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American Society of Furniture Designers Names Judges For 2008 Pinnacle Awards

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A dozen industry experts have been selected to judge the 2008 Pinnacle Awards for design excellence, which will be presented by the American Society of Furniture Designers at a gala on opening night of the next High Point Market. Entries for the awards will be accepted through July 30; and judging will take place Aug. 5 in High Point. The 2008 judges are: Terry Allen – retired furniture veteran. Allen is well-known throughout the furniture industry for his artistry in fabric placement for upholstered furniture. Before retiring in 2007, he was responsible for merchandising at Pearson Co. for almost 30 years. He generously shares his knowledge through American Society of Interior Designers-accredited presentations for students and designers. Richard Bennington – professor of business and director of the home furnishings program at High Point University. Bennington coordinates the National Home Furnishings Assn. Management Development Institute and serves on the boards of the Furniture Discovery Center and the Bienenstock Furniture Library. He is a faculty and accreditation board member of the International Home Furnishings Representatives Assn. Certified Home Furnishings Representatives Program. Daren Koenig Cronin - manager of the Dianne Davant Academy of Design at Florida-based retailer City Furniture. Cronin created an affordable residential design firm within an already-successful furniture retailer. AOD clients spend an average of four times as much as non-AOD customers at City Furniture. Judith Z. Cushman-Hammer – an adjunct lecturer in the Interior Architecture Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Cushman-Hammer specializes in the history of furniture from King Tut to Phillipe Starke. A former Furniture/Today and Home Accents Today editor, Cushman-Hammer also has worked with design-driven home furnishings companies through her consulting firm J.Z. Cushman and Company. Gary Evans - a senior editor at trade newspaper Furniture/Today. Evans has been covering the home furnishings industry for nearly 20 years. His assignments have taken him to nine countries and he has served as a design award judge at the Cebu Furniture Show in the Philippines, and at this year’s International Furniture Fair Singapore/Asean Furniture Show. Ellen Gefen - home fashion industry spokesperson, hosting Industry Update’s Home Fashion Report at the High Point Market for more than 23 years. Gefen and her husband own Gefen Productions, a media production studio in the Triad region of North Carolina and are known for their work in the home furnishings industry including TV commercials for retailers and manufacturers. Jaclyn C. Hirschhaut – vice president of public relations and marketing for the American Home Furnishings Alliance. Hirschhaut directs AHFA’s consumer marketing program and serves as the liaison with media, government agencies and related industry groups. Sheila Long O'Mara - editor in chief of Home Furnishings Business magazine. O'Mara has been covering the furniture industry for 12 years for a variety of publications. She lives in Columbia, S.C. Max S. Shangle - a teacher of furniture and industrial design at Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids, Mich. Shangle has served as chair of both the Furniture Design Department and the Division of Design Studies. He also has been managing director of the Grand Rapids Area Furniture Manufacturers Assn., and has been an expert witness and case consultant in product liability cases involving furniture products. Julie M. Smith – editor of Furniture Style magazine and supplements, Home Fashion Forecast and The Retail Experience. Smith attends home furnishings markets and trade shows in North America, Europe and Asia and has judged other furniture design competitions including CWB magazine's Design Portfolio Awards and the International Woodworking Fair's Design Emphasis Awards. Steve Walker – associated with the Furniture Manufacturing and Management Center at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Walker has more than 20 years of manufacturing management experience with a broad range of furniture companies, including The Hon Company, Ethan Allen Furniture and Thomasville Furniture Inds. Rhonda Wolf – assistant vice president, merchandising, Havertys, Atlanta. Wolf joined Havertys in 1986 and has held management positions including store manager, assistant general manager, merchandise coordinator and regional merchandise manager before joining the corporate merchandising team in her present role in 2002. Pinnacle Awards are given in 15 categories: Major Collections Stationary Upholstery Motion Furniture Leather Upholstery Bedroom Casual Dining Formal Dining Home Office Juvenile Furniture and Correlates Lighting Accessories Entertainment Centers/Home Theater Occasional Tables Occasional Storage Summer/Casual Furniture Criteria for judging include the extent to which the design represents value to the consumer at its suggested price point by combining visual appearance and function; the extent to which the design makes the best use of available materials and production technology; and the extent to which the design incorporates the needs of the retail furniture consumer. Furniture/Today is the major underwriter of the 2008 Pinnacle Awards. Other sponsors include World Market Center, High Point Market, Furniture Style, Weyerhaeuser, Showplace, Appalachian Hardwoods, International Home Furnishings Center, Home Furnishings Business, Home Lighting and Accessories, Merchandise Mart Properties, Leggett & Platt, Elmo Leather, Hickory Springs, Furniture Design Studios Inc. Entries should be sent to ASFD at 519 Cornwallis Dr., Greensboro, N.C., 29408, in time to arrive by July 30. Entry requirements can be viewed on the ASFD Web site at www.asfd.com or call (336) 617-3209.

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