Giving Back: Courtney Glidden, AKBD

posted on Jun. 06, 2019, at 9:00 a.m.

NKBA Staff

An NKBA chapter committee member talks about creating positive change through volunteering and teaching. By Loren Kessell

“It takes a village.”

Teamwork is imperative for hosting member-enticing events, and NKBA chapters work hard to make them successful. Much of that work takes place in chapter committees, which add their own layer of importance to the chapter structure by helping to alleviate a hefty workload. The spirit of collaboration to come up with ideas and offer help at events builds a heartening sense of community — and gets the job done.

Courtney Glidden, who earned her AKBD in 2017, is well acquainted with the committee structure, currently serving as Chapter Certifications Study Guide Committee Chairfor the Columbia River chapter. In fact, she was honored with a Chapter Star Award at KBIS last February, and was also inducted into the prestigious “Thirty Under 30” Class of 2019.

She graduated from the Art Institute of Portland in 2013 before working in a custom cabinet shop’s showroom. She moved on to work at a design-build firm with a focus on remodeling homes built from the 1910s to the 1930s. Glidden designs the kitchens and baths, finishes and fixtures and she oversees project designs when they move into production.

Glidden took some time to talk to the NKBA about her experiences.

NKBA: What made you want to become a committee chair? What was the biggest draw for you?

CG:I have a passion for education and strengthening the industry through certification and professional development. It was a natural fit to start leading the study group and to share my enthusiasm with other chapter members. I like being part of the NKBA tribe, and I want to continue to improve the opportunities available to our members. We are strongest when we all work together.

NKBA: What do you contribute to your chapter?

CG:I organize our annual study group. I have worked to refine a process that was already set in place, and I bring enthusiasm and encouragement to those pursuing certifications. I also attend meetings to recruit more members and professionals.

NKBA: Why do you volunteer?

CG:I volunteer to make our chapter and design community stronger. I firmly believe that we accomplish more by lifting up those around us and by encouraging growth and development in the design community. This group became my tribe. I gained professional peers to whom I can turn with career questions, as well as who supported me when I had my first child. My son has attended a few NKBA meetings, and there is never a shortage of hands to hold him so I can talk to people or accomplish chapter-related tasks. This group has given so much to me, and I want to give back and bring up the next group of leaders.

NKBA: What is the value of being a committee member?

CG:I can get my hands dirty. If I see something that I think could use improvement, I have a voice and a chance to put my oar in and make a difference. I like being connected to a group of like-minded peers and being able to work with them to make change in our industry. As a committee member, I have been able to attend KBIS twice, I have attended meetings more regularly, and I have built a stronger connection to other designers in the community. Getting involved in the planning and organizing of the chapter has led to more involvement in other areas and a greater sense of connection to the design community. I have also gained a lot of confidence in my leadership and organization skills.

NKBA: What is the biggest benefit of mentoring the next generation of volunteers?

CG:I love seeing other people succeed. My Myers-Briggs personality type is the ENFJ, or “Teacher.” I get joy from helping others reach their potential and accomplish their goals. By helping other members achieve certification and become more involved in the chapter, I am helping to strengthen our design community and garner respect for our industry.

Officer nominations are open through June 14. All officers are chosen via self-nomination. Individuals who wish to be considered for a position must login and will be directed to open slots, with their applications sent to the National Recruitment Committee. For more information on becoming a chapter officer, click here.

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