CTFI, a non-profit organization that provides trend information and resources to professionals, grants the Trends in Action award annually to individuals who turned a trend into action.
Howard was instrumental in developing the concept of Sharp’s Microwave Drawer, according to Sharp. The idea of incorporating a microwave oven in a drawer dates back to 1999, when a prototype was presented to buyers at the Kitchen/Bath Industry Show. Ultimately, the concept evolved into a national, award-winning line of products.
According to Howard, inspiration for the Microwave Drawer came from listening to kitchen designers discuss their challenges with where to place the microwave. Throughout the development process, she played numerous roles in building the initial concept into a viable product for consumers, said Sharp, adding that Howard played a key role in identifying consumer trends and guiding the company’s decisions on end-user research.