Gifts & Decorative Accessories names 2011 Retailer Excellence Award winners

Also recognize Outstanding Manufacturers' Rep, Industry Rising Star at New York gala

NEW YORK — Home Accents Today sister publication Gifts & Decorative Accessories announced recipients of the magazine's 60th annual Retailer Excellence Awards last night at a special gala to bestow the honors. The summer rain failed to inhibit members from across all facets of the gift and home industries to attend the ceremony and applaud all the finalists, winners and other honorees.

Retailer Excellence Award reciepients are:
Gift Store Design/Redesign: The Sixth Floor Museum Store & Café at Dealey Plaza, Dallas
International Gift Store Design/Redesign: Artel, Prague, Czech Republic
Marketing Achievement: Virtu, Chicago
Visual Merchandising: Rolling Greens, Los Angles
Store Events: MAZE Home, Winnetka, Ill.

In presenting the Store Design/Redesign Awards it was noted that due to the quality of the entries the judges could not name just one winner; Dorothy Belshaw, show director of the New York International Gift Fair, observing how the entries reflected that we are truly a global community, presented the first International Retailer Excellence Award to Artel from the Czech Republic.

Setting the tone for the evening's presentations was the Industry Rising Star Award. It was presented by G&DA's editorial director Warren Shoulberg to One Kings Lane, which in less than three years has become a members-only go-to site for top brand and designer name gift and home décor items. Co-founder Susan Feldman, applauded by her One Kings Lane colleagues and many of her site's suppliers and shoppers, was gracious in her acceptance of the award.

Following the Rising Star Award, the contributions of our industry's hard-working manufacturers' reps were recognized. The retailer-nominated Outstanding Manufacturers' Rep Award was presented to Nancy Messina of Gund.

Two special honors capped off the evening. The first was the Industry Achievement Award presented by Gift for Life, the gift, stationery and home industries charitable arm. Leslie Nathan Street, chairperson of the Gift for Life board, and Gift for Life founder Peter Schauben, presented the award to Michael Aram, as an artisan and a designer, as well as for his work in supporting AIDS awareness and prevention.

A Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to Su Hilty by G&DA's Warren Shouldberg, Nancy Wolkow and Caroline Kennedy, closed out the evening's honors. Hilty, who recently retired as vice president of marketing for showroom building 7 W New York, was both humbled and moved by the honor.

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