Leading the Way
BY BARBARA CAPELLA LOEHR
In a world where steadfast leadership is sometimes difficult to find, it's always uplifting to see people, and companies, lead by shining example. Seeing others raise the bar of excellence inspires everyone to strive to do and be better in work and in life.
This is especially true in the kitchen and bath industry, where so many individuals and firms set strong examples of true leadership in so many different ways from the creativity and innovation of their showroom displays to their commitment to educating their customers, staff and the design community at large.
These kitchen and bath professionals possess the traits of true leadership: talent, creativity, business savvy, vision, an open mind, a willingness to listen, strong convictions, personal and professional integrity, and a desire to go above and beyond the ordinary in pursuit of the extraordinary.
Here, Kitchen & Bath Design News, once again honors individuals and companies in the kitchen and bath industry that exemplify true leadership with the presentation of its sixth annual Industry Leadership Awards. A total of 13 industry professionals including kitchen and bath dealers, designers, distributors, "whotailers," sales reps and others have been named as recipients of the 2004 Industry Leadership Awards, presented exclusively by K&BDN.
The awards competition was created in 1999, and is the first and only kitchen and bath industry awards program of its kind, focusing specifically on leadership excellence and outstanding industry achievement.
Kitchen & Bath Design News salutes the winners of its 2004
Most Innovative Showroom or Use of Displays:
- First Place: Clarke, the new Milford, MA showroom
- Second Place: Plumbing Décor by CastleNorth, Tallahassee, FL
- Third Place (Tie): Porcelain, Rochester, NY
- Third Place (Tie): Design Centers International (DCI) Home Resource, Charlotte, NC
Overall Excellence in Operating a Kitchen and Bath Dealership:
- First Place: Corvallis Custom Kitchens & Baths, Corvallis, OR
- Second Place: Studio City Kitchens, Fair Oaks, CA
- Third Place: SSW, Inc., dba Studio Snaidero Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Independent or Factory Sales Rep of the Year:
- First Place: Doug Weatherly, Weatherly Sales and Marketing, Richmond, IN
- Second Place: Lana Ramsey, Whirlpool Corp., Union Grove, WI
- Third Place (Tie): Fred Martin, Quality Custom Cabinetry, New Holland, PA
- Third Place (Tie): Marie Letko, KraftMaid Cabinetry, Inc., Middlefield, OH
Overall Excellence in Operating a Kitchen and Bath Distribution or "Whotail" Firm:
- First Place: Bailey Industries, Inc., Leesburg, FL
- Second Place: V-A-H Marketing, Buena Park, CA
Profiles of each winner are presented on this and the following
Most Innovative Showroom or Use of Displays
First Place: Clarke, the new Milford, MA showroomShowroom Makes a Dramatic Statement
Because of its expansive and ambitious design, Clarke's new showroom has snagged first-place honors in K&BDN's 2004 Industry Leadership Awards in the category of Most Innovative Showroom or Use of Displays.
Clarke is the exclusive New England wholesale distributor for several lines of luxury appliances. Founded in 1991, the firm maintains another showroom in South Norwalk, CT.
According to CEO Tom Clarke, the idea behind this location is the same: "Offer homeowners and the design community a facility in which they can explore and educate themselves about luxury appliances from Sub-Zero, Wolf, Asko, Best, Eurotech and Scotsman, without any pressure to purchase."
Michael Calvallaro, CKD of North Attleboro, MA-based MC Designs Inc., who nominated Clarke's Milford location, agrees.
"Clarke's mission has always been to showcase luxury appliances the way homeowners would want to see them in their homes," he says.
To that end, many of the displays are fully working kitchens. However, what sets the showroom apart is the "Water Appliance Gallery" featuring sinks, faucets and bath ensembles from KWC. In addition, the showroom boasts an amphitheater that seats 150 and acts as the set of celebrity chef Ming Tsai's public TV series, Simply Ming.