Julie Figiel Talks NKBA at KBIS

The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), the kitchen and bath industry’s most significant trade association, brings tens of thousands of professionals together annually for North America’s largest kitchen and bath trade show, The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS).

However, there’s more to NKBA than KBIS.  

Christopher Grubb and Julie Figiel

While the association’s name has changed a few times over the last 55 years, association leaders haven’t lost sight of their mission: meeting the needs of the ever-growing kitchen and bath segment.

For starters, their membership program plays an essential role in building community and helping promote the next generation of professionals.  “There’s so much value to being a member [of the NKBA],” explained Julie Figiel, NKBA’s manager of contractor programs, to House Tipster host Christopher Grubb during the 2019 KBIS.

That value is evident in the organization’s growing member population. Today, NKBA has over 40,000 members participating in 70 chapters from across North America and in Europe. Each member, including kitchen and bath designers, plumbers, contractors, students, manufacturers, and other industry professionals, benefit from the association’s three pillars: Membership, Professional Development, and Marketplace.

“There’s a value in building a community, in networking, and in coming together,” said Figiel about NKBA. Besides the social aspect, association members also benefit from increased access to other industry professionals, professional development, and job opportunities.

To help build camaraderie, NKBA offers numerous initiatives, including Thirty Under 30, a celebration of young movers and shakers, Design Competition, a showcase in industry-wide expertise, and Voices from the Industry, a KBIS training program for professional development.

New for 2019 is the NKBA Badge Program, which highlights a member’s unique skill set. It’s meant to “distinguish you from your peers as being well versed and educated in a single competency,” and helps add an extra oomph for bigger professional impact.

As in all professional organization, you truly get what you put into your membership. If you’re an industry professional and believe you may benefit from improved connections, professional development, and leadership opportunities, you can find out more about NKB here.

Tipster TV has released the full facebook LIVE episode from our special interview, be sure to check it out below.


  1. This booth was a beehive of activity…. From the strategic pillars of the NKBA – Membership, Marketplace and Professional Development to the AMAZING (!) museum of the History of the Bath, kudos to the NKBA!

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