Sequoia Awards to include new products

Prizes in the nine categories, which still include one for environmental achievement, will be presented at AWFS

The Sequoia Awards, which previously focused solely on environmental achievement, will now recognize outstanding new products at this year's AWFS Fair, scheduled for July 27-30 in Las Vegas.

The Sequoia Awards will be presented to winners in nine categories, including:

• Environmental achievement

• Machinery under $50,000

• Machinery over $50,000

• Components

• Tooling

• Hardware

• Power tools

• Software

• Miscellaneous — for items that don't fit into the other categories

All AWFS exhibitors will have the opportunity to display and enter new products in the New Products Showcase and Sequoia Awards.

Fair director Angelo Gangone is seeking to create specific teams of judges for each category, excluding environmental achievement. Katy Wolf of the Institute for Research and Technical Assistance will continue to organize the panel of environmental experts.

"Last [fair] we only had one team of judges for eight categories and it was a really big job," said Gangone. "Most of the judges, however, told me the time was well spent as it gave them an in-depth preview of products they could actually use, and have already volunteered for the 2005 show."

The AWFS is seeking volunteers who are familiar with the products exhibited at the show, either as a user or a buyer. The ideal candidate will either own or have senior operations responsibility for their woodworking or furnishings business, have five or more years experience in the field and have some particular expertise with the category they are judging. Anyone interested in judging should contact Gangone at 323-838-9440, Ext. 12.

Gangone said the judging will take place July 27 and possibly the following morning, with the awards presented that evening. "This year we want to lessen the burden on our volunteers and confine it to a few hours, and also allow them to spend more time reviewing each product," he said.

The AWFS Fair is a biennial event in which buyers and manufacturers gather from around the world to buy and sell the latest products and services to the wood and home furnishings markets.

Contact: AWFS Fair, 5733 Rickenbacker Road, Commerce, CA 90040. Tel: 800-946-2937. www.awfsfair.org