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Member News: Liebherr’s New System, IDG Buys Trajus, KBIS Registration Open, Chapter Updates and More

Image courtesy of Liebherr

By Dianne M. Pogoda

Company News

Liebherr Launches New Refrigerator Storage: Liebherr, a global pioneer in advanced refrigeration technology, has introduced a new storage system for one of its residential column refrigerators: the OpenStage drawer system. This replaces traditional refrigerator shelving with fully telescopic glass and metal drawers. Food is clearly visible (reducing the likelihood of food being lost in the back of the appliance) and easily accessible with the full-extension drawers. The refrigerator that comes with the OpenStage drawer system is Wi-Fi enabled, and its BioFresh cooling system ensures optimum freshness and food preservation with temperature and humidity control. Learn more about OpenStage here.

IDG Acquires Trajus Surfaces: Trajus Surfaces, parent of legacy brands European Granite & Marble and Marva Marble, has been acquired by International Designs Group (IDG). The acquisition will stretch IDG’s operations to more than 50 locations in the Eastern U.S. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. KBB has the story.

Image courtesy of Olympia.

Go Touchless With Olympia: Olympia Faucets has introduced a sensor spray head that converts a standard pull-down kitchen faucet into a touchless spigot. The new spray head is easily activated, and features a three-minute auto-shutoff and a rechargeable battery with a standard USB plug-in (cable included). It’s compatible with all Pioneer and Olympia pull-down kitchen faucets and doesn’t require an adaptor. More info at Olympia Touchless Spray Head.

Tulip Names Two: Tulip Cooking, known for its gas and induction cooktop systems, named two executives to its leadership team. Amir Girgis is now Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, and Elizabeth Nussbaum was named Regional Sales Director. Nussbaum held executive roles in sales and business development for Waterworks and Renovation Angel. She also served as a senior sales associate and designer at Ann Sacks. Girgis was president and owner of Better Distribution, the Canadian distributor for Tulip Cooking and other brands, and he brings a deep understanding of sales network development, brand management and strategic marketing campaigns. He was also Director of Sales & Marketing at Integrated Appliances Ltd. in Toronto and Managing Director of Sales & Marketing at Diva de Provence. Learn more about Tulip Cooking here.

SieMatic, Miele, Cosentino Selected in Miami: A new luxury condo being built in Miami’s North Bay Village has chosen SieMatic cabinetry, Miele appliances and surfaces by Cosentino and Dekton to furnish its 54 units. The 21-story tower is being developed by Pacific & Orient Properties and was designed by architect Juan Azulay. The apartments are corner units, including four penthouses, and offer panoramic views of Biscayne Bay. Custom cabinetry from SieMatic’s Pure collection in sterling gray will define the sleek open-plan kitchens. Units start at $2.2 million and the project is scheduled for completion in early 2025. KBB has more.

Cyncly Names Heydet SVP of Sales: Ashley Heydet was named senior vice president of sales for North America for Cyncly, a design software solutions provider and parent of 2020 and Compusoft. Heydet was a regional sales manager at ADP —  Automatic Data Processing — and has extensive experience building and leading successful teams, pioneering new markets and scaling organizations. Part of her new role at Cyncly will encompass the expansion of Cyncly’s North American client portfolio, with emphasis on the Enterprise segment. Learn more about Cyncly here.

2023 PWP Studio Corporate Event Photographers

Register for FREE for KBIS! Registration is open for KBIS 2024 in Las Vegas, Feb. 27-29. NKBA members can register for free during September. Also take advantage of early-bird rates for the Voices of the Industry (VFTI) conference and reserve your choice of show hotels. Register at

Industry News

Black Interior Designers Conference Set for LA: The Black Interior Designers Conference will take place for the first time in three years in Los Angeles, Sept. 20-23. The event will be held at 1 Hotel West Hollywood, and feature more than two dozen speakers talking about their career journeys and experiences in the interior design industry. Featured speakers include Justina Blakeney, Jungalow; Michel Smith Boyd, SMITHBOYD Interiors; Ron Woodson, Save Iconic Architecture; Monet Masters and Tavia Forbes, Forbes Masters; and many others. Tickets are $995 per person and include all programming from Wednesday night through Saturday afternoon, plus breakfast and lunch Thursday through Saturday. Sponsors include Kohler, Material Bank, Monogram, Zephyr, Genesis Motor America, High Point Market Authority, The Shade Store, Design Leadership Network, Benjamin Moore and Plant Daddies. More info here.

Chapter Updates

Kicking Off Design Chicago: The Chicago Mid West Chapter will host a kickoff event for Design Chicago on Sept. 26, 5:30 to 8 pm, at sponsor Middleby Residential, 222 West Merchandise Mart Plaza, Ste. 100, in Chicago. Attendees can network, meet NKBA members from around the region, and enjoy food and drink on the evening before Design Chicago (Sept. 27-28). They can also listen to design competition award winners Doug Walter, CMKBD, and Gina D’Amore Bauerle, as they share top tips in their CEU presentation, “How to Enter and Win Design Contests.” Registration is $25 for NKBA members, $35 for non-members and $10 for student members and students enrolled in a design program. More info and registration here.

Carolina Heads to Biltmore: The Carolina Chapter is hosting a two-day event in Asheville, NC, home of the Biltmore Estate, on Sept. 27-28. The festivities start Wednesday evening at 5:30 pm with a wine tasting at the Ferguson Bath Kitchen & Lighting Gallery at 30 Bryson Street, led by a professional sommelier and co-hosted by LIXIL. Thursday morning, breakfast is at the Courtyard Marriott hotel in Biltmore Village, courtesy of Blum Hardware, followed by in-depth Roof Top guided VIP tours of the Biltmore Estate. Dinner is at the Fig Bistro in Biltmore Village, cohosted by Best Tile and Schluter Systems. Pricing, registration and more details here.

On the Links with Northern New Jersey: The Northern New Jersey Chapter will host a day of golf and dinner on Oct. 2. Taking place at the New Jersey National Golf and Country Club, 579 Allen Road in Basking Ridge, NJ, the day begins at 10:30 am with registration, contests, raffle tickets and a putting qualifier. Golf starts at 11:30 am with a shotgun tee-off, and dinner begins at 6 pm. Registration for golf and dinner is $400 for individuals or $1,600 for a foursome, with dinner-only guests at $150. For a foursome plus a hole sponsorship, the cost is $1,800. The registration deadline is Sept. 30. More info here.


Member News: Kohler Releases ESG Report, Luxe Presents RED Awards, Rev-A-Shelf Expands, Chapter Updates and More

Image courtesy of Duravit.
By Dianne M. Pogoda
Company News

Kohler Releases ESG Report: Kohler Co. has published its 2022 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report, detailing the company’s progress and goals in environmental sustainability, social impact and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Among the highlights, it achieved a 16 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 10 percent reduction in water and a 23 percent reduction in waste. Additionally, Kohler Kitchen and Bath continued to lead in U.S. EPA WaterSense-labeled offerings by certifying 85 new products across toilets, bathroom faucets and showerheads. KBB has the full story.

Image courtesy Brizo® Kitchen & Bath Company.

NKBA Members See RED: Several NKBA member manufacturers have been honored by Luxe Interiors + Design magazine in its annual Luxe RED Awards. RED — Residential Excellence in Design — recognizes excellence and innovation in various product and design categories. The following members won in the respective categories: Beko Home Appliances, Refrigeration Innovation; Brizo, Bath System; Cosentino, Stone Collaboration; Dacor, Wine Dispenser; Duravit, Bath Mirror; Fisher & Paykel, Induction Cooktop; Gaggenau, Kitchen Ventilation; Hestan Commercial, Kitchen Range; Kohler Co., Bath Faucet and Sustainable Tile Design; and Poggenpohl, Kitchen Island. Click here for all the winning designs.

Rev-A-Shelf Expands in Mexico: Rev-A-Shelf, a leader in kitchen organization and storage solutions, has opened a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Juarez, Mexico. The new plant is nearly 126,000 square feet with room for future expansion and employs more than 60 workers. It currently produces 54 wood products, including drop-in drawer inserts, dovetail pantry drawers and other wood components and accessories, and it is expected that it will expand manufacturing by an additional 30 products early next year. KBB has more.

Image courtesy of Gaggenau. Photography by Adahlia Cole.

Gaggenau Hosts BJS Dinners: Premier appliance maker Gaggenau hosted the first of its 2023 Black Jacket Society dinners in Miami in May, a series celebrating some of the country’s most distinguished chefs. At the Miami event, Chef Alain Verzeroli of the Bastion Collection (L′Atelier de Jöel Robuchon and Le Jardinier) and Chef Juan Manuel Barrientos of Elcielo were inducted into the Black Jacket Society, which recognizes chefs whose restaurants have attained Michelin Guide status and who reflect the principles and philosophy of the Gaggenau brand. Additional 2023 Black Jacket Society events will be in locations in California, New York, Chicago and Washington, DC, and they will be held in conjunction with the Michelin Guide Ceremonies. More on the evening here.

Industry News

EPA May Change WaterSense Criteria: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering changing the requirements for tank-type toilets to earn its WaterSense label. The agency is investigating the maximum flush volume for dual-flush toilets and welcomes comments from interested parties. Contact the agency at by Aug. 14.

People News

OBITUARY: Drummond Shaw: The founder of Drummonds Bathrooms, Drummond Shaw, passed away on June 28 at his home in Dorset, England. He was 73. After a career as a commodity broker in London, he founded Drummonds in 1988, when he was restoring his period house and had difficulty finding authentic architectural antiques, especially for the bathroom. Drummonds has grown to become a high-end UK-based manufacturer and distributor of classic bathroom products, with three factories producing cast-iron baths, brass fittings and porcelain sanitary ware. It has showrooms in London’s Chelsea and in New York, in the Architects & Designers Building.

Chapter Updates

Cruising With Southern New England: The Southern New England Chapter is taking members on a Connecticut River Cruise this Thursday, July 27, from 5:30 to 8 pm. Journey with RiverQuest to learn about the river’s ecology, history and life, mingle with friends and colleagues and earn 0.1 CEU. The cruise leaves from the Connecticut River Museum, 67 Main Street in Essex, and explores the wildlife and natural beauty around Essex Harbor and Coves, Great Meadow, Hamburg Cove and other areas. Registration is $30 in advance or $35 at the dock — and don’t forget your business cards! More info here.

Deadline Is Monday for Chapter Officer Nominations: There’s still time to self-nominate for a Chapter Officer position, but the July 31 deadline is almost here! Chapter leadership is a great way to influence the direction of your NKBA Chapter and a stepping stone to greater involvement in the association. Three officer positions are open for the current election cycle: President, Programs Chair and Communications Chair. To be considered, any NKBA member (excluding student members) may self-nominate; all elections are conducted at the chapter level. Access the Chapter Officer self-nomination form here, and learn more about the benefits of becoming a chapter leader here.


Member News: Daltile and LG Recognized for Environmental Achievements, Fortune Buys Hardware Brands, Chapter Updates and More

Image courtesy of Daltile.

By Dianne M. Pogoda

Company News

Daltile Parent Recognized for Climate Action: Mohawk Industries, parent of leading tile manufacturers Daltile, Marazzi and American Olean, was named to USA Today’s “America’s Climate Leaders” list, owing in large part to its tile brands’ 17 percent reduction in their carbon footprint since 2018. Among their achievements: more than 99 percent of their tile collections contain recycled or reclaimed materials; the factories recover and reuse 84 percent of process wastewater; all tiles are made from exclusively natural materials with no plastics, VOCs, PVCs or formaldehyde; and they recycle an average of 68 tons of cardboard and office paper a year. KBB has more.

LG Earns Sustainability Honors: LG Electronics has been named the most sustainable home appliance brand in the 2023 “Green Builder Sustainable Brand Index.” The top ranking is based on data collected by surveying builders and consumers on how they regard a product and/or a company. Additionally, LG earned two 2023 Green Builder “Sustainable Products of the Year” distinctions, which recognize manufacturing, technology and sustainability innovations, for its LG Multi F MAX with LGRED° multi-zone heat pump HVAC system and LG Studio induction cooktop with a flex cooking zone. It was also named a 20223 Energy Star Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its energy-efficient, cost-saving models across a spectrum of appliances. Learn more about LG’s sustainable efforts here.

Image courtesy of Emtek.

Fortune Brands Acquires Hardware, Lock Businesses: Fortune Brands Innovations has completed its acquisition of the Emtek and Schaub premium and luxury door and cabinet hardware business, and the U.S. and Canadian Yale and August residential smart home locks business from ASSA ABLOY, for a purchase price of $800 million. Fortune said Emtek and Schaub have strong distribution networks with leading channel partners and will be a synergistic complement to the House of Rohl suite of brands, allowing the company to expand into adjacent product areas. Fortune’s growing brand portfolio includes Moen, House of Rohl, Aqualisa, Therma-Tru, Larson, Fiberon, Master Lock and SentrySafe. More details here.

Industry News

Survey on Aging in Place: An overwhelming 93 percent of American adults say they plan to age in place, increasing the need for accessible design and health-related home technologies, according to a new national survey from U.S. News & World Report. Among the report’s highlights, 49 percent of respondents who use the technology say general aging is their primary reason for adopting its use, but other reasons — like mobility, hearing or vision impairments and cognition — are close behind. Two of the most widely used technologies include medical or health-related apps (25 percent) and wearable medical or health-related trackers (17 percent), and 88 percent said assistive or health-related technologies have improved their quality of life. KBB has the details.

Image courtesy of The Pioneer Woman.

Pioneering Kitchen Furniture: Ree Drummond, “The Pioneer Woman,” has added to her Walmart collection with a line of kitchen, dining and bedroom furniture. The line features dining chairs and bar stools, a freestanding kitchen island, a hutch and rolling cabinet cart, a dining table and bench, a headboard and a vanity table, all under “The Pioneer Woman” label. Prices range from $158 for a pair of dining chairs to $478 for a hutch. More info here.


Women’s Design + Construction Conference Set for October: Pro Builder and Pro Remodeler have combined their Women in Residential Construction Conference with Building Design + Construction’s Women in Design + Construction convention to form a new event this fall. Women in Residential + Commercial Construction Conference (WIR+CC) will take place in Nashville, Oct. 25 to 27, featuring three days of keynote talks, workshops, roundtable sessions, interactive panel discussions, networking events and more. Get further information here.

Chapter Updates

Soar with the Squirrels and Virginia State: Join the Virginia State Chapter on July 25 for the Richmond Flying Squirrels baseball game and tailgate from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Diamond, 3001N Arthur Ashe Blvd in Richmond. The Squirrels, a Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, will take on the Portland Sea Dogs, a Boston Red Sox affiliate. Tickets are complimentary, courtesy of Richelieu’s generous sponsorship. A buffet tailgate and networking will take place at the Cross Timbers Party Pavilion from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., followed by the game. More info and registration here.

Chapter Officer Nominations Are Open: Chapter leadership is a great way to influence the direction of your NKBA Chapter and a stepping stone to greater involvement in the association. Three officer positions are open for the current election cycle: President, Programs Chair and Communications Chair. To be considered, any NKBA member (excluding student members) may self-nominate. We are accepting nominations through July 31, and all elections are conducted at the chapter level. Access the chapter officer self-nomination form here, and learn more about the benefits of becoming a chapter leader here.


GE Marks 70 Years, BSH Honored, A&D Market Day, Chapter Updates and More

Image courtesy of Bakes & Kropp.
By Dianne M. Pogoda
Company News
In 1954, GE put the original computer, UNIVAC, into its first industrial application. At that time, only six of the computers existed, five of which belonged to the federal government.

GE Marks 70 Years in KY: In 1953, GE Appliances shipped its first appliance — a dryer — from its then-new location in Louisville, KY. In the seven decades since, the company has spent more than $800 million in Kentucky, and produced more than 240 million appliances from the Appliance Park hub. It contributes more than $7.4 billion to Kentucky’s gross domestic product, and employs more than 8,500 people in the Louisville area. Learn more at GE Appliances.

Image courtesy of BSH.

BSH Takes “Top Employer” Honors: German appliance giant BHS, parent of the Bosch, Thermador and Gaggenau brands, was named a Top Employer in the U.S. by the Top Employers Institute for the eighth consecutive year. The award recognizes the company’s commitment to developing talent, creating a collaborative environment and inspiring employees. KBB elaborates.

Industry News
Image courtesy of Bakes & Kropp.

Strategies That Increase Home Value: It should come as no surprise that the kitchen and bath are key rooms in selling a house. Livingetc asked designers what key upgrades are most likely to increase the value of a home and their best advice included: Optimize storage, upgrade backsplashes and counters, go for a neutral color scheme and add smart features, like wireless charging points or smart lighting. Livingetc has more.

Privacy Concerns With Smart Appliances: Consumer Reports says homeowners have reason to be concerned about an invasion of privacy through their smart appliances. In a story titled, “Smart Appliances Promise Convenience and Innovation. But is Your Privacy Worth the Price?” , the non-profit organization notes that manufacturers are collecting data about users every time they run their washer or open the fridge. The data is used to improve product quality, according to the manufacturers, but it’s also used to create customer data profiles. KBB has the full story.

Trade Events
Image courtesy of A&D.

Market Day at A&D: The A&D Building is hosting Market Day 2023 on June 20 at 150 East 58th Street in New York. The full-day event runs from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., featuring product launches and demonstrations. An open house is available to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., but 15 brands will hold panel discussions and seminars for verified design trade only and require registration. Happy hour in several showrooms is from 4 to 6 p.m. More info here.

Image courtesy of CEDIA Expo.

CEDIA Registration Open: Registration is open for the CEDIA conference and trade show, which runs from Sept. 6 to 9 in Denver. Early-bird rates are in effect through July 16. CEDIA members may register for an all-access conference pass, which includes three days of educational programming plus the expo, for $449. Non-members are $949 for an all-access pass. For the expo only, members are free and non-members are $195. More info here.

Chapter Updates

Chapter Officer Nominations Are Open: Chapter leadership is a great way to influence the direction of your NKBA Chapter and a stepping stone to greater involvement in the association. Three officer positions are open for the current election cycle: President, Programs Chair and Communications Chair. To be considered, any NKBA member (excluding students) may self-nominate. Nominations are accepted through July 31, and all elections are conducted at the chapter level. Access the chapter officer self-nomination form here, and learn more about the benefits of becoming a chapter leader here.

Hit the Links with Ontario: The Ontario/Canada Chapter is hosting its 42nd golf tournament on June 20 at Granite Ridge Golf Club, 9503 Dublin Line, Halton Hills, Ontario. Festivities kick off with lunch at 11 a.m. and the tournament starts at 12:30 followed by a dinner at 5:30. Tickets are $225, and a team of four can register for $800 (includes a $100 discount). More info here.

Swing for the Fences in Ohio: The Southern Ohio/Kentucky Chapter invites members to a Dayton Dragons game on June 22. Start the evening at 5 p.m. with a chapter meeting, pre-gaming food and beverage, and tour of the new Requarth Co. showroom at 447 East Monument Avenue in Dayton. At 7 p.m., cross the street to see the Dragons take on the Lake Country Captains with Cambria. This event is limited to NKBA members and tickets cost $10 per person. Register here.

Golf with Prairie Provinces: Join the Prairie Provinces Chapter on June 26 for its annual golf tournament at The Ranch Golf & Country Club, 9574 Pinchback Road, Acheson, Alberta. Registration starts at $149.95 (Canadian) for a single player to $529.95 (Canadian) for a foursome. Registration and grab-and-go breakfast start at 7 a.m., with a tournament start at 8 a.m. and lunch in the Event Centre at 1 p.m. Learn more and register here.