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Sixth Annual HOME Awards Presented In High Point

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The American Home Furnishing Alliance presented its sixth annual HOME Awards during a press breakfast on Thursday, April 27, the opening day of the International Home Furnishings Market here. The HOME Awards were created by AHFA to “Honor Outstanding Media Efforts” in covering home furnishings products and trends. Entries were received in three categories: newspaper, consumer magazine and trade publication. Winner in the newspaper category was Eils Lotozo, home and design writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Lotozo was commended by the judges for her ability to localize trend stories and make them relevant to her readers. One judge commented: “Eils takes home fashion reporting to a whole new level by showing how furnishings and home trends are a reflection of cultural and social change. (She shows) how furniture and decorating are an expression of our values and the way we aspire to live.” Winner in the consumer magazine category was Krissa Rossbund, design editor for Traditional Home Magazine. Blending product photography, illustrations and compelling copy, Rossbund’s features for Traditional Home stunned the panel of judges. They described her articles as “enchanting” and “captivating” in addition to having depth and substance. Kimberley Wray, editor of Furniture Insights, a monthly newsletter published by BDO Seidman, was the winner in the trade category. Her solid mix of articles designed to help industry executives better understand American consumers impressed the judges. “She has a keen grasp of what is important and the rare ability to communicate complex subject matter in an interesting, informative, understandable and illuminating manner,” said one judge. Newspaper and magazine HOME Award entries are judged on the degree to which the writer inspires consumers to enhance their homes with new furnishings. In addition, the judges look for writing that provides consumers with the information they need to make sound buying decisions. Trade entries are judged on the degree to which the writer helps the industry understand product trends or consumer marketing issues. All three 2006 first-place winners received a Chinese red “Dogwood” vase created by master potter Ben Owen III of Seagrove, N.C. Each year the judges also award honorable mentions to the writers receiving the second highest scores in each category. This year, Elaine Gaston of The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Jura Koncius, home writer for the Washington Post tied for second place in the newspaper category. Jennifer Dixon, writer for Decorating Spaces Magazine, received an honorable mention in the magazine category, while Trisha Kemerly, editor of Home Furnishings Retailer, the official journal of the National Home Furnishings Association, received honorable mention in the trade category. Judges for the awards are members of AHFA’s Public Relations Council. Last year’s HOME Award winners also helped judge the 2006 entries. They included Tracy Lehmann, home and garden editor for the San Antonio Express-News; Cathy Still Johnson, senior homes editor for Coastal Living; and Mary Wynn Ryan, a freelance writer based in Park Ridge, Ill. Members of AHFA’s Public Relations Council are Jay Moore, Bassett Furniture; Tom Lentz, Broyhill Furniture; Ed Tashjian, Century Furniture; Tom Baldwin, Flexsteel Industries; Kim Shaver, Hooker Furniture; Lisa Frudden, Palecek; Robin Campbell, Stanley Furniture; Aminy Audi, Stickley; Dot Coggin, Thayer Coggin; and Linda Owen, Riverside Furniture. The American Home Furnishings Alliance – located in High Point, N.C. and Washington, D.C. – is the largest association of home furnishings companies in the world and represents more than 200 leading furniture manufacturers and distributors, as well as 225 suppliers to the furniture industry worldwide.

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