Best of NeoCon unveils 2023 jury roster
May 8, 2023 | 12:42 pm CDT

CHICAGO — NeoCon 2023 is just around the corner has announced the jury for this year’s edition of the Best of NeoCon Competition. 

The roster of forward-thinking industry professionals will represent a broad cross-section of the NeoCon community, including members of leading design associations such as ASID, IIDA, AIA, and the premier facility manager organization, IFMA. 

The jury features influential designers, architects, specifiers, facility managers, and decision-makers who have a deep understanding of the evolving needs and emerging trends in the commercial design industry.

“Now in its 33rd year, Best of NeoCon continues its tradition of convening a first-rate jury, as evidenced by this year's roster,” said Best of NeoCon Director Eileen McMorrow.

The selected jurors are respected leaders in a range of industry verticals, from healthcare, hospitality, and education to workplace interiors. This year’s distinguished jury features representatives from reputable firms in design, technology, and enterprise, including Gensler, Studio O+A, NELSON, CannonDesign, Oracle, NBBJ, HOK, SSM Health, and Studio GC, among others. 

“Our jurors, who are actively specifying for projects in commercial verticals, bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the judging process, and their diverse perspectives and insights help us recognize the most innovative and impactful products in the industry,” McMorrow continues.

“We have a mix of veteran jurors and new jurors who will work together to maintain the institutional wisdom of Best of NeoCon while also bringing fresh perspectives. I look forward to seeing all the innovative solutions that this year's jury will recognize as the 2023 Best of NeoCon Award winners."

“As a three-time veteran juror, I find this experience incredibly valuable, as it provides me with an in-depth look at top products that are relevant to my work and allows me to offer feedback that can help improve the product for specification," said Jennifer Cappella, associate/interior designer at Ballinger. “I'm looking forward to networking with manufacturer leadership, designers, technical teams, and fellow jurors to evaluate products from different perspectives, market sectors, and project backgrounds.”

In the days preceding the show, all jurors gather on-site at THE MART tothoroughly evaluate all Best of NeoCon entries. The jurors are divided into teams and visit all participating showrooms and booths to carefully assess submitted products. This approach affords both the jurors and exhibitors ample time for comprehensive evaluations. Winners will be unveiled during a live ceremony at THE MART on Monday, June 12, at 7:30 a.m., preceding the opening of the show. The winning manufacturers will be presented with a distinctive award, crafted by NeoCon partner and renowned graphic design firm Maiarelli Studio.

“Having attended NeoCon more than 15 times, I can't wait to see behind the curtain this year and serve as a juror for the Best of NeoCon Awards," said Dianne Murata,founding principal of Kimiko Designs. “I'm a self-proclaimed 'furniture nerd' and have recently spent a significant amount of time focused on industry environmental and sustainable issues. I am keen to hear firsthand how manufacturers are addressing the needs and demands of facility owner and manager clients and bring this information back to members of Kimiko Green, our sustainability initiative.”

"Being able to participate in the lively dialogue between jurors and manufacturers was profoundly helpful to me professionally in 2022,” says Laura Leung, returning juror and Intermediate Interior Designer at IA Interior Architects. “I’ve built confidence in learning to ask better questions that are suited to my clients’ needs and further define what makes good versus great design.”

The awards program recognizes superlative new products in 56 categories spanning workplace, healthcare, hospitality, and education sectors. A complete list of categories is available here. Honors will be awarded for Gold, Silver, Innovation, Sustainability, as well as the singular honor of Best of Competition. New for 2023, jurors will also consider entries for a Business Impact Award, which will then be judged by a curated group of journalists from leading business publications including Fast Company and Crain’s.

Exhibitors can submit entries through the Best of NeoCon online portal through May 19, 2023. Any new products introduced to the U.S. market since June 2022 that will be on display at NeoCon 2023 are eligible. Products that were entered in Best of NeoCon 2022 are not eligible. The remaining submission deadlines and entry fees are as

  • Regular entry by May 5: $800.00
  • Late entry by May 19: $900.00

More details on the program and entry process can be found at

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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).