Maria Mullen to receive ARTS achievement award
Dallas Market Center and ART, a creative home furnishings network, named Maria Mullen, CEO of Hubbardton Forge, the recipient of the Academy of Achievement honor at the 34th ARTS Awards, taking place at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas on Jan. 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 and 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.”
Added Sharon Davis, executive director of ART: “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.”
Mullen has served as CEO of Hubbardton Forge since 2020. The 50-year-old company produces made to order lighting in its 100,000 square foot 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, Mullen 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 to even greater success, according to Dallas Market Center.
In 2005, Mullen left Murray Feiss and joined The Uttermost Company as vice president of sales. She led the company’s initiative into fixed lighting and introduced their first lighting line in January of 2007. In 2009 she returned to Murray Feiss, then a Generation Brands company at the behest of Greg Vandia, company president at the time. The company had suffered during the Great Recession, and she spearheaded the rebuilding by, once again, focusing the company on great product and customer service. In 2011, she was elevated to President of the newly formed Feiss/Monte Carlo. In 2013, Mullen departed Feiss/Monte Carlo and founded Kalizma Home with her partner Barb Cote. Kalizma Home is a design consultancy firm that designs and develops private label lighting products for many industry partners. In 2020, Mullen turned over control of Kalizma to Barb to join Hubbardton Forge.
In addition to her corporate leadership, Mullen has been committed to industry organizations and charitable organizations. She is an active participant in ALA, Women in Lighting, 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. She sits on their Board of Directors. In 2021, Mullen and 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.