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Winners announced at Fast Track
Simply the Best is best in show again
The garden wedding-themed booth of Simply the Best Flowers & Gifts won the Best In Show award at Fast Track 2013. Shown at the booth are (from left) Buck Davis, Deborah Barker, Courtney Barker, Lesley Davis and Tiffany Anderson. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)
Thursday, March 7, 2013
By BEN R. WILLIAMS - Bulletin Staff Writer
For the fifth year in a row, Simply the Best Flowers & Gifts won Best in Show Wednesday for its booth at the Fast Track trade show.
Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) won the Exhibitors’ Choice ribbon, which was voted on by other booth sponsors.
The annual trade show, which is organized by the Martinsville/Henry County Chamber of Commerce, took place Tuesday and Wednesday at The Clock Tower Building at Commonwealth Centre.
The theme of Simply the Best’s winning booth was “A Garden Wedding.” It featured a flagstone path surrounded by fountains, ferns, peace lilies and sprays of purple and white flowers.
Tiffany Anderson, a horticulture teacher at Magna Vista High School, donned a wedding gown to serve as the booth’s bride.
Deborah Barker, co-owner of Simply the Best and also a horticulture teacher at Magna Vista, was thrilled to receive the Best in Show ribbon once again.
“It’s just really exciting,” she said. “There are some wonderful booths here tonight.”
Courtney Barker, a sales associate at Simply the Best, agreed.
“It’s such an honor,” she said. “Every year, we try to put our best foot forward ... it’s amazing to be recognized among so many wonderful exhibitors.”
The Exhibitors’ Choice winning booth for Patrick Henry Community College featured information on the different programs at the college and faculty members on hand to answer questions, along with a display of plants grown under grow-lights and a storage building constructed by students.
According to PHCC President Angeline Godwin, “Our whole team came together” to fully represent the programs at the college.
“Tonight we’ve had an opportunity to meet a lot of potential students,” she said, adding that she also had seen plenty of current students and PHCC alums.
“Past, present, and future ... the college has touched a lot of lives in the community,” Godwin said. “This event helps remind us of that.”
Ribbons also were given out for the top three non-profit booths and the top three for-profit booths.
In the non-profit category, the Smith River Sports complex won the first-place ribbon, Henry County Public Schools (HCPS) placed second and Piedmont Arts placed third.
The Smith River Sports Complex booth, which featured astroturf and a kayak among other outdoor items, was designed to evoke the feeling that you were outdoors at the complex, according to Billy Russo, director of operations.
“Our staff did a really good job,” Russo said. “(The trade show) was a big benefit for us ... a good opportunity to get out in the community and show people what we’re doing. It’s been a success.”
Both the Piedmont Arts booth and the HCPS booth encouraged participation from trade show attendees. Piedmont Arts asked people to write what art meant to them on the walls of the booth, while HCPS encouraged people to write messages thanking their favorite teachers.
In the for-profit category, Nelson Family Dealerships won the first-place ribbon, Blue Ridge Village placed second and
HD Web Studio placed third.
The main attraction at the Nelson Automotive booth was Daytona Beach, Fla., magician Chad Long, who performed magic tricks for attendees for the duration of the show.
Nelson Vice President Barry Nelson said he saw Long at a trade show for the National Automobile Dealers Association and was impressed.
“We didn’t do it for the ribbon; we did it for the entertainment,” Nelson said. “Everyone had a blast with it.”
That included Long.
“I had a great time,” he said. “Most fun I’ve had at a trade show.”
The theme of the Blue Ridge Village booth was “Remember.” To make the booth memorable, Blue Ridge Village employees dressed as princesses and other characters from classic Disney movies, thanks to costume help from Classy Consignments.
According to Tilisa Riddle, marketing director of Blue Ridge Village, this was the second year its booth has snagged second place.
“Martinsville/Henry County is very fortunate” to have the Chamber of Commerce organize Fast Track, Riddle said.
Added Bren Perkins, business manager at Blue Ridge Village, “Aside from winning a ribbon, it’s a great networking opportunity.”
The HD Web Studio booth featured an array of test tubes, flasks and beakers filled with glowing fluid, chemistry equations written on a glass window and booth workers in lab coats.
According to Masha Edelen of HD Web Design, the purpose of the chemistry theme was “to show that creating a website is somewhat of an art and a science,” and when it comes to designing sites for clients, the studio attempts to “find the perfect formula.”