There is one central goal for SEN Design Group — it is the focus and mission of our organization. It is the single reason SEN exists. The success of our members.
Every spring and every fall, SEN members attend one or both of the semi-annual conferences. It is the opportunity to optimize membership in this unique, knowledge-based kitchen and bath industry buying group. It is the time to take advantage of the many benefits of membership – especially the strategic community, which is in full display at the conferences. The Spring Conference is the first chance for members and friends to connect in the new year. It is a time of sharing knowledge, bouncing ideas off each other, receiving and giving advice, and simply having some fun together. It may be a work event with fellow industry business owners and professionals, but it is also a time for like-minded people to forge valuable relationships.
SEN worked hard to create an excellent “menu” of workshops, seminars, roundtables, and speakers so that our members can return home to their companies and “cook” up the perfect plan for business success and growth. Yes, these puns may be a bit goofy, but success is at the heart of the Spring Conference like a wonderful meal is at the heart of a family. Providing the best itinerary of events with the most knowledgeable expert speakers is the best way for SEN to provide value to our members.
Here is a recap of a phenomenal week of connecting and reconnecting with each other:
We would like to start by congratulating all the award winners.
Top 5 – Purchases from SEN Members
#5: Bella Domicile with $988,000.00
#4: Wolff Bros with $1,065,000.00
#3: Five Star Kitchens with $1,380,000.00
#2: Gilmans Kitchens + Baths with $1,700,000.00
…and #1: Certified Kitchens with an impressive $2,722,000.00
Bronze Vendor Award went to Grothouse for solid sales growth in a given year.
Silver Vendor Award went to Richelieu for solid sales growth and demonstrating dedicated channel leadership.
Gold Vendor Award was presented to The Galley in recognition of achieving outstanding sales growth in a given year.
…and our Vendor Partner of the Year was Dura Supreme in recognition of their outstanding engagement with the group, embrace of core values, and substantial sales growth.
The Ken Anderson CKD Humanitarian Award is presented in honor of Ken Anderson. Inducted into the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s Hall of Fame in 2009, Ken was an avid supporter and friend to the SEN family. This award best exemplifies the dedication Ken had to his community and his industry. It acknowledges an individual who sees volunteerism as an integral part of their life. It recognizes someone who is completely selfless, a person who does anything and everything for the better of others. It is someone who has a good grasp on their ego and uses their time wisely for the betterment of their community and industry at large. This honor was presented to John Lang of Lang’s Kitchen & Bath.
The Final award to be presented was the M.A. Peterson Best Business Person of the Year Award. Named for Owner & President Ken Peterson’s father. This is an individual who has demonstrated a serious commitment to this industry and to the SEN Design Group – a person who has experienced the educational and monetary value of his SEN Membership, and gives back to the group by sharing his learnings, mentoring new colleagues, and offering advice. This year’s MA Peterson recipient was Tom LeBlanc of Watch City Kitchens.
A job well done by SEN Members and our Vendor Partners!
Featured Training – Trends, Opportunities, & Tools for Building a High-Performing Showroom Experience
Sarah Reep CMKBD, Tom LeBlanc, Keith Tobias, and Ken Peterson CKD conducted an engaging session that discussed trends affecting our industry, the daily challenges we face, the importance of customer experience in today’s business world and meeting those expectations, and implementing the best, innovative tools that set up your company for success. All attendees walked away with actionable, practical, real solutions for profitability and growth. If you needed energy and enthusiasm, this array of high-energy speakers was a great way to kick off the conference week.
Executive (and first-time firms) SEN Members had the opportunity to spend time together, and this is where the real collaboration and bonding happens. Nothing can replace talking with others in your industry who share many of the same experiences you and your team see and feel every day. The value of brainstorming and sharing real-life experiences is immeasurable. Every business is different, even those who share many of the same ingredients and recipes. This is the time for inspiration, learning, and sharing new ideas with your peers. Seeing and learning first-hand what has worked and not worked can help business owners choose the right paths for themselves and their businesses. The dealer roundtables are sessions that everyone in attendance anticipates with excitement. They did not disappoint! A big THANK YOU goes to Matt Devino, John Lang, and Raffael Brugnoni for leading these groups.
Signature Members and designers had the chance to engage with each other and learn from segments facilitated by an outstanding industry expert – Chris Dreith CMKBD. The most significant opportunity in these sessions is the knowledge shared among friends and fellow industry professionals. The best way to learn is by speaking and brainstorming with experts in your field.
The support SEN and our members receive from our vendor partners are infinite. The vendors are the core of the success for everyone in our community – SEN, the members, and the vendors. In this session facilitated by Bryan Winemiller, we brainstormed with our vendor partners and continued to look for ways to improve together. It is one of the most important sessions of the conference, and we feel confident that we all will move forward together with growth and success in the future.
It has been over 2 years for many attendees since they’ve seen their fellow business owners in the SEN community. The Welcome Reception is the time for food, drinks, catching up with familiar faces, and networking with those in our industry. While we do a lot of work during the conference, we have some fun, and this event was no exception!
General Session & Keynote Speaker with Amy Alberta and Kristen Brown
Amy Alberta kicked off the General Session and was excited to share with members all the resources SEN provides and everything in the works for the remainder of the year.
Kristen Brown followed and was inspiring, and her enthusiasm was infectious. The past two years were tough for many. They were very isolating for business owners, employees, and customers alike. The Spring Conference was about learning to renew, reconnect, and refresh. These are the ideal ingredients to move yourself, your team, and your business forward! As leaders, sometimes we need reminders about how best to influence and impact those around us to achieve high levels of success. Kristen’s savory advice gave all of us much food for thought!
One of the cornerstones of SEN conferences is meeting with vendors and learning about the latest products. There is no better way to learn about the products we sell and recommend to clients. This knowledge is advantageous to business owners, designers, and most of all, to your clients. When SEN members get the opportunity to see new products introduced by vendors, it is like tasting and sneak peek of a new meal created by a chef before anyone else. It is a unique and competitive advantage. But it is especially advantageous to your clients – you can truly offer them the best options available. A savory win-win for everyone!
Vendor Partner Tabletops
There is nothing like face-to-face time with our vendor partners. This one-on-one time allowed every member to ask questions, hear about new products, and talk about their own needs and clients’ needs. This precious time is well worth the investment of your time to come to the conference – a tremendous benefit of membership that feels like the perfect meal during a great journey.
The Vendor Partner Tabletops never feel like enough time, no matter how many times you attend these events. While The Galley and Cutco provided a cutting demonstration from a professional chef, Members had the opportunity to swing by vendor booths. They spent worthwhile time getting more information, especially signing up for Vendor Show Specials. The membership benefits shine during the extra innings session, like the delicious ballpark frank. The chance to get more from SEN vendor partners is a tasty advantage you get to bring home to your team and clients.
THANK YOU to The Galley and Cutco for their contributions and beautiful giveaways during the duration of the conference!
Workshop #1: Spectrum of Awesome
Kristen Brown once again inspired us. She talked about how you can be the best, positive leader. Connecting with different generations and people was a strong message in this workshop. It was all about significantly impacting others, your business, your clients, and improving yourself. Sometimes we need reminders that we have the tools to be AWESOME. Attendees learned how to put all their affirmative ingredients into a big pot, cook them up, and serve them to all those people who are a part of their business. It was impossible to walk away from this workshop and not be excited to put Kristen’s motivational tips into action. And remember, what is awesome today?
Workshop #2: How to Talk to Your Team
A big challenge of business ownership and successfully running a business is learning “How to Talk to Your Team.” SEN Member Kristy Ferguson, Owner of Beyond the Box, helped SEN business owners and designers see all sides of the issue – from the different personality types to varying generations to the changing times in business to practical, actionable tips. A lot of effort goes into a delicious meal, much like the effort that goes into building a successful, productive team.
Roundtable/Forum Recap & Next Steps
This was a newly added session to the conference agenda! After a week of information and learning, attendees were eager to look forward. The Dealer Roundtable and Sales Forum groups gathered back up for a chance to discuss the past week and determine how each individual can best move forward in the quest for success and growth. We had great engagement, ideas, questions, networking, and education at the Spring Conference. Many attendees are going home with new ideas and are excited to share their recipe for success with their team and their clients.
Workshop #3: Thought Leadership Panel: Harnessing the Big Industry Changes for Greater Success
An outstanding panel discussion facilitated by Ken Peterson CKD discussed a full menu of present-day challenges – such as supply chain issues, cabinet industry consolidation, personnel shortage, personnel burn-out, and business automation needs. There was a spirited discussion with panelists Sarah Reep, Keith Tobias, Kristy Ferguson, and Don Jessup. Sometimes the slightest adjustment in a recipe can make a huge difference in the result – and that is what attendees of this workshop learned! They walked away with ideas, actionable steps, and information to help them work towards continued revenue and profitability growth, even when the current demand subsides.
Now it is time for you to return home and get your business cookin’!
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the Fall Conference. If you have never been to Arizona in September, you will not want to miss this opportunity! Learn more.
Tuesday, September 20, 2022 – Friday, September 23, 2022
Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa
3800 East Sunrise Drive
Tucson, AZ 85718