfaction.

2012: Named Top-10 Fastest Growing Companies

In 2012, Design 1st was named one of the Top-10 fastest growing companies in Ottawa.

New innovations required electrical expertise and, when trends shifted towards connected products, Design 1st acquired a custom hardware and software embedded electronics team to meet the client demand, doubling staff again by 2016.

2020: Earned 75+ Design Awards

By 2020, Design 1st was named one of the Top Global Creative and Design Agencies with a 30% year-over-year revenue increase and 45% growth in connected electronics projects.

We have built over 1,000 products for our clients, received over 75 design awards, and have assisted clients in obtaining over 150 patents to protect their innovations.

A Brief History of Design 1st

1996: Founded by Kevin Bailey

Kevin Bailey, CEO of Design 1st

Founder and CEO, Kevin Bailey, came out of Nortel with a vision to make tangible, real-world products people love.


An engineer and designer by profession, Kevin’s passion stemmed from growing up tinkering alongside his dad, building and re-building things with his hands until he was satisfied with the results.


Design 1st continues to thrive today under Kevin’s leadership.

What started as a few individuals, in 1996, doubled in 2002 as the referrals came in.

 

The company carefully built an integrated, cohesive, and diverse in-house team of design strategy, engineering, and manufacturing support specialists, focused on industry-leading physical product innovation and client satisfaction.

2002: Team and Projects Doubled

2012: Named Top-10 Fastest Growing Companies

In 2012, Design 1st was named one of the Top-10 fastest growing companies in Ottawa.

 

New innovations required electrical expertise and, when trends shifted towards connected products, Design 1st acquired a custom hardware and software embedded electronics team to meet the client demand, doubling staff again by 2016.

By 2020, Design 1st was named one of the Top Global Creative and Design Agencies with a 30% year-over-year revenue increase and 45% growth in connected electronics projects.

 

We have since built over 1,000 products for our clients, received over 75 design awards, and have assisted clients in obtaining over 150 patents to protect their innovations.

2020: Earned 75+ Design Awards

The Design 1st Philosophy

Our fundamental philosophy is simple. Your retain your idea, your product, your patents, and your awards. We get our motivation from your success. Our cross-functional team customizes their approach and technologies to meet your objectives, whether refreshing an existing product, developing a concept, or turning an idea into a product.

 

We know that physical product design and development is complex, and we focus on the hundreds of decisions required to move from your vision to a quality product that is useful, and businesses can manufacture predictably. Our team solves the tough challenges and manages a careful balance of risk and opportunity, from concept design strategy to manufacturing support. You deal with one partner to achieve a fully integrated product development experience.

One of the benefits of working with a wide variety of creative clients across all walks of life and industries, is a tremendous knowledge and expertise, built year after year, while finding unique parts and solutions to challenging new product

Year in Review

Explore our work over the years through our annual infographic, showing projects, industries, and highlights.

Our Proven 4-Step Process

Together, with your business team, we help you navigate user value, part costs, quality and product-market fit. Our Stage-Gate® process and product management team deliver a predictable, positive experience and outcome

Concept Development

Turn your concept into a refined design, assess risk factors, and create architecture plans ready for engineering.

Detailed Engineering

Iterate on design features and create full documentation for a pre-production prototype.

Prototype and Test

Validate product requirements, confirm usability, secure suppliers and create a fully functioning prototype.

Manufacturing Setup

Select the most reliable manufacturer, implement quality-control processes, and oversee production — turning your idea to reality.

Our Unique Approach

Our designers, engineers and product specialists provide you a fast, professional path from concept ideas to your first product sales.

We Recognize Your Ownership

It is your idea, your product, your patents, and your awards. We provide critical guidance to drive your project forward and get our motivation from your success.

Communication is Critical

Our process centres on close collaboration with you and your team. We invest in the best tools to collaborate remotely with you on design concepts and engineering details.

Tools to Save Time and Money

We invest in the most sophisticated tools for design, product visualization, engineering analysis, in-house prototyping, and manufacturing support.

Talented People Work Together

Our multi-functional design and engineering team works closely together with you to find solutions that work. Our manufacturing team guides our design choices.

Reduce Design Risk

Our Lean Product Design Process is based on rapid iterations to produce concrete ideas and tangible prototypes that can be viewed, assessed, tested, and refined.

Pride in Your Success

By sharing our skills, talent, and network of partners, we are committed to the success of your world-class manufacturable product as you move to market.

Join the Design 1st Team

We hire talented and passionate professionals providing a supportive work environment that our employees enhance, and our clients love. Our integrated team manages every step of our client’s product development process, from concept through to electronics design, manufacturing setup, and production support.


If you’re an experienced product designer, engineer, embedded systems expert or simply passionate about physical product design please get in touch. We will post open positions when available but if none show you can still submit your job application request using the form below.


We keep all job requests on file and review applications frequently.

Fully Certified and Award-Winning

Our company and staff are certified with the Professional Engineers of Ontario and with ACIDO certified Industrial Designers of Ontario. We are also affiliated with Carleton University.

The Experience and Expertise to Solve Your Toughest Design Challenges

Design 1st integrates our knowledge and expertise with yours to bring your product idea to life.