The National Bed Federation (NBF) has revealed its judges for the five 2023 Bed Industry Awards for the manufacturer and component supplier categories.
An independent panel of 11 judges, including five new judges from across the industry, will decide which NBF manufacturer and supplier members will be crowned winners at the Bed Show gala dinner and awards ceremony on Tuesday 26th September at the Telford International Centre.
The awards provide an opportunity for bed manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and individuals to highlight their achievements from the past year.
The first judge of the coveted Bed Product of the Year Award is Steve Adams, founder and CEO of Mattress Online, one of the UK’s leading online mattress retailers. With over 20 years of e-commerce experience, Steve has transformed Mattress Online into the award-winning, multi-million-pound retailer that we know today.
Sue Davies, owner of Sue Davies Design Solutions, returns for 2023. Sue trained as a surface pattern/textile designer with experience developing mattress ticking and upholstery fabric. She now designs products for various bed companies and is also an agent for BekaertDeslee, assisting in sales, design and new ticking and cover development.
No stranger to the awards is James Dunne, MD of Prestige Beds, whose family business secured winner and finalist accolades in previous years. James joined the business full-time in 2005 at 18 as a delivery driver, before being promoted to sales, then getting involved in marketing, buying, merchandising and e-commerce in his mid-late twenties. James took up his current role as operations director in 2018, after almost 18 years in the business.
Joining the panel is veteran judge Paul Farley, trade press editor of Furniture News. Paul joined Furniture News in 2006 and has been its editor since 2008, strengthening the magazine as the longest established of today’s furniture trade titles. Paul also coordinates The Furniture Awards and is the vice chairman of the International Alliance of Furnishing Publications (IAFP).
Rebecca Maloy, beds, cabinet & semi-fitted bedroom cabinet selector at Associated Independent Stores (AIS) returns for her second year. Having studied Surface Design at university, Rebecca worked as a textile designer based in Vienna, Austria, before moving back to the UK to start her career in retail. Rebecca has since worked for Dreams and Furniture Village before moving to AIS.
Paul will also judge Component Supplier of the Year, and Steve, James and Rebecca will also judge the Sales Agent/Rep of the Year.
The Component Product of the Year Award welcomes a new panel of judges: Natalie Armstrong, product and brand manager at Sealy UK. Natalie has a keen eye for what makes a winning product, with Sealy UK winning 2022’s Bed Product of the Year. Having worked at Sealy UK for seven years in various roles within marketing, for the last two years, Natalie has headed up new product development initiatives from conception right through to launch.
Joining Natalie is Danny Blackmore, new product implementation manager at Silentnight. In his 30 years of experience within the industry, Danny has worked across a wider range of roles, beginning in operations before going on to Silentnight’s change management team. More recently, Danny has worked in product development, implementation and compliance alongside suppliers, customers and other third parties before becoming head of change.
Dave Morris, purchasing director at Sleepeezee, completes the panel. Dave has over 30 years of valuable experience working in the bed industry at Sleepeezee and has been involved in production, logistics, quality assurance, purchasing and product development.
The first judge in the Bed Manufacturer of the Year award is David Fitzsimons, director of circular economy consultants Oakdene Hollins and of the European Remanufacturing Council. David works with the World Economic Forum’s Manufacturing and Production Council and is a member of a United Nations Environment Programme working group on Product Life Extension, as well as an adviser to the NBF’s Circular Economy Committee.
Joining David is Richard de Melim, owner and editor of The Furnishing Report, the independent industry news and business intelligence website and newsletter service. Richard brings a rich depth of knowledge to the panel, having reported on the furniture industry since 1999. He has written for over 100 publications, including dozens of feature-length business, property and home articles for several national newspapers.
Making his judging debut is Jonathan Hindle, Chairman of the British Furniture Confederation (BFC) and MD & President of KI Europe. Jonathan originally trained as a designer and practised at leading architectural and design and build companies before moving into sales and marketing in fit-out, property development and office furniture design & manufacture. Jonathan founded the Design Guild Mark in 2007 and established corporate membership and fundraising programmes at The Furniture Makers’ Company.
David and Jonathan join Paul Farley to judge the Component Supplier award.
The two product awards will be judged during the show and a shortlist of finalists for the three other awards will be published before the winners are announced on Tuesday 26th September.
More information on all the 2023 awards, including how to enter for free and detailed criteria for each category, are available now on the Bed Show website. Deadlines vary depending on the award, starting with Friday 21st July.