5 Reasons to join KCMA
March 1, 2017 | 1:41 pm CST

More than 300 companies are members of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association.  Shouldn’t you join them?

Founded in 1955, KCMA is a non-profit trade association that represents all major U.S. cabinet manufacturers, as well as decorative laminate product fabricators and suppliers to the industry. 

KCMA fosters a community of shared knowledge about the cabinet industry. As a member of KCMA, you’ll have access to legislative information, industry data, networking and  learning opportunities.

"The KCMA is the voice of the industry in Washington and helps ensure that our interests are represented.  Another area that has helped our company tremendously is through the sharing of information between cabinet manufacturers, whether it be researching specific topics and sharing their findings at one of the KCMA conferences or allowing competitors to tour their manufacturing facilities.  The openness of members to help each other is unprecedented in most industries."
- Mael Hernandez, R.D. Henry & Co.

1: Legislative information
KCMA keeps members informed about regulatory developments that can directly affect the industry. Members receive updates from KCMA’s biweekly newsletter and can track breaking news in the Issues & Policies section at KCMA.org.

Advocacy is another service offered by KCMA. The association represents the industry in Washington D.C. on public policy issues, regulations, technical issues, and a variety of other subjects. It also partners with other organizations, member company executives and legislative counsel to protect the interests of the cabinet industry.  KCMA lobbies on Capitol Hill and maintains contact with regulatory agencies, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Commerce, Federal Trade Commission and the International Trade Commission. (Click here to read about some of the issues impacting the U.S. cabinet industry.)

"I have had the privilege of serving on the Government & Regulatory Affairs Committee, the Environmental Stewardship Committee, Executive Committee and the Board of Directors. My advice to any new or current member is to get involved, attend meetings, educational programs, listen to the speakers, and ask questions of other members. I’ve found KCMA members are helpful and the more seasoned members are wonderful resources and eager to see our “family of cabinet manufacturers” are successful."
- Carl Webb, Wood-Mode Inc.

2: Management survey reports
KCMA provides reports that assist members with strategic business planning, applying for loans, personnel negotiations and day-to-day management decisions. Available reports include:

Monthly Trend of Business Survey: which offers insight into the changing marketplace and provides a benchmark for companies.

Income and Expense Report: The annual report provides an in-depth look at 40 key operating ratios that measure a company’s performance against that of similar-sized companies.

"[Along with the certification programs,] benchmarking and relationships remain among the most impactful benefits of KCMA for Marsh Furniture. The Trend of Business report is a timely information tool by segment that gives participating members the framework to measure excellence in the industry.  Also, the conferences continue to provide the opportunities to build relationships with our counterparts in the industry through informative speakers and presentations. And of course, the operational tours have been very valuable.  Few other industries have the type of culture that promotes this kind of collaboration."
- Edwin Underwood, Marsh Furniture Co.

Wage & Labor Survey: The biennial comprehensive study offers solid figures on salaries and benefits drawn directly from KCMA’s membership.

Safety Survey: The annual study shares safety records and details about ongoing safety programs, highlighting some of the innovative safety practices throughout the industry.

"Because of the KCMA, we as manufacturers and suppliers are able to get our message to the masses on a larger scale.  Our advocacy voice is much louder.  We can accomplish more as a group than we can as individuals.  We are also able to learn from the successes and failures of our predecessors and move our industry forward for the benefit of all of our members. And to any new KCMA members, I would give one piece of advice: Get involved. Get involved on a committee, come to the semi-annual meetings, and participate in surveys, the ESP and ANSI programs.  We have a great industry that is supported by the KCMA."
- John Gahm, Kitchen Kompact

3: Education & networking
KCMA members gather annually for high-caliber conferences and plant tours, with opportunities to network with the best in the business. Click here for brief look at the 2016 plant tour event. Information on KCMA’s spring conference can be found by clicking here. More information is also available at KCMA.org.

"There are numerous benefits to joining KCMA, including conventions with speakers, the plant tours, and just networking with other companies and suppliers – it’s all very beneficial. Especially for new members, I would recommend that you join committees and participate. It opens your eyes to the rest of the marketplace out there – and the more you can find out, the better."
- Ola R. Yoder, Kountry Wood Products

4: Performance & environmental certification programs
KCMA has established benchmarks for cabinet performance and environmental stewardship through its voluntary certification programs.

The association administers the ANSI/KCMA A161.1-2017 Performance & Construction Standard for Kitchen and Vanity Cabinets. Products bearing the ANSI/KCMA Certified seal have met rigorous requirements, including testing for weight, slide, swing and stain. (Click here to read more about the program.)

"In addition to setting standards, KCMA keeps members, and the industry, up-to-date on regulatory issues and best practices in manufacturing. I also strongly recommend getting involved and attending the meetings. In order to be heard, you’ve got to have a seat at the table."
- Stephen Wellborn, Wellborn Cabinet Inc.

Developed by KCMA, the Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP) is the only environmental certification program that specifically focuses on kitchen and bath cabinets.  A benchmark in green cabinet standards, ESP is also referenced in the NAHB ANSI/ ICC 700 National Green Standard. (Click here to read more about the program.)

"KCMA keeps members informed of proposed government regulations. It also offers a great opportunity to interact with our peers. The certification programs are also essential. My advice is to attend the conferences/meetings/tours and get involved. We need to protect our industry – we do not want to become like the furniture industry and disappear from U.S. manufacturing."
- Mark Trexler, Master WoodCraft Cabinetry

5: Visibility on KCMA.org
KCMA’s website provides a hub for industry professionals, including designers and architects, as well as consumers.  Along with providing news and information, the KCMA.org website offers easy access to members and their products.

Get involved
Members are encouraged to take an active role in KCMA, including its five standing committees; a sixth, Emerging Leaders Council, will be coming soon.

The Government & Regulatory Affairs Committee develops and monitors legislative and regulatory issues for KCMA; develops a strategy to respond to issues; and develops policy recommendations. 

"Kitchen cabinet manufacturers are our main customers and we believe in participating in trade associations to be able to shape and know about important issues facing our industry. As a supplier, the main benefit for us is that we are able to get to know our customers, face to face, and on a personal level."
- Karl Rudisser, Blum Inc.

The Standards Committee administers the KCMA Standards and Certification Program including the ANSI review, oversees publication of material related to the certification program, and follows up on complaints. It maintains a liaison with HUD and other government agencies to promote certified cabinets, and with CPSC to encourage the use of voluntary standards.

The Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP) Committee develops and administers all aspects of the ESP, coordinates on the program with other KCMA committees, and also reviews requirements for certification.

The Marketing Committee promotes membership in KCMA, develops/oversees association services, promotes awareness of the KCMA testing and certification program and also the ESP program. The committee also develops marketing and management information surveys, oversees KCMA publications and advertising, and assists in planning educational programs and seminars.

The Associates Committee consists of representatives among the supplier members. This group supports KCMA activities and works to increase interaction and exchange between supplier members and manufacturers.

KCMA directors & staff

The Board of Directors of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association is composed of representatives from both large and small, stock and custom cabinet companies, decorative laminate products fabricators and industry suppliers. Drawing from their experience, member surveys, and an ongoing strategic planning process, the Board and Committees respond to the needs of member companies and the industry.

Currently, KCMA elected officers are: John Gahm, Kitchen Kompact Inc., president; Rich Tobin, MasterBrand Cabinets Inc., vice president; Stephen Wellborn, Wellborn Cabinet Inc., treasurer and chairman of the Government & Regulatory Affairs Committee; and Mark Trexler, Master WoodCraft Cabinetry, immediate past president.

Also serving on the board are: Bill Allen, Showplace Wood Products; Doug Boucher, American Woodmark; Robert Foote, Canyon Creek Cabinet; Dennis Hamilton, Masco Cabinetry; Mark Hayes, Northwest Hardwoods, Associates Representative; Mael Hernandez, R.D. Henry & Co., Marketing Committee chairman; Karl Rudisser, Blum, chairman, Associates Committee; Tom Samanic, Elkay Mfg. Co.; Edwin Underwood, Marsh Furniture, chairman Standards Committee; Carl Webb, Wood-Mode, chairman, Environmental Stewardship Committee; and Stratton Yatron, Adelphi Kitchens.

KCMA’s staff provides support and leadership for key industry programs and projects. They are: Betsy Natz, CEO, Karen Kazmark, CFO, Chuck Arnold, director of Certification, and Lisa Fisher, Communications manager.

KCMA is located at 1899 Preston White Drive, Reston, VA 20191. For information, contact (703) 264-1690, email info@kcma.org or visit KCMA.org.


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About the author
Karen Koenig | Editor

Karen M. Koenig has more than 30 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As editor of special publications under the Woodworking Network brand, including the Red Book Best Practices resource guide and website, Karen’s responsibilities include writing, editing and coordinating of editorial content. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media. She can be reached at karen.koenig@woodworkingnetwork.com