Mary Fruehauf Retail Genius Award 2019 Call for Nominations

In late 2017, the ICFA Retail Council created the Mary Fruehauf Retail Genius Award to recognize retailers whose creativity invokes the spirt of the late industry leader’s unique approach to igniting excitement and emphasizing the fun in outdoor living. All ICFA retail members are invited to compete for the award by completing the entry form and sending supporting documents on or before the deadline of Friday, January 4, 2019.

According to Mariah Maydew, who succeeded Mary as president and CEO of Fruehauf’s in Boulder, Colorado, after her death from cancer in 2015, “Mary was a dedicated and passionate person whose creativity of expression sparked a sense of enjoyment and discovery in her customers, community and the national casual furniture industry for over two decades.”

Competitors for the Mary Fruehauf Retail Genius Award will submit up to three original and creative displays, events, promotions, or concepts that captures the special extra element that makes your company’s retail formula successful while closely channeling Mary’s spirit to create a unique and fun shopping experience.

The winner of the 2019 Mary Fruehauf Retail Genius Award will be announced at the ICFA Educational Conference in San Antonio, Texas, after lunch on February 7, and honored with a distinctive trophy befitting the whimsical style of its namesake. The competition will be judged by industry veterans and close personal friends and colleagues of Mary: Mariah Maydew, Cathy Galbreath-Buzbee, owner of ABSCO Fireplace & Patio, Birmingham, Ala., and Brian Lawrence, president of Emigh’s Casual Living, Sacramento, Calif.


Jessica Salisbury of Village Green Home and Garden (second from left)
received ICFA’s first Retail Genius Award, surrounded by judges Cathy
Galbraith-Buzbee, ABSCO Fireplace and Patio (far left), Mariah Maydew,
Fruehauf’s and Brian Lawrence, Emigh’s Casual Living.

At the 2018 ICFA Educational Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Village Green Home and Garden was honored for creating a sensory experience for its customers that is innovative, fun and memorable. Judges noted the store's use of uncommon accessories, dazzling color and dramatic lighting in an environment that can only be described as "retail theater."

Eligible retailers are invited to submit descriptions and supporting documentation for up to three related or individual displays, events, promotions, or concepts in the form of photos, videos, screenshots and other downloadable media. Competition details and entry information are available here.