Marking its fortieth anniversary in 2017, the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) – Ontario/Canada Chapter is the oldest in Canada, and one of the most dynamic, with 450 member companies under its umbrella.
Chapter president Denise Turner said the NKBA, headquartered in New Jersey, has grown from its U.S. base internationally to include European chapters. The association has also grown within Canada, adding new Ottawa, British Columbia and Prairie Provinces chapters.
“Our association is for anyone involved with the kitchen and bath industry including interior designers, suppliers and manufacturers of kitchen and bath components, contractors, and those specifically involved with kitchen and bath design.”
The NKBA has developed certification programs as a way for kitchen and bath professionals to enhance their careers and market themselves as experts in their field. Turner says NKBA certification is based on in-depth testing and extensive industry experience. “The NKBA’s certification examinations are developed in conjunction with the NKBA’s exam development committee. The primary body of knowledge for NKBA certification is the nine-volume Professional Resource Library and the NKBA Kitchen and Bathroom Planning Guidelines.”
The Ontario/Canada Chapter has 11 board members – one of whom is responsible as chapter representative for disseminating information to members, and only one of whom is a man. “There are many men working in the field but my experience has been that women are more likely to volunteer to sit on the board and to be involved with committees and planning,” she said.
While the industry may be equally represented between genders, Turner says, like many other segments, young people are needed in higher numbers. The association holds many social and networking opportunities including member meetings every three months, hosted by a member company. Turner says these always include a guest speaker with an educational focus and a focus on networking. She says the membership in general is very collaborative, preferring to work together for the benefit of the industry as a whole, rather than competing.
Members also have access to webinars through NKBA national which she says are very well received and sought after. “The NKBA (National) mission is to promote professionalism in the kitchen and bath industry and to educate the public on the role and value of working with a qualified professional. That includes a range of resources to help both homeowners and pros learn everything they need to know.”
The association also hosts its annual KBIS (Kitchen and Bath Industry Show) which has been linked to the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) International Builder Show (IBS). Scheduled for 2017 to take place in Orlando in January, she says this huge trade show and conference is a key event for the industry and a well-attended networking event.
In September, the Ontario/Canada chapter will hold its annual membership drive. “The event includes two continuing education credits which will certainly be of interest. New members also get the value of getting 15 months for the price of 12 when they register at this annual event. This is a great opportunity for people to get more value for their dollar, and to take advantage of all NKBA has to offer.”
For more information, visit http://www.nkba.ca.