New name joins gia judging panel

Designer Anne Kong has been recruited as a new expert juror for Global Innovation Awards (gia) programme run by the International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago and International Housewares Association (IHA) of the US.

The associate professor and former chairperson of the visual presentation and exhibition design department at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), has more than 20 years of experience in her field, and designs solutions for retail, brands and promotional events.

The gia programme was created by the International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago and the IHA to foster innovation and excellence in home and housewares retailing throughout the world. Since the launch of gia in 2000, there have been over 370 gia retail award winners from 45 countries.

For 2016-2017, a total of 28 home and housewares retailers from 27 countries will be honoured at the show, which takes place in Chicago from March 18 to March 21 – including Borough Kitchen in the UK. 

Anne succeeds Martin M. Pegler, who is retiring from full-time involvement in gia after 16 years as a gia expert juror.

IHA vice president of global marketing Derek Miller said: “The IHA would like to wholeheartedly thank Martin for his leadership role and support to the gia programme over all these years.

“Martin helped us develop gia into the leading global home and housewares awards programme that it is now, and his inspiring speeches and presentations have been a highlight to retailers visiting the International Home + Housewares Show.”

He will continue as an honorary member of the gia expert jury, selecting the winner of the Martin M. Pegler Award for Excellence in Visual Merchandising. This special award is for the retailer with the best visual merchandising, displays and window displays

Created in 2008 to recognise Martin’s achievements and leading role in gia, IHA renamed the gia Top Window Award the Martin M. Pegler Award for Excellence in Visual Merchandising. In the same year, he was presented with an honorary gia Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Anne has worked alongside Martin for many years and is co-authoring the seventh edition of his textbook, ‘Visual Merchandising and Display’.

Derek commented: “Through her work with Martin, Anne is already very familiar with gia, and we are very happy that she has accepted our invitation to join the gia expert jury. The insights that Anne’s experience, courses and work generates will provide invaluable inspiration for future gia winners, and she’ll bring a new skillset and outlook to the expert jury. We warmly welcome Anne to the gia family!”

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