NEWH - Fall/Winter 2010 - (Page 16)

awards icon of industry First Lady Judy Dobin is honored with the Icon of Industry Award FOR THE FIRST TIME in its six-year history, NEWH is giving its Icon of Industry Award to a woman: Judy Dobin, principal and executive vice president of Valley Forge Fabrics. “Judy Dobin has been a visionary force and leader throughout her career. She has not only built an award-winning company, but she has been so generous in her community and to the hospitality industry. Her drive and success has been an inspiration to women business leaders everywhere,” says Anita Degen, NEWH’s past president, of the reason Dobin was selected for the award, which goes to manufacturer leaders who have been in the industry for more than 30 years, and who have uniquely impacted the industry through their product innovation and dedication to community or industry outreach. “I’ve worked in hospitality for 35 years, and during those years I have been helped and mentored by some incredible, intelligent women,” Dobin says. “There are so many that are very deserving [of this honor], it makes me very humbled to be the first woman to receive it.” Dobin and her husband Dan started Valley Forge in its namesake town in Pennsylvania in 1977. Since then, they, with the help of two of their children Mike and Diana, have grown the company into the largest supplier of decorative upholstery fabrics for the hospitality industry worldwide, with 120 people and offices in the U.S., Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney, Italy, and Dubai. “There was a lot of luck and help involved,” she says. “People have been very kind to us and generous, put their trust in us. I never imagined [the company] would be as big as it is now.” Always pushing the envelope in terms of product design, they launched the first major environmentally friendly hospitality fabric line FRESH—fabrics redefining environmental standards (for) hospitality, in 2007, made of 100 percent recycled content. Taking recycling to the next level, they also offer a reclamation service at the end of the fabric’s life. From that, they have created a FRESH bedding collection and bedding made from Tencel+Plus Lyocell Eucalyptus fiber, and have brought in top designers like Thomas Schoos and Jonathan Adler to create bold collections. “I am excited about always developing new and better product. We make things that are prettier and stronger and better, for less money than we did 20 years ago. A lot of our time and development is for what’s coming on the horizon,” she says, pointing to bio-based materials as the next solution. It’s obvious that she couldn’t imagine being in any other business. “There are a lot of things I love about our industry. It’s a dynamic industry, always developing and changing, and that’s not true of other industries,” she says, adding that she also loves that she has made so many strong industry friendships, some of those through NEWH. An NEWH member since its inception, she was the first person to join who wasn’t from Southern California, was the founding president of the Greater New York chapter, and acted on the board of directors for a decade. And she also makes time to give back. She is on the board of directors of the B’nai B’rith Cuban Jewish Relief Project, and has led many humanitarian missions to Cuba; she actively supports JAFCO, the Jewish Adoption and Foster Care Options in South Florida (she is based in Pompano Beach); and she is on the board of Common Thread for the Cure, which unites the furnishings industry to fight breast cancer. “From the time I was a child, my parents and grandparents taught me it was very important to give back to help those that are less fortunate,” she says. There are so many women that are very deserving [of this honor], it makes me very humbled to be the first woman to receive it.” “ Dobin will be honored at the Gold Key breakfast held on November 15th during the International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show in New York, and then again at the Platinum Circle gala on May 18th during the 2011 Hospitality Design Exposition & Conference (HD Expo) in Las Vegas. 16 fall/winter 2010 tel 800.593.NEWH

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NEWH - Fall/Winter 2010

NEWH - Fall/Winter 2010
Table of Contents
Sustainability: Trespass
Icon of Industry
Have You Seen
Product Know-How
On the Scene
Cover Story: Signature Hospitality Carpets
Project: Glow Fresh Grill and Wine Bar
Save the Date
New Members
Partner Profiles

NEWH - Fall/Winter 2010