Name: Molly McCabe
Company: A Kitchen That Works™ LLC (AKTW)
Region: Seattle/Pacific Northwest
Areas of Specialty: Designer, marketing and appliance specialist
Molly Erin McCabe, AKBD, CGP, and award-winning designer, is the founder and co-owner of A Kitchen That Works™ LLC (AKTW). AKTW is a full service design-build firm specializing in kitchens and baths.
Ms. McCabe consults to architectural and construction firms on material specifications with specific emphasis on appliances specifications. She has published numerous articles and has lectured locally and nationally on design with an emphasis on sustainable design and construction.
She is a Subject Matter Expert for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Green Home Guide, a founding and current board member of the Olympic West Sound Chapter of the National Kitchen & Bath Association; a member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association, the Home Builders Association of Kitsap County Built Green® program and Remodelers Council, the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild, Green America and the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce. Her professional certifications include: Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer (AKBD) from the National Kitchen and Bath Association, Certified Green Professional (CGP) from the National Association of Home Builders, and she is a registered Certified Lead-Free Renovator with the Environmental Protection Agency.
When Ms. McCabe is not working, she enjoys spending time cooking, playing tennis and being with family and friends. She also is an active member of her community volunteering with youth and teens, environmental groups as well as other not-for-profit community groups through projects and Board participation.
Ms. McCabe lives and works in a Built Green® home that she designed and built with her husband and their two children.
Name: Jennifer Allison
Company: Jennifer Allison Design
Region: Los Angeles, CA
Years in Business: 10+
Areas of Specialty: Designing client-specific building projects ranging from kitchen remodels to complete home renovations
Jennifer Allison specializes in designing client-specific building projects, ranging from kitchen remodels to complete home renovations. She has designed high-end custom and speculative homes for over 10 years.
In addition to her various high-end projects, she also works on entry-level single-family tract communities and town homes. Ms. Allison is an avid member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association and contributor of the Kitchen and Bath Design News. In 2008, she was the winner of the National Thermador New Freedom Kitchen Design Contest. Ms. Allison currently lives in Los Angeles, loves animals, travels the world, and is an active equine enthusiast.
Name: Susan Serra
Company: Susan Serra Associates, Inc.
Region: New York Metro
Years in Business: 20+
Areas of Specialty: Kitchen design
Professional designer for over 20 years, Susan Serra, serves as president of Susan Serra Associates, a kitchen and bath design company, since 1991. As the owner of her business, she believes that clients benefits from attention to detail, a serious approach to all design projects and client’s goals, and a global understanding of the need for excellence. Ms. Serra is a Certified Kitchen Designer and a member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). A believer of continuing education, she attends countless seminars, manufacturer’s trainings, and workshops to stay updated on today’s newest kitchen design trends.
Name: Barbara Barton
Company: Barbara Barton and Associates.
Region: Denver Colorado
Years in Business: 30+
Areas of Specialty: Designer, marketing and appliance specialist
Barbara Barton is a designer, and a marketing and appliance specialist, who has shared over 30 years of business and sales experience with several kitchen and bath dealerships, appliance stores, as well as two major appliance distributors: HADCO in Atlanta and Roth Distributing in Denver.
She shares her passion for training, education and marketing as an appliance specialist, conducting seminars for kitchen and bath dealers, trade organizations such as AIA, ASID and NKBA, independent designers, interior design school classes, and remodelers. She contributes articles to Residential Design Build and Remodeler’s Quarterly on an annual basis. She serves on the PAC Committee for the Art Institute of Colorado’s Kitchen and Bath NKBA-approved program. Currently, she is committed to special event coordination, marketing consulting, certified coaching to the industry, as well as keeping her hand in kitchen design from her hometown of Denver, Colorado.
Name: Cheryl Parsley
Company: Rene Products, LLC
Region: Primarily Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Southeastern Indiana
Years in Business: 29+
Areas of Specialty:High end solid wood custom cabinetry for kitchen, bath, living, and furniture solutions
Cheryl Parsley, co-owner of Rene Products LLC in Cleves, Ohio, has been in the business of design for over 29 years. Continuing the tradition of handcrafted quality since 1957, Rene Products is a family owned and operated business that specializes in high-end solid wood custom cabinetry. The company brings together the talents of woodworking craftsmen and the knowledge of an innovative design staff to create a versatile range of products. Cabinetries produced by Rene Products are hand-delivered to clients. They primarily serve clients in the Cincinnati, North Kentucky, and Southeastern Indiana areas.
Name: Christine Nelson
Company: Christine Nelson Design
Region: Minneapolis, MN
Areas of Specialty:Provide design services for kitchens, baths and other rooms requiring cabinetry or further recommended products.
Professional Affiliations:Provide design services for kitchens, baths and other rooms requiring cabinetry or further recommended products.
Christine Nelson is an award-winning kitchen and bath designer at Christine Nelson Design, her own firm where she helps clients with kitchen and bath remodeling. Her designs have been recognized by the Minnesota Chapter of the National Kitchen and Bath Association and featured in publications such as the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Midwest Home and Spaces magazines.
Ms. Nelson grew up with an artist and art professor for parents, which led her to spend an early part of her career designing and producing home furnishings, costumes and clothing. She opened her first children’s clothing company, successfully merging her artistic side with business. Her love and affinity for color and texture made her progression towards a career in kitchen and bath design a natural one. She received her certificate in Kitchen and Bath design from Century College and is a graduate of St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Her inspiration stems from the colors of everyday life. She has a monthly color blog that encompasses everything from insight into new color trends to tips for incorporating color into spaces. Ms. Nelson is involved with design on multiple levels. She serves on the board of the Minnesota Chapter of the NKBA, the Handmade Tile Association, and is part of the advisory council for Accent Elegance.
Name: Donna Venegas
Company: Venegas and Company
Region: Boston / New England
Areas of Specialty: Custom cabinetry for the private residence, Design development, Material selection and sampling
Donna Venegas has been in the design industry for over ten years and is the founder and kitchen designer at Venegas and Company, a boutique design studio and showroom that specializes in custom cabinetry and a positive client experience. Motivated by happy clients, Ms. Venegas works to please each and every client with designs that fit their personality and lifestyle, earning respect from her team and industry colleagues through thoughtful design in an engaging and thoughtful environment.
Ms. Venegas holds degrees in Interior Design from Boston Architectural College, an Economics and International Studies degree from Boston College, and is certified by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). She is also involved with several industry design councils, helping define the direction and future of kitchen design.
Besides her love for design, she eagerly awaits the months of April to October for boat season and can often be seen on the cold waters in Boston Harbor. Ms. Venegas’ mantra is, “Kitchens are not business, they’re personal!”
Name: Holly L. Boling Ruiz
Company: Philpotts Interiors
Region: Honolulu and San Francisco
Years in Business: 26
Holly Boling Ruiz is a distinguished senior designer with Philpotts & Associates, whose focus on hospitality, resort, and high-end residential and commercial projects throughout the U.S., Asia, and Pacific has made the firm famous for their ability to infuse the local culture into their designs. Her talent in listening to clients is reflective of the firm’s strengths and can be seen in her many projects from around the world, from Taipei, Taiwan to Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Her most recent project on a number of custom homes in the resort community of Hualalai on the island of Hawaii has been featured in Architectural Digest, First Hawaiian Bank, and Vanguard Lofts in Honolulu. She has been in the design industry since 1986 and is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers, International Interior Design Associates, and is certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification. Some of her many accomplishments include being the 2008 Overall Winner for the Drysdale Residence and 2005 ASID Overall Winner for Kahala Nui Senior Living Community. In January 2002 she was honored as one of the Top 100 Interior Designers internationally by the Architectural Digest.
Name: Lisa Brooks
Company: Brooks Kitchen and Bath Designs
Region: Greater Atlanta and North Georgia area
Areas of Specialty: Kitchen and bath solutions for both renovations and new construction
Lisa Brooks, a designer who has received several industry awards and has projects featured in numerous local publications, strives to create an amazing client experience from start to finish. When designing kitchens and baths for her prominent clientele, she makes a point to create a space that fits their personality and lifestyle. Her careful attention to detail, professionalism, and unique understanding of her clients result in dreams come true for her clients. Ms. Brooks is also active in the American Society of Interior Designers, the National Kitchen and Bath Association, the Universal Design Alliance, and number of other professional organizations.
Name: Lynn Knight Jessee
Company: European Concepts
Region: Tulsa, OK
Years in Business: 40+
Areas of Specialty:Traditional and contemporary kitchens and baths with an emphasis on the unexpected and ultimate designs
Professional Affiliations:Participated for many years in Designer’s Showcase Homes
Lynn Jessee is a nationally recognized interior designer for more than 40 years who has won numerous awards and has been featured in nationwide publications. She opened her company, European Concepts, to share with others her unique design perspective. In 1994, she and her son created a luxury bath and kitchen company specializing in high-end residential homes. They were invited to showcase their new designs at the Luxury Kitchen and Bath Show in New York City and Las Vegas. Today their clients span coast to coast with European Concepts locations in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. The company also had showrooms at Metro Appliances and More where they specialize in traditional and contemporary kitchens and baths with an emphasis on the unexpected and ultimate designs. Ms. Jessee has been awarded the Design Journal’s Platinum and Gold ADEX Award for design excellence in kitchen and bath furniture design.
Name: Martha Venga
Company: Danmar Cabinet Company
Region: San Francisco Bay Area
Years in Business: 20+
Areas of Specialty:Modular cabinetry which means predetermined sizes, specialized finishes and factory direct planning.
Martha Venga is the Co-Founded Danmar Cabinet Company in 1999 in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area. A designer for over 20 years, she has helped clients discover solutions as a wholesale cabinet distributor representative. Ms. Venga is a Certified Kitchen Designer certified by the National Kitchen and Bath Association and a Certified Green Building Professional by Build It Green. While an active member in the National Kitchen and Board Association, she has held various past board positions in the Northern California Chapter. Her participation in these associations means her clients can rely on her to be current on design trends as well as the future direction of kitchen design.
When Ms. Venga isn’t designing kitchens, she is a supportive mom to her daughter’s cheerleading club, team manager to her son’s soccer team, and public relations representative for Kings Mountain Associated Parents. Ms. Venga also supports her community’s non-profit organization, the San Mateo County Battered Women’s Group, by hosting design events. Ms. Venga shares her passion for cooking with clients while exchanging ideas about the importance of function in today’s busy kitchen spaces, improving the ease and joy of cooking.
Name: Mary Fisher Knott
Company: Mary Fisher Designs
Region: Phoenix, AZ
Areas of Specialty: Ergonomic kitchen and bath design for new construction and remodeling of existing spaces
Mary Knott established Mary Fisher Designs in 1963, a firm dedicated to kitchen and bath design and ergonomic space planning. Ms. Knott is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers and is a certified interior designer and certified Aging-in-Place specialist. Her kitchen and bath designs for new construction and remodeling of existing spaces have been featured in numerous publications for her design and expertise. Ms. Knott’s most recent accomplishment is publishing her fifth book, Kitchen and Bath Design, published by John Wiley & Son in January 2011.
Name: Patrick L. Borg
Company: Neff of Chicago
Region: Chicago, Illinois
Areas of Specialty: Custom cabinets including wall-units, entertainment centers, bars, wardrobes, libraries, wall paneling, moldings / trim, and even furniture to coordinate with NEFF cabinetry
Patrick Borg is senior executive at Neff of Chicago, a company known for creating luxurious and innovative cabinets since its founding in 1966. Mr. Borg has successfully managed both privately-held and public organizations in various senior leadership roles from executive experience on board of directors to establishing entrepreneurial enterprises. The core competencies of the companies he has managed include sales, marketing, advertising, distribution, design, and manufacturing. In the ever-changing North American retail industry, he has a track record of steady business achievement, growth and turnaround.
Name: Sandra Steiner-Houck
Company: Sandra Steiner-Houck, Inc
Region: Eastern Pennsylvania
Years in Business: 30+
Areas of Specialty: Timeless designs that are reflective of their client’s personality.
Sandra Steiner-Houck, CKD and Allied A.S.I.D., professionally practices Interior Design specializing in high-end kitchens and baths, her passion for over 30 years. She is president of the design division and co-owner of Steiner & Houck, Inc., an award-winning firm based in Pennsylvania that focuses on providing timeless designs that are reflective of their client’s personality. She holds an associate of arts degree in interior design from Bauder Fashion College, serves on the panel for the NKBA Design Competition, and periodically writes articles for design publications including Southern Accents, Women’s Day magazine, and Kasmar designer books. Her award-winning designs have gained her both national and international recognition; leading to publication in Marquis Who's Who in Science & Engineering, Who's Who in The World, Who's Who in The East and Who's Who of American Women.
She is a member of the National Association of Professional Women, Designing Profits Best Practices Network. When not designing, Ms. Steiner-Houck enjoys traveling, reading books on psychology, and working out at the gym.
Name: Suzzane Felber
Company: Lifestylist® Brands
Region: Dallas Fort Worth Area / Southwest
Years in Business: 30+
Areas of Specialty:Full service design, Model home makeovers, Assessments of existing model homes and communities, Staging of homes, Styling for photography
Suzanne Felber, MIRM, created The Home Idea Factory because she envisioned a design firm that focused on empowering individuals to discover their inner designer. A veteran in the design industry with over 30 years of experience, Ms. Felber understands the need for designs that feel like home. Her work has been shown in numerous publications including Home Magazine, This Old House, and Home Depot’s Style Ideas. She has websites and blogs that include www.modelhomesthatsell.com and www.lifestylist.com, both popular destinations for aspiring designers.
Ms. Felber is part of the National Association of Home Builders, a member of the Institute of Residential Marketing with the National Association of Home Builders and is a national instructor of their IRM III class. Her designs won a National Gold award for merchandising of a home under $150,000. She also was awarded over 12 McSam Awards for Merchandising and is a Lifestylist® for The New American Home 2011. When not designing, she is an active volunteer in her community, serving as a board member for HomeAid Dallas which builds and renovates homes for America’s temporarily homeless families and individuals.
Ms. Felber calls Dallas home and is busy renovating a 1941 printing loft into her studio and living space.
Name: Geri Higgins
Company: Portfolio Kitchen and Home
Region: Midwest, Kansas City
Areas of Specialty: Residential and commercial design; Remodel and new construction projects; Condominium and multi-unit projects; European products and design; Specialty projects including penthouses, hospitality suites & vacation homes; Purveyor of fine Italian and domestic custom cabinetry; Integrator of art and artisan materials; Design and lifestyle consultants; Design trend analytics.
Geri Higgins is CEO/president of Portfolio Kitchen and Home, recognized as the Midwest’s premier kitchen, bath, and home design firm. Known for her progressive approach in design and business, Ms. Higgins has built strategic local, national, and international business alliances to further Portfolio’s growth. The firm’s award-winning designs, unique product collections and client services have resulted in considerable growth and success in their residential, commercial, and lifestyle analytics divisions. Portfolio has been honored with numerous Design Excellence Awards, including the prestigious Edward R. Tanner Award. In 2011, Ms. Higgins was recognized as Kansas City’s Most Influential Women by KC Business Journal. At Portfolio, Ms. Higgins is involved in all aspects of the business and works to make every client’s experience a unique one. In an interview with KC Business Journal, Ms. Higgins shared that client meeting is not something that is a canned experience. "Good design changes people’s lives."