Chapter Presentation Program: List of Courses

The NKBA has developed this guide to help chapters find speakers and topics for their monthly chapter meetings and events. We hope this program will aid you in providing your chapter with exceptional speakers and programs designed to increase your member involvement.

The list contains NKBA recommended speakers who have previously presented their program at KBIS’s Voices From the Industry. The list includes their topic descriptions and bios and is categorized into four general tracks, with all programs approved for .1 CEU:

Business Management Courses

The Five C’s Of Winning Posture

Track: Business Management
Speaker: Andre Boykin

Successful people are able to attract others to their ideas, their goals, and their objectives. They have that indefinable something that causes people to take notice of who they are and what they are up to accomplishing. Winning Posture, therefore, is about how you “show up” to other people. It is having the mindset, the belief, and values that put you in a position to win every time. Winning Posture is the secret sauce that makes other people receptive to your ideas, concepts, products, or services. The audience will walk away from this keynote feeling empowered and equipped to excel in any situation and create winning performance. Organizations will benefit when their leaders, sales people, and teams take on developing Winning Posture because they will be creating a powerful workforce. Every person will see how they can have power and influence with others based on developing a more powerful view of themselves.


  1. Discover how to apply the 5 C’s of Winning Posture to create a powerful presence
  2. Distinguish how Winning Posture impacts performance
  3. Understand how to apply the principles of Winning Posture to attract and engage others

What Every Leader Needs To Know About Emotional Intelligence & Eliminating Team Dysfunction

Track: Business Management
Speaker: Andre Boykin

What is one of the biggest challenges leaders face in achieving high performance from their teams? The answer is Team Dysfunction! If not dealt with effectively, team dysfunction will cause projects to fail, negatively impact customer satisfaction, and adversely affect your bottom line. Some of the signs that your team is suffering from team dysfunction are:

  • You spend too much time dealing with conflict between team members
  • At team meetings attendees walk out not aligned with what the next steps are
  • Your team lacks energy, enthusiasm, and collaboration
  • You are frustrated by team members that do not keep their commitments

In this lively and interactive session, you will discover the vital concepts you need to know to lead your team effectively and avoid the pitfalls of a dysfunctioning team. You’ll see how to overcome the things that undermine team performance and why well developed emotional intelligence is critical to be effective in dealing with the various pressures impacting you and your team.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Understand the different facets of Emotional Intelligence
  2. Discuss the bottom line impact of Emotional Intelligence
  3. Learn to build trust and collaboration that eliminates team dissention and sabotage
  4. Establish clear objectives to create buy-in and commitment
  5. Learn techniques to keep the team motivated for the long haul

Capturing the Extraordinary

Track: Business Management
Speaker: Andre Boykin

What’s the difference that causes some people to excel while others remain at the status quo?The biggest difference between those who soar and those who don’t is their ability to capture and utilize their inner strengths and talents. All too often people fall into a routine of being mediocre.For various reasons they hold back and don’t use the extraordinary potential they have.When people use their full potential, extraordinary things happen!

This keynote address inspires people to go beyond the ordinary and be empowered to capture the extraordinary in their professional and their personal lives.The audience will be engaged in looking at the attitudes that are limiting their success and taking them farther away from their goals.They will see why they no longer have to accept the status quo for themselves, lower their expectations, and concede their dreams.Capturing the Extraordinary looks into the key areas of self-leadership and will inspire the audience to take action daily.


  1. How to combat the effects of negative conditioning that limits performance
  2. Define success at the personal level that will inspire you to take action
  3. Obtain clarity on the things that are important to you and how to achieve them

Are You Transitioning or Transforming

Track: Business Management
Speaker: Andre Boykin

What does it take to have sustainable change in your organization?Suggesting new ideas and then hoping those ideas are implemented will not yield the desired results.People often collapse that change equals transformation.Inside of that collapse is the mistake that just because things are different there has been a transformation.In this powerful, keynote address, Andre demonstrates what transformation is and how it differs from transitioning or change.Andre explores the principles of transformation and what it takes to have new ideas inculcated in the organization.The audience is left empowered in knowing they can cause transformation and create a new beginning for greater results and effectiveness.


  1. Identify a model for transformation
  2. Apply the model of transformation in your organization
  3. Develop Core values that trigger transformation

MisFit to RightFit: How To Ensure Maximum Performance

Track: Business Management
Speaker: Andre Boykin

Why is it that some employees do more than their fair share of the work while others simply are not getting the job done? Chances are they are MisFits in the job.

What is a MisFit? A MisFit may have nothing to do with someone’s level of capabilities. Rather a MisFit is having a person in a job that does not match with their strengths, acumen, and preferences. This can happen with very capable people, but when they are put in a MisFit job, performance suffers.

In this session, we explore how organizations end up with MisFit employees and the impact this has on the bottom line. Participants learn the five steps to take to go from having MisFit to RightFit talent throughout the organization. This is a lively, interactive session where the participants walk away with action items they can implement immediately when they return from the presentation.


  1. Be able to implement the five steps to move from MisFit to RightFit
  2. Develop a Job Benchmark for candidate selection
  3. Be able to identify the cultural barriers to RightFit
  4. How to use assessments properly in candidate selection

Planning for Tomorrow’s Leaders Today

Track: Business Management
Speaker: Andre Boykin

Will you be a victim of a leadership void in your organization? Today’s workforce is more likely and prepared to move to other position opportunities with other organizations than ever before. A recent study by CareerBuilder showed that 74 percent of employees are either actively searching for a new job or are open to new opportunities. Movement in the workplace is inevitable. Positions open up, whether people retire, leave your company, or simply move to other positions within or outside of your company. The question to ask is: Does your organization have a plan to fill the void when people leave with critical knowledge and skills?

This lively session shows how to eliminate detrimental leadership voids through a simple and effective succession planning process. First learn how to identify high potentials and differentiate high performers from high potentials. Discover how to avoid the critical mistakes in promoting leaders that can cripple your organization’s performance.

Participants become well versed in the four main areas of the Succession Planning Process: Preparation, Assess, Develop, and Evaluating the Process. Leaders will see what is involved in each step, from creating a succession planning team, all the way through measuring the ROI. Participants leave with ideas and plans to implement for their own succession planning process.


  1. Understand the elements of succession planning and why it is critical to your organization
  2. How to identify top performers and high potentials and retain them
  3. Identify the gaps in their succession planning process

Designers, Contractors, and Architects: Creating Relationships and Partnerships for Referrals and Business Success

Track: Business Management
Speaker: Christopher Grubb

Is the relationship between a contractor, architect and interior designer one of competition or cohesion? Christopher Grubb explains how today’s industry professionals should build mutually beneficial long term relationships in order to implement an unforgettable design experience for the client. Having successfully cultivated relationships with contractors for over 25 years, Grubb explains how these solid working relationships provide many benefits to the overall project, often saving time, hassle, money, and even the contractor’s reputation. Attendees will learn how interior designers, architects, and contractors can work together to create seamless experiences for clients, as well as increased success for their individual businesses.

Attendees Will:

  1. Understand what services designers can offer contractors, and vice-versa, in order to produce successful projects and protect each other’s reputation.
  2. Learn how an interior designer can assist a contractor in producing a precise construction bid, along with how the contractor can avoid morphing into a client’s “designer.”
  3. Comprehend the benefits of having a designer help clients select products and finishes, as well as discuss material costs, leaving the contractor free to focus on vital construction details.
  4. Learn how to cultivate long-term, mutually beneficial relationships that can lead to increased profits for both parties.

Polish Your Presentation Skills to Shine

Track: Business Management
Speaker: DeAnna Radaj

You’ve got the design and it meets all of your client’s needs, and it’s within budget and time frame. So how do you convey all this fabulous-ness to your client without falling in to a puddle of sweat or having a panic attack? Conquering this simple but #1 fear (speaking in public) is crucial to the success of your business and the success of your design to help your clients.
Learning Objectives: Attendees will be able to identify the 3 “P’s” of a presentation. The importance of knowing your audience and their actual needs, and how your design address these needs (feature/benefit) to overcome objections. And finally, how to incorporate props and technology into your presentation to enhance rather than detract for a successful sale/outcome.

Managing Business Growth for Profitability and Sanity

Track: Business Management
Speaker: Fred Reikowsky

Managing a growing business can take business owners in the kitchen and bath industry to the very limits of their personal, emotional, and financial resources and beyond. That’s when a business often takes on a life of its own and spirals out of control – frequently taking business owners on a crash course with it. The good news is there are sound and proven systems and strategies that can be learned and implemented to get back control and, ultimately, reap the rewards that owners want and deserve in exchange for their risk and hard work. The real challenge lies in knowing your enemy, facing the facts and taking disciplined action.

Participants will receive a note taking handout that will serve as a future resource and reference. Each will be prompted to document answers to four challenging business questions, rate themselves based on the current reality of their businesses, and create an action plan that can be implemented immediately.

Content will be presented in a lecture format accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation to help capture key learning points. Audience participation will be encouraged.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Learning Outcome #1: Asking the most necessary and compelling questions first instead of asking “what should I do?”
  • Learning Outcome #2: Identifying the three biggest barriers to business growth and how to overcome them
  • Learning Outcome #3: Determining what strategy is best for your business, what action steps should come first and how to lead through resistance to change

Help – I’m Too Busy; Overcoming the Tyranny of Busyness

Track: Business Management
Speaker: Fred Reikowsky

When it comes to resources, our most precious commodity is time. We all get the same number of hours every day, week and year. So, how to make the most of it? Learn the “1% solution” to time management and see what a remarkable difference it will make in your life and business. Let’s face it, cash is an important currency, but without time to enjoy it what do you really have? Learning outcomes:

1. Defining your unique purpose and evangelizing it as a line of defense against busyness

2. Leveraging the 1% solution as a secondary but essential line of defense

3. Real-time decision making strategies to ensure peace of mind and optimal business outcomes

Taking Your Business to the Next Level

Track: Business Management
Speaker: Jon Goldman

Congratulations—so you’ve made it past the ten-year mark. But if you’re like many other businesses, you’ve arrived at the “Too Big, Too Small” stage of the game. You’re Too Big to keep doing things the way you’ve done them until now, but you’re Too Small to start pouring massive investments into your company. You need a plan for making the next ten years productive and profitable. This session reveals the steps you need to take to build a business that is valuable, sustainable, and ultimately, sellable.

  • Creating “Freedom Teams” and “Freedom Systems” to support your role
  • Leveraging your expertise using the “Simplify, Codify & Multiply” approach
  • Systematizing your processes to enhance your company’s value

You Are Not Your Job! Preventing Burn Out To Create Sustainable Work/Life Balance

Track: Business Management
Speaker: Liesbet Trappenburg

Your most important “product” is your creativity. Clients & employers expect innovative & creative solutions to their complex design problems & depend upon you to deliver results.

That’s why it’s critical to be good stewards of your most precious resources: your time, creativity & energy. Learn how to cultivate inspiration & manage time wisely with a healthy work/life balance based on core values & a visionary outlook.

Without it, you quickly burn out & produce mediocre results.

Sustainable design is not just a trend in the built environment, but a lifestyle that can maximize your talents & personal fulfillment through a renewable & inspired process.

Through lively lecture, small group discussion, worksheets, real-life stories & games in an interactive & organized format, attendees will:

  • Discuss the direct correlation between sustainable design concepts, creativity & work/life balance.
  • Identify & reclaim core values to properly apply time management tools.
  • Create a personal benchmark & action plan for defining “success.”

Intuitive Leadership & Decision-Making

Track: Business Management
Speaker: Liesbet Trappenburg

In today’s world, it’s not enough to “solve” problems. As the thought-leader Daniel Pink explains, finding & anticipating problems are more valuable skills than solving them.

This new skill set requires insightful thinking & decision-making that is not linear in nature.

Tackle “information overload” & be decisive, not overwhelmed!

It’s difficult & stressful keeping up with technology & client deadlines.  Through interactive lecture, small group exercises & personal worksheets, learn how to use, strengthen & trust intuitive skills to make fast & accurate decisions in your career & personal lives.

During this lively & fun program, attendees will:

  • Understand the differences between instinct, impulse, emotion & intuition.
  • Identify and test intuitive styles to gain confidence in their use.
  • Discuss obstacles to using intuition in the workplace.
  • Create an inspired & effective action plan based on intuitive decisions that accurately reflect & support your highest goals.

Your 4-Word Business Plan: Rediscover Your Inspiration & Reinvent Your Business

Track: Business Management
Speaker: Liesbet Trappenburg

Today’s economy requires you to be flexible, responsive, curious, and proactive (not reactive) in order to stay relevant to your ideal clients. In this fast-paced marketing environment, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, overloaded and ultimately stuck in an old pattern. You may have burned out or lost motivation in the current chaos of unrealistic deadlines, constantly changing technology, and demanding customers.

Before you can implement an effective sales and marketing campaign, you must first identify, reclaim, and redefine your inspiration for your business. By taking a big-picture approach, you will develop an inspired and well-defined 4-word business plan that will drive, clarify, and guide all your business goals and decisions.

  • Identify & transform your most difficult clients into your best teachers.
  • Learn & apply 3 steps to effective mission statements/taglines and why many fail.
  • Rediscover core values & passion for the industry.
  • Practice the role of intuition on first impressions to identify business values, take risks & rebrand successfully.
  • Develop an inspired, well-defined 4-word business plan (yes, only 4 words!).

What Is Net Profit and How Do I Make It?

Track: Business Management
Speaker: Roseann Freitas

Understand how to make your passion into profit. Every business needs to make a profit to be successful and the construction industry is no different. In this session, you will identify revenue sources to include design fee and product mark-up percentages. Learn how to categorize expenses and how to track them for proper accounting and tax records. Learn the formulas to for mark-up and margin and identify the difference between the two. An emphasis will be placed on how mistakes affect the bottom line and how to avoid them. The attendee will leave with an understanding of the “business” side of the design team.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define the basic accounting formula
  • Define the area of revenue and expenses
  • Identify revenue sources to include design time and product sales
  • Describe the difference between Cost of Goods Sold and Administrative expenses
  • Define the difference between mark-up and margin
  • Learn how mistakes affect the bottom line.

Mobile Apps For The Kitchen Business

Track: Business Management
Speaker: Scott Koehler

Attendees will learn about new mobile apps for business communications, meetings and project management. This presentation also addresses using mobile apps to productively run a design business and set up and administer a mobile server. Mobile apps and smart phones offer tools that give designers new abilities including artificial intelligence and computer vision. Learn how tech is changing the way business is done.


1. Live demonstrations of content management apps including Box App for file management, storage and retrieval, search and collaboration will be demonstrated. Also, automated meta tagging of images will be explored.

2. Attendees will see demonstrations of Augmented Reality apps including the Apple Measure App for measuring, designing and giving presentations.

3. App demonstrations of the Pages App for business writing, forms and voice dictation and the Snapseed App for image editing will be live. Brushes Redux will be demonstrated for manipulation of images down to the pixel level.

Augmented Reality For Kitchen Designers

Track: Business Management
Speaker: Scott Koehler

Attendees will learn about Augmented Reality (AR) Apps for Kitchen Designers that are used for measuring, marketing, design, and presentations. AR is simply combining real time live experiences with virtual data including text or images, for example using a smartphone or tablet to see how a virtual stainless steel range looks while standing in one’s own kitchen.


1. In this course attendees will receive the latest information and design ideas coming from an all new medium, Augmented Reality.

2. Attendees will learn how to use AR Apps for measuring and designing using Apple’s Measure app.

3. Learn about AR Experiences and learn how to design and present AR Experiences to your clients.

4. AR apps that make 2D presentations come to life in 3D will also be shared.

Focus on the Customers

Going Beyond Customer Satisfaction To Create Customer Advocates

Track: Focus on the Customer
Speaker: Andre Boykin

Having satisfied customers is no longer good enough to compete and sustain your business. To remain competitive and be a market leader you have to go beyond customer satisfaction. You have to create customer advocates. Most organizations are missing the mark of creating customer advocates because the fail to first create an organizational framework for customer awareness. This solution oriented session explores the strategies leaders can implement to create an organization that is built around delivering exceptional customer service throughout the organization. The audience will discover the three types of “Points of Connection” that impact customers emotionally and why these “Points of Connection” are key to creating customers who are willing to recommend your company to others.

Some of the key points are:

  1. The four elements of the leader’s role for customer advocacy
  2. The three types of connection points with customers and prospects and how to elicit a positive emotional response
  3. How and why it is important to “listen” to the voice of the customer
  4. The role talent plays in creating customer advocates

Finding Your Clients Individual Cook’s Perspective Through Food And Design

Track: Focus on the Customer
Speaker: Bridget Bueche

Bridget Bueche’s speaking engagements are seasoned with passionate, fun, lively, true-life anecdotes from her time spent as a private chef, director of culinary, and overall catering “magic” maker for personalities, stars, politicians, physicians, families and spiritual leaders alike in kitchens all over the world.  Bridget promises to entertain and educate, as you learn how to discover your customers individual “cook’s perspective”.  This new-found knowledge of sighting your clients culinary habits and matching them to appliances and fixtures, will empower you to design projects meeting client’s authentic needs, expectations, dreams, design styles in the most personal, efficient and accurate manner. Sales driven, she delivers concrete appliance knowledge that stays with you for years to come, through experiential dialog. This is a presentation to attract the most discerning, credible, and busiest professionals in the Kitchen Bath Outdoor industry. She holds your time preciously and delivers career changing information in return.


  1. How to engage and ask the most personal, and sometimes divided household questions required to qualify your clients and identify their unique needs.
  2. By learning the Cook’s Perspective method, you will take home the ability to drive sales organically, authentically and with integrity.
  3. Attendance will give you the tools to unlock the hidden clues in how your customer shops, eats, cooks, entertains and values appliances.

The 2 Most Important People in Any Organization and the 6 Levels of Customer Service – Where Are You At?

Track: Focus on the Customer

Speaker: Randy Krebs

The 2 – who are your two most important people. Through real world examples the presentation helps identify the two most important people in any organization.

The 6 Levels of Customer Service – tying with “The 2” and using Ron Kaufman’s book on customer service, this presentation presents the 6 levels that every company should be aware and through outside of industry and in-industry examples, provides a barometer for measuring where you are at.

1. Identify the key people for customer service.
2. Identify the current level of customer service by the company.
3. Learn how to rise up the service escalator levels.

Design & Inspiration

Designing & Building with Innovation in Mind

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Dawn DeLuca, AKBD

(This course is available throughout the year 4-6 weeks after Design & Construction week (March 2018, April 2019)

This presentation will explore the building technique’s, interior design and products employed in NAHB’S “The New American Home” ™ and “The New American Remodel”™.

TNAH showcases industry best practices, innovative design concepts, state-of-the-art products and the latest construction techniques. Each year, a new home is unveiled, at IBS®, to demonstrate the most noteworthy advancements in home building.  A principal goal of the program is to maximize housing performance and energy efficiency. Each home incorporates elements from the NAHB Green Building Standard® and embodies only the highest levels of quality, safety, aesthetics, and sustainability. (Copyright THAH website).

The New American Remodel™ (TNAR) serves as an official show home of NAHB’s annual International Builders’ Show®. The project exemplifies how even the most basic home can be transformed into a high-performance home when integrating today’s building practices that enhance energy efficiency, indoor-air quality, safety and universal design. (Copyright THAH website).

Each year, the TNAR® program selects an existing home for a comprehensive remodel to demonstrate the very latest in building techniques, concepts, materials and designs. Thousands of building professionals from around the world come to tour TNAR and leave with countless ideas that they can incorporate into their projects. (Copyright THAH website).

  1. A strong understanding if the concepts and products used in the interior, kitchen (indoor & outdoor) and bath design.
  2. A comprehensive review of the building innovations, smart home technology and green building techniques employed in both projects.
  3. An enriching and extensive visual review of both homes through photography and video.

Europe Exposed!: Salone Del Mobile.Milano

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Dawn DeLuca, AKBD

(This course is available throughout the year beginning one month after the event (June)

In it’s 22nd edition, EuroCucina, continued to provide an increasingly targeted and innovative response to the growing interest in the high-end kitchen.  Cabinetry, Plumbing, surface materials, storage innovations… it’s all covered!

FTK – Technology For the Kitchen, is EuroCucina’s collaborative event, it concentrates on home appliances and their evolution. By presenting current models, prototypes and concepts the show provided an overview of state of the art technology in appliances.

The 7th edition of the International Bathroom Exhibition highlights an innovative focus on sustainability.  Cutting-edge products for modern bathrooms reflect today’s strong demand for efficiency and energy saving, with an accent on water efficiency, indoor pollution prevention and personal health.

The three shows combined cover everything from contemporary design, technological innovation, next generation performance, energy efficiency, sustainability and ease of use.  New shapes, colors and materials will represent the trends to come.  Attendees will:

  1. A comprehensive look at the technological innovations coming out of Europe..
  2. A strong knowledge of what is trending in European Kitchen Design and product.
  3. A strong knowledge of what is trending in European Bathroom Design and product.
  4. The Design Hounds predictions: Will we see it in North America.

What’s New….What’s Next

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Dawn DeLuca, AKBD

(This course is available throughout the year beginning one month after KBIS (Feb 2018, April 2019)

Whether you attended KBIS or not this program provides a comprehensive overview of the three most important days in our industry.  This program is beneficial for professionals from all segments of the kitchen and bath industry. Attendees will attain a strong understanding of:

  1. Current design trends discovered on the KBIS floor as well as insights from the NKBA Annual Trends Report.
  2. Technology and its integration into the kitchen and bath
  3. Shiny, matte, textured, neutral, colorful, natural, man-made, recycled? Surfaces of course.
  4. Trending product introductions without being brand specific.

If time permits, we will review the NKBA Design Competition Winners and the Best of KBIS Winners.

Kitchens: Designing for Adaptable Design & Living in Place

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Dawn DeLuca, AKBD

This course will give the attendee:

– A history of the Accessible Design Movement in the US.
– Clear definitions of ADA, Universal, Accessible, Adaptable, Aging In Place, Living In Place. Why it matters.
– A statistical review that will help explain why designing with accessibility and adaptability in mind should be an integral part of the design process.
– A set of guidelines for implementing adaptable design in a kitchen.
– A set of questions as an addendum to current client intake forms.
– An overview of the types of products available to help create an accessible kitchen. (This will NOT include “brand specific” products).
– A look at completed accessible kitchen design projects.

Home Technology, Automation & Connectivity: Solutions for Living in Place

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Dawn DeLuca, AKBD

Home Technology, Automation, & Connectivity  has long been Lux additions to remodels and new home builds.  With good reason! Sound, home theater’s, high tech video security, connected appliances were at one time attainable by only the wealthy.  Home Automation was and is all about the wow factor. Or so most believe. There is a whole other side to Home  Technology, Automation and Connectivity.  We now have:
– A means of positive impact which will help people live in place, when they never could  before.
– The ability to extend the amount of time, those already living in place can have at home.
– An opportunity to ease the burden placed on family & caregivers.
This presentation will:
  1. Introduce you to the world of Home Technology, Automation & Connectivity.
  2. Give a look at the different types of hardware and software available and what their “jobs” are.
  3. Show you how the different products can improve the opportunity for Living In Place.
  4. Discuss how to build your team to include technologists. What questions you need to ask them.
  5. Discuss how to communicate to clients the importance of being able to Live In Place and how the correct home technology, automation & connectivity can benefit all.

Closet Design Beyond Measure

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Denise Butchko

Walking through a Walk In Closet Design: In this presentation – you’re going to “walk through” the process of designing and selling a walk in closet – because if you’ve already sold the bathroom renovation, why not do the easiest add-on ever and design the closet space?

As a Registered Storage Designer,and judge for the closet industries’ Top Shelf Design Awards, Denise is going to share the thought processes and action steps she goes through in order to effectively design a simple walk in closet space. She’ll also highlight the questions she asks and information she shares that establishes her expertise and allows her to gain the client’s trust, so you can do the same. Incorporating closets into your business is the best add-on product EVER! It’s fun and profitable and can be easy if you know what you’re doing. Denise will teach you that.

Attendees will be able to:

    1. Attendees will gain basic design principles when assessing a Walk In Closet space
    2. Understand differences between working with closet components versus kitchen cabinets
    3. Discuss budgeting options intelligently

Rewriting the Rule on Kitchen Lighting

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Doug Walter

Most kitchens are poorly lit. But designers and lighting experts don’t agree on which lamps work best in which fixtures, and especially where those fixtures need to be located. Since you can’t manage what you don’t measure, Doug first used a light meter app on his phone, to measure delivered foot candles on the countertops of the old kitchens he was working on. NKBA and IESNA agree that 50 fc is the minimum for kitchen counters. But most existing kitchens he measured had less than 20 fc.

To do it better, he used client kitchens under remodel as his “lab”, and mocked up different types of fixtures, lamps and layouts. He quickly discovered that all lumens are not created equal. Choosing the right PAR30 lamp for instance, yielded 10 x more foot candles than a BR30 bulb, even though both bulbs were rated the same lumen output!
Next, he redesigned their kitchen lighting and then had a lighting engineer model the layouts on a computer, adjusting the layout and beam spreads to achieve target light levels. Finally, he went back after the kitchen remodels were complete to take actual foot candle levels, confirming the simulations.

Doug contends that the best kitchen lighting is layered, and comes from a blend of art, with a little bit of science to back it up. He will share several NKBA national award-winning kitchen designs that demonstrate great lighting.

Presentation Objectives/Goals:

      1. Compare the old way of laying out kitchen lighting with the new evidence-based way.
      2. Define important lighting terminology and recognize basic principles of good lighting.
      3. Be inspired by NKBA award-winning kitchens that demonstrate a perfect blend of art and science for optimal lighting.
      4. Employ simple tools and techniques that you can use to model and predict the efficacy of your light layouts.

Lighting the Way to Improved Wellness at Home; and How the Kitchen Designer Can Help

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Doug Walter

Today’s homeowners want it all: wide open floor plans but plenty of wall space for art; more windows and doors, but better energy efficiency; more light, but less glare. The designer is challenged to meet the sometimes competing demands!

Light is one of the most powerful tools in the designer’s tool chest. Used properly, it not only enhances the appearance of a space, it can compensate for low vision and enhance the health, safety, and welfare of the occupant, and promote healing, rest, and relaxation.

Light has both a visual and non visual effect on the body, that has nothing to do with the rods and cones we studied in biology. The non visual effects have only recently been  researched (since 2001),  and the results are astounding. Did you know, that with exposure to natural daylight, students get better grades, patients recover faster, shoppers buy more, and workers are more productive?

Conversely, lack of full spectrum lighting and  disruption of Circadian rhythm caused by exposure to blue spectrum lighting at the wrong time of day  has been linked to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other ailments?

Keep up with the latest research and technology  in the field of light and health, and how designers can use this information immediately to create kitchens, baths, and whole homes that support healing and growth while appealing to our aesthetic sense.

Learning Objectives:

        1. To introduce the research about both the visual and non- visual effects of light on the human body’s chemistry, and exciting new lighting technologies.
        2. To understand how light intensity (lumens) and color temperature (measured in degrees Kelvin and nanometers) combine to enhance or disrupt natural Circadian rhythms and human health.
        3. To pick up specific useable tips to enhance the lighting, both natural and artificial, for every room in the home, but especially the kitchen and bath, to support well being.

Couples Retreat-Designing a Bathroom For Two Through Successful Negotiations

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Christopher Grubb

Designing for two can be tricky. How do you pull together one project that simultaneously speaks to the individual tastes, desires, needs, and personalities of two unique people? Internationally acclaimed and award-winning Interior Designer Christopher Grubb knows firsthand that you can’t rely on gender stereotypes, which are not only outdated but have morphed, and in some cases even reversed over the years. He offers advice for working with both members of a couple, ensuring each individual feels they’ve played a roll in the design process. Grubb demonstrates how communication, both verbal and non-verbal, will ensure that all parties feel heard. His tips for understanding and respecting the needs of each person will teach attendees how it’s less about compromise and more about successful negotiation. Learn to work out disagreements during the design process and avoid professional “couples therapy.”

Presentation Objectives/Goals:

Ways to encourage the couple to recognize and respect each person’s functional and design needs, plus tips for bringing in the design elements that address the “individuality” of each partner.

Important verbal and non-verbal communication methods to ensure that all parties feel heard.

How to assist in “negotiating” rather than “compromise” and methods for ensuring that the project ends in “happily ever after.”

Ideas on how to approach a project as a fun “adventure” that a couple is in together, plus how to “arbitrate” when the line blurs and you go from a couple’s designer to a couple’s therapist.

How to choose products, materials, accessories, and more that speak to both parties simultaneously; Methods for creating successful projects that represent a couple’s collective style.

How to take the fear out of the word “budget,” helping couples come to an agreement when they’re not sure where to begin.

Luxury Appointments Elevate Bath Projects into Lucrative Profit Centers

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Christopher Grubb

Passion for a luxurious bath experience has gone mainstream, elevating the bathroom to one of the most intricately designed and unique rooms in any project. Moreover, because luxuriously detailed bathrooms are now the norm, rather than the exception, they are no longer reserved for just residential spaces. Today’s consumers are demanding top quality materials and products and from a cost-per-square-foot vantage point, the bath has evolved into one of the most lucrative rooms in any interior design project, from hotels to medical spaces. In fact, high-end design firms report the average cost of a bathroom has risen to between $300 and $600 per square foot!

Recognizing that it literally pays to take notice of this no-end-in-sight trend, internationally acclaimed Interior Designer Christopher Grubb has embraced the potential of the bath in his own projects, and shares how to inject the bath those special and sophisticated details that resonate with consumers. As a seminar participant, you will be armed with the applicable and useful knowledge you’ll need to implement an unforgettable bath experience in virtually any setting.

Presentation Objectives and Goals:

        • What’s trending in materials and products, including stone, tile, countertops, and more.
        • How to spot products that will provide the luxury your clients demand with a budget in mind.
        • Which readily available products can help keep bath projects on schedule.
        • How to identify the luxury bathroom products that can easily transition between residential, commercial, medical and hospitality environments.
        • How to design aesthetics that comply with ADA and other codes.
        • How to successfully combine the vast array of unique and exotic materials available to create a bath that’s both luxurious and unexpected.
        • How to identify the earth-friendly materials that will provide LEED points, as well as aesthetic beauty.
        • Which accouterments enhance the sense of luxury in the bath, including audio/video, water features, plumbing fixtures, jetted tubs, color therapy, body sprays, headed floors, refrigeration, warming drawers, and more.

Designer Bath Secrets: Satisfying the Appetite for a Luxury Lifestyle

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Christopher Grubb

The number of luxury bath remodels and new builds is predicted to skyrocket over the next few years, according to Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. Since a wider audience now demands a luxurious bath experience with trend forward and technically advanced features becoming the standard, bathroom redesigns and remodels are becoming more intricate, with commercial and healthcare projects becoming the new frontier of the luxury bath experience. Internationally acclaimed and award-winning Interior Designer Christopher Grubb explains what has led to the popularity of the luxuriously styled and pampering bathroom. Grubb will present the most frequent requests for the bath projects, big and small, plus explain how luxury has become the new norm. Grubb uses his own projects to illustrate how the bath has evolved into one of the most budget unconscious spaces in any residential or commercial space and how a shrinking global view plus online access to design and product has influenced both bath design, and client demands. Attendees will gain insight into the products and design elements including materials, finishes, details, and fixtures, that are resonating with today’s consumer and, most importantly, an understanding of how to capitalize on the luxury bath trend in their own businesses.

Presentation Objectives and Goals:

        • What materials make a splash in the luxury bath, including stone, tile, countertops, and more.
        • How contractors can work with designers on bath projects to create a win-win partnership and successful design.
        • How travel factors into décor elements that express the desires of homeowners who are constantly looking to recreate the unforgettable experiences they enjoy on their journeys right in their own home.
        • Which accouterments enhance the sense of luxury in the bath, including audio/video, water features, plumbing fixtures, jetted tubs, color therapy, body sprays, headed floors, refrigeration, and warming drawers.
        • Which product and décor elements are splurge-worthy and which elements warrant some savings.
        • How to comply with ADA and other codes while keeping the focus on great design and luxury.
        • How to identify and inject the earth-friendly materials that will provide LEED points, as well as aesthetic beauty.

Kitchen Appliances 101: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Moorea Hoffman

Today’s appliances are better than ever before, but there are more brands, more styles and more features to choose from. Your clients are looking to you for answers—not just what looks best—but what will have the cooking and performance characteristics they need to make daily life and entertaining easier and more enjoyable. Deciding what to buy becomes a great responsibility. How do you separate fact from fiction? Do you understand BTUs, CFMs, Recovery Ratios, Convection, Magnetic Induction? In this session, you will learn about all of these terms and many more. Presenter Moorea Hoffman will analyze appliances from the cook’s perspective and review trends like Steam Ovens, Microwave Drawers, Integrated Appliances, and the always evolving “Professional-Style.”

Learning Outcomes:

        • Guide your clients to select the best appliances for their lifestyle
        • Explain various ways to differentiate yourself from other design professionals by offering a more complete solution

What Does Your Home Think About You?

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Richard Landon, CMKBD

Have you ever wondered what your home thinks about you? What would it say, if it could talk? Would you hear; “I have clogged arteries and constipated counters. Help!” This course examines the five common complaints that drive a client’s wish list, summarized with the acronym LACKS: Layout, Aesthetics, Counterspace, Klutter, and Storage. With Layout, attendees will discover the six pathways that can aim and drive design solutions, focusing on three primary ones. With Aesthetics, attendees will discover people are either purple or orange. With Counterspace, Klutter, and Storage, attendees will be shown ways to expand counter usability, diminish the intrusion of mess, and provide ample storage without adding more cabinets—a necessity with open kitchens!


        • Discover how to use LACKS to aim your design solutions and gain client trust.
        • Learn practical ways to turn the five LACKS into effective solutions.
        • Support the design of open kitchens with few or no wall cabinets.

Presentation Method:

Presenter will use PowerPoint slides with images from over 70 published projects to illustrate and develop his points.

The Living-Room Kitchen

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Richard Landon, CMKBD

Using images from around the world, Richard will demonstrate how kitchens are changing visually, functionally, and emotionally as this room is now more like a living room than ever before. He incorporates practical suggestions (and some for wonder’s sake) to inspire attendees to think outside the box and to embrace this trend—profitably!


        • Track the evolution of the kitchen from a separate room to its current & developing role as living room or “home living center.”
        • Examine how this affects emerging kitchen design trends.
          • Visually
          • Functionally
          • Affectively
        • Present key points to consider when designing for “The Sociable Kitchen” and when upgrading your showrooms.

Space Therapy: Designing the “Feels Right” Kitchen

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Richard Landon, CMKBD

How can we discover the effective, “feels right” information that inspires unique design solutions? This presentation visits multiple avenues to drawing out our clients, developing their designs, creating trust, and motivating their decisions. Attendees will feel more equipped to be intentional in their design decisions and have at least one new way to create more distinctive designs.


        • Identify three “reservoirs” of source material necessary for a “feels right” design.
        • Tune into the home’s 3 primary pathways and explore how they affect a “feels right” design.
        • Understand how lifestyle preferences group into three activity patterns within the “social Kitchen”.
        • Gain 4 key ways to sort out our client’s aesthetic preferences and discover what most matters to them.
        • Learn the 4 essential principles Nature shows us for creating distinctive “feels right” designs.

Presentation Method

PowerPoint presentation with ample case studies (derived from over 70 published projects), accompanied with entertaining stories and references to secondary sources for those who want to explore the topics in greater depth.

Lighten Up: Creative Ways to Daylight Your Kitchens & Baths

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Doug Walter, AIA

Do you want to show your work in the best possible light? Most homeowners are demanding lighter and brighter homes, with more connection to the outdoors. Take advantage of the biophilic effect of natural light. At very low added cost, using their bag of “tricks”, designers can plan for high levels of natural illumination, which enhances safety, visual acuity, color rendering, appearance, and the mood of the homeowners!

A growing body of science supports the many benefits of daylighting, while the energy savings are irrefutable. At the same time, indiscriminate daylighting can cause glare, discomfort, and overheating,. The trick is to find a balanced approach. This seminar will show you dozens of innovative, state of the art projects that feature natural illumination done well, including many from the NKBA Design Awards of the past several years.

Learning Objectives:

        • Learn daylighting techniques to increase homeowner comfort, safety, and satisfaction
        • Discuss how to design spaces that have lower energy costs by utilizing free solar radiation
        • Describe daylighting possibilities that are most suited to specific projects and budgets

Lighting the Kitchen and Bath After the Sun Goes Down

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Doug Walter, AIA

The primary source of illumination in any kitchen and bath should be natural daylight. However, the sun doesn’t shine all day and night long, so we need to provide ample electric lighting to keep illumination levels high when needed. Visual acuity declines with age, so standard IES recommended footcandle levels should probably be doubled, according to experts. This recommendation can run up against energy regulations and limits on watts per square foot.

Fortunately, LED lighting is finally “ready for prime time” and will almost certainly take over the market in a few years. Several major lamp manufacturers have already announced they are ceasing to produce flourescents, as LED’s outperform them on many fronts.

Since LED’s are already about 5 times more efficient than incandescents, it is quite possible to raise light levels and lower energy consumption at the same time! In this session, learn how to develop a lighting plan for your projects that responds to homeowner needs and budgets, yields maximum illumination for minimum watts, and gives them control to set the scene for what they need at that particular moment.

See what other, award-winning designers have accomplished with good lighting in well-lit kitchens and baths, and take home tips you can use right away.


        • Discuss the key principles of locating and layering the 4 different types of lighting
        • Evaluate the newest LED light sources in comparison to tried and true halogen and fluorescent
        • Apply the principles of good lighting to whatever room you are designing

Lighting – a Designer’s Perspective

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Tammy MacKay

This presentation will be geared to designers and specifiers of lighting. It will give them a better understanding of how to design lighting using the new options offered. Energy efficiency, technical aspects, not to mention aesthetics of lighting are important to understand. They ensure a successful lighting design. You then are tasked to specify your lighting and locate each fixture in your construction documents. There are several processes and tasks that must be executed after this to ensure that your original concept and subsequent choices become a reality.

Learning Objectives:

        1. Gain an understanding of lighting principles, applications and types of lighting and light sources.
        2. Identify and describe varying types of light sources used in commercial and residential interiors.
        3. Gain an appreciation of the many people involved in the lighting component of the project from the design phase through to the completion of the project.
        4. List the required documentation from estimates to submittals.

The Design Side of Lighting and Using it in an Unpredictable Fashion

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Tammy MacKay

There may be times when you find yourself going to the residential section of lighting for your commercial spaces and vice versa. Bringing the comforts of home into the office and bringing commercial architecture into the home has been a long lasting trend. Discover many other ideas for integrating lighting with design principles that will make your projects go from just fine to absolutely stunning. Review the basic types of lighting and their applications for commercial and residential interiors. Explore some ideas for unconventional use and placement of light and fixtures, and the aesthetic results. Gain the skills to better evaluate lighting choices using the right design elements and principles to guide you. You’ll get inspired to do great things with lighting and the tips and tools for making it happen.

Getting Lighting Built: A Designer’s Perspective

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Tammy MacKay

Lighting is an important element of design as we would not see anything without it. In the initial programming phase of the design process you have decided, along with the stakeholders, the lighting concept that is desired. The initial lighting concept allows you to have an estimated budget in mind. You then go on to specify your lighting and locate each fixture in your construction documents. There are several processes and tasks that must be executed after this to ensure that your original concept and subsequent choices become a reality. Kitchens and bathrooms can have some of the most exquisite materials and finishes. Lighting these in a way that shows their best characteristics ensures a space that is outstanding and loved by your client.

        • Learning Objective 1: Recognize when lighting is addressed during the project.
        • Learning Objective 2: Explain the sequence of events during the construction process as it pertains to lighting.
        • Learning Objective 3: Gain an appreciation of the many people involved in the lighting component of the project from the design phase through to the completion of the project.
        • Learning Objective 4: List the required documentation from estimates to submittals.

Light, Lighting and Health

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Jeffrey R. Dross

Since the beginning of time, humans have lived with the day/night cycle of the earth’s rotation, which also happens to balances perfectly with the needs of the body’s Circadian Rhythm. With the creation of fluorescent light and more recently solid state (LED), artificial light has now added unnatural color to evening light, thus causing disruption to the body’s physiological cycle, along with unexpected medical results. In this class, we’ll discuss:

        • Natural Light – The direction, intensity and color of natural light has always served the needs of humans, plants and animals.
        • Artificial Light – From fire to LED, humans have used some sort of artificial light source. Why now has light become an issue of concern?
        • Health – With an understanding of the eye and the Circadian Rhythm we will then look at a number of health issues and possible health concerns that have been impacted by the inappropriate use of light and how correct lighting can improve a person’s overall health and well-being.

With new technology, more needs to be considered in the planning stages of good lighting solutions.

What Will Be Covered:

        • Natural and Artificial Light
        • The human eye and the Circadian Rhythm
        • Light pollution, light flicker, photo-biological safety and blue light hazard
        • Sleep & Lighting
        • Senior lighting needs
        • Low-vision lighting needs
        • An assortment of medical conditions that have shown improvements with better lighting choices

Learning Objective:

        • How to plan lighting that does not interrupt the body’s natural rhythms and functions and has been shown to actually improve some medical conditions.

How to Select Kitchen & Bath Lighting

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Jeffrey R. Dross

It seems simple. Install some lights and you’re done… or maybe not. Lighting comes with a style, a purpose and delivers aesthetic characteristics that all must be considered. In this session, we will look at luminaires from three points of view: aesthetics, function and light characteristics. We will then place those pieces in room settings to show how they can maximize the design and improve the overall usability of the space.

What Will Be Covered:

        • Understand the different design characteristics of a variety of lighting fixtures
        • Understand the assorted functional characteristics of a variety of lighting fixtures
        • Learn the characteristics of light and how they can impact a design and change a space

Learning Objective:

Upon completion of the course, the attendee will understand the various design characteristics of residential interior lighting fixtures, the functional characteristics of a variety of lighting fixtures and the core characteristics of light. Using these three core principals, they can apply that knowledge for use in any residential kitchen or bath design/project, in addition to using the information beyond those two rooms, into the entire home.

Color’s Impact on the 17 Elements + Principles of Design

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Kathryn Grube

This presentation will help you to gain an understanding and appreciation of what each of the eight principles and nine elements of design are, how they work and what they achieve in successful design applications. Attendees will explore the various categories of select elements and principles and learn how each can elicit a desired response in interior settings.

The importance of professional, design industry vocabulary will be communicated to successfully set professionals apart from common DIY terminology. Kathryn will show how proper use of E+P’s can strengthen design concept writing, while providing more confidence and trust to clientele and other industry professionals.

The presentation will explore some great and some not-so great design applications using the E+P’s that promote a direct effect on mood, behavior and design function in kitchen and bath spaces.

An Exploration of 2019 Global Color Trends

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Kathryn Grube

Take an in-depth journey exploring what the 2019 color trends are starting with haute couture fashion and hybriding with automotive, interiors, and paint finishes from all around the globe. See how trends are just that…trends, and what colors actually are best to use in designing for functional outcomes specific to space and the end user needs.

Learning Objectives:
1. Explore what the 2019 color trends are and how they transpire in the fashion, automotive and interior design industries for design professionals and consumers.
2. Share how current color trends are being applied in design through a variety of materials and products used in interior settings.
3. Discover what the inspirations for the 2019 paint colors of the year are from all the big players in the interior design paint industry.

Kitchen Design with Cooking in Mind

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Moorea Hoffman

Learn how to design functional, beautiful kitchens – from a chef’s perspective. Thanks to Houzz, Pinterest, and many other resources, today’s consumers are more knowledgeable than ever. At the same time, there are more brands, more styles, and more features to choose from. Your clients are overwhelmed and looking to you for answers – not just what looks best – but what will have the cooking and performance characteristics they need to make daily life and entertaining easier and more enjoyable. This session will present in-depth analysis of kitchen space planning trends beyond triangles and zones. Learn about selecting the best appliances and the ideal placement for them. We will analyze the most familiar kitchen layouts and review best practices for creating elegant, functional solutions to common design challenges.

Learning Objectives:

        • Analyze familiar design challenges and explore innovative space-planning solutions
        • Understand the intricacies of the cooking process and the best ways to improve flow
        • Discuss how to gain a competitive edge by offering a more complete service; be seen as a kitchen expert rather than a cabinet sales person

Healthy Kitchen & Bathrooms for the Health of the Home & Family

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: DeAnna Radaj

Eco-friendly living, sustainability & being GREEN is all the rage right now…but what does it REALLY mean? And, if you’re working with a client, how do you bring up these options, should you bring it up & how does it affect the bottom line? From avoiding the 3 most toxic indoor air pollutants to incorporating universal design principles into the space as well so all can utilize the space.

Learning Objectives:

        • Attendees will be able to identify & define what it actually means to be sustainable, eco-friendly and/or GREEN in their design. How to avoid GREEN-washing & the importance of reading & understanding labels.

Strategies for Executing Effective Social Media

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Denise Butchko

Is your business struggling to develop a social media strategy? If you’ve been “doing’ social media, how do you know if it’s working? How do you measure the ROI? What metrics do you look at? And if you need help, what can you outsource and to whom? What are more administrative tasks and what needs thought and strategic attention? What things do you, as a leader, need to understand?

After attending this session, attendees will have a clear understanding of the many forms of social success AND social failure. We will cover:

        • What to look at as measurements of success
        • Options for outsourcing and delegating
        • Ideas on integrating paid advertising with organic participation
        • Ways to build and integrate your MVP – your email list – into your marketing.

Presentation Goals:

        • Identify ways to outsource aspects of social media and determine any “red flags” prior to hiring
        • Demonstrate metrics for determining social media successes
        • Understand how to communicate with past and potential clients.
        • Highlight what the greatest benefit to social media is, how to get it and why

Balancing Luxury and Budget

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Jonas Carnemark, CKD

Join Jonas Carnemark, CR, CKD, for a practical nuts and bolts seminar on how to create award-winning designs without breaking the bank. You will learn how to guide your high-end clients into making the right choices with their money. Jonas will share his insights on how to build client trust using tested principles of value engineering to create outstanding kitchen and bath designs. Discover how to delight your clients while creating compelling marketing opportunities for you and your firm.

Trends in Kitchen Design – Adjacent Spaces

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Moorea Hoffman

Mudrooms – Laundry Rooms – Pantries – Craft Centers – Desks. If you aren’t designing these kitchen-adjacent spaces, you are missing out on an important revenue stream for your business. Busy homeowners need room for managing life’s chores. Today’s clients often choose great-rooms, combining kitchen-dining-living areas. For all the advantages of an open floor plan, there is an often-overlooked downside: when you mix the public and private spaces in a home, there is more pressure to keep the space neat. Combine a cramped mudroom, claustrophobic laundry room, and too-separate office into a chore-oriented service center—making the space not only more comfortable but also more versatile.

Learning Objectives:

        • Learn the latest trends for function and style in home utility areas
        • Apply kitchen design best practices to other work areas to improve function
        • Identify sales strategies to expand kitchen remodel and new construction projects to include adjacent spaces

Ignite Creativity

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Paula Kennedy, CMKBD

As a designer, how do you cultivate your creativity? Do you know if you are primarily right brain dominant or left brain dominant? How should you nurture and protect this precious resource of creativity?

We will review where creativity comes from, why it’s important, what blocks it and how to cultivate more in your life. You will walk away with tools to start practicing immediately.

Learning Objectives:

        • Understanding creativity, how the right brain works, and why creativity is important to our success
        • Recognizing what blocks creativity in our lives and professions
        • Understand how to re-ignite and cultivate creativity in your personal and professional lives.
        • Discover how to get unblocked and cultivate more creativity in your work and life

Outdoor Kitchen Design and Implementation

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Russ Greene

The goals of this presentation are to not only increase your overall knowledge on outdoor kitchen design, but to also use this knowledge to grow your customer base as well as penetrate your current or past customers/clients.

Presentation Objectives:

        • Good design tips
        • Proper materials
        • Know your contractors
        • Grow your customer base and penetrate your current customers and clients
        • Grill manufacturers and outdoor kitchen component options
        • Outdoor kitchen design software options – outdoor kitchen design software demonstration

What’s Trending in Lighting

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Kate Bailey

In the 2016 “What’s Trending in Lighting?” presentation, we cover some lighting design basics and then spend the majority of the discussion on new styles, materials, and finishes that are making a big impact with our customers and in the industry. You’ll see some gorgeous fixtures and application photos to inspire you within each trend. We also touch on the quality and color of lighting, and make recommendations for various applications – from every day to advanced. To wrap it up, we’ll explore technologies, like LED and controls, and what we expect to see more of in the future for residential lighting.

From Measurements to Concept, Understand How You Can Rise Above Your Peers!

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Peter J. Albanese, CKBD

When it comes to Builders, Contractors and Remodelers there is a missing piece of their team. As an NKBA certified Kitchen and Bath designer, YOU are the final piece of the puzzle.

What is the difference between a Kitchen Sales Person and a Kitchen Designer? What are you?

If you are a designer, contractor, educator, or manufacturer’s representative this presentation will explain the importance of presentation standards and how the appropriate documents help you build an effective communication plan.

In this presentation, we will discuss the value of being an NKBA certified designer, how a professional set of documents will be your asset, and how stellar communication will set you apart from your competitor. I will explain how you can become a valuable part of final team. Exhibiting professionalism and subject matter expertise will be a big part of the relationship with both the contracting team and clients.

We will explore the correct measuring process, involving project evaluation as well as measuring. We will summarize what you should being looking for within the surrounding area you will be designing. We will determine what essentials should be in your measuring bag to help you be prepared for every job.

After attending this session, you will identify who the prepared design documents will impact, what should be included with your documents, and how your documents will affect the outcome of the project. A set of detailed plans will assist the contracting team, increase profitability, and give the clients a complete understanding of their project.

Holistic Kitchen Design

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Jennifer Gilmer, CKD

Holistic Design – Balance, Proportion and Composition is a course for a beginner or intermediate kitchen designer. This course will help the designer understand how to create a successful design through approaching the kitchen space as well as the spaces around it with a holistic point of view. Get some tips which will help you to hone your measuring, planning and presentation skills. Learn to let the room, as well as your intuition, guide your sense for the best cabinet and appliance placements. Learn about axes and focal points. Be awed by the fact that great design is not about each individual material that is being used but rather it’s about the composition of all the materials when put together.

In this seminar, you will learn how to take the entire space into consideration (including breakfast, living, and family room areas) when designing a kitchen. You will learn how to sharpen your skills to understand how great design incorporates function with aesthetics.

I will show you how to have a critical eye with your own and other’s work. We will see how incorporating holistic design can improve an existing space. We will take time to focus on more than the work triangle.

We will talk about how the kitchen should “speak” to other rooms and how it might mirror them in placement and appearance. This is what creates balance in a space, and, good balance always makes a space feel good when it’s done well.

Then there is proportion. Proportion is so important because this is what makes the kitchen feel like it complements the available space.

So working on the mechanics of the kitchen with BALANCE and PROPORTION, it’s time to consider the Aesthetics. This is where COMPOSITION comes into play.

Composition can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. Typically, a traditional kitchen is symmetrical, but, asymmetry can also look good.

Design for Independence and Dignity Without Talking About It

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Maria Stapperfenne, CMKBD

This presentation concentrates on the elements of Aging, Developmental and Cognitive issues that we should be taking into account as we continue to design spaces for humans of varying degrees that will occupy these spaces. What considerations should we, as design professionals, take into account to create Safe, Comfortable, and Accessible spaces for everyone….and when to collaborate with a team of professionals to take it to the next level including contractor, Occupational Therapist, or other medical professional. The end includes “next steps” for people that wish to explore further or pursue more education.

Creative Smallness: Thinking Big About Smaller Spaces

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Tamara Myers, CR, LEED AP

Have you ever had the challenge of designing for a small space? Have you wondered how you will make everything fit? Or have you turned down a job thinking it was impossible to make a beautiful and effective kitchen in a small footprint? With the new focus on simplifying life, de-accessioning, de-cluttering, and living more sustainably more clients are choosing to renovate smaller spaces while wanting all the amenities of full functioning kitchen and bath. Our challenge is to be ready to create real world solutions, paying attention to the right mix of design and function that allow our clients to live large in their small spaces. And, because our clients are real sized people we need to create real sized kitchens and baths! In this session we’ll review some examples of successful projects and some that are not so much, with guidelines for creative strategies for smaller kitchens and baths that guide you through embracing designing for smaller projects in a large way.

Learning Objectives:

        • Share how designing well for smaller spaces can bring better function to your client’s kitchen and baths and net bigger spaces
        • Outline clear set of guidelines for small space designing
        • Learn how the small space renovation is a great showcase for sustainable best practices

Adaptive ReUse; Transforming the Old into the New

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Tamara Myers, CR, LEED AP

Can the old be new and even better again? Absolutely. In this session we’ll look at why Adaptive ReUse is a vital strategy for our future and see how expanding our vision of our built environment can help us reimagine how to make the old new again. There are plenty of examples that can help us understand how Adaptive Reuse has already been integrated into our common vernacular and we’ll look at a transformations of a wide range of types of buildings ranging from Sacred Spaces – such as churches, mosques, and synagogues as well as Industrial building stock of warehouses, factories, barns and look to celebrate the wonderful examples of a new life brought to these structures. In addition, understanding the sustainability issues of the choice to renovate an existing structure is critical in the larger social construct. We’ll look at a case studies of successful kitchen and bath renovations in these types of spaces, and distill lessons we can carry to our work even for projects in our standard residential building stock. All of these lessons are universal and can be drawn upon to bring creativity to all of our projects.

Learning Objectives:

        • Define Adaptive ReUse and bring awareness of examples and opportunities around us
        • Understand why transforming existing structures is important to a sustainable future
        • Tools for good Adaptive ReUse approaches and how to apply those to wide variety of projects especially kitchens and baths

Beyond the Surface: Which Surfacing Materials Add Texture, Drama, and Luxury to Design Projects, Inside and Out?

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Christopher Grubb

Surfacing has become the centerpiece of striking spaces. Projects containing tactile, visual, and sensory elements are among the most successful at making a lasting impression. Whether it’s natural stone on walls and flooring, countertops, or specialty tile for a wow affect, surfacing materials create a multitude of design statements in any environment. Interior / exterior designer Christopher Grubb shares his unique methods of combining tile, stone, and other materials to create an indoor or outdoor space with exceptional aesthetic, ambiance, and visual and tactile textures. Grubb will use his project to showcase which materials make the biggest impact, even when working with smaller budgets.

Attendees Will:

  • Identify which surfacing materials—including natural stone, tile, porcelains, quartz, glass, mosaic, and solid surfaces—make the biggest splash.
  • Learn which products are splurge-worthy and which can help stretch a project budget.
  • Understand the drama texture and use of a mix of materials can bring to any space.
  • Identify the earth-friendly materials that will provide LEED points as well as aesthetic beauty.

From Main Street to Rodeo Drive – What are the Enticing and Exquisite Luxury Elements Clients are Demanding in Their Designs

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Christopher Grubb

According to the experts, luxury home sales remain strong from an improved economy, bolstering confidence among home owners and buyers. No matter what one’s budget may be, everyone wants to feel a sense of indulgence at home—especially in the kitchen and bath. Since a wider audience now demands a luxurious experience with trend-forward and technically advanced features, kitchens and baths have evolved into the two most intricately detailed and expensive rooms in the home. Christopher Grubb explains how luxury has morphed into the “rule” rather than the “exception.” Using his own projects as examples, Grubb will explain which materials, finishes, fixtures, detailing, and other accouterments infuse a sense of luxury. From stone and tile to sinks and decorative hardware, Grubb will share what he incorporates in his projects that resonate with today’s luxury-focused demand.

Attendees Will:

  • Understand which materials are most requested for today’s counter tops, flooring, cabinetry, hardware, and more, plus which stains and finishes resonate the most with today’s luxury-craving consumer.
  • Know which details and products to incorporate into a luxury design that some may say are trending but are in fact becoming a norm.
  • Creative ideas to make a “wow” statement in an exquisite design by mixing materials in an interesting way or giving the client a one-of-a-kind experience.
  • Addressing a luxury “budget”

The 5 P’s for Design Success: Procuring, Planning, Partnership, Psychology and Publicity

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Christopher Grubb

Even the most successful business owners often wonder “am I doing it right?” For kitchen and bath experts curious to know what other designers do to stay on top of their game, “The 5 P’s For Success: Procuring, Planning, Partnership, Psychology, and Publicity” is a unique opportunity to hear first-hand and share ideas to consider in creating a more successful design business. Beverly Hills based interior designer Christopher Grubb will host a casual yet intimate discussion on the practices he has relied on for success. His “5 P’s” have helped him run a successful boutique design firm for over 25 years. He’ll share his methods for obtaining new business (Procuring); organizing his design team, selecting projects for “luxury,” and setting fees (Planning); building relationships with contractors to boost business and increase profits for both (Partnerships); helping couples negotiate a project for two (Psychology); and finally obtaining visibility on a variety of media platforms (Publicity). Grubb will share his own award-winning projects as examples, providing tips to those designers looking to polish their business practices.

Attendees Will:

  • Learn a variety of ideas to market, interview, and procure projects, plus how to plan a project, discover a client’s actual budget, and organize the project for the client to understand the process.
  • Utilize existing relationships with contractors or other trades-people to partner and increase profit.
  • Use Psychology – working with couples, playing therapist and facilitating today’s demands for luxury – no matter what the budget.
  • Gain publicity – Learn ideas to pitch projects and yourself to a multitude of media outlets for maximum exposure for your projects and yourself.

Couples Retreat: Designing for Two Through Successful Negotiations – Never Compromise

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Christopher Grubb

Designing a space for two can be tricky. How do you pull together one project that simultaneously speaks to the individual tastes and needs of two unique people? This can be especially challenging in an intimate space such as the bathroom. Having carved out a niche in bathroom design and as the product designer and company founder of The C.G. Collection’s line of bath furnishings, Christopher Grubb has a comprehensive understanding of how to navigate the often-choppy seas that can ensue when designing for couples. Grubb will explain how gender stereotypes are not only outdated but how they’ve morphed, and in some cases reversed, over the years, plus he will explain how it’s never about “compromise.” Instead it’s “successful negotiation.”

Attendees Will:

  • Recognize how to respect each person’s functional and design needs and implement the design elements that address the “individuality” of each partner creating a final project that is in communion with their desires.
  • Learn how to determine a client’s true budget, communicate each person’s concepts in the process and potentially quarter-backing the project with consultants and contractors.
  • Learn how to select those products, materials, accessories, and more that speak to both parties simultaneously, plus understand methods for creating successful projects that represent a couple’s collective style.
  • Understand verbal and non-verbal communication methods to ensure that all parties feel heard, plus learn how to “mediate” the overall project.

Luxurious Baths are the New Norm: The Influence of Residential Design on the Commercial and Health Care Bathroom

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Christopher Grubb

Once a utilitarian necessity, commercial and health care bathrooms have evolved into one of the most intricate and stylish elements of a design projects. Is it the influence of residential or hospitality design on these spaces? Is it the stiff competition for top rent, or has it more to do with a client’s ego? Interior Designer Christopher Grubb explains the various factors that have influenced the recent acceleration of “luxury” in the commercial bath, revealing how bathrooms have gone from “behind the scenes” to the “star of the show” with exceptional aesthetic, ambiance, and visual and tactile textures. Grubb will use his projects to showcase which materials make the biggest impact, even when working with smaller budgets.

Attendees Will:

  • Evolution of the desire for a luxury bath experience in commercial and health care bathrooms.
  • Uses of materials that create a sense of luxury utilized in interesting ways.
  • Finding out a client’s budget and the conversation if the project is a “value add” or have a strong ROI
  • Successfully designing bathrooms that address ADA requirements.

Micro Size Me – Downsizing is a New Reality

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Paula Kennedy, CMKBD

We read about it everyday . . . downsizing, urban living, simplifying, Millennials choosing different lifestyles . . . . . What does it all mean, is it just a trend, is it just Millennials?
A trend is something that comes and goes, this is something deeper that just like designing for Aging in Place and to protect our Environment, the Micro Size Me Movement is one our Industry and Designers need to sit up, take notice of, and get out in front of!

If my clients need these spaces what do manufacturers offer that will work? How can I meet their needs through design and specification? We’ll go back to our roots of the basic elements of design to creatively address these spaces.

Feel more confident in marketing your education around this topic and in working with clients of every generation in any region that ask for this or who would benefit from your new understanding of this movement. #MicroSizeMe

Goals objectives

  • What is the MicroSizeMe Movement
  • What client does it affect, and who and what is driving it
  • Understanding this is more than a trend, it’s a new reality
  • Understand how we address it through design and product offering

Spoiler Alert – Kitchen’s Waste Food

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Paula Kennedy, CMKBD

Today’s kitchens are not designed with food preservation in mind. That may sound strange to say, isn’t so much of what we do focused around food storage? Yes, but, food PRESERVATION is different than merely storage.

Are you tired of throwing away produce? The U.S. wastes 30-40% of food per year. The amount of food wasted that goes to the landfill is disturbing. As food spoils in the landfill it puts off methane gas that contributes to the Greenhouse effect. We’ll talk about consumers shopping habits and their concerns of healthy and sustainable living.

Did you know some fruits and vegetables like it cool, some like it room temperature, and some need humidity? There are the fruits and vegetables that produce ethylene gas as they ripen that is detrimental to surrounding produce! Why did no one tell me you aren’t supposed to store your bananas and apples together!

Remember cellars, larders and that cute little wicker basket designed into a base cabinet? Did you know those wicker baskets that we don’t design into kitchens anymore actually served a valuable purpose?

Goals objectives

  • Review research and consumer habits
  • What client does it affect, and who and what is driving this new awareness
  • Understand this is more than a trend, it’s a new reality
  • Tips and Tricks for food preservation
  • Understand how we address it through design and product offering
  • Understand how current technology can be utilized more effectively
  • Discuss future of the food industry

Tech Meets My Parents – Smart Kitchen and Baths Aid Independent Living

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Paula Kennedy, CMKBD

When speaking about Aging in Place, Universal Design, Inclusive Design, Living in Place, Accessible/Adaptable Living, and Independent Living, the fundamental goal of this booming design sector is to extend independent living for as long as possible.  Independence is the KEY! With the incredible growth and momentum of TECHNOLOGY in our homes it is only natural to pair these two knowledge pools together to highlight the incredible benefits our aging population can receive by embracing tech in their homes and lives.

Watching our parents in their 70’s Snapchat with their grandkids, texting emoji’s, seeing them using an app for hearing aids and show us their favorite YouTube channels, shows us just how much they already rely on technology.  Have you ever cared for a parent after surgery or watched them try to manage all their medications, when we’re in their homes can you see how they have already modified their daily lives and homes to cope with challenges. It’s really eye opening to understand the enormous opportunities for tech to aid their lives.

All this technology benefits the broader Universal Design segment, however, we will focus primarily on our aging population for this discussion.  Some generations adamantly say they don’t want technology but as we’ll see they are actually already using a fair amount, but it’s not just for them, it’s for us in 20 years!  When we are in our 70’s we will expect and demand flawless integrated technology.

Goal objectives:

  • Get up to speed on the research, consumer habits and needs
  • Understand what demographic is affected, and who and what is driving this new awareness for technology
  • Understand how current technology can be utilized more effectively
  • Discuss future of tech in the Independent Living category

Smart Kitchen Design

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Scott Koehler

Attendees will learn about smart kitchen technology including smart kitchen device automation using the Shortcuts App by Apple, and the basics of designing with augmented reality tools.  Attendees will learn how to use a Smart Kitchen survey to help clients make smart home tech decisions and how to assign values to smart kitchen gadgets and devices.


  • Demonstrate the Shortcurt App by Apple so kitchen designers can show clients how to automate devices and gadgets in the kitchen
  • Learn how to use a Smart Kitchen Survey to assist clients with selecting smart products for their kitchen.
  • Demonstrate Augmented Reality by bringing virtual appliances wand plumbing fixtures into a kitchen space in real time.
  • Give a live demo of Apple’s Smart Home App, HomeKit.
  • Discuss the current status of online privacy and personal data security and rights.

Augmented Reality in the Kitchen

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Scott Koehler

Simply put, Augmented Reality (AR) combines physical things (viewed on a mobile device) superimposed with images, text, sketches, etc. in real time.  Apps like Snapchat, for example, let you augment the image of your face in real time with virtual sunglasses. AR presentation are live and real time experiences.  Images are projected onto a screen via iPhone and iPad.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about AR and create their own AR experiences
  • focus on specific apps that designers can use on the job site, inn showrooms and in client’s homes.

Blended Presentations: Capturing Creativity with Technology

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Vanessa DeKoekkoek

This session will reflect on the evolution of how technology has changed the way we work through the design process. We will look at a variety of tools that allow creativity and capture the details required for a successful project.
If you are looking for ways to make your presentations stand out, you’ll enjoy this session. We’ll look at real-life examples and discuss, with a hands-on approach, how you can quickly leverage technology in your design business. Mobile devices (phones & tablets) are encouraged, strong Wi-Fi is required for this presentation.


  • Identify steps in the design process and optimize workflow
  • Learn how to inspire clients in methods that they relate
  • Create clear presentations to qualify the needs of your client

Leveraging Artisan Work in Your Designs

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Lauren Levant

Harnessing the creative power of craftspeople can create a show-stopping project. With the public’s enthusiasm for artisan culture and its increasing appetite for the unique and handcrafted, integrating specialty work into interior design projects is gaining in popularity. Lauren Levant has been at the vanguard of this trend and will offer examples, advice and walk-throughs of how to successfully integrate unique components into a project design. Through a competition-style format, attendees will walk away from the presentation having honed their ability to spot and develop opportunities to bring truly unique pieces to their clients’ homes. Creative collaborations with local craftspeople, fabricators and artisans in the design of interior spaces and signature product pieces is a hallmark of Lauren Levant’s designs. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to see into this nationally recognized designer’s process and integrate this approach into your own.

Designer Health: Meeting the Demands of Luxury and Lifestyle

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Lauren Levant

Health is the ultimate luxury. The discerning client of the present and the future is redefining the luxury lifestyle. No longer about mere beauty, the most successful and sought after projects are now designed with health and wellbeing at the center. Premium materials with healthy finishes, responsibly sourced are becoming in greater demand, and clients are willing to pay a premium for them. Like their organic, non-GMO groceries, the homes of today’s luxury clientele need to take care of them from the inside out.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discover the implications of toxins in the home and know where to look for them.
2. Realize the usefulness of selling healthy products and learn how to play this specialty to your advantage.
3. See how to put this theory into practice. Review completed installations with healthy products and how they impacted the overall project and homeowner’s lifestyles.

Sustainable Design Principles – Beyond Echo-Friendly Products

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Joe Cain

We will take an in-depth look at the state of the environment and what steps designers and manufacturers can take to reduce the impact of homes. This will include a study on energy use, green house gas emissions, and best practices from the industry. Techniques for upcycling used kitchens and building materials is also covered with actionable suggestions for kitchen designers. Additionally, this presentation will include an overview on frameworks for companies including B corporations, LEED certification and product lifecycle evaluation.

Designing a Healthy Home (and we don’t mean emotionally)

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Adam Gibson, CMKBD,CAPS

As homes became tighter and more efficient, many new technologies and innovations came to market. Be enlightened regarding some of the most harmful elements we put into our designs, and learn preventatives. (According to the EPA, indoor air is 2-5 times more toxic than outdoor.) Learn about lighting (including daylighting), planning for aging, and water solutions. This comprehensive presentation will surprise many when they realize how to affect indoor air quality by reducing elements that off-gas perpetually – including common household items – and how to make positive changes. It may not be sexy, but you will better your clients’ lives with this powerful information.

Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrate many elements that affect indoor air and water quality; provide solutions
  • Suggestions for designers, builders and remodelers to plan for their client’s aging in the home
  • Increase product awareness to enrich lives
  • Show surprising common household elements that can hurt our client’s health
  • Understand proper ventilation systems, makeup air systems, and testing for back drafting

The Psychological and Physiological Effects of Color in Design

Track: Design & Inspiration
Speaker: Kathryn Grube

Explore how to effectively harness the right color to provide the desired effect that positively enhances the ultimate function of the space.  Understand what color really is and how it works with us (or against us) physiologically and psychologically.  Learn how white and some grays actually can cause anxiety and depression in interior environments.  Color has been deemed a “universal language” around the globe, and is used to create mood, enhance behavior, promote productivity and elicit certain desired responses from occupants within a given space.  Color design is much more than just the aesthetic outcome, when used strategically, it can help to improve quality of life through promoting well-being.  For more information, please visit .

Learning Objectives

  • Communicate history/background of color to educate specifically what color is and how it works within humans in the built environment.
  • Initiate awareness of how color hues physiologically and psychologically can positively and negatively affect the well-being of occupants in design.
  • Promote functional color design strategies to elicit a desired mood, ambiance and behavioral response to enhance quality of life within interior settings.

Sales & Marketing Courses

Professional Photographer – Be One (or Hire One) to Increase Sales

Track: Sales & Marketing
Speaker: Adam Gibson, CMKBD, CAPS

You put tons of effort into making great projects, but does your business employ photography that best represents its high quality? Do your images compare to those in national design magazines? In this two-for-one program you’ll learn what to look for when hiring a pro AND how to create striking architectural photographs on your own and increase your bottom line. Hiring a professional often nets the best results – but not always. Architectural photography is not like any other. Knowing what will draw the viewer’s eye to what you want them to see, namely, your work, is critical. You’ll see how some photographers get it wrong, and how to avoid those mistakes. Want to try it on your own? Learn from a designer who is also a professional photographer. With some investment you don’t need to be pro to use pro tricks. You’ll learn about good camera and lens combinations, simple lighting tricks, where to place your camera, what to focus on, post processing and compositing multiple images, and much more. See examples at

Learning Objectives

  • Practice making superb photographs of your own work
  • Good lighting techniques at little or no cost will be covered.
  • Know what to look for when hiring a professional architectural photographer
  • Attendees will learn how to choose a photographer to best achieve their goals without spending a fortune by following a checklist of appropriate questions.
  • Using on-screen examples, attendees will see good, better and best practices for architectural photography.
  • Attendees will learn basic language ensuring they are permitted to use a photographer’s images without incurring additional expenses down the road.
  • Using real-world equipment, attendees will understand what photography gear they can acquire themselves.
  • Good lighting techniques at little or no cost will be covered.
  • Examples will show differing results when using various cameras: full frame vs. cropped sensor vs. compact vs. phone.
  • Recommending lenses: zoom, prime and shift will be covered.
  • Tripods, shutter release, iPad/laptop tethering, lens hood, filters, and a few other basic accessory suggestions will be addressed.
  • A quick and easy real-time lesson will demonstrate how to composite several images into one, eliminating distortion.

Leadership Strategies for Performance and Engagement

Track: Sales & Marketing
Speaker: Andre Boykin

Complexities of today’s multi-generational workforce pose unprecedented challenges for leaders today. The ability to engage a diverse workforce has to be a top consideration. Too often lack of employee engagement results in poor performance, revenue decline, and weakened relationships with customers.To prevent these undesirable outcomes, leaders must develop and implement people centric strategies that address the needs of each generation. Organizational performance is a direct outflow of the leader’s ability to master these strategies.This program focuses on the three critical areas that create engagement and increase performance. These areas are:

  • Understanding the wants and needs of today’s workforce
  • System and strategy for getting the right person for the right job (Right-Fit Organization)
  • Establishing an environment that fosters Accountability


  • Know how to engage the diverse generational workforce
  • How to use Accountability to foster engagement
  • Implement a system for selection and hiring to create a “Right Fit” organization

Networking 101: Getting SMALL Talk to Lead to BIG Talk!

Track: Sales & Marketing
Speaker: DeAnna Radaj

So… you want to get more exposure for your product or service. Or, you’re new to the area & want to start drumming up business. Or, you find yourself primarily answering emails & working more on your computer than actually having face-to-face interactions with actual, live people. What’s a small business owner to do? Answer: NETWORK! Networking is much more than showing up at your local chamber or trade event, heading to the bar & redeeming your free drink tickets, all the way staying attached at the hip w/your colleague chatting about the local sports team or office gossip. There is an art to successful networking, which leads to more leads & subsequently, more business.

  • Learn THE most important thing you need to do & bring to any networking event.
  • Learn how to enter a group, get rid of a “glom-er” & the difference between networking & working a room.
  • Learn the proper length of time that you spend w/any 1 person or group at a networking event.

Increase Your Sales Through Showroom Marketing

Track: Sales & Marketing
Speaker: Denise Butchko

“Experience” marketing and “interactive” marketing are essential to getting the attention of today’s buyer. They want to be engaged with the process and “experience” of their purchases, particularly when it involves their home.

This session takes you beyond door samples and flat screens for reviewing designs. We’re covering how “setting your stage” involves incorporating strategic marketing tools like video, email marketing, your Facebook page interactions and events.

I’ll also be sharing specifics on how to make all of these puzzle pieces fit together so you’ll leave knowing not just what you need to do, but how to get it all done.

Learning Outcomes

You’ll learn:

  • What things trigger today’s consumer that lead to a purchase
  • Ways to collaborate that move clients down the sales funnel closer to purchase
  • The importance of events and how to execute and market them so they’re successful
  • How to really tell your story effectively since it’s a top, top marketing trend
  • How to connect to your audience and leverage them as brand ambassador marketing tools for you
  • How to get it done without hiring an agency or full time employee by working within the “Gig Economy”.

How to Use Email Marketing (Your Newsletter) to Get More Business

Track: Sales & Marketing
Speaker: Denise Butchko

Research indicates that for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI. This session lays out what email marketing really is (& it’s not just your “newsletter”) and how to make it start working for you. It’s filled with lots of specific examples, do’s and don’ts and insights and tactics that will help you make more progress. You’ll leave with a clear understanding of email marketing best practices and ideas on how to generate content, what kinds of content work (and which don’t). You’ll also learn why auto responders are even better for your business than autopilot, the difference between converting and non-converting media and the importance of subject lines and how to create ones people will actually open.

Beyond the Selfie: Leveraging Pics and Video for Increased Business

Track: Sales & Marketing
Speaker: Denise Butchko

The visual aspects of your work as a kitchen/Bath designer are top priority. So learning ways to get those visuals and then LEVERAGE those visuals moves marketing forward by leaps and bounds. From Facebook to Instagram to You Tube to your website to Houzz, using pictures and videos of your work will bring you – guess what – more work! This session will cover:

  • Why and How visuals carry more weight than any other method of promotion
  • Tips on getting great pics and video
  • Guidelines and shortcuts for the optimizing the size of your visuals for different platforms
  • Suggestions on tools to use
  • What you can and cannot do with photos you don’t take yourself
  • Sources to get images you can use legally

Attendees will be able to:

  • Post images in optimal formats for maximum exposure to audiences
  • Demonstrate their creativity, skill set and uniqueness using visuals like pics and video
  • Understand the importance of using visuals
  • Gain insights on unique approaches to sharing their business stories using images and video

Create a Killer Bio: Promote the Star that You Are

Track: Sales & Marketing
Speaker: Fred Berns

You can’t get good clients with a bad bio. You can’t easily generate big projects and lucrative, long term relationships with an online personal profile that undersells you and fails to spell out all that you can do for your kitchen and bath clients. In these highly competitive times, it’s critical to have a powerful profile on your social media sites, your Houzz site and on your website. How to create a new bio – or tweak your current one – so that it spells out your specialness, builds a “buzz” and builds your business is what this powerful program is all about.

Attend this program and get everything you need to know to create a concise, compelling bio that will help you dramatically increase your sales and profits. Learn the “Million Dollar Word” you can use in your bio to make an instant impact and make yourself memorable. And discover the Dynamic Dozen: the 12 keys to a killer bio. If you’re like most design professionals, your current bio may be blocking rather than boosting you and disqualifying rather than qualifying you to get bigger projects from better clients. If you’re serious about taking your business and career to the next level, you need to get serious about upgrading your online promotion profile.

This enlightening and entertaining presentation will help you do that, and dramatically differentiate yourself, communicate your credibility and establish yourself as a uniquely-qualified, one-of-kind leader in your marketplace.

The Wellness Market

Track: Sales & Marketing
Speaker: Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS

How are you credentialed? Certified Kitchen Designer? Certified Aging in Place Specialist? Certified Interior Designer? How are you using your certifications or experience to position yourself in the increasingly-competitive design market and break through to new sales opportunities? There’s no question that repeat business and referrals are ideal, but they may not help you to break into lucrative new markets or grow your business at the pace you want. Even leveraging those can take strategic thinking to be the top resource in your prospects’ minds. One approach is to tap into complementary markets that are top of mind with both prospective clients and local media. What makes a market complementary is its overlap of potential buyers, shared psychographic profile, need, timing and capital for your products and services. The Wellness Market is one such fast-growing complementary market, especially with mass-affluent Millennials and Baby Boomers. So how do you tap into their consciousness and cash flow? This CEU program will show you its shape and scope, and how to tap into it – with the potential for very healthy returns.

Presentation Goals: Discuss and demonstrate methods to

  • Discover and positively describe the ties between wellness and design;
  • Position yourself as a wellness-focused designer for health-oriented prospects;
  • Identify the wellness markets in your community;
  • Identify the optimum segment(s) of the wellness market for your business;
  • Position yourself as a wellness-in-design expert for local media;
  • Work effectively with local editors and producers for free exposure.

Steam Cooking in Today’s American Kitchen

Track: Sales & Marketing
Speaker: Janne Mahan

Health. Quality. Time. If we could get the healthiest, best tasting food results in a short amount of time, cooking would be a lot more fun, right? “Steam Cooking In Today’s American Kitchen” walks us through how we make this possible. Steam has become one of the largest trends spreading across America, and this course teaches us the why, what, and how of steam cooking.

Selling to Design by NOT Designing to Sell

Track: Sales & Marketing
Speaker: Jan Neiges, CKD

Selling to Design is a process that Jan Neiges, Chapter Officer of the Rocky Mountain Chapter has developed over the years to improve her time on task in cultivating a lead to a sale. She has utilized her 27 years of sales training to create a selling process that improved her closing ration to 95% and earns her a design fee after spending only 2 hours with a lead.

Jan will explain her process and share documents she uses with her clients to help you improve your time on task and increase your closing ration resulting in more income.

  • If you are spending 8-9 hours quoting/designing before a client commits to buy from you; OR
  • If your closing ratio is less than 75%: OR
  • If you are struggling to find ways to earn more income; OR
  • If you are working 40-60 hours and making less than $50K


  • You need to learn how to Sell to Design by NOT Designing to Sell

Communication BLING!

Track: Sales & Marketing
Speaker: Maria Stapperfenne, CMKBD

Do you work hard to keep a design or construction project on track, only to find yourself frequently caught up in problems caused by poor communication? Is talking through the situation only making things worse? Would you like to avoid future misunderstandings? We “BLING” up our designs and presentations, but how about honing our interpersonal skills for SUCCESS? Discover your own communication style, its strengths and weaknesses, as well as how to identify others’ styles for more effective communication, and ultimately add to your bottom line. In this fun and lively interactive session, Maria will introduce a variety of communication styles to help you determine which is yours, and how to modify it to meet the needs of others. You’ll practice using real world examples. As an added bonus, everyone will take away an “emergency toolkit” of phrases to help in stressful situations!

Available as: 1 hr for 1 NKBA CEU or as 1.5 hr for .2 NKBA CEU program

Networking in Person and Digitally

Track: Sales & Marketing
Speaker: Rene Clawson

In my years as a business owner and member and president of the Chamber of Commerce, I am always amazed by the idea that people come to one meeting and then declare that membership was not a good fit…”I came to a meeting and I did not make a single sale.”   When I asked my young adult children about networking, in their attempt to explain their distaste for the idea of networking it came out they think “it’s kind of slimy…you’re just asking people to help you or give you something.” If these are your thoughts you do not understand networking.

Networking is a continuous and necessary part of your career development. If you want to move up, improve your bottom line, get your dream job or be an industry leader you need to always be networking.

“10% of hires happen through recruiters 90% happen through networking” — Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer and LinkedIn Moderator.

In my presentation I will communicate the following:

  • Definition of Networking
  • Discuss Why We Network
  • Drilling Down on Cultivation of Relationships
  • How to Network – Face to Face and Digitally
  • Do’s and Don’ts of Networking
  • Takeaways

The Goal of this Talk is to leave the attendees with:

  • A better understanding of the importance of face to face and digital networking for professional growth and lead generation.
  • A clear understanding of why and how to cultivate productive relationships.
  • Tips on how to use social media to support your professional networking.
  • Tips on how to create a robust digital presence that will support your professional networking.

Qualify More Effectively, Estimate Quickly, Get a Commitment Faster

Track: Sales & Marketing
Speaker: Steven Strauss, AKBD

Have you ever spent hours with a person who has no intention of giving you any money? Whether you choose to charge a design retainer or not, most kitchen and bath dealers spend too much time, and give away too much knowledge, prior to receiving a commitment from the potential customer. We will discuss ways to quickly and accurately estimate a project and professional way of discussing budget with a potential customer, without spending hours or even days of your valuable time. By spending less time with non-customers, you will have additional time to devote to actual paying customers.

Also, make sure you are talking to people that want to hear what you have to say. Learn unique ways of qualifying potential clients, without asking the typical qualifying questions.

Presentation Goals: Discuss and demonstrate methods to:

  • Qualify potential clients effectively
  • Quickly establish a budget for a kitchen or bathroom renovation
  • Recalculate changes with just a few mouse clicks
  • Make a professional presentation to the potential customer
  • Get a commitment from a potential client
  • Waste less time = Close more sales

But We’ve Always Done it this Way Before

Track: Sales & Marketing
Speaker: Steven Strauss, AKBD

It has been said many times, the one constant is change.  That is certainly true in the kitchen and bath industry today.  While our experience helps us design the perfect room for our clients, it sometimes gets in the way of making necessary changes in our business.  I have been in the industry for over 35 years.  It would be safe to say, if we did everything exactly the same as we did when I started in 1982, we probably would not be in business today.  Some changes are necessary for the survival of the business.  Others are to improve benefits you and your company already offer to your clients.

During this presentation, I will explore some of the changes that we have made in our business over the years.  There will be opportunities for attendees to share their experiences as well. Each one of us does not need to reinvent the wheel.  It is a great experience to be able to share my ideas about the industry, and hopefully take home some new ideas as well. And as a bonus, some things don’t change. We will take a moment to review those ideas as well.


  • Examine the kitchen and bath business.
  • Implement one or more ideas quickly, to improve business practices.
  • Shape long term planning.
  • Build on existing strengths.