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Icon Honors Winners Announced

ATLANTA - Mary Ella Gabler Bitzer, founder of luxury linens house Peacock Alley, was one of three home furnishings executives honored for Individual Career Accomplishment at last night's Icon awards here earlier this month.
     The Icon Honors are sponsored by Americas mart Atlanta, along with its partners the Gift & Home Trade Association and Progressive Business Media, parent company of Home Textiles Today, Home Accents Today, and Gifts and Decorative Accessories.
     The awards are designed to honor achievement, contribution and innovation in the gift and home furnishings industries, recognizing manufacturers, retailers, sales reps and service providers.
     Grammy-winning musician Peter Frampton entertained the crowd, and former CNN anchorwoman Lynne Russell helped to emcee the event alongside Americas mart President and coo Jeffrey Portman Sr.
     Winners included:
     Lifetime Achievement: Donald J. Hall Jr., Hallmark Cards, Kansas City, Mo.
     The 2013 Lifetime Achievement Honor celebrates Donald J. Hall Jr., president and chief executive officer of Hallmark Cards, and his continuing contributions and leadership within the Hallmark family of companies. The honor additionally marks the Hallmark brand's iconic stature as an American enterprise of global reach and influence.
     Americasmart Medal of Excellence Honor: Century Furniture, Hickory, N.C. The Medal of Excellence Honor marks and celebrates Century Furniture's long-standing role as a leading force in the American home furnishings design universe, maintaining levels of workmanship, craft and quality that are rare in the industry today.
     For Innovative Technology Applications:
     Winner: Whereoware, Herndon, Va.
     Whereoware's extensive email campaign designed for Creative Co- Op Closeouts aims to move excess inventory in more profitable ways through a personalized approach to engage independent retailers.
     For Innovative Product Design
     Winner: Blue Ocean Traders, Louisville, Ky.
     From its inception, Blue Ocean Traders has championed vintage and reclaimed product in its mission to offer the home furnishings industry's largest variety of such merchandise.

     Winner: Jura Capresso, Closter, N.J. With its Coffee à la Carte and ENA Micro 9 One Touch products, Jura Capresso embraces the popular single-cup phenomenon and brings to market the world's smallest one-touch automatic cappuccino machine in an authentic bean-to-cup experience.
     Winner: Rolf Glass, Mount Pleasant, Pa.
     Rolf Glass's inspired, eco-friendly Glacier Glass line gives used wine bottles new life in innovative and evocative glassware creations.

     For Innovative Product Packaging
     Metal Boutique, Baxley, Ga.
     With Metal Boutique's monogrammed plaques, house wares and decorative objects, the product and its packaging become one in a full line of personalized indoor/outdoor décor.

     For Community Contribution and Influence
     Winner: Bridgewater Candle Company, Spartanburg, S.C.
     Through its Light a Candle, Feed a Child mission, Bridgewater Candle Company sustains an ongoing program in which a donation is made for every jar candle sold, to date totaling more than 2.6 million meals provided for orphaned children around the world.

     Winner: Urban Ava Boutique, Tipp City, Ohio
     With Fashion Saves Lives, fashion and accessories retailer Urban Ava Boutique creates high-profile fundraising events of widespread reach and community impact with big results.
     For Industry Contribution and Influence
     Coton Colors, Tallahassee, Fla. Attached to a Cause, Coton Colors' national annual giving program, ensures that 100% of net profits from the sale of components of its Happy Everything Collection benefits a selected charitable organization.
     ECGC Distributors, Charles Town, W.Va.
     The national alliance of leading independent garden centers ECGC and its Don E. Riddle Leadership program delivers mentoring and educational support to nurture the next generation of owners and senior management in green industry retailing and manufacturing.

     Winner: French Laundry Home, High Point, N.C.
     Home furnishings manufacturer French Laundry Home's mission to design and produce merchandise within its North Carolina community creates local employment and economic impact while helping to lead a resurgence of U.S. textile and furniture manufacturing.

     Winner: Groovystuff, Dallas
     Groovystuff's not-for-profit University Hall of Innovation & Job Creation represents a breakthrough approach to the nurturing of home furnishings design talent in partnership with leading U.S. colleges and universities.

     For Individual Career Accomplishment
     Winner: Robert Currey, Currey & Company, Atlanta
     Home furnishings industry veteran Robert Currey's career encompasses a long line of notable achievements, from the creation of his highly successful Storehouse home furnishings stores to today's Currey & Company lighting and home furnishings brand.

     Finalist: Mary Ella Gabler Bitzer, Peacock Alley, Dallas
     Mary Ella Gabler Bitzer, starting with a chic boudoir pillow created on her home sewing machine, has built the Peacock Alley brand she founded 40 years ago into a multi-million-dollar global business.

     Winner: Mary Moore, The Cook's Warehouse, Atlanta
     As founder and ceo of Atlanta's The Cook's Warehouse, Mary Moore has expressed her passion for cooking in a highly successful business with legions of customers and widespread acclaim within the culinary industry.

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