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Connie Lineberry among winners at WithIt WOW Awards

Withit hosted awards event during annual conference Wednesday


RALEIGH, N.C. - WithIt presented its 2011 WOW Awards during a dinner and reception event Wednesday. WOW Awards recognize the leadership achievements of exemplary individuals and/or companies who embody the organization's mission, according to a press release from WithIt.

Connie Lineberry, vice president of marketing, Sandow Media Retail Group, earned the inaugural Leadership Award. 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/or the home furnishings industry.

"At Furniture/Today, Connie created a Marketing Services Department that today serves more than 450 companies in the furniture, accessory, textiles and gift industries," said Tom Mitchell, president of home furnishings for International Market Centers, upon presenting the award. "She has become known as the go-to person in the industry for the ‘next big idea.'"

Aminy Audi, CEO and president of L. & J.G. Stickley, was presented the 2011 Legacy Award, celebrating Audi's lifetime contributions to the home and furnishings industry.

"As I accept this award, I want to acknowledge my late husband, Alfred, with whom I was fortunate enough to share the journey of revitalizing the Stickley brand," Audi said. "For the Stickley team, no task is impossible, no deadline is unattainable and no mountain is too high to climb."

Lauren West, director of communications for Natuzzi Americas Inc., recieved the 2011 Education Award for her efforts to educate associates, retailers and/or consumers about home furnishings.

"Lauren's educational experience in this industry is wide ranging," said Brad Cates, senior vice president for Natuzzi Group. "She developed and implemented our company's retail sales training system, which has trained 2,400 associates to date. Plus, she works with students during markets and educates the consumer through social and online media channels."

Peggy Burns of Circle Furniture received the 2011 Mentoring Award, which recognizes an executive who has fostered advocacy, development or promotion of women in his or her company.

"Peggy puts her heart and soul into everything she does, and this is most apparent in the way she helps others to reach their potential," said Richard Tubman, Burns' husband and business partner.

The 2011 Future Leader Award was presented to Tammy Nagem, COO of the High Point Market Authority.

"Tammy has made significant operational improvements so that the logistics of the show are effortless, and the concentration is placed on the real focus of the High Point Market - new home furnishings products and trends," said Kevin O'Connor with Samson Marketing, upon presenting the award. "I doubt if there are many in this industry who work with as many diverse constituencies in performing their job as Tammy does: City and state officials, civic groups, service providers, manufacturers, building owners, retailers and more."

The 2011 President's Award went to WithIt Regional Vice President Kassie Smith of Kassie Smith Lifestyle Group.

Also, WithIt announced that Breanne Lutz, an interior design student at Meredith College, is the recipient of the 2011 Jena and Stephen Hall Scholarship, which awards $5,000 to a student to cover tuition expense.

The 2011 WOW Awards were sponsored by Furniture/Today, High Point Market Authority, International Market Centers, Vaughn-Bassett Furniture, Las Vegas Design Center, Valdese Weavers, Cohen Tauber Spievack & Wagner P.C., Info Retail, L. & J.G. Stickley, Hutchinson Allgood Printing, C.R. Laine Furniture, Rowe Fine Furniture, and Natuzzi Americas.

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