2022 SAM Awards: ‘Excited to be back’

Designs that pop, clever campaigns and people with passion — the entries in the 2022 SAM Awards created a buzz as Ottawa recognized sales and marketing in the local housing industry.

Held in person for the first time since 2019, the awards luncheon on Nov. 23 drew a larger than usual crowd to the Infinity Convention Centre. Much like its sister Housing Design Awards held in October, builders, renovators and industry partners who are members of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association (GOHBA) were eager to celebrate after almost three years of pandemic disruptions, with some 180 in attendance, about a third more than the event attracted pre-COVID.

“We are extremely excited to be back at the SAM Awards,” says GOHBA executive director Jason Burggraaf. “While the focus is on recognizing excellence and innovation in sales and marketing — and what really speaks to new home buyers today — this celebration needed to wait so it could be in person, as it’s not just a gathering of colleagues or even friendly competitors; it’s a community that wants to see each other succeed.”


Now in its 38th year, the awards were missed last year as organizers tried repeatedly to schedule an in-person format following a virtual presentation in 2020. In the end, the decision was made to delay to this year and combine 2021 and 2022 entries together. That resulted in about a 20 per cent bump in submissions to more than 130, which were critiqued in blind judging by a panel of eight judges from among industry experts.

Comedian James Cunningham of Eat St. – making his 14th appearance emceeing the event – kept the crowd in stitches in between trophy presentations. But there was a serious side to the event as well, with the luncheon adopting a Ukrainian theme in the decor and food in support of Ukraine.

Stars of the show

Although the 40 categories in the awards are a mix of sales and marketing people and initiatives, the “eye candy” is the builder model homes. Thirty homes were entered this year, showcasing a range of sizes and styles.


“I thought they were quite good,” says judge and designer Jennifer Robinson of Ottawa’s Jen Robinson Design, who has judged the awards since 2017. She particularly liked how cohesive the homes were. “Instead of designing one room at a time, they really thought of the whole space.”

Recurring themes she picked up on were walk-in pantries, ceiling and other architectural details like wall moulding and the staying power of wallpaper.

“I think people want to put their personality into their home and (wallpaper is) a relatively affordable way to do it,” she says. “And there’s a lot more wallpaper now that’s peel-and-stick so it’s a lot easier for anybody to install themselves.”


She also liked seeing bold choices in kitchen cabinetry, along with a return of wood cabinets, “which we were getting away from for the longest time. Everybody wanted to get rid of their oak kitchens and bring in white and I think design in general is going towards those warmer woods and warmer tones.”

But it wasn’t just about model homes. Just over half the categories awarded marketing initiatives — everything from logos and social media campaigns to websites, signage, brochures and showrooms.

dogs in ads cardel homes
Cardel Homes has become known for its use of dogs in its marketing and this year was no exception. This campaign won best builder print ad.

Also recognized were the people behind the sales — sales representatives, assistants, teams and more.


“They were wonderful,” says judge Ryan Sticklee of First Response Cleaning. “Some of these folks are ultra passionate; they’re not just doing this for a job, but this is what they eat, sleep, breathe.”

Why should a buyer or homeowner care about award-winning sales professionals?

“There’s immense value to know that your salesperson is one of the best in the industry,” says Sticklee. “They’re best at what they do because they’re giving all of their clients at top experience … those are the people that I would want to deal with.”


Several companies did well, scooping up armfuls of trophies. Glenview Homes won the Grand SAM Award, which is given to the builder with the best showing on the day, giving the builder eight wins.

“This was an exciting day for the Glenview team,” says director of sales and marketing Mirjana Opat. “We are honoured for the recognition at the Sales and Marketing Awards, and we are grateful to have found a solid partnership with TRUEdotDESIGN.” With the exception of the Grand SAM Award, all of Glenview’s wins were shared with the TRUEdot marketing firm.

Glenview’s performance was followed closely by eQ Homes winning seven trophies, including two of the special achievement award categories (shared with Hobin Architecture) for eQ’s signature Greystone Village — one for best community and one for best condo project (River Terraces at Greystone).


“We feel honoured to have been selected for seven SAM Awards this year,” says eQ’s marketing and product manager, Tobin Kardish. “We’re proud of our entire team and the talented partners eQ Homes works with, including Ryan Design International, Norma King Design, Hobin Architecture and Morley Hoppner, who all contributed to these vast wins.”

Richcraft Homes dominated the model home categories, capturing four of them for two townhomes and two single-family homes. Richcraft recently opened a whopping 25 model homes across the city.

“It’s always an honour for Richcraft to be recognized in our industry, especially dealing with the pandemic and the unknowns,” says marketing manager Shawn Bellman. “This incredible accomplishment is a direct reflection of our team’s hard work, resilience and dedication.”


And marketing firm TRUEdotDESIGN, which helps many in the industry achieve their marketing objectives, claimed an impressive 11 awards ranging from logos to showrooms and ad campaigns.

“It was amazing to finally be in person and celebrate the work across the city,” says TRUEdotDESIGN president Shelley True. “We are fortunate that through the pandemic the industry is thriving and talent is recognized. Thank you for letting us be a part of elevating the Ottawa landscape. Congratulations to all the winners.”

Here are all the 2022 SAM Awards winners

Sales awards

Best builder sales assistant
Vivien Tarnai, Cardel Homes


Best builder sales representative
Pamela Tobin, Claridge Homes

Best builder sales team
Team eQuinelle, eQ Homes

Best design centre consultant
Emma Rotondo, eQ Homes


Best renovator sales representative
Paulette MacGregor, Amsted Design-Build

Best industry partner sales representative
Jeff Ricci, Tomlinson

Best industry partner sales team
James House, Milborne Group


Marketing awards

Best builder print ad
Cardel Homes

Best builder digital display ad
Glenview Homes & TRUEdotDESIGN, Union West

Best builder social media ad campaign
eQ Homes & Ryan Design, the Spencer


Best builder video
Cardel Homes

Best builder logo
Glenview Homes & TRUEdotDESIGN, Union West

Best builder signage
Glenview Homes & TRUEdotDESIGN, The Commons


Best builder brochure
Glenview Homes & TRUEdotDESIGN, Union West

Best builder website
RND Construction

Best Builder Marketing Campaign
Glenview Homes & TRUEdotDESIGN


Best builder COVID-19 marketing initiative
Cardel Homes

Best builder sales centre
Glenview Homes & TRUEdotDESIGN, The Commons

Best builder design centre
Glenview Homes & TRUEdotDESIGN


Best marketing innovation

Best renovator website
Amsted Design-Build

Best renovator marketing campaign
Amsted Design-Build


Best industry partner showroom

Best industry partner print ad
Urban Quarry & TRUEdotDESIGN

Best industry partner video
All Things Home


Best industry partner marketing campaign
All Things Home

Best industry partner COVID-19 marketing initiative
Urban Quarry & TRUEdotDESIGN

Best industry partner website


Model home awards

Best townhome (under 1,800 sq. ft.)
Richcraft, the Granville

Best townhome (over 1,800 sq. ft.)
Richcraft, the Fairhaven

Best single-family home (under 2,000 sq. ft.)
Richcraft, the Laurence


Best single-family home (2,001-3,000 sq. ft.)
Richcraft, the Spencer

Best single-family home (3,001 sq. ft. & over)
eQ Homes & Norma King Design, the Riviera

Best bungalow (single)
eQ Homes & Norma King Design, the Willow


Best condo (mid-high-rise)
Claridge Homes, Icon

Special achievement awards

Best community
eQ Homes & Hobin Architecture, Greystone Village

Best condo project
eQ Homes & Hobin Architecture, River Terraces


Most environmentally friendly builder
RND Construction

Industry partner of the year
Nspired Signs

Grand SAM
Glenview Homes


About the Author

Anita Murray All Things Home Ottawa homes

Anita Murray

Anita Murray is the co-founder of All Things Home Inc. and owner of Three C Communications. The veteran journalist has covered the Ottawa housing industry since 2011.



Join our mailing list and GET YOUR FREE Homeowner’s Mini-Guide
Whether searching for your first home, preparing to upsize or downsize, or mulling over a renovation, this guide provides valuable resources and tips.