Caroline Hipple, the President of Norwalk Furniture and industry leader for more than three decades, will receive the Academy of Achievement honor at the 32nd ARTS Awards, taking place at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas on Friday, January 7, 2022.
The ARTS Awards, presented annually during the Dallas Total Home & Gift Market, acknowledges preeminent manufacturers, retailers, interior designers, product designers and sales representatives. The Academy of Achievement, the industry’s highest accolade, recognizes extraordinary contributions to the industry.
The 2022 edition of the ARTS Awards is a return to its usual format after a one-year change. Last year’s ARTS Awards was replaced by a one-time special event, the HEARTS Awards, held in partnership and solidarity with 12 leading industry organizations to honor companies and individuals that have shown outstanding leadership, empathy and service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Caroline is a worthy honoree not simply because of her decades of inspired leadership but because of her deeply positive impact on our industry and the lives of so many people,” said Cindy Morris, President and CEO of Dallas Market Center. “She has led with purpose, passion and selflessness. We look forward to celebrating her achievements.”
“I don’t know anyone as driven, determined, caring, smart and selfless as Caroline,” said Sharon Davis, Executive Director of ART. “She is such a rare combination of the best values of our industry and of humankind. It’s truly an honor to present the Academy of Achievement honor to someone so respected and beloved.”
Hipple has served as president of Norwalk Furniture since 2016. The privately held Norwalk, OH, company manufactures upholstered furniture in its 440,000-square-foot facility. In September 2021, the company announced a transition in ownership to an employee stock ownership plan funded entirely by the company.
Before joining Norwalk, Hipple worked closely with the company as a partner in HB2 Resources, a home furnishings consultancy based in Atlanta she co-founded with Dixon Bartlett. She also served as President of retailer Storehouse Furniture Co., a division of Rowe Furniture Co., which had 72 stores. She began her career and held multiple positions with retailer This End Up, starting as a sales associate and advancing to Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Merchandising. At its height, This End Up had 250 stores.
She has long been an active supporter of non-profits, professional organizations and educational causes. Hipple served in leadership positions with associations including WithIt (Women in the Home Furnishing Industry Today), AHFA (American Home Furnishings Association), the Home Furnishings Hall of Fame and the Bienenstock Home Furnishings library. In addition, she served for seven years as a member of the board of governors at St. Catherine’s School and on the board for the Atlanta Girls School.
Her leadership has not gone unnoticed. Hipple has also been recognized with accolades including ARTS Awards, WithIt’s Legacy Award and Education Award, the Person to Watch and Inspirational Women in 2019 Awards from leading industry publications, and a HEARTS Award in 2021 for leadership during the COVID pandemic.
The Academy of Achievement honoree is selected each year by the ARTS Awards Committee to recognize significant contributions to the industry. The committee serves one year and their duties include a review of the process and selecting the Academy of Achievement honoree. The 32nd ARTS Awards committee members are: Amir Loloi, Loloi; Brian Kleinberg, Elements; and Doug Self, j douglas.
Reservations for the ARTS Awards will open October 1, 2021. Tickets are $145 for ART members and $170 for non-members. Tables are also available.
Sponsors for the 32nd ARTS Awards include Aspire Design & Home; Business of Home; Designers Today; D Home; Furniture, Lighting & Décor; Furniture Today; Gifts & Decorative Accessories; Home Accents Today; Home Textiles Today; Interior Design Society; and Sustainable Furnishings Council.