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Announcing 2020 WOW Awards Nominees
The annual awards recognize business leaders nominated by their peers who have contributed to the success of the home and furnishings industry and have demonstrated significant impact on their companies and the industry.

WithIt announced a new category to the WOW awards this year: the Visionary Award. It is the highest recognition level bestowed by WithIt, honoring a woman of achievement whose insight and actions have significantly impacted the home and furnishings industries. WithIt presents this award posthumously to Kimberly Ward, founder of the Black Interior Designers Network. Keia McSwaim, current president of the BIDN, will accept the award in her honor.

Kimberly Ward exemplified all the qualities of a visionary. She founded an award-winning interior design blog, Pink Eggshell, while building her successful design firm, Kimberly and Cameron Interiors. As she gained notoriety and exposure, participating in panels and appearing in media, Ward was often asked “Where are all the black interior designers?” In 2011 in response to this repeated question, she published a list of the Top 20 African American Interior Designers. In doing so she planted the seed that created a much-needed resource for an often-unseen segment of the interior design community. The list became the Black Interior Designers Network (BIDN), an organization that helped to connect those looking to work with or for black interior designers, to homeowners and clients. The Black Interior Designers Network’s mission is to promote diversity and inclusion within the interior design industry by highlighting designers of color and supporting black designers with business development opportunities.


"Kim's legacy is the BluePrint to any organization fighting for visibility. She was a pioneer and legend, totally aware of her colleagues' monumental attributes to the community," says Keia McSwaim, president of the BIDN.

Kimberly Ward’s vision helped to shine the spotlight on all black interior designers and created a platform for designers to network, mentor and support each other’s business aspirations. WithIt recognizes Kimberly’s work to bring inclusion to black designers in the industry with their inaugural Visionary Award.


In addition to honoring Ward, WithIt will present WOW Awards in five additional categories: Education, Mentoring, Leadership, Future Leader and Sales Excellence.



 

“What an outstanding and exceptional group of women!” says Lorri Kelley, 2020 President of WithIt. “We couldn’t be more excited to have the opportunity to recognize each of them and their accomplishments and contributions to our industry.  Each of them collectively makes all of us better at what we do now, and will do in the future.  While we won’t have the chance to gather together and celebrate them in 2020, we will look forward to doing that safely and with great excitement in 2021.” 

Due to the pandemic and uncertainty about safe gatherings, the board of directors has postponed the gala celebrating the WOW Awards until Friday, April 16, 2021. Finalists and recipients will be celebrated during a small gathering. The 2021 WOW Awards gala will return to celebrate 2020 and 2021 recipients Friday, October 15, 2021.

 
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