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ARTS Awards revamps submission, judging procedures

Judging now includes peer panel, membership vote

Dallas Market Center and the Accessories Resource Team today announced several changes to the ARTS Awards submission and judging processes to simplify the system and broaden the judging panel.

Judging will now include a panel of judges, a peer panel of five ARTS Awards Hall of Fame members, and an ART membership vote. All finalist categories will have a digital component to streamline and enhance the process.

"The ARTS Awards continues to evolve to best recognize leaders in the industry," said Bill Winsor, president and CEO, Dallas Market Center.

The judging process will include three elements. As in the past, a panel of judges, including a designated Green Award judge, will convene in Dallas in November to independently review submissions and manufacturers' product samples. Each judge will award up to a maximum of 100 points per finalist. The judges previously announced are: Martha Griffin, executive editor of Design Guide; Donna Moss, interior designer, retailer and star of HGTV's Donna Decorates Dallas; Melanie Belew, interior designer and owner of Belew Design Studio; and Susan Inglis, producer, importer, sourcing agent and broker in the home furnishings, fashion and gift industries and director of the Sustainable Furnishings Council.

Next, a peer panel of five ARTS Awards Hall of Fame members will judge a digital, edited version of the submissions. Cumulative scores will count as one judge, a maximum of 100 points. Peer panel companies or individuals with known affiliations will be excused from judging any category of conflict. Those on this year's peer panel are: John Clements and Bill Fortson, co-owners of BJ's Home Accents; David Gebhart, CEO of Global Views; Lendall Glassco, president of Paragon; Tom Hoffmann, vice president of sales and marketing of Distinctive Designs; and Mary Taylor, consultant and former CEO of Montaage.

Finally, the membership of ART will vote anonymously via an online ballot including links to finalists' websites and biography information. Finalists may receive up to five bonus points based on the membership vote. Like the nomination process, self votes are not accepted and only members in good standing are welcome to vote.

Every category now has a digital component to facilitate the new voting process, and sales representatives and designer submissions are now entirely digital. This allows sales representatives the opportunity to incorporate a three to five minute YouTube video.

The ARTS Awards is held each January during the Dallas Total Home & Gift Market (Jan. 18-24, 2012). The awards will be presented during a gala event on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel.

The 23rd annual ARTS Awards are sponsored by Home Accents Today and Gifts & Decorative Accessories, as well as other trade publications and industry suppliers.

For additional information regarding the ARTS Awards, contact Lindsey Villarreal at 214.655.7654 or

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