If I were to do a 2010 “year in review,” one of the highlights for me would be our inaugural Showroom of the Year Awards , held in partnership with the Dallas Market Center  at that organization’s June show. From dozens of entries, an independent panel of three esteemed judges selected 30 finalists (10 in each of three dollar-volume categories) and six ultimate winners for the event. It was truly a privilege to recognize the hard work of these amazing and inspirational stores.
As nominations open for the 2011 Showroom of the Year Awards , I hope you will make it a New Year’s resolution to enter your store  (or nominate a retailer  you respect). Anyone in the industry is eligible to nominate, and any independent lighting retailer with a brick-and-mortar location can be considered. Once again, we’ll have three Showroom of the Year winners at different revenue levels, plus awards for Outstanding Merchandising Display, Exceptional Community Involvement and Most Significant Accomplishment.
As in 2010, finalists will be profiled in a special section in the May issue of Residential Lighting, with winners announced at the summer Dallas Market. The deadline for all entries is Feb. 28, 2011.
As a side note, I also want to take a moment to congratulate my tireless staff on some recent honors at our publishing company. At the 2010 SGC Editorial and Design Excellence Awards, Residential Lighting earned a Gold Award for Best Single Article Design (“Lighting the Luxury Home,” April 2010) and a Silver Award for Best Digital, Video or Web Product (“Plugged In,” August Las Vegas Market  and October High Point Market ). Additionally, our sister titles Hospitality Lighting  and Home Fashion Forecast  took home four awards.
Use our Showroom of the Year Awards as a public forum to celebrate your team’s outstanding work. I look forward to receiving the latest slate of entries — and to presenting the second round of awards in June.