Leveling Up

posted on Jul. 11, 2019, at 9:00 a.m.

NKBA Staff

A certified NKBA member shares her experiences with the Specialty Badge Program. By Loren Kessell

Long-time NKBA member Robin Rigby Fisher, CMKBD, owner of Robin Rigby Fisher Design in Portland, Ore., is passionate about design to her core —

which, especially in this case, includes her stomach. As a self-proclaimed foodie, she chose the path of kitchen design to create spaces that give others the same joy.

“Food sustains me both physically and creatively,” Fisher states. “This is why I design kitchens.”

Fisher believes in being fully present and creating kitchens that boast both aesthetics and functionality. In addition to holding the highest level of NKBA certification — the Certified Master Kitchen & Bath Designer — she also recently earned her NKBA Specialty Badge in Living In Place, and she shared her experience with service to the NKBA and her continuing quest for professional and personal development.

NKBA: How long have you been an NKBA member?

RRF: Since 1992. I received my CKD in 1994, and then my CMKBD in 2004.

NKBA: What made you decide to earn your NKBA Specialty Badge?

RRF: I received a free first badge from the NKBA. I selected the Living in Place Badge since I felt that it would be most relevant to my work. I have been a Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2008. I have been teaching design part-time at our local college since 2003, and am always looking for more ways to increase my level of education so that I may support my students more.

NKBA: Why did you see earning a badge as a benefit on top of earning the highest level of certification? What do you think are the biggest benefits?

RRF: I became a CMKBD in 2004, and I take my continuing education very seriously.  The NKBA requires its certified members to obtain a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education every two years. I typically finish my requirements in one year. I want to be the best designer I can be for my clients and my students. Education is the way to do this.

NKBA: How do your credentials help you in your professional life?

RRF: I explain how we are required to maintain our level of education and how I exceed the NKBA expectations. I am very proud and serious about my certifications, and I take the time to explain how this benefits my clients and students.

NKBA: Any interesting stories from your career you’d like to share? Have your credentials created opportunities?

RRF: I was selected as one of the inaugural top 50 Innovators in Kitchen and Bath Design News in 2017. I also co-authored the NKBA Professional Resource Library book, “Sustainable Design for the Kitchen and Bath,” with Amanda Davis, head of the Interior Design program at Portland Community College — Sylvania Campus. I’m also currently on the committee to update the NKBA’s Design Guidelines.

NKBA: Any advice for people considering earning a badge?

RRF: There is no such thing as too much education.

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