New Chair Allison Lowrie to lead the team, which includes three new additions and six returning members. By Dianne M. Pogoda
A fresh slate of directors has taken the reins of the National Kitchen & Bath Association board, led by newly elected Chair Allison Lowrie, chief marketing officer of ANGI Homeservices, parent of Angie’s List and Home Advisor.
Lowrie, based in Golden, Colo., rises to the top role after serving a term as Secretary/Treasurer. The new year marks her third year on the board.
“I am honored to serve the association as Board Chair and to continue the work that the Board and Association have done to positively impact the NKBA member base and the kitchen and bath industry as a whole;” she said. “With the programs that the NKBA has in place to bring solutions and awareness to the industry, I know we can continue to help our members thrive and prosper in the years to come.”
Lowrie succeeds 2019 board chair Steve Joseph, who will remain on the board.
“We are grateful to our board members for volunteering their time and talent to help guide the Association,” said Bill Darcy, NKBA CEO. “They all bring a unique perspective from different sectors and roles in the industry, and NKBA benefits from the intelligent exchange of ideas that comes from this collaboration. We’ve enjoyed working with Allison on the board these past two years, and look forward to her thoughtful leadership in 2020. I’d also like to thank our outgoing chair, Steve Joseph, for his efforts in 2019, and we’re happy he will remain on the board as a director.”
Board members Steve Petock, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Ferguson, and Neil Bailey, president of Cabbonet USA, and Vice Chair Emilee Chappell have completed their terms and NKBA thanks them for their service.
The new board officially assumed their new positions on Jan. 1.
Allison Lowrie, Chair
Chief Marketing Officer
Allison Lowrie was named Chief Marketing Officer at ANGI Homeservices, parent of Angie’s List and Home Advisor, in 2017. She specializes in brand management, customer acquisition, communications and marketing intelligence. In 2015, Lowrie was named Chief Marketing Officer of HomeAdvisor (U.S.), which she joined in 2010, and has held various senior marketing positions throughout her tenure. Before joining HomeAdvisor, Lowrie acted as the Director of Advertising Products at Cars.com from 2004 to 2010. She also serves on the Home Improvement Research Institute’s (HIRI) Board of Directors.
Michael Mahan, Vice Chair
Schneider Electric, Franklin, Tenn.
Michael Mahan is Vice President, North America Hub, for Schneider Electric’s North American Final Distribution Line of Business. He is responsible for the short and long-term product strategy and evolution of Schneider’s Final Distribution electrical business, leading the North American Product Management, Engineering, Architecture and Project Management teams. Prior to this position, he held roles of increasing responsibility at GE Appliances and GE Energy, including leading the Monogram brand team at GE Appliances. Mahan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from the University of Connecticut.
Basil E. Larkin, Secretary/Treasurer
Vice President of Sales
Hestan Commercial Corp., Anaheim, Calif
Basil Larkin is vice president of sales for Hestan Commercial Corp., an award-winning innovative manufacturer of premium commercial restaurant equipment and residential indoor and outdoor appliances, where he is responsible for all sales. Larkin has been in the appliance business for nearly his entire career, holding key roles in sales leadership, marketing and product development. Before joining Hestan, he held senior positions at BSH Home Appliances, Lynx Professional Grills and Viking Range Corp. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts. He is also a member of the Society of Fellows at the Culinary Institute of America.
Founder and CEO
Smart Home Products
Steve Joseph is CEO and co-founder of Smart Home Products Inc., an international kitchen appliance sourcing, sales and service solutions company. He has served on the board for four years, including terms as Secretary/Treasurer in 2018 and chairman in 2019. SHP supplies high-quality kitchen appliances and components, and works with global appliance brands to design and develop innovative appliances, integrate IoT-connected kitchen technologies, and sell to distributors, retailers and builders. Prior to Smart Home, Joseph was president of Dacor, a manufacturer and distributor of luxury kitchen appliances, where he pioneered the design and production of many smart-tech appliances. He has a B.S. in Business Management from Pepperdine University.
Founder and President
Marqet Group, Houston
Lorenzo Marquez, who served as board chairman in 2017 and 2018, is president of Marqet Group, a full-service marketing agency specializing in design and construction. He supports clients with campaigns to increase market share through public relations, advertising, merchandising and digital strategies. He is also an executive member of The Rockheads Group, a private network representing independent stone fabricators across North America. Previously, he served as vice president of marketing at Cosentino North America for 10 years. He’s been on the NKBA Board since 2013, after serving on the KBIS Council for three years, and he received a degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Houston.
Jan Neiges, CKD
Jan Neiges LLC, Denver
Jan Neiges, CKD, principal of her namesake design firm in Denver, is an award-winning kitchen designer and past president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of NKBA. She’s a frequent guest lecturer at colleges, home shows and at KBIS. Capitalizing on 40 years of sales experience and 20 years of design, she has helped colleagues hone their marketing and selling skills with a process specific to kitchen and bath designers that has been proven to shorten the lead-to-sale cycle, improve the closing ratio while also earning design fees before they design.
New directors joining the board include:
Showroom & Builder Vice President
Ferguson Enterprises, Newport News, Va.
Kristen Elder is the Showroom & Builder Vice President at Ferguson Enterprises, responsible for showroom and builder strategy and execution. She is an accomplished consumer product sales and marketing leader with experience in launching and growing top consumer and retail brands. She joined Ferguson in 2017 as Senior Director of Appliance Business Development and has worked very closely with the business groups, Sourcing, Category Management, Marketing and the branch network to increase sales and profitability of Ferguson’s appliance business. Before joining the company, Elder spent 20 years in the retail industry with many notable brands including Sony Electronics, Circuit City and Monark Premium Appliance Co.
President and CEO
Miele USA, Princeton, N.J.
With more than 20 years in the kitchen and bath industry in North America, Jan Heck was named president and CEO of Miele USA, a subsidiary of the world’s largest family-owned premium appliance company, in 2016. He oversees overall operations of the company’s consumer and professional use appliance and floor care products, which includes management of 10 Miele Experience Centers across the U.S. He started his career at Bizerba, a weighing and food processing equipment manufacturer, serving in Germany, the U.K. and Canada. After that, he joined Miele in Ontario, where he became president of the Miele Ltd. Canada subsidiary in 1999. He holds aBachelor of Commerce degree from IHK (Chamber of Industry) in Reutlingen, Germany, has been active in numerous professional organizations and orchestrated a $100 million fundraising campaign as a board member of St. Josephs Health Centre Foundation in Toronto.
Dacor, City of Industry, Calif.
With 29 years of experience in the appliance category, Randy Warner was appointed President of Dacor, a leading American luxury home appliance brand, in 2018 following the acquisition of the company by Samsung. As an Ohio native, Warner began his career with Maytag, working for the company for 15 years supporting the business in many sales and sales management roles across the U.S. market. He joined Electrolux, where he was responsible for launching and leading the builder division across the West Coast region as well as managing National Buying Groups. Following his time at Electrolux, Warner joined the Sub-Zero Group West team as Vice President Sales overseeing West and Southwest distributorships. Prior to joining Dacor, Warner served as President of Sub-Zero Group West and Southwest distribution, including overseeing sales, marketing, operations, and customer service. Warner holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the University of South Florida in Tampa.
The following are the association’s leadership and KBIS committees:
Leadership Recruitment Committee
President & Chief Executive Recruiter
OEM Sales Manager
Kitchen & Bath Industry Show
Senior Vice President Business Development
CEO & Owner
Chapter Leadership Committee
CR Home LLC
Kirsten Gable, AKBD
Anthony Wilder Design Build
Toni Sabatino, AKBD
Owner & Principal Designer
Toni Sabatino Style
Molly Switzer, AKBD
Owner & Principal Designer
Molly N Switzer Designs LLC
Nancy Young, CKBD
Owner & Principal Designer
Nancy Young Designs
KBIS Exhibitor Committee
Executive Director of Marketing – Americas
Cutco Closing Gifts
Managing Director – North America
Kesseböhmer USA Inc.
Marketing Experience & Design Manager
Marketing Communications Manager
Vice President Marketing Services, LIXIL Americas, Global Brand Head, American Standard
Vice President Residential & International Sales