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Announcing 2017 WOW Award Honorees
The annual awards recognize business leaders nominated by their peers who have contributed to the success of the home furnishings industries and have demonstrated significant impact on their companies and the industry.

The Legacy Award, the highest award bestowed by WithIt, honors a woman whose entire career has advanced the perception of women in the home and furnishings industries. This year’s honoree, Caroline Hipple, has been recognized for design talent, business savvy and her leadership through mentoring many women in the industry. She has supported WithIt throughout the years, serving on our board of directors and governors, speaking at multiple events and mentoring future leaders. In 2016, she was named president of Norwalk Furniture.
 
The Founders Award will be given to Kimberley Wray of Kimberley Wray Marketing Communication for her exceptional leadership which has exemplified the mission of WithIt and advocated the advancement of women in the home and furnishings industries.  Kimberley, one of WithIt’s founders, developed the WithIt acronym and used her extensive industry contacts to build membership. Her leadership, professionalism and commitment to WithIt’s mission and ideals has been vital to WithIt’s growth.
 
In addition to honoring Hipple and Wray, WithIt will present WOW Awards in five additional categories: Education, Mentoring, Leadership and Future Leader.




The Education Award recognizes an individual who has put forth significant effort to educate associates, retailers and consumers about home furnishings. This year’s nominees are Julie Smith Vincenti of Nine Muses Media, Cindy Hodnett of Design Today and Furniture Today and Laura Holland of Heritage Home Group.


The Mentoring Award honors a company or individual for their efforts to foster advocacy, development and promotion of women in their company and the industry.  This year’s Mentoring Award nominees are Abby Ludens of Mattress Firm, Dana Helms of MicroD and Marybeth Feeney of STORIS.

WithIt created the Leadership Award to recognize the contributions of a woman who has demonstrated successful leadership in her company, WithIt and the home furnishings industry. Leadership Award nominees are Randy Rubin of Crypton Fabrics, Suzie Roberts of Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, LLC and Laurie Phillips of AICO.

 
The Future Leader Award honors a woman in the industry younger than forty who has demonstrated outstanding achievement and the potential to become an industry leader. The 2017 nominees for this award are Natalie Quinn of Room and Board, Megan Barrett of Sherrill Furniture Companies and Carly Weiner of Elements International.

The WOW awards dinner will be held Friday, April 21, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. in the IHFC International Ballroom. Tickets can be purchased at www.withit.org. Individual tickets are $150; a table of 10 is $1,500. 
 
The design and décor for the gala is being developed by Natalie Reddell, owner of Interiors by Natalie in Richmond, VA. The evening’s emcee will be founding WithIt member Connie Post, owner of Connie Post Affordable Design Solutions.


Key sponsors of the evening are headed by Platinum sponsor International Market Centers, program sponsors Palliser and 220 Elm, award sponsor Furnituredealer.net and Walk of Fame sponsor Wright Global Graphics.
 
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Jana Platina Phipps



Home Couture Collective
I'm part of WithIt to have a direct "red phone" line to a brain bank of women with competitive intelligence, strategies, and problem solving experience--and to be at the other end of their red phones.
Together, we create powerful collective business momentum and our strengths can change the landscape of leadership in our industry to reflect sexual equality.
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