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Meet the 2020 Showroom of the Year Judges 

We have an esteemed panel of judges for this year's Showroom of the Year lighting retail awards! We're so excited!!! 

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showroom of the year judges bobby berk, melissa galt, caroline hipple
Meet our Showroom of the Year Judges: Bobby Berk, Melissa Galt and Caroline Hipple.

Three expert judges will make selections for the 11th annual Showroom of the Year Awards, presented in partnership by Dallas Market Center’s Lightovation – Dallas International Lighting Show and Furniture Lighting & Decor magazine. These awards honor exceptional independent lighting retailers throughout North America each year.

The 2020 Showroom of the Year Awards judging panel includes:

Bobby Berk, interior designer and Design Guru from Netflix’s “Queer Eye”

Berk is best known as the Design Guru on the Emmy Award-winning “Queer Eye” series on Netflix, but has been immersed in the design business for more than a decade. After years in the creative and design field, he took the leap to start his own brand, Bobby Berk. Epitomizing hip, urban luxury, Berk’s designs reflect a stylish and youthful spirit that perfectly fits any lifestyle. In 2006, Berk started his own company and opened his first showroom in Lower Manhattan the following year. Years later, in 2015, he launched his full-service bespoke interior design practice for residential, commercial and hospitality clientele. For more information about Bobby Berk as well as his decorating tips and product recommendations, visit www.BobbyBerk.com.

Melissa Galt, interior design business coach, marketing consultant, business speaker, author

Galt’s expertise is from the trenches of design as a successful residential designer, educator, blogger and speaker. She’s been coaching, training and consulting with designers and retailers for more than 15 years. The great-granddaughter of iconic architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Galt says: “Design is in my genes.” She has developed proven processes and successful systems that help designers earn more in less time, doing what they love most. Whether mastering time management, marketing so it attracts ideal clients or building a team for exceptional growth, Galt shares the strategies and tools that help designers grow their businesses. Galt is also the author of several books, the most recent being “Marketing Luxury Design, Attracting Affluent Customers.” www.melissagalt.com

Caroline Hipple, President of Norwalk Furniture

Now President of Norwalk Furniture, Hipple previously worked closely with Norwalk as a partner in HB2 Resources, a home furnishings consultancy based in Atlanta. Her work with Norwalk has includes providing strategic counsel, creative direction, product development and fabric curation. She also serves as President of retailer Storehouse Furniture Co., a division of manufacturer Rowe Furniture Co., and in multiple positions at This End Up, beginning her career as a sales associate and progressing to Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Merchandising. She is also co-author of “Pathway to Profit.”

Showroom of the Year 2020

Entries and nominations for the Showroom of the Year Awards were submitted between December 2019 and February 2020. Among the submissions received, judges will select five finalist store locations in each of three dollar-volume categories: Revenue Under $2 Million, Revenue Under $5 Million and Revenue $5 Million and Over. They will also select a single winner in each category, plus winners for specialty awards recognizing Outstanding Merchandising Display and Exceptional Community Involvement from among all 15 finalists.

For a third specialty award – Social Media Star – judges’ evaluations will contribute 50% of the overall score, with the rest of the scoring being determined by number of “Likes” for each finalist within a special voting Event on Furniture Lighting & Decor’s Facebook page. This will open after all finalists are announced in late April.

All 2020 Showroom of the Year Awards finalists will also be profiled in the May issue of Furniture Lighting & Decor magazine. You can also follow the latest developments in the awards process by following the #SOTYAwards hashtag on social media.

Lightovation at Dallas Market Center, the largest residential lighting trade event in North America, offers decision makers from around the world the unmatched opportunity to discover more new products and best-selling ceiling fans and lighting in all interior and exterior categories, along with home décor, gifts, holiday and floral, housewares and gourmet, and artisan products.

The marketplace serves retailers and interior designers from all 50 states and 85 countries and is located in the strongest economic zone in the country. In addition, more than 80 percent of Dallas Market Center buyers report that they do not shop other market centers.


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