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Connecticut well represented at New England-wide event

By Clarke

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Sub-Zero and Wolf President and CEO Jim Bakke (right) and Vice President of Sales Steve Dunlap (left) with Clarke President and CEO Tom Clarke at Clarke's Fourth Annual Designer Appreciation Night, which celebrated the New England Design Community and Clarke's 20th Anniversary.
More than 300 New England architects and designers recently filled the Clarke showroom in Milford, MA for Clarke’s Fourth Annual Designer Appreciation Night. Connecticut was well represented at the event. While a snowstorm blew through outside on the eve of April Fool’s Day, it was warm and tropical inside the home of New England’s exclusive distributor of Sub-Zero, Wolf and Asko appliances. The steel drums, Tiki bar and rum punch proved the party’s theme, “Beach Party Redefined,” was no joke.

Sub-Zero and Wolf President and CEO Jim Bakke and Vice President of Sales Steve Dunlap sat in the front row as Clarke awarded trophies to six top designers around New England for their innovative use of Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances in kitchens and other rooms in the home. Clarke’s top three specifiers were also distinguished for their leadership in integration of these high-performance ranges, cooktops, wall ovens, refrigerators, wine storage and more into their vision of what a kitchen could be.

Clarke Director of Marketing Jim Raftus introduced the awards by saying that the judges (Len Casey, kitchen industry educator, entrepreneur and leader; Certified Kitchen Designer and past NKBA president Gail Olsen, of Ducci Kitchens in Goshen, CT; Janice Costa, editor of Kitchen and Bath Design News; and architect David Andreozzi of Andreozzi Architects in Barrington, RI) commented on how difficult it was to pick the winners this year.

Gerard Ciccarello of Covennant Kitchens & Baths, Westbrook, CT receiving his top honors in The Clarke Design Awards from Clarke Director of Marketing Jim Raftus.
“The amazing depth of this year’s entries was staggering,” said Raftus. “David Andreozzi, our one returning judge, said that he was truly impressed with the caliber of this year’s entries and had a very difficult time selecting just five projects out of more than five dozen.”

First place in the Contemporary Kitchen category went to Marcus Gleysteen of Gleysteen Design in Cambridge, MA. Second place was awarded to E.J. Krupinsky of Lee Kimball in Winchester, MA. Gerard Ciccarello of Covenant Kitchens & Baths in Westbrook, CT won First Place for his Traditional Kitchen, followed by Amanda LaRose and Michelle Kelly of Venegas & Co. winning Second Place Traditional. Laura Kaehler of Laura Kaehler Architects in Greenwich, CT, was the singular winner in the “Other Room” category for her mahogany wet bar incorporating Sub-Zero wine storage and refrigeration against a stunning glass backsplash. Photos of all winning projects can be found in the Clarke online Design Gallery at www.clarkecorp.com.

Winners of the 2010 Clarke Specifier of the Year Awards went to David Dorrer, Sr. of Scandia Kitchens in Bellingham, MA, as well as Cameron Snyder of RoomScapes Design Center (Home of Kitchen Concepts) in Rockland, MA and David Dorrer, Jr. of Scandia Kitchens in Bellingham, MA.

Winner of First Place for Traditional Kitchen in The Clarke Design Contest, designed by Gerard Ciccarello of Covenant Kitchens & Baths in Westbrook, CT.
Clarke General Manager Sean Clarke introduced the next Clarke Design Contest, which will run until a soon-to-be released deadline in 2012. “We’re designing a whole new contest and taking it online,” said Clarke. “There will be a new award, The People’s Choice, for which consumers can vote online at clarkecorp.com.”

Clarke also talked about new kitchens in Clarke’s South Norwalk, CT showroom that are inspiring homeowners in Fairfield County and announced that Clarke plans to remodel all fourteen kitchens in Milford and called for designers who would like to partner on the project.

“The Clarke showrooms are a living portfolio for the design community,” he said. “We look forward to seeing more of your talent coming to life right here. Many hundreds of customers come through here each year to learn about high-performance kitchens. They love it because our job is not sales, it’s education. We are a resource center for homeowners exploring the idea of kitchen remodeling. Our research shows that 40% of our visitors come in ‘idea stage.’ This is a great place to have your work seen. The designers who are already showcased here tell us all the time about calls they get from people admiring their work at Clarke.”
This mahogany wet bar incorporating Sub-Zero refrigeration and a beautiful glass back splash won Architect Laura E. Kaehler of Greenwich, CT top honors for use of Sub-Zero and Wolf in a room other than a kitchen at The Clarke Design Awards recently.

After a champagne toast, Tom Clarke was presented with a three-foot-high 20th Anniversary cake in the form of a stainless steel Sub-Zero refrigerator while Jim Bakke presented him with a glass trophy designed by Simon Pierce. Representatives from the New England chapter of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) also presented the Clarke CEO with a gift of appreciation for his two decades of support and service.

A surprised Tom Clarke said to the audience of New England designers, “Wow! This night is about you, not us. My family’s DNA is right in this room. We’ve always been about kitchen design and our family has been with Sub-Zero for 50 years, long before I even opened this company. Our goal is to never disappoint a single customer, not even one. I thank you for your support of Clarke and our dealers. You make it all happen.”

Clarke then invited his entire service organization, Clarke Customer Care, to join him on the floor of the amphitheater. “When we found out Sub-Zero service in New England ranked last in the nation, we had to do something about it. So we built our own service organization and I’m proud to say we will never have that problem again. We fix what we sell and our region is now rated number one in the country for Sub-Zero and Wolf service.”

Before, during and after the awards ceremony, the electricity in the showroom was palpable. “This is one of our very favorite events every year,” said Joe Tanguay, Clarke’s Business Development Manager and emcee for the evening. “It is great to gather all of these wonderful designers into one place and honor their talent and creativity.”

Clarke will post a photo album from the event on their Facebook page, found at Clarke Appliance Showrooms. For more information on designer initiatives, visit clarkecorp.com or call Joe Tanguay at 800-842-5275.

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