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Table 103. That was the seat assignment that night at the 2015 IIDA Calibre Award Ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel. As we made our way into the gala to find this table, I was amazed at the size of the room and the production behind the ceremony. At last, Table 103, I found it. We were in the very back on the last row in this massive forum of glitz and glamorous frocks. We sit and greet our neighboring table guests as bread is served—my neighbor leans in and asked: “So what are you going to say if you win?” Suspiciously I pause mid-sip on my martini with a quizzical brow, asking myself–“what is he talking about”? As Mehrdad Yazdani of Yazdani Studio/Cannon Design made his way as the first award recipient to the podium—and spoke. I realized with a slight panic the answer to the former question, and a freshly emptied martini glass.

That was my experience before the podium. After hearing our project name announced as the winner, time stood a little still for me…I realized that I now would have to make my way to the stage and I didn’t want to have a Jennifer Lawrence moment on my way there, so off came the shoes.

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Standing at the podium looking out at the vast darkness of the audience, I caught my breath, took in the moment, and the rest was just that—from the heart, thanking the industry because that’s what moments such as this are really all about. I think we don’t have enough opportunities to share the good things that happen. This project brought out the best spirit of all parties involved and that includes so many more players than I could ever have thanked that night. What I do know is that sometimes it’s not at all about the person winning the award but rather the opportunity to acknowledge the quiet voices that don’t ever get heard.

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I have an amazing staff that shares my passion and vision of being change agents—making the world a better place one design at a time. They inspire me to be the best possible leader that I can be for them and without Steven, Yancey, Christopher, PJ, Kyno, Katie, Larry, Amber, Gus, Alec and Kimberlyn this award would not have been possible and while I was the one that night accepting the award, they are among those hero’s.

I will forever remember that night and feel extremely fortunate to be part of the IIDA design community.

Tammy Edmonds
Tammy Edmonds Design