The activity began on Thursday, the evening before the exhibit hall officially opened. The Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) held the annual presentation of its Product Innovation Awards. A raucous event the past two years, invitations to this year's ceremony were more restrictive. For a complete rundown of all the winners, see Special Report, "Better Than Ever," D&WC, May 2000.
With the show in full swing on Friday, so too was exhibitor hospitality with planned receptions and special events. Kirsch again featured a personal appearance by designer Raymond Waites. A reception held in the afternoon at the Baltimore Convention Center showcased the Vintage Hardware Collection and previewed RW2001: Beyond the Millennium, Waites' latest window decorations.
Springs Window Fashions Division went long ball with its annual celebration held at Oriole Park at Camden Yards across the street from the convention center. Dealers and fabricators at the reception got a breath-taking, sixth-floor view of the Oriole's home park from deep right field.
Hunter Douglas Window Fashions returned to the Harbor Court Hotel for its evening reception. The elegant gathering of some of Hunter Douglas' top dealers and buyers featured fine food and a jazz trio.
Speaking of food, a large contingent of DraperyPro members (93 in all) met for dinner at the Warf Rat restaurant on Friday. Members of this online chat and e-mail forum usually converse through the Internet. On this night many faces were matched with e-mail addresses.
This year the Window Coverings Association of America (WCAA) switched from a breakfast meeting to a Saturday luncheon. Past President LaVelle Pinder handed over the gavel to incoming president Donna Rolsma. The other new WCAA officers are: Michelle Treichel, vice president; and Ginger Huff, treasurer. WCAA's new regional board members also were installed. The are: Beth Hodges, south; Pat Reese, west central; and Ethel Mahon, at-large.
The association's Industry Achievement Award was presented to Cheryl Strickland, a long-time supporter of WCAA's efforts to increase education and professionalism within the industry. Strickland is a frequent contributor to Draperies & Window Coverings magazine with her column, The Big Picture, and continues to serve the industry through her Professional Drapery School in Swannanoa, NC.
Kathy Goodenhour, sales representative for The Blind Maker, Austin, TX, gave the keynote address. Goodenhour spoke on pursuing personal and business excellence through passion for your chosen career. The luncheon was sponsored by The Blind Maker.
The Blind Maker and ADO, Spartanburg, SC, also announced their partnership on ADOwrap Complete, the window treatment that features vertical blinds covered with sheer fabrics. The Blind Maker's Ray Hicks and ADO's Klaus Wulf made the announcement at ADO's booth.
After the exhibit hall closed for the day Comfortex Window Fashions hosted a reception for its Composer fabricators and across the lobby of the Hyatt Regency, the show's host hotel, RollEase, Inc. held a separate reception for its dealers and guests.
The evening ended with a misty cruise around Baltimore's Inner Harbor aboard the wooden vessel The Clipper City, hosted by Chromagraphic Processing Co. While aboard guests were invited to help raise just one of the clipper's sails. Three crewmembers and two able-bodied volunteers hauled away at the 2,000-pound sail.