The nine of us — five Master Design Award judges and four magazine staffers — found ourselves quaffing down ballpark food (and drink) at Wrigley Field. The Cubs were hosting the Seattle Mariners for the first time ever. It was the night after the first day of judging, a day packed with intense design-binder scoring, so food and drink were a welcome respite for a hardworking crew of remodeler judges.
At the end of the row was a very legit Mariners fan, past NKBA president Martha Kerr of Neil Kelly Co. in Portland, Ore. Next to her was Bill Milholland, director of design for Case Design & Remodeling in Washington, D.C., followed by a perennial Master Design Award recipient, Chaden Halfhill of Silent Rivers, Urbandale, Iowa. With us also was a die-hard Cubs fan, Geno Benvenuto of Benvenuti & Stein, Evanston, Ill. and last, but not least, Cub season ticket holder and Qualified Remodeler design columnist Michael Menn, AIA, CGR, CAPS, graced us with his presence. It was a Murderers’ Row of design judges, and we were pleased to see them all enjoying themselves because we had asked a lot of them.
Some had traveled across the country, but all had taken two full days out of their businesses to be there. The bedrock of the Master Design Awards is, and always will be, the peer-to-peer judging. Anyone who takes the time to complete a binder and enter our awards program, should rest assured knowing that their success is in the hands of fellow remodelers.
We were particularly pleased with our level of judging talent this year. All of our five judges are multiple award winners, with decades of experience. Martha Kerr has been in design sales with the Neil Kelly Co. since before this magazine first went to print in March of 1975. So, as you go through our 24 pages of coverage of Master Design Award winners for 2007, know that the work you are seeing passed muster with some of the best in our business. Additionally, we invite you to see photos of our Silver and Bronze award winners online at www.qualifiedremodeler.com.
The Cubs did win that night, and as a longtime fan, I am hoping that some of the good karma from that evening will translate to a World Series winner. Then again, it is the Cubs. These judges are good, but not that good.