Five Questions With… Danielle Schroeder – NKBA

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Five Questions With… Danielle Schroeder

The training professional in the sales and marketing department with Chief Architect Software has earned all eight NKBA Specialty Badges.

By Dianne M. Pogoda

Danielle Schroeder, one of just a few NKBA|KBIS members to earn all eight Specialty Badges, took an unconventional route to her place in the design industry. Now a sales and marketing pro for design software developer Chief Architect, she always wanted to pursue a career in which she could help others. While she initially thought that would lead her to the health-care field, after taking prerequisite nursing courses, she decided to pivot to business — but she remained steadfast in her goal of helping others.

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After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, Schroeder landed her “dream job” in 2019 at design software developer Chief Architect, educating customers and managing the company’s YouTube channel.

“Helping customers find the best product that fits their needs and helps their business thrive has been very fulfilling,” she said. “Being a part of the kitchen and bath industry allows me to see tangible work results, which is so rewarding. It’s fun to see the evolving trends and technology that can be used to make a space perfect for each individual.”

Now that she has all eight Specialty Badges, she has her sights set on earning her Certified Kitchen & Bath Designer (CKBD) designation. “I look forward to this new challenge and to having a competitive edge, after going through the various tests and evaluations.”

“Additional education is essential for staying relevant. It ensures that I am up-to-date with the latest trends, technologies and best practices, enabling me to effectively meet the demands of my profession.”

Schroeder chatted with NKBA|KBIS about her career path.

What do the badges mean to you?

Knowledge and skills are not static but evolve over time. The Specialty Badge program has allowed me to stay curious, seek out new information and adapt to changes within the kitchen and bath industry.

Additional education is essential for staying relevant. It ensures that I am up-to-date with the latest trends, technologies and best practices, enabling me to effectively meet the demands of my profession.

Why did you choose to get them? 

I chose to further my education through the NKBA Badge program to deepen my understanding of specialty areas. In a trade constantly evolving with new trends, materials and technologies, this education allowed me to stay current. 

How else has it helped you in your career?

It has allowed me to take my NKBA membership to the next level. Additionally, it has enhanced my credibility, and I can demonstrate my expertise to customers and colleagues. It has been personally fulfilling, allowing me to explore my interests, and has provided additional knowledge and credentials needed to excel and advance my career with Chief Architect Software.

Overall, the NKBA has allowed me to invest in myself, my career and my future. I’ve enjoyed embracing growth opportunities, pushing boundaries and striving for excellence.

What were the most challenging and the easiest badges for you and why?

The most challenging badge for me was the Color Specialist badge. Since my education is in business, I didn’t have much knowledge on this topic going into it. Although it was the biggest challenge for me, it was also the most interesting, as I had the most to learn with that particular badge. I loved learning about the color palettes, perception of color and physiology of color! 

The easiest badge was Sales and Marketing Specialist. I have a minor in marketing, so it was like second nature to me. I enjoyed reviewing brand building, social media marketing tactics and advertising methods. 

What advice do you have for someone who wants to pursue all eight badges?

I would say go for it! It has been great to learn a wide range of industry disciplines. It is a nice way of personalized learning because you can choose a topic that interests you. The badges have allowed me to stay current with information and grow a diverse skill set.Just 34 NKBA | KBIS members have earned six or more Specialty Badges, with an elite six members earning all eight. Current badges include Floor Plans & Specifications, Lighting, Cabinetry, Sales & Marketing, Sustainability, Remodeling, Universal Design and Color. Badges cost $199 apiece for the study materials and testing, and NKBA periodically offers special promotions that give members discounts. For more information about the badges, visit NKBA.org.