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Barbara Bradley Baekgaard to receive Icon Honor for Lifetime Achievement

Americasmart to award Vera Bradley co-founder at July 10 ceremony
Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, co-founder and chief creative officer of Vera Bradley, will receive the Icon Honors 2014 Lifetime Achievement Honor at a July 10 ceremony at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis during the summer Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market.

The award traditionally caps the recognitions bestowed at the home and gift industry’s annual Icon Honors celebration.

It is conferred by the Icon Honors board of governors, which is co-chaired by Icon Honors founder Jeffrey L. Portman Sr., vice chairman, president and chief operating officer of Icon sponsor Americasmart Atlanta, and George Kacic, president of Giftcraft and Icon Honors founding partner.

Icon Honors is produced by Americasmart Atlanta in partnership with the Gift & Home Trade Assn. and Progressive Business Media, publisher of Home Accents Today.

The Lifetime Achievement Honor celebrates Baekgaard’s enduring imprint on the gift, fashion and home sector through the continuing influence of the Vera Bradley brand of handbags, travel accessories and gifts, Portman said.

Baekgaard co-founded Vera Bradley in 1982 and was its co-president from 1982 through June 2010. She was named chief creative officer in May 2010. She has provided leadership and strategic direction in the brand’s development in areas such as marketing, product design, assortment planning and the design and visual merchandising of the company’s stores.

She currently serves on the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center development board and as a board member of the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer.

Baekgaard received the Country Living Entrepreneur Award in 2007 and the Gifts and Decorative Accessories Industry Achievement Award in 2006.

“Barbara embodies American entrepreneurism. She is a pioneer and a dreamer, naturally dauntless and always ready for the next creative adventure,” Portman said. “Her life and her career give voice to the hopes and dreams of all who aspire to do great things.”

The 2014 Icon Honors ceremonies on July 10 will be the centerpiece event of the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market, recognizing the best and the brightest in the home and gift industry.

Details are available online at www.americasmarticonhonors.com. Tickets and tables will be on sale starting in April.

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