Leading & Learning

Leading & Learning

John F. Kennedy once said, "Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." This is certainly the case in the kitchen and bath industry, where the only constant is change and excellence means not just mastering the old, but continually studying and embracing the new.

But if learning and leadership are inextricably linked, so, too, are the traits that forge great leaders: talent, wisdom, creative vision, an open mind, a willingness to listen, strong convictions, personal and professional integrity, and a desire to go beyond the ordinary in pursuit of the extraordinary.

To that end, this month, Kitchen & Bath Design News is once again honoring individuals and companies in the kitchen and bath design industry that exemplify true leadership, with the presentation of its fifth annual Industry Leadership Awards. A total of 17 industry professionals including kitchen and bath dealers, designers, distributors, "whotailers," manufacturers, sales reps and others have been named as recipients of the 2003 Industry Leadership Awards, presented exclusively by K&BDN.

The Industry Leadership Awards competition was created in 1999, and is the first and only kitchen and bath industry awards program of its kind, focusing specifically on leadership excellence and outstanding industry achievement in a variety of categories.

"As an industry, we tend to focus primarily on design talent. There's no question that design skills are important, but it is our firm belief that true excellence comes from mastering all aspects of our business, from customer service, sales, marketing and business management to the ability to create eye-catching, effective showroom displays and make an impact in our communities," states K&BDN editor Janice Costa.

"For that reason, our 2003 Industry Leadership Awards are designed to single out companies and associates who have truly made a difference to their companies, to their customers, to their communities, and to the kitchen and bath industry at large," continues Costa.

Kitchen & Bath Design News salutes the winners of its 2003 Industry Leadership Awards competition. Profiles of each of the 2003 winners are presented on the following nine pages.

Overall Excellence in Operating a Kitchen & Bath Dealership honoring independent kitchen and bath dealers for general excellence in design, management, sales, marketing, customer service, professionalism and all other aspects of operating a successful dealership.

First Place: Kitchens by Deane, Stamford, CT
Second Place: Distinctive Kitchens, designs by STEENBEKE & SONS, Concord, NH
Third Place: By Design Interiors, Inc., Houston, TX

Overall Excellence in Operating a K&B Distribution or "Whotail" Firm honoring kitchen/bath distributors or wholesale/retail firms ("whotailers") for general excellence in management, sales, marketing, customer service and support for dealers, remodelers and other product specifiers.

First Place: Carl Schaedel and Co., Inc., West Caldwell, NJ
Second Place: Hayward Design Center, Santa Barbara, CA
Third Place: Broc Supply, Allentown, PA

Most Innovative Kitchen or Bath Retail Marketing Effort honoring kitchen/bath dealers, whotailers, multi-branch or other retail outlets for a targeted marketing effort that successfully combines advertising, promotion and special events, while resulting in demonstrable sales growth.

First Place: Reico Kitchen & Bath, Springfield, VA
Second Place: Z&G Enterprises, Pittsburgh, PA

Most Innovative Showroom or Use of Displays honoring kitchen/bath dealers, distributors or whotailers for outstanding product merchandising, showroom design, use of displays or unique use of a showroom as a marketing vehicle.

First Place: Grande Central Showroom, New York, NY
Second Place: Kitchens by Deane, Stamford, CT
Third Place TIE: Southeast Appliance Dist., Charlotte, NC
Third Place TIE: Apex Cabinet Co., Apex, NC

Independent or Factory Sales Rep of the Year honoring factory-employed or independent sales or customer service representatives for successfully representing the interests of suppliers, while demonstrating superior support and responsiveness to the needs of their customers.

First Place: Bernard Kronk, Marketing Enterprises West, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA

Most Innovative Supplier Support Program honoring manufacturers, importers or suppliers of kitchen and bath products for successfully conceiving and executing a support program that assists kitchen and bath dealers or distributors in a variety of areas.

First Place: Elkay Sales, Inc., Oak Brook, IL

Outstanding Industry or Community Service honoring kitchen/ bath industry-related individuals, companies or groups for an outstanding contribution to their community or the public, or to contributing to the growth in stature and professionalism of the industry.

First Place: Decorative Plumbing & Hardware Association, Bethesda, MD
Second Place: Delta Faucet Co., Indianapolis, IN
Third Place: Whirlpool Corp., Benton Harbor, MI