Higher Learning

Michelangelo once said, “I am still learning.” Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Skill to do comes of doing.” Leonardo da Vinci wrote in his famous notebooks, “Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master.” And the Native Americans have a saying: “Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.”

All of these quotes are about the importance of education, honing skills, learning new ones and continuing to grow. These ideas apply not only to life in general, but, more specifically, to the kitchen and bath industry, where knowledge of new skills, trends, products, ideas and ways to manage business and boost bottom lines is essential to staying competitive.

Indeed, in addition to logging online, reading trade and consumer publications and scanning articles relating to the kitchen and bath industry, savvy kitchen and bath designers know that attending seminars, symposiums, conferences, networking events and trade shows is the way to stay ahead of the curve. They know that continuing their kitchen and bath education will not only expand their minds, but also expand their bottom lines.

While designers and dealers may think that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but by regularly attending industry-specific seminars, they can learn a new design application, technique or trend, discover a new product application, find out ways to better manage kitchen and bath firms and projects, and become certified.

There are many avenues of education available to kitchen and bath designers, as well as other allied professionals. Most commonly, they can be found via industry associations such as the National Kitchen & Bath Association, the National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry – all of which also offer certifications such as CKD, CBD, CKBR, CR, CGR and CAPS.

Other industry organizations, such as the SEN Design Group, the Bath & Kitchen Buying Group and the Decorative Plumbing & Hardware Association also offer educational opportunities, though some may be limited to their members.
On the next six pages Kitchen & Bath Design News offers a sampling of educational programs available from some of the industry’s major associations and organizations. For details, contact each one directly, or contact local chapters about seminars and other educational events closer to home. Each industry association or other types of industry organization can also be found online at KBDN’s Website, www.KitchenBathDesign.com. Simply log onto the home page and click on Industry Associations for a list of links.

American Lighting Association
P. O. Box 420288
2050 Stemmons Fwy., Ste. 10046
Dallas, TX 75342
Tel: 214-698-9898
Web: www.americanlightingassoc.com
Scope of Educational Program: ALA strives to provide the most up to date technical information via online training, regional seminars, market seminars, manufacturer-approved courses and video training.
Program’s Target Audience: ALA provides technical lighting training to members of the association, managers, sales associates, designers and manufacturers’ representatives.
Major Topics Covered: All topics are about technical lighting, including Advanced Architectural Lighting; Advanced Dimming Controls; Advanced Kitchen and Bath Sales and Design; Advanced Residential Lighting Sales and Design; Kitchen and Bath Lighting Design; Residential Lighting Design; and Energy-Efficient Lighting Design and Current Technologies.
Professional Certifications: ALA offers three levels of certification: Lighting Associate for beginners, Lighting Specialist for all members for a core lighting training program and the more advanced Certified Lighting Consultant program (CLC).
Continuing Education Credits (CEUs): Yes
Upcoming Seminars: Lighting the Bath: Adding Elegance to the Bath; Lighting the Kitchen: The Home’s Central Gathering Spot; Energy-Wise Lighting: Lighting for a Beautiful and Functional Home; Selling Decorative Lighting in the Showroom: Pendants; Selling Decorative Lighting in the Showroom: Surface-Mounted Fixtures; Lighting Fundamentals for the Showroom Salesperson. ALA usually offers 12 per year, and all are given regionally in locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Taught By: Daniel L. Blitzer, IES, LC; Norman R. Brown, CLC; Stanley D. Johnston, CLC; Joseph A. Rey-Barreau, AIA, IES, CSI; Robert G. Davis
Online Seminars: Yes, online seminars are offered 24 hours a day.

Bath & Kitchen Buying Group (BKBG)
5322 West Bellfort Ave., Ste. 215
Houston, TX 77035
Tel: 713-723-3545
Fax: 713-723-3739
Web: www.bkbg.com
Scope of Educational Program: To improve sales and business practices.
Program’s Target Audience: Kitchen and bath dealers
Major Topics Covered: Business practices, sales, showroom design, etc.
Professional Certifications: None
CEUs: Yes
Upcoming Seminars: They are offered twice a year as part of the Spring and Fall Conference, and are available to members only. The bi-annual conferences feature educational seminars, guest speakers and more.
Taught By: Different guest speakers. The next seminar will be given by Eric Herrenkohl, who will present the keynote speech about “Hiring Winners: Improving Your Company’s Hiring IQ” at the Spring Conference, March 14-17 at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown.
Online Seminars: No

Decorative Plumbing & Hardware Association (DPHA)
7900 Wisconsin Ave., Ste. 305
Bethesda, MD 20814
Tel: 888-411-8477; 301-657-3642
Fax: 301-907-9326
Web: www.dpha.net
Scope of Educational Program: DPHA’s education program provides competitive advantages to all of the independent channels for decorative hardware and plumbing dealers, manufacturers and representative agencies. It includes a 13-volume education program to teach those new to decorative plumbing and hardware the technological, performance and design differences between decorative products and lower-priced, lesser-designed alternatives. DPHA also offers educational programs for principals and senior executives of showrooms, manufacturers and rep agencies at the DPHA Annual Conference and Product Showcase and at regional meetings.
Program’s Target Audience: Showroom owners, sales staff, manufacturers, rep agencies.
Major Topics Covered: Lav faucets, shower systems, water closets and bidets, tubs, cabinet and architectural hardware, sinks, finishes, steambaths, waste and supply systems, care and maintenance, hinges
Professional Certifications: None
CEUs: No
Upcoming Seminars: The Attracting and Romancing the Customer educational programs will focus on customer service, marketing and merchandising at DPHA’s Sixth Annual Conference and Product Showcase, scheduled for October 5-7 at the Seaport Hotel in Boston, MA, and at DPHA’s Annual K/BIS Breakfast Lecture on May 9 at the Las Vegas Hilton.
Taught By: Adele Cygelman, Editor in Chief of the Robb Report Luxury Home/Vacation Home, will give the lecture at DPHA’s 2007 K/BIS event; Jack Mitchell, author of Hug Your Customers, will present the keynote address at the 2007 DPHA Conference.
Online Seminars: Yes, DPHA offers Webcasts on various decorative plumbing and hardware topics throughout the year.

International Solid Surface Fabricators Association (ISSFA)
975 American Pacific Dr., Ste. 102
Henderson, NV 89014-7823
Tel: 877-GO-ISSFA; 702-567-8150
Fax: 702-567-8145
E-Mail: bwolle@issfa.org
Web: www.issfa.org
Contact: Bill Wolle, director of education and certification
Scope of Educational Program: ISSFA teahces fabricators in small, interactive peer groups, led by an industry authority who is also an expert on the topic. ISSFA is the Solid Surface and Quartz industry’s center for business development, management and fabrication training.
Program’s Target Audience: Solid surface and quartz fabricators and residential and commercial kitchen/bath dealers, designers and trade specifiers.
Major Topics Covered: Programs offered include fabrication, business development, sales and marketing, management, shop process optimization, project management to special emphasis peer group programming, such as Women in Solid Surface and Advanced Fabricator Think Tanks/Incubation gatherings.
Professional Certifications: Diplomas for skills training and certificates of attendance for educational seminars
CEUs: No
Upcoming Seminars: The Total Fabrication Training Program – four days, twice monthly; The Shop Process Optimization – live seminar and self-study DVD program; The Job Management and Installation – live seminar and self-study DVD program; The Surface Sales Seminar – six live seminars and self-study DVD program; The $1,000,000 Fabricator Mentoring Program – one time annually, six-month program; and The Fabricator’s Advanced Business Management Boot Camp – four times a year, live seminars. Dates and locations are available at: www.issfa.org.
Taught By: Bill Wolle, director of education, teaches and supervises all education and training programs.
Online Seminars: Yes, online training is available at www.issfa.org in the following formats: Fabricator teaching fabricator Chat Room discussions; Fabricator teaching fabricator Bulletin Board discussions; and self-study video library of sales, product, fabrication, tool and shop tour topics.
Any Only-Online Seminars: Yes, the ISSFA Webinar Training System is set to debut in March 2007.
Upcoming Only-Online Seminars: Others will be announced in April. Once any online seminar is given live, it will be available on demand 24/7 at www.issfa.org.

The NAHB University of Housing
National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

1201 15th St., NW
Washington, DC 20005
Tel: 800-368-5242; 202-266-8200
Fax: 202-266-8400
Web: www.nahb.org
Scope of Educational Program: The NAHB University of Housing was formed to provide efficient management, enhanced program quality and comprehensive information for the array of NAHB educational opportunities. It serves as the facilitator of more than 300 education programs at the International Builders’ Show, 15 national conferences, 50 curriculum-based courses and 15 professional designation programs. More information can be found at www.nahb.org/education.
Program’s Target Audience: NAHB has education programs for every aspect of the building industry, including single-family builders; remodelers; multi-family builders and developers; building systems builders, dealers and manufacturers; sales and marketing professionals; 50-plus housing professionals; architects and planners; affordable housing professionals; and building product manufacturers and suppliers.
Major Topics Covered: Business management, building technology and codes, compliance/safety, design and architecture, leadership development, production management and customer service.
Professional Certifications: NAHB has 15 professional designations for the following types of building industry professionals: builders and remodelers; product and service suppliers/manufacturers; multi-family professionals; sales and marketing professionals; 50-plus housing professionals; and building industry superintendents.
CEUs: Yes, all of NAHB’s education programs qualify for the continuing education credit needed for one or more of NAHB’s professional designation programs, and some of NAHB’s education programs qualify for CEUs for professional licenses on a state-by-state basis.
Upcoming Seminars: Among some of NAHB’s most popular courses are Home Modifications (Certified Aging in Place Specialist [CAPS] course) – 27 courses scheduled to date in 2007; Working with and Marketing to Older Adults (CAPS course) – 28 courses scheduled to date in 2007; Business Management for Building Professionals (CAPS and Certified Graduate Remodelor [CGR] course) – 33 courses scheduled to date in 2007; and Estimating for Builders and Remodelors (CGR course) – 19 courses scheduled to date in 2007. These courses are held across the country; go to www.nahb.org/education to search the online course catalog and find a course close to home. Upcoming conferences include the National Green Building Conference, March 25-27 in St. Louis, MO; Building for Boomers and Beyond: 50+ Housing Symposium, May 30-June 1 in Denver, CO; and Design Institute for Building Professionals, June 25-27 in Bellevue (Seattle), WA.
Taught By: Course instructors and conference speakers are industry experts.
Online Seminars: Currently, NAHB does not offer any.

National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI)
780 Lee St., Ste. 200
Des Plaines, IL 60016
Tel: 800-611-6274; 847-298-9200
Fax: 847-298-9225
Web: www.nari.org
Scope of Educational Program: The Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler (CKBR) program designates a person as a professional that focuses on kitchen and bath remodels. Requirements for the CKBR program include demonstrating the understanding of demolition and major installation processes, lighting, and electrical and plumbing systems, and demonstrating familiarity with Computer-Aided Design (CAD).
Program’s Target Audience: This program is for remodelers who focus on conducting kitchen and bath remodels as a major part of their business. It is appropriate for business owners, project managers, installers and salespeople. Remodelers must have five years of continuous full-time employment and have completed at least four kitchen or bath remodels in the last year.
Major Topics Covered: The Certification exam has about 450 questions and takes about 8 hours to complete. The major areas the test covers are: business operations, kitchen and bath materials, layout standards, basic computer-aided design, demolition, electrical, lighting, plumbing, cabinet installation and HVAC.
Professional Certifications: In addition to the CKBR Program, NARI offers Certified Remodeler (CR), Certified Remodeler Specialist (CRS), Certified Remodeler Associate (CRA) and the Certified Lead Carpenter (CLC).
CEUs: No
Upcoming Seminars: Preparation for NARI certification is conducted via a study group process conducted at its local chapters. This process normally requires 12 weeks of study and completes a week prior to taking the exam. The groups are conducted yearly at the local chapter level.
Taught By: Study groups are facilitated by chapter volunteers who normally have the certification. NARI conducts one CKBR study group per year via a teleconference process. This year’s program started on February 28 and will last 12 weeks.
Online Seminars: NARI conducts an education program online. It completed piloting its program on Green Education, which was launched at the end of February.

National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA)
687 Willow Grove St.
Hackettstown, NJ 07840
Tel: 800-843-6522; 908-852-0033
Fax: 908-852-1695
Web: www.nkba.org
Scope of Educational Program: Kitchen and Bath residential design starts with the basic four: Kitchen Starter, Bath Starter, Introduction to Hand Drafting, and Kitchen and Bath Krafter. From these course basics, NKBA course offerings branch out to reach the needs and demands of 11 industry segments, including cabinet shops, dealers, decorative plumbing and hardware, distributors, manufacturers, etc. NKBA creates its own curriculum, and has just completed the first nine volumes of the Professional Resource Library. NKBA also partners with other industry leaders to provide the most current and informative educational topics.
Program’s Target Audience: The professional non-traditional student working in the kitchen and bath industry.
Major Topics Covered: All topics revolve around residential kitchen and bath design.
Professional Certifications: Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer (AKBD), Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD), Certified Bath Designer (CBD) and Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer (CMKBD)
CEUs: Yes
Upcoming Seminars: The NKBA averages approximately 10 course offerings per month across the U.S. and Canada. All 69 chapters host their own seminars relevant to their needs. Program and educational support from National Headquarters provides courses throughout the U.S. and Canada 11 months a year. In addition, the NKBA will offer 12 full-day and nine half-day professional development courses at this year’s K/BIS, May 7-10 in Las Vegas, NV. The NKBA is also launching five new programs this year: Job Installation and Project Management written and taught by Ellen Cheever, CMKBD; Outdoor Kitchens, Experience Green presented by a leader in the field; Branding Your Own Business, a marketing course given by Bob Blakeman from Fry Communications; and European Design Trends presented by EXPO. On the topic of “green” design, the NKBA is not only launching the four-hour program at the upcoming K/BIS, but also a two-hour educational program in June, and a full-day program in the fall.
Taught By: Instructors are masters and specialists in their field.
Online Seminars: Yes, the NKBA offers a complete online program of kitchen and design courses in partnership with Century College.
Any Only-Online Seminars: Yes, Presentation Standards and Construction and Mechanical Systems for Kitchen and Bath Design are both offered in partnership with Century College.

Plumbing Manufacturers Institute (PMI)
1340 Remington Rd., Ste. A
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Tel: 847-884-9764
Fax: 847-884-9775
Web: www.pmihome.org
Contact: Barbara C. Higgens, executive director
Scope of Educational Program: Workshops and forums are focused on the nuances of the industry. Using pre- and post-conference surveys, PMI tailors its programs to the specific needs and interests of attendees. Topics range from the technical (e.g., codes and standards) to the administrative/non-technical (e.g., vendor management). These forums are offered to PMI members at a nominal fee, but are also open to non-members.
Program’s Target Audience: Entry- to mid-level managers in companies having an interest in plumbing products, construction and the building industry.
Major Topics Covered: Technical Program topics include plumbing codes in the U.S. and Canada, product standards, conformity assessment, product certification, certifier accreditation and code requirements. Non-Technical Program topics include RFID, merging technologies, change management, vendor management, fair-trade concerns, global issues and flow of products from China.
Professional Certifications: None
CEUs: No
Upcoming Seminars: PMI Codes and Standards Workshop set for August 2007 in the Chicago Metro Area; IT Forum (TBD); and Business Forum Activities (TBD)
Taught By: PMI staff members and industry experts
Online Seminars: No

PremierDPH
5322 West Bellfort Ave., Ste. 215
Houston, TX 77035
Tel: 713-723-3545
Fax: 713-723-3739
Web: www.premierdph.com
Scope of Educational Program: To improve sales and business practices.
Program’s Target Audience: Those in the decorative plumbing and hardware business
Major Topics Covered: Business practice, sales, showroom design, etc.
Professional Certifications: None
CEUs: Yes
Upcoming Seminars: They are offered twice a year as part of the Spring and Fall Conference, which are available to members only.
Taught By: Different guest speakers make presentations. The next seminar will be given by Hank Darlington. He will present the seminar “100 Tips to a Better Showroom.” It is scheduled for the Spring Conference, April 12-14.
Online Seminars: No

Remodelors Council of the NAHB
1201 15th St., NW
Washington, DC 20005
Tel: 800-368-5242; 202-266-8200
Fax: 202-266-8400
Web: www.nahb.org/remodelors
Scope of Educational Program: The Remodelors Council sponsors two designation programs that are administered through NAHB’s University of Housing: the Certified Graduate Remodelor (CGR) program and the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) program. The CGR program emphasizes business management skills as the key to a professional remodeling operation. The CAPS designation program teaches the technical, business management and customer service skills essential to competing in the aging in place design.
Program’s Target Audience: The audience for the CGR designation is remodelers. The audience for the CAPS designation is remodelers, interior designers and architects.
Major Topics Covered: Topics for the CGR designation program include marketing and sales, business administration, design, estimating and job cost, contracts, liability and risk management, and project management. Topics for the CAPS program include working with and marketing to older adults, home modifications and an introduction to business management
Professional Certifications: CGR, CAPS
CEUs: All of NAHB’s education programming qualifies for continuing education credit needed for CGR and CAPS.
Upcoming Seminars: The following courses are held across the country; go to www.nahb.org/education to search the online course catalog: Home Modifications (CAPS course) – 27 courses scheduled to date in 2007; Working with and Marketing to Older Adults (CAPS course) – 28 courses in 2007; Business Management for Building Professionals (CAPS and CGR course) – 33 courses in 2007; Estimating for Builders and Remodelors (CGR course) – 19 courses in 2007; the National Green Building Conference, March 25-27 in St. Louis, MO; Building for Boomers and Beyond: 50+ Housing Symposium, May 30-June 1 in Denver, CO; and Design Institute for Building Professionals, June 25-27 in Bellevue (Seattle), WA
Taught By: Course instructors and conference speakers are industry experts.
Online Seminars: No

SEN Design Group
151 East Rosemary St., Ste. 202
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Tel: 800-991-1711; 919-933-6640
Fax: 919-933-6648
Web: www.sendesign.com
Contact: For seminar agendas, meeting sites, tuition fees and registration, visit www.senseminars.com.
Scope of Educational Program: At SEN’s semi-annual conferences there are a series of six in-depth seminars and two days of exhibits. The conferences also feature sales and business management workshops and roundtables for which SEN has prepared Dealer Financial Comparison Reports so that owners can receive peer counseling to improve profit margins and solve common business problems together. Additionally, these conferences provide educational networking opportunities for members as a means of exchanging candid business information that will enhance each other’s operations. Finally, SEN conducts a series of regional one-day business management (“Managing For Maximum Profit,” co-produced by Kitchen & Bath Design News) and sales seminars each year for both its membership and the industry at large, and offers one-on-one business consulting exclusively for its members.
Program’s Target Audience: The target audience for “Managing for Maximum Profit” is owners, partners and general/business managers of kitchen and bath showrooms, remodeling contractors and cabinet shops. Owners and sales managers of the same kind of firms are also the audience for the “Selling for Maximum Gross Margins” seminar – a complimentary program to the Managing For Maximum Profit seminar – as are the sales designers, design consultants, cabinet salespeople and design assistants (following a career path into selling products and services) who work for these companies.
Major Topics Covered: For the Managing For Maximum Profit program the key topics are: the four most critical decisions to maximize owner income and profit; accurate financial statements: the key to making sound business decisions; gaining the right return on investment in the business; merchandising techniques that generate higher gross margins; management tools that preserve the planned gross profit; and the five steps to creating a strategic plan: the essence of leadership. For Selling for Maximum Gross Margins the key topics are: selling fundamentals that must be mastered to be the very best; Dale Carnegie’s five steps to produce a bigger sales volume; how to handle objections to increase closing percentages; marketing the value of doing business with your firm; the miracle marketing technique: how interactive budgeting increases sales volumes and gross margins; and “upselling” techniques that add substantial profit with
little effort.
Professional Certifications: No
CEUs: Yes, they are available with both educational programs.
Upcoming Seminars: Managing For Maximum Profit: Chicago Metro Area on March 30 at the Hyatt Lisle in Lisle, IL; Boston Metro Area on June 22 at the Sheraton Needham (MA) Hotel; Atlanta on November 2 at an area hotel to be determined. Selling for Maximum Gross Margins: Chicago Metro Area on March 31 at the Hyatt Lisle in Lisle, IL; Boston Metro Area on June 23 at the Sheraton Needham (MA) Hotel; Atlanta on November 3 at a hotel to be determined.
Taught By: Ken Peterson, CKD, and Tom Blau, v.p./education, are the instructors for “Managing For Maximum Profit.” Peterson also conducts the “Selling For Maximum Gross Margins” program.
Online Seminars: No

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