Mike Carson and Jeff Klein meet at IWF-2016. This is the exact spot they first met 18 years ago.
Mike Carson and Jeff Klein meet at IWF-2016. This is the exact spot they first met 18 years ago.

Every journey starts with the first step. Prior to year 2000, the closet industry consisted of the franchises and the other guys. Trying to pull this industry together was like herding cats until a chance encounter at the Hafele booth at IWF-1998 when Mike Carson saw Closet written on Jeff Klein’s name badge and visa-verse.

They stood there for two hours comparing notes, exchanged business cards (no emails or cell phones in those days) and went their merry ways. The rest, as they say, is history:
•    Before 1998: Pre-OCIE (Organized Closet Industry Era)
•    August 1998-IWF Atlanta: Carson meets Klein=love at first sight
•    January 2000: Carson invites Klein & 11 other independent closet owners to Coconut Grove, Florida to form the exclusive, non-compete, territory protected, limited membership NCG (National Closet Group)
•    March 2003: Klein hosts 35 member NCG conference in Savannah. Vance Publishing is invited by Carson to attend
•    November 2003: Vance creates and publishes it’s first CLOSETS Magazine
•    March 2005: CLOSETS Magazine with NCG produces Closet & Storage Conference in Dallas, Texas. This event is sold out.
•    January 2006: NCG Board creates ACSP (Association of Closet & Storage Professionals). All inclusive, big-tent, industry-wide professional trade association.
•    Spring 2007: CLOSETS Magazine with ACSP produces yearly Cabinet & Storage Expo & Conference
•    October 2014: Closet & Storage Summit is created exclusively for all independent closet businesses
In today’s closet industry, you can learn more in a two-day closet conference than you could in 2 years of trial and error experiences back  in 1998. The industry has two conferences coming up:
The Closet & Storage Summit, Hilton Alexandria Mark Center, Alexandria, VA, on October 13 & 14, 2016. Go to:  www.closetsummit.com 
and the Cabinet & Closet Expo & Conference, Renaissance Convention Center, Schaumburg, IL, on April 11-13, 2017.
Go to:  www.woodworkingnetwork.com/events-contests/cabinets-closets-conference-expo
 

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