Dallas Market Center and ART, the creative home furnishings network, have announced that Maria Mullen, CEO of Hubbardton Forge, will receive the Academy of Achievement honor at the 34th ARTS Awards taking place at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas on Friday, January 12, 2024. The ARTS Awards, presented annually during the Dallas Total Home & Gift Market, celebrates preeminent manufacturers, retailers, interior designers, product designers, and sales representatives.
“Maria’s decades of leadership are respected across the lighting and home industries,” said Cindy Morris, President & CEO of Dallas Market Center. “Her positive impact on the business is significant, her mentorship is outstanding, and she continues to be a visionary leader.”
Sharon Davis, executive director of ART, added, “It’s an honor to present the Academy of Achievement to someone who has added so much value to the industry through her career achievements, but also through her commitment to industry organizations and philanthropic efforts.”
Maria Mullen has served as CEO of Hubbardton Forge since 2020. The 50-year-old company produces made to order lighting in its 100,000 -sq.-ft. facility in Castleton, Vermont. Mullen began her career in the fashion and sporting goods industries. Stints at Bruno Magli and Gianni Versace as well as Champion Products and Ewing Athletics took her around the world and exposed her to everything from professional sports to high fashion. In 1998, she joined Murray Feiss, now part of Visual Comfort & Co. Her eye for design and her sales acumen led founder Murray Feiss to add her to the company’s design committee, where she helped the company achieve even greater success. In 2005, she left Murray Feiss and joined The Uttermost Company as VP/Sales. She led the company’s initiative into fixed lighting and introduced their first lighting line in January 2007. Two years later, she returned to Murray Feiss, then a Generation Brands company, at the behest of then-President Greg Vandia. Mullen spearheaded the rebuilding of the company after the recession by focusing on great product and customer service. In 2011, she was elevated to President of the newly formed Feiss/Monte Carlo. In 2013, she departed Feiss/Monte Carlo and founded Kalizma Home with business partner Barb Cote. Kalizma Home is a design consultancy firm that designs and develops private label lighting products for industry partners. In 2020, Maria turned over control of Kalizma to Cote and joined Hubbardton Forge.
In addition to her corporate leadership, Mullen has been committed to industry organizations and charitable organizations. She is an active participant in the American Lighting Association (ALA) and WITHIT. She currently serves on The Dallas Market Center’s Lighting Board of Governors. For more than 20 years she has worked tirelessly for the H Foundation, a charitable organization that raises funds for basic cancer research, and sits on its Board of Directors. In 2021 Mullen, with the H Foundation, launched a special fund to raise awareness and money for research into BRCA in memory of her friend Karen Krieger.
In addition to the Academy of Achievement, there are dozens of category awards being presented at the ARTS Awards to retailers, manufacturers, designers, and sales representatives. All 34th ARTS Awards finalists can be viewed here. Reservations for the ARTS Awards open October 4. Tickets will be $170 for ART members and $200 for non-members. Discounted rates for full tables of (8) and (10) guests are also available.