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WithIt names 2014 WOW Award nominees

Withit, the women's leadership development network serving the home furnishings industry, has announced the nominees for its WOW Awards, including Home Accents Today Editor in Chief Jenny Heinzen York.
     WithIt will present its Legacy Award to Susan Gravely, founder and chief executive of Vietri, during the 2014 WOW Awards dinner and ceremony. The awards are set for Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, opening night of the winter Las Vegas Market, and International Market Centers is once again serving as lead sponsor of the event, with additional sponsorship support from Restonic Mattress.
     The annual awards recognize business leaders nominated by their peers who have contributed to the success of the home furnishings industries and have demonstrated significant impact on their companies, the industry, or both. WithIt (Women in the Home Industries Today) has presented the honors since 1999.
     In addition to honoring Gravely's legacy in the industry, WithIt will present WOW Awards in four additional categories: Education, Mentoring, Leadership and Future Leader. Nominees for these awards include: Maxwell Ryan, Apartment Therapy and Russell Bienenstock, Furniture World, Education; Mary Knackstedt, Mary Knackstedt Interiors, Sharon Davis, ART, and Bonnie Berry, Havertys, Mentoring; Shelly Burd, Furniture First, Karel Czanderma, Flexsteel, and Karrie Forbes, Mattress Firm, Leadership; and Jenny Heinzen York, Home Accents Today, Leah Kirkland, MicroD, and Christy Almond, Robert Allen Design, Future Leader. Winners in each category will be announced during the event.
     Gravely is being honored as a woman of achievement who has made significant lifetime contributions to the home furnishings industry. She founded Vietri, a lifestyle brand of Italian artisan-crafted dinnerware and home and garden accessories with her mother, Lee Gravely, and sister Frances, in 1983, after a family trip to Italy where they fell in love with the colorful hand-painted Italian dinnerware of the Amalfi Coast. Some three decades later, Vietri has grown into America's largest Italian ceramics importing company, partnering with numerous Italian manufacturers in various regions throughout Italy. With approximately 40 employees, Vietri serves a customer base of more than 2,000 specialty retailers and department stores across the U.S., as well as Canada, England, Mexico, South America, Asia and Australia.
     Vietri is regularly featured in House Beautiful, Oprah, Martha Stewart Living, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Elle Décor, Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides and Coastal Living magazines. The company has won the ARTS Award for Excellence in Tabletop in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2011, and has been nominated again this year. Named one of the Top 40 family friendly companies for its commitment to creating a family friendly environment for all employees, Vietri is active with many local nonprofit organizations.
     "The WOW Awards are an opportunity to honor executives of significant achievement, at a glamorous event unlike any other in our industry," said Sara Lyke, executive director of WithIt. "We invite everyone attending the Las Vegas Market to join us in this important celebration."
     The awards celebration will take place Sunday, Jan. 26, at the IMC World View on 16. Cocktails begin at 6:30 p.m., with the seated dinner and awards presentation beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $150 each, and on sale now at withit.org. WOW Awards sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, contact Sara Lyke, director@withit.org.

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