From 8-11 p.m., a disc jockey will play while guests walk the NKBA Red Carpet and relive old kitchen and bath styles in a walk down memory lane along the special NKBA History Center.
NKBA was formed as the American Institute of Kitchen Dealers in 1963 and hosted its first convention in 1964 with 246 dealers and distributors from eight states. Renamed in 1983, the organization now has almost 60,000 members from all industry segments.
Jeff Dross, Kichler’s Corporate Director of Education and Industry Trends, is currently the Secretary of the KBIS Exhibitor Advisory Council and previously Chair of the NKBA Manufacturers and Suppliers Advisory Council. He says the NKBA represents some of the finest designers specializing in kitchen and bath.
“They have raised the bar of excellence in the field,” Dross says. “Kichler has been a member of the NKBA for a number of years — our managers have served as local officers and in advisory capacities and we have provided their members with CEU-accredited education. In turn, the NKBA has patronized our distributors and included our lighting in their plans. We have enjoyed an excellent and reciprocal coexistence and look forward to further collaborations in the future.”
And the NKBA certainly has a lot in store for its future. The organization recently announced that, starting in 2014, it will co-locate KBIS with the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, forming a mega event called Design and Construction Week. It also expanded its Learning Program this year, now offering Career Paths in eight competency areas, including Talent Management and Communication.
One enduring practice, and according to NKBA, one major achievement over its 50-year history, is the development of its active public relations, marketing, lead-generation and social media programs to promote NKBA professionals to consumers.
Melissa Morgan Sutherland, Creative Director at Hermitage Kitchen Gallery, has won four NKBA awards and says the organization does a superb job of promoting winners and members.
“I receive several leads per year from NKBA. If clients go to their site and I’m listed, they feel a sense of security, knowing that I’m listed there with my credentials. I truly love being a member of NKBA — it’s worth the small yearly fees. I find the staff and association very helpful to my business.“