WithIt 2013 WOW Awards honor industry leaders during Las Vegas Market

WithIt WOW Awards1Left to right: 2013 WOW Awards co-chair Julie Smith Vincenti, Nine Muses Media LLC; WithIt 2013 Vice President-Media Lisa Hanly, vice president, communications, Furniture Brands; WithIt 2013 Chairman Julia Rosien, SocialNorth.com; Kathi Cunningham, senior regional sales manager, Classic Home; and WithIt 2013 President Betty Lyn Eller, vice president, Home division, IMRE
LAS VEGAS - WithIt presented its 2013 WOW Awards during a dinner and reception event on Sunday, Jan. 27, in Las Vegas. The annual WOW Awards honor the achievements of home and furnishings professionals and businesses that embody the organization's mission. This was the first year the event took place during the Las Vegas Market.

The President's Award went to WithIt Vice President of Networking Margi Kyle, an interior designer, television host, mentor, keynote speaker, educator and writer. Kyle has a long record of serving the industry as owner/interior designer at The Designing Doctor. She has also served as past president of the Interior Design Society, past vice president of the Window Coverings Association of America, executive director for We Make Color Easy, board member for WithIt and professional member of the Color Association in United States. She is the founder of North Carolina-based children's charity Little Smiles, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes to hospitalized children. She is also the spokeswoman for Safety Shade, a new product designed to eliminate preventable deaths of children from the cords on window blinds.

Julia Rosien, 2012 WithIt president, chose Kyle as the award winner. "Every year the president of WithIt is asked to pick one woman from the organization who embraces, nurtures and leads those around her, one woman who goes above and beyond the call of membership...and this year's recipient is an unwavering, valiant guardian of all we hold dear as an organization," Rosien said.

Margaret "Peggy" Traub, CEO and president of Adesso Inc., received the Founders/Lifetime Achievement Award for her commitment to WithIt and its mission to advance the careers of female professionals in the home and furnishings industries. As one of the founders of WithIt, "Traub has performed an integral role in building WithIt, from nascent nonprofit to professional network comprised of hundreds of successful professionals," a press release states.

"Peggy's commitment to WithIt has no limits," said 2013 WithIt president Betty Lyn Eller, IMRE's vice president - home. "She provides invaluable counsel to the board, year after year, and she supports the organization's most vital initiatives, including, most recently, the relaunch of WithIt.org."

WithIt WOW Awards2Mary Best Ellington, BedTimes and Sleep Savvy; 2013 Education Award recipient Cheminne Taylor-Smith, High Point Market Authority; Pat Conley; WithIt 2013 Vice President-Media Lisa Hanly, Furniture Brands; Tom Conley, High Point Market Authority; Renee Loper, Bassett/HGTV Home; Neil Marritt, Emisare and David Blair, Emisare
WithIt's WOW Awards is an industry-wide program dedicated to the specific accomplishments of women and the companies that support women in home and furnishings industries. Other honorees recognized at the event were:

Legacy Award: Kathy Ireland, Kathy Ireland Worldwide

Kathy Ireland of Kathy Ireland Worldwide was presented the Legacy Award, celebrating Ireland's lifetime contributions to the home and furnishings industry.

Mentoring Award: Wright Global Graphic Solutions

Ron, Greg and Don Wright of Wright Global Graphic Solutions were presented the Mentoring Award for their efforts to foster advocacy, development and promotion of women in their company and the industry.

Education Award: Cheminne Taylor-Smith, High Point Market Authority

Cheminne Taylor-Smith, vice president of communications for the High Point Market Authority, received the Education Award for her efforts to educate associates, retailers and consumers about home furnishings.

Leadership Award: Kim Knopf, Innovative Mattress Solutions LLC

Kim Knopf of Innovative Mattress Solutions received the Leadership Award. In 2011, WithIt created the Leadership Award to recognize the contributions of a woman over age 40 who has demonstrated successful leadership in her company, WithIt and the home furnishings industry.

Future Leader Award: Kiersten Hathcock, Mod Mom Furniture

Kiersten Hathcock was awarded the Future Leader Award, which is bestowed upon a woman younger than 40 years old who has demonstrated outstanding achievement and the potential to become an industry leader.

The 2013 WOW Awards were made possible through the support of International Market Centers, Palliser and Wray Ward. The awards were presented in the SkyView Terrace of the World Market Center.

For more information on the organization, visit withit.org.

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