ATLANTA–The inaugural ICON Honors were held this past Saturday in Atlanta, honoring gift and home industry companies and individuals for innovation and achievement.
More than 900 people turned out for the event, which also included entertainment by pop singer Michael McDonald and a short speech by Stew Leonard Jr. of the fabled supermarket retailer. The program was co-sponsored by AmericasMart Atlanta, the Gift & Home Trade Association and HFN.
Special Medal of Excellence Honors presented to retailers Anthropologie and the Museum of Modern Art Retail were the final
presentations made, each being recognized for their iconic merchandising philosophies.
A Lifetime Achievement Honor was presented posthumously to Jim Glover, the former founder and head of Palmer Marketing, the gift industry powerhouse in Shawnee Mission, Kan. Glover died unexpectedly this past April and his wife Kim accepted the award.
The Industry Stewardship Honor was given to Peter Schauben, who in 1992 founded Gift for Life, one of the industry’s first charitable organizations fighting Aids. Schauben is co-founder of Appelman-Schauben, the sales firm based at the Atlanta Market Center.
Two ICON Achievement Honors were given to Carl Kirkland, who founded the 279-store home retailer bearing his name and was recognized for “consistent exemplary career achievements” and Garry Kvistad, president and founder of Woodstock Chimes, based in Skokan, N.Y., who has raised more than $2 million to support the arts and humanitarian needs in its Hudson Valley, New York region.
ICON Innovation Honors went to Fitsu, the Los Angeles store that used an auction of designer created toys to raise money for the World Childhood Foundation; Motif Modern Living in Austin, Tex., which reached out to customers in nearby Monterrey, Mexico, via e-mail and recorded a huge surge in business; and The Cordial Cricket, the Chester, Va., retailer that has used social networking to grow its business over the past two years.
ICON Contribution Honors were given to Jacqueline Cambata Designs of Wheaton, Ill., which has created dinnerware to support loans to Asian civic projects; Just Got 2 Have It!, the Atlanta showroom known for its innovative use of special events and seminars; and Pendleton Woolen Mills, the Portland, Ore., company that has donated more than $1 million to Native Americans, who were among the first customers for its blankets back in the 1890s.
Award presentations were made by Jeff Portman, president of AmericasMart Atlanta, George Kacic of the Gift and Home Trade Association and Warren Shoulberg, editor and associate publisher of HFN.