Manufacturing Awards for 2012
The BEST: Made In America and Build it in America Awards identify, honor and showcase leading American Manufacturers and the products. The Best awardee is acknowledged for a product that is outstanding in its field and both categories for exemplary commitment to manufacturing in the United States. The William Thornton Award is presented to an artisan in recognition of singular achievement. Each of the awards is designed to focus national attention on the tremendous economic and social value of a strong, sustained, and growing American manufacturing base and the need to support and strengthen American business.
National Advisory Council
- Peter Bielecky, Bielecky Brothers
- Ray Bialkowski, Kittinger
- Jay Reardon, Hickory Chair
- Keith Fritz, Keith Fritz
- David Locke, Locke & Company
- Paul Montgomery, Paul Montgomery Studio
- Eleanor McKay, Niermann Weeks
- Jay Paschall, Kindel Furniture
- Michael Phelps, Washington Examiner
- Belinda Riggs, Washington Design Center
- Erik Winslow, The George Washington University
BEST: Made in America 2012 Award Winners
Since 1866 Kittinger Furniture has set the standards for fine hand crafted furniture. Kittinger craftsmen are widely noted and respected for their meticulous attention to detail. In 1885 the company began crafting furniture in classic 18th century designs. Throughout, Kittinger has steadfastly remained the guardian of the timeless craft and design traditions of that era. While museum quality in construction and design, Kittinger artisans pride themselves at making furniture for modern living. Kittinger’s heirloom quality furniture has been collected and passed on for over 6 generations. And each succeeding generation has expanded their collections and incorporated them into the day’s most stylish and beautiful interiors. Kittinger furniture is found not only in private homes. Due the quality, beauty and longevity of the furniture, Kittinger pieces are found in the White House, at the State Department, in the United States Capitol, in embassies and in offices at leading educational and cultural institutions and corporations. When Irvine J. Kittinger took the helm in 1913, he was quoted as saying “Our business is not primarily to turn furniture into money, but to produce something really worthwhile.” Mr. Kittinger’s philosophy remains the cornerstone of the company’s business today. The Kittinger Furniture Company is today dedicated to producing the world’s finest handcrafted furniture, using the same care, detailing and innovation for which it has been renowned since its inception.
Build it in America 2011 Award Winners
The Hickory Chair Furniture Co. began one hundred years ago in Hickory, North Carolina with a single product and a simple vision. The product was a made-to-order dining chair. The vision was to combine the authenticity of classic craftsmanship with the efficiency of modern manufacturing. In the decades since, the product range has evolved into an assortment of timeless designs, drawn from significant periods and places, and from the talents of some of the world’s most respected designers. The original vision, however, remains unchanged. Hickory is still guided by a genuine commitment to custom craftsmanship and timely service. The furniture styles are distinguished by an authentic, timeless spirit. The furniture is proudly made to order and made to last, by a team of talented and attentive artisans, in Hickory, North Carolina.
Based in Millersville, MD, the Niermann Weeks Company began in 1978 with the exceptional artistic inspiration of Joe Niermann and Eleanor McKay. In their lighting and furnishing creations, they combine classic designs with the needs of modern-day living. Their products borrowed elements from the past, reinterpreting this design vocabulary to fit current lifestyles. In this way, their furnishings relate to traditional, transitional, and contemporary interiors. In fact, over 40 percent of the Company’s business is custom-designed to meet the special needs of clients. In addition, the Company uses earth-friendly techniques in all that it does. Niermann Weeks now offers more than 600 standard designs with 500 finishes, available through to-the-trade designer showrooms, stocking dealers, and customer-buying services in the United States and Canada... Joe and Eleanor live in Annapolis, MD and still own and operate the Company. Daughters Eleanor and Claire Niermann now manage the company’s designs. With President R. Justin Binnix, the commitment continues to making fine furniture while working with local artisans. Niermann Weeks employ 45 individuals, offering them good wages, benefits, and working conditions. “All of us are truly honored to receive this award. As Americans and as Marylanders, we take great pride in making fine goods for the home,” says CEO Eleanor McKay.
William Thornton Award for Excellence in Craftsmanship
For over 30 years, Paul Montgomery Studio has been providing high quality artwork for public, commercial and residential areas. Their staff of talented artists pay scrupulous attention to detail and is committed to providing the highest level of quality and service with passion and integrity. The firm stresses professionalism, excellence, and versatility.
Special 100th Anniversary Award
For over 110 years, Kindel Furniture has manufactured fine hand crafted furniture in the USA. The company is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan and employs a cadre of fine designers and craftsman. Kindel has long been recognized as a singular resource by designers and discerning clientele. Kindel furniture graces the White House, the famed diplomatic reception rooms at the Department of State, Blair house and in countless fine residences around the world. Kindel handcrafts fine furniture in styles from modern to traditional. The company crafts reproduction pieces from both Winterthur and Mount Vernon, and produces the Dorothy Draper collection in collaboration with famed interior designer Carlton Varney. More recently, the company has launched the innovative HB Home Collection pioneering a new path for the American consumer to source fine furniture. The company, thanks to a renowned American family, the Fisher’s of Muncie, Indiana, continues under the chairmanship of James Fisher, Chairman of the Board, to be a stalwart of American manufacturing.