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WithIt honors 6 industry women

RALEIGH, N.C. — WithIt honored six women with its 2011 WOW Awards honors during the nonprofit's annual dinner and reception here last week.

The awards recognize the leadership achievements of exemplary individuals or companies that embody the mission of WithIt, a women's leadership development network serving the home and furnishings industries.

Aminy Audi, CEO and president of high-end manufacturer L.& J.G. Stickley, was presented the 2011 Legacy Award, which celebrates her significant lifetime contributions to the industry.

"As I accept this award, I want to acknowledge my late husband, Alfred, with whom I was fortunate enough to share the journey of revitalizing the Stickley brand," Audi said. "For the Stickley team, no task is impossible, no deadline is unattainable and no mountain is too high to climb."

Connie Lineberry, vice president of marketing for Sandow Media Retail Group, publisher of Furniture/Today and its sister publications, earned the inaugural Leadership Award, an honor WithIt created to recognize the contributions of a woman over age 40 who has demonstrated successful leadership in her company, WithIt and/or the industry.

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Lauren West, director of communications for upholstery manufacturer Natuzzi Americas, earned the 2011 Education Award honor for her efforts to educate associates, retailers and consumers about home furnishings.

Peggy Burns, co-owner and "queen bee" of Acton, Mass.- based retailer Circle Furniture, was awarded the 2011 Mentoring Award. It's an honor that recognizes an executive who has fostered advocacy, development or promotion of women in his or her company.

The 2011 Future Leader Award was presented to Tammy Nagem, chief operating officer of the High Point Market Authority.

WithIt President Mary Leigh Howell of Howell Communications presented the 2011 President's Award to WithIt Regional Vice President Kassie Smith of Kassie Smith Lifestyle Group.

WithIt also announced the winner of the 2011 Jena and Stephen Hall Scholarship, which awards $5,000 to a student to cover tuition expense. Breanne Lutz, who studies interior design at Meredith College, earned the honor.

Sponsors of the 2011 WOW Awards included the High Point Market Authority, International Market Centers, Vaughn-Bassett Furniture, Las Vegas Design Center, Valdese Weavers, Cohen Tauber Spievack & Wagner P.C., Info Retail, L.& J.G. Stickley, Hutchinson Allgood Printing, C.R. Laine Furniture, Rowe Fine Furniture, Furniture/Today and Natuzzi

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