Kitchen & Bath Design News

JUN 2019

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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KBDN Seminar Set For Denver in June, Remaining Three Seminars Scheduled EVANSTON, IL — The Denver suburb of Greenwood Village, CO will be the location this month for the third in a six-city series of seminars to be presented by Kitchen & Bath Design News in key U.S. markets throughout 2019. The third program in KBDN's exclusive series of in-depth seminars – "Inspiring Clients: The Very Latest Design, Product and Marketing Trends" – will take place Thursday, June 13 at the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton Dever Tech Center, in Greenwood Village. The two previous programs in the seminar series were presented in Atlanta and Boston. Corporate sponsors of the 2020 seminar series include Liebherr, Rev- A-Shelf, Showplace Cabinetry and Wellborn Cabinets. Additional seminars are scheduled for the following months and markets, with hotel locations to be announced: • Sept. 19, Minneapolis; • Oct. 24, Chicago; • Nov. 14, Washington, DC. Aimed at kitchen and bath design professionals seeking to sharpen their design and product trend knowledge, KBDN's seminar series will offer winning combinations of concepts, colors, textures, lighting and more to best fit the needs of today's most dis- cerning clients. In addition, attendees will also be exposed to deeper explorations of emerging marketing technologies – from making the most of websites to exploring new ways to create video to fully utilizing social media/online design platforms. The design and product trends seg- ments of the seminars will once again be presented by Richard Anuszkiewicz, an award-winning designer. Also returning to the seminar series will be KBDN business and technology columnist Eric Schimelpfenig, whose portion of the program will focus on how best to make the most of the latest marketing tools, particularly involving video, social media and website content. Attendees will have the opportunity to earn CEU credits from the National Kitch- en & Bath Association (NKBA) and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). For additional information about attending any of the events or regarding corpo- rate sponsorships, visit www.KBDNseminars.com, or contact KBDN Publisher Paul DeGrandis at Paul@SOLAbrands.com. EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE OFFERED According to Pennsylvania legislators, state resources are being made available to laid-off employees, who will be provided with access to unemployment compensa- tion, health and pension benefits, financial counseling, job training-and-search activities and social service programs. The company employed nearly 1,000 people, with an average length of service reportedly about 20 years. However, many employees worked at Wood-Mode for far longer than that – the company's workforce encompass- ing, in some cases, three generations of family employees. Local, county and state legislators immediately initi- ated the state's Rapid Response Coordination Services, designed to aid workers affected by plant closures. Charitable organizations are also working to assist with the needs of laid-off employees. Food banks, job fairs and other initiatives are also reportedly underway. In addition, a local attorney was meeting with furloughed employees to discuss potential legal issues concerning the Wood-Mode closure. Although the company said that its notice of closure was official pursuant to the conditions of the Work- er Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, there was uncertainty over whether the compa- ny complied with the WARN Act, which requires that employers with 100 or more workers (with few exemp- tions) provide at least a 60-day advance notice of a plant closure or mass layoff. The company said it was unable to provide more notice because management believed that a company sale would go through and that its lender would continue to provide financial support. The penalty for violating the law mandates that a company provide aggrieved employees with up to 60 days of back pay and benefits. Enforcement of WARN, however, is handled not through federal officials, but through the district courts, placing the burden of legal action on workers and their representatives. A LEGACY OF INNOVATION, EXCELLENCE Known for decades for its innovation, quality and craftsmanship, Wood-Mode – formally known as "Wood-Mode Fine Custom Cabinetry" – began oper- ations in 1942 as Wood-Metal Industries. With wartime scarcities of steel limiting the sale of residential cabi- nets, the company turned to supplying cooks' tables, pigeon coops, shell cases, ladders and other products for the military. The post-World War II housing boom, coupled with burgeoning cabinet demand, enabled the company to begin producing kitchen cabinetry, using custom-production techniques that soon set the stan- dard for the industry. During the 1950s, Wood-Metal Industries intro- duced the concept of customized cabinet doors, and began experimenting with a widening range of finish- es and materials. The company eliminated the word "Metal" from its name in 1956, and became the more family-friendly "Wood-Mode Kitchens." During the '60s, and in the decades that followed, Wood-Mode became an iconic cabinet brand widely known for its commitment to product quality, customer service and craftsmanship and, along with other cus- tom-cabinet suppliers, helped usher in an entirely new concept: a one-of-a-kind "custom-designed" kitchen that revolutionized the way cabinetry was manufac- tured, marketed and sold – no longer solely through lumber yards and mass-merchandising home centers, but through a national network of independent kitchen and bath dealers who offered personalized, professional design and installation service. In the process, Wood- Mode became a true nationally distributed custom cabinet brand, in contrast to most custom-cabinet suppliers who market their cabinetry in a narrower geographic region. In subsequent years, Wood-Mode expanded the use of its cabinetry from kitchens and bathrooms to closets/wardrobes, entertainment areas, offices and other areas of the home. The company marketed its products under two brand names: Wood-Mode and Brookhaven, a limited line of lower-priced cabinetry aimed at making Wood- Mode available to a wider audience of customers. The company's product mix included a diverse collection of wood species, door styles, finishes and custom-design elements. "Wood-Mode has been a Valley institution and gen- erous community partner for nearly 80 years," said Seth Joseph of the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way, adding that he was "extremely saddened" to learn of the company's closing. "The company has provided thousands of jobs, and not just philanthropically supported many organiza- tions and projects, but provided decades of inspired vision, leadership and volunteerism across our com- munity," Joseph observed. "Hundreds of working families," he said, "are hurting right now." Zielinski says he's keeping his options open. He's hoping that a white knight steps in to re-start Wood- Mode so that his firm can continue placing orders through the company. If that does not happen soon, he's ready to find a new supplier. "We will continue to service our clients because, when it comes down to it at the end, it is our name and our reputation on the building. And it should not matter to the client what product we are recommending." — Eliot Sefrin, KBDN Publisher Emeritus Wood-Mode's founders, from lower left to upper right: Charles G. Wall, T.O. Gronlund, C.K. Battram, Sr., and Richard E. Nellis. Anuszkiewicz Schimelpfenig 16 Kitchen & Bath Design News • June 2019 INDUSTRY UPDATE NOTEWORTHY DEVELOPMENTS IMPACTING THE KITCHEN AND BATH MARKET

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