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AHFA presents 2012 HOME Awards to outstanding journalists

Honorable mention goes to Casual Living Editor-in-Chief Cinde W. Ingram

HIGH POINT, N.C. - Casual Living Editor-in-Chief Cinde W. Ingram received an honorable mention in the trade media category as the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) presented its annual HOME Awards honoring exemplary magazine, newspaper, broadcast, trade and social media writers who cover the residential furniture industry.
The awards were created to "honor outstanding media efforts" in reporting on new home furnishings products and trends. Entries are judged on the degree to which the writing increases awareness of new home furnishings products and trends among consumers and inspires them to enhance their home environment.
Winner in the consumer magazine category was HGTV Magazine. Judges described the magazine as inspiring and "beautifully organized." Two judges specifically noted the care with which photo captions are written to provide readers with additional information. Said one, "Captions are thoughtfully composed with clever take-away ideas, enlightening considerations for choosing products and attainable design features." Another judge remarked, "The reader is truly inspired by the articles to spend on her home."
In the newspaper category, Patricia Sheridan, associate features editor for the Pittsburg Post-Gazette, took the first place honor. Sheridan, who attends both High Point and Las Vegas markets, also won first place in 2007 and took home an honorable mention in 2010. The judges acknowledged her experience and expertise. One commented: "Patricia is a seasoned writer with a keen eye for top line trends that she presents in a stylish round-up of products. Her excellent reporting and writing style keep readers engaged and compel them to shop." Another judge commended Sheridan for her strong writing and "great organization."
Receiving the first HOME Award in the social media category was Stacey Bewkes, creator of the Quintessence blog. Bewkes won the judges' favor with a format that focuses on product details and useful information, not just pretty pictures. "She has a great balance of photography and captions. A fantastic format compels readers to keep ‘turning the page' for more. It is inspiring and user-friendly. Very well done."
The winner in the trade publication category was RetailerNOW, published by the National Home Furnishings Association. Unlike the consumer categories, trade entries are judged on the degree to which the writer helps the industry understand product trends or consumer marketing issues. Judges commended RetailerNOW for "opening retailers' eyes to what the consumer is thinking." Of the editor, Melissa Dressler, one judge wrote, "She has a knack for demystifying the subject matter so that a middle-aged furniture exec (like me!) can follow it." Another judge commented, "This magazine does a great job explaining who today's customer is and why she is or is not buying what you're selling."
All five 2012 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 have the option of awarding honorable mentions. The honorable mentions receive a smaller version of the Ben Owen "Dogwood" vase. The 2012 recipients included:
 Trade - Cinde W. Ingram, Casual Living magazine
 Newspaper - Karen Deer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 Consumer Magazine - Veranda magazine
 Social Media - Loreen Epp, RoomPlanners
Judges for the HOME awards include journalists who were the prior year's recipients, as well as members of AHFA's Public Relations Council. Last year's HOME Award winners who assisted in judging the 2012 entries included Sheila Long-O'Mara, Home Furnishings Business; Vicki Payne, For Your Home; and Meg Fox, Design New Jersey Magazine.
Members of AHFA's Public Relations Council include Doug Bassett, Vaughan-Bassett; Holly Blalock, C.R. Laine; Teresa Buelin, Lane Venture; Ben Copeland, Copeland Furniture; Steve Elton, Brown Jordan; Lisa Hanly, Furniture Brands International; Laura Holland, Hickory Chair; Justin Mills, Flexsteel; Jay Moore, Bassett Furniture; Kim Shaver, Hooker Furniture; and Comer Wear, Century Furniture.
The awards were presented during the opening day press breakfast at the High Point Market in High Point, N.C., where more than 2,000 exhibitors are unveiling new home furnishings products this week. The High Point Market is the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world, bringing nearly 80,000 people to the city every six months.
The American Home Furnishings Alliance, based in High Point, N.C., represents more than 200 leading furniture manufacturers and distributors, plus about 150 suppliers to the furniture industry worldwide.

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