New England Design Community Fills Clarke Showroom for Designer Awards & 20th Anniversary Celebration

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More than 300 New England architects and designers filled the Clarke showroom in Milford, MA, for Clarke's Fourth Annual Designer Appreciation Night on March 31, 2011. Clarke CEO Tom Clarke was joined by Sub-Zero and Wolf President and CEO Jim Bakke and Vice President of Sales Steve Dunlap as New England's exclusive distributor of high-performance appliances from Sub-Zero, Wolf and Asko awarded trophies to six top designers around New England. In addition, the three designers who most consistently incorporated Sub-Zero, Wolf and Asko appliances into their projects were recognized as Clarke Specifiers of the Year.

Sub-Zero President and CEO Jim Bakke (right) and Vice President of Sales Steve Dunlap (left) join Clarke President and CEO Tom Clarke at Clarke's Fourth Annual Designer Appreciation Night near Boston.

The amazing depth of this year's Clarke Design Contest entries was staggering.

More than 300 New England architects and designers recently filled the Clarke showroom in Milford, MA, for Clarke’s Fourth Annual Designer Appreciation Night. 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 leader, educator and entrepreneur; 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.

“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 Design Gallery on Clarke's website.

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.

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 will be able to 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 the ‘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.”

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.”

For a photo album from the event, visit Clarke's facebook page, which is found on facebook 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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The Clarke Design Awards first place contemporary kitchen by Marcus Gleysteen of Gleysteen Design in Cambridge, MA.Marcus Gleysteen of Gleysteen Design in Cambridge, MA designed this contemporary kitchen to win The Clarke Design Awards this year.Beautiful contemporary design incorporating Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances is exemplified in the first place winner for Contemporary Kitchen by Marcus Gleysteen at The Clarke Design Awards on March 31, 2011.Architect Laura E. Kaehler of Greenwich, CT won first place for use of Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances in a room other than a kitchen at The Clarke Design Awards.This contemporary wet bar featuring Sub-Zero appliances and a iglass backsplash wall, designed by Architect Laura E. Kaehler of Greenwich, CT, won first place in The Clarke Design Awards at Clarke's Fourth Annual Design Appreciation Night.E.J. Krupinsky of Lee Kimball in Winchester, MA won second place for Contemporary Kitchen in The Clarke Design Contest awards with this magnificent Boston kitchen.Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances offer high-performance features in this E.J. Krupinsky/Lee Kimball design of a beautiful contemporary kitchen that shares the spotlight with the view beyond. Designer Donna LaRose, with technical assistance from Michele Kelly, designed this magnificent traditional kitchen at Vengas & Co. in Boston and won second place in The Clarke Design Contest for Traditional Kitchen. Striking black and white, highlighted by Sub-Zero and Wolf stainless steel appliances, were brought together beautifully by Amanda LaRose and Michele Kelly of Venegas & Co. in this project, which won Second Place for Traditional Kitchen in The Clarke Design Contest this yearClarke Designer Appreciation Night, David Dorrer, Sr named Clarke Specifier of the YearDavid Dorrer, Sr. of Scandia Kitchens in Bellingham, MA won Clarke Specifier of the Year at the Fourth Annual Clarke Designer Appreciation Night. His son, David Dorrer, Jr. won third place as Clarke Specifier of the Year and second place was won by Cameron Snyder of Roomscapes Design Center, home of Kitchen Concepts, in Rockland, MA. David Dorrer, Sr. of Scandia Kitchens in Bellingham, MA was named Clarke Specifier of the Year for incorporating more Sub-Zero, Wolf and Asko appliances into his projects than any other member of the design community in New England in 2010. He was presented with this award by Debra Grillo Burke of Clarke during The Fourth Annual Clarke Designer Appreciation Night.Steel drum music filled the Clarke Showroom in Milford, MA for the Fourth Annual Clarke Designer Appreciation Night.To bring the "Beach Party Redefined" theme alive at The Fourth Annual Clarke Designer Appreciation Night, steel drums, a Tiki Bar and island-inspired culinary selections were enjoyed. A late-winter snow storm blew around outside to remind guests that this was truly an oasis in New England this March. Clarke Designer Appreciation Night, The Clarke Design Contest Awards, Clarke showroom, 20th Anniversary CakeClarke CEO Tom Clarke was surprised with a three-foot-high 20th Anniversary cake in the form of a stainless steel Sub-Zero refrigerator as part of the Clarke Designer Appreciation Night.Sub-Zero and Wolf President and CEO Jim Bakke presented Tom Clarke with a Simon Pearce glass award commemorating his company's 20th Anniversary, followed by the appearance of a three-foot-high cake in the form of a Sub-Zero stainless steel refrigerator...all part of The Fourth Annual Clarke Designer Appreciation Night.