The Neal Deal
Laura Van Zeyl

ABM, the Association of Business Information & Media Companies, has been presenting its Jesse H. Neal Awards for 60 years. Considered the Pulitzer Prize of trade journalism, the Neal Awards always seemed like the type of honor that would be out of reach for publications I’ve worked on, which have been more “show” than “tell,” emphasizing style and design over word count. And while I would argue that our home fashion coverage provides a service to an industry inundated with new products, Neal judges could perceive our sizzle as having no steak to back it up.

Well, last week I was proud to accept Residential Lighting’s first-ever Neal Award for Best Single Issue of a Magazine for some USDA Prime content: a substantial section of the April 2013 issue of Building Design + Construction called LED Lighting Solutions. This section, included in an issue with Lightfair distribution, covered the pros and pitfalls of emerging solid-state lighting technologies, illustrated by a variety of commercial environments. It was so well-received by the design/build community comprising that publication’s audience that we created a follow-up edition for the November issue going to Greenbuild.

Building Design + Construction is certainly no stranger to the Neal Awards -- at that same event last week, its staff took home another prize for Best Instructional Content and Editorial Director Rob Cassidy earned the G.D. Crain Jr. Award for lifetime achievement. So we couldn’t have asked for stronger collaborators on LED Lighting Solutions, which will be repeated in May for Lightfair 2014 and in October for Greenbuild. (Limited advertising opportunities for both issues are available; contact Sherwin Horowitz for details.)

In addition to assistance from the BD+C team, including Graphic Designer Elena Mengarelli, these sections have also been made possible by our Managing Editor Nicole Bowling, and Contributing Editors Susan Bloom and Craig DiLouie, author of the popular LightNOW blog. Thank you for earning us this high-altitude accolade without sacrificing a single bit of that sizzle.

About this author

Laura Van Zeyl

Laura Van Zeyl is the Publisher/Editorial Director of Residential Lighting and Home Fashion Forecast magazines, and has been covering the lighting and home furnishings industries since 1993. In 2014, she was named one of "100 Women of Inspiration" by Today's Chicago Woman magazine.

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