As I step into the Presidents role, I first want to thank Caroline Castrucci for the dedication and leadership she has provided the CKCA as both a board member and President over the last number of years. I look forward to continuing to work with her and the entire board in the coming year.

For those in the association that I have not had the opportunity to meet or connect with at one of our events here is a little bit about who I am. I live with my wife, Mandy, in the small city of Winkler in southern Manitoba, about 1 hour southwest of Winnipeg, I have been involved in the cabinet industry for about 24 years, all of which have been spent with Decor Cabinets in various capacities, including customer solutions, catalogue & software development and support, and analytics.

The first CKCA event I attended was in Ottawa about 7 years ago and I had the opportunity to connect and form relationships with a number of CKCA members then and at other events over the years that I feel are still strong today.
Each year after that I have watched the CKCA grow as an association well it worked to develop and increase the value and recognition that it brings to its members.

This year the CKCA celebrates 50 years and, as I know you are all aware, there have been many changes to our industry over that time. There are many more on the way as we continue to discover how things like Industry 4.0, automation, new and different materials and design, just to name a few will develop and take hold in our industry. There is one thing that hasn’t changed from those early years of the CKCA 50 years ago to today, we are much stronger as an industry when we work together to share knowledge and ideas, and speak with the same voice, then we will ever be on our own.

I look forward to the coming years as we continue to grow the CKCA and its membership and as we continue to bring new ideas, new opportunities and value to all CKCA members.
I look forward to having the opportunity to connect with you all at our next event in fall.

Meet the 2018 CKCA Board of Directors here.

“At the Association a couple of years ago, just before we were getting ready to put in a big new machine, I found out from another member that they had just bought the very same machine. I was able to ask him if there was anything they would recommend to us when we make our move and he said yes, watch this and do this and that. The money we saved with that advice was thousands and thousands of dollars, more than enough to cover the cost that we ever have and ever will pay out in CKCA membership.”

Caroline Castrucci of Laurysen Kitchens, CKCA Past President

“For years my company had done a 10% hold back on our kitchens. This started in the days when we did one kitchen per week. That meant that every job when shipped had an outstanding balance of from $1000.00 to $5000.00 hold back. I will not get into exactly how many bad accounts we wrote off over the years due to that system. So I brought up the subject at the CKCA round table talk. Within twenty minutes we had input from about ten members. With their ideas I went right back to my office Monday morning and changed our hold back to a $500.00 flat rate. My guess is, with that change, we have saved at least $10,000.00 in the past few years.”

Jim Lawrence of Avondale Kitchens, CKCA Past President

“My business is better because of my CKCA membership.  If you become more proactive and ask questions, there’s a great group of business owners willing to help and give advice.  You will never get all the answers on your own.  Come and learn!  I wanted to give back to the industry and CKCA because CKCA enabled me to build strong business connections and implement many business improvements including switching to abrasives for a better finish, switching to better spray systems in the paint booth and better filters in the spray booth, improvements to our airlines, shifting advertising dollars, embracing social media to name a few.  When my father first started the business there was no association or community to go to for help, but now there is and the face-to-face interactions I’ve had, have helped me navigate challenges in my own business through the years.”.

Jake Wolters, Nu-Way Kitchens, CKCA Past President

“From attending the first CKCA meeting I felt a door had been opened and I had an opportunity to use various cabinet manufacturers as a sounding board on various topics. I met many leaders of our industry which I have phoned numerous times throughout the years to discuss issues that in the past were only learned by trial and error. Nuway Kitchens has benefitted and prospered over the years, for example,  we discussed with one prominent Ontario manufacturer regarding dominant materials we both use in our process and the pricing they were receiving for the same material.  That liaison and comparison saved Nuway a fair amount of money and allowed us to offer something that our competition could not.”

Harvey Short, Nuway Kitchens, CKCA Past President