Wood Pro Conference case study: Leadership transitioning at Premier Builders
Ken Kumpf owner Premier Builders

Ken Kumph, founder and owner of Premier Builders of Georgetown, Mass., will discuss how he is transitioning control of his company to his son, Matthew.

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. – Developing a business succession plan is crucial for a variety of reasons as Ken Kumph, founder and owner of Premier Builders, will explain at the Wood Pro Conference, April 17.

Nearly four decades after launching and then steadily growing his Georgetown, Mass.-based custom cabinet and millwork company, Kumph is in the process of handing the business off to his son, Matthew. While his choice of a successor to take the reins was easy, the pathway to letting go is much less so.

Kumph will talk about challenges and successes he has experienced during the process of transitioning his business to his son. He will also share some of the key lessons he has learned along the way.

After running his business for 38 years, Kumph said he has had to think long and hard about whether he is ready to let go completely or still have a role in the company’s operations. He has also had to consider the financial and emotional implications, including determining how he wants to invest his freed-up time and energy.

Kumph will also discuss his son’s preparedness to take on the challenges of running the business and the pressures that come with taking on additional roles and leading Premier Builders’ team. He will share the steps he has taken to mentor his son to take on more duties especially since promoting him to vice president.

Finally, Kumph will address plans to ensure that essential operations continue seamlessly throughout the transition. Key considerations include having effective systems in place, employee stability, clearly defined management roles, and the businesses’ financial health.  

Kumph, immediate past president of the Cabinet Maker Association (CMA), was one of three owners who addressed their succession plans in the Winter 2022 edition of CMA Profiles.

The CMA is co-sponsor of the Wood Pro Conference, which runs concurrent with the Closets Conference. In addition to Kumph’s session, Transitioning Your Business, the Wood Pro track includes:

The classroom portion of the conference will be followed by a tour of the showroom of Inspired Closets Chicago. The full day of education concludes with a reception sponsored by the Association of Closet and Storage Professionals, Elektra and Richelieu.

View the full three-day schedule of the Closets Conference & Expo co-located with Wood Pro Expo Illinois at the Schaumburg Convention Center.

The Renaissance, which is directly connected to the convention center, is the official hotel of the three-day event. Learn more and book a room.

2024 Closets Conference & Expo
Wood Pro Expo Illinois

About the Closets Conference & Expo and Wood Pro Expo Illinois
The annual Closets Conference & Expo (CCE) is the only national event for all closet and home storage professionals. The 2024 edition is co-located with Wood Pro Expo Illinois (WPE), a regional marketplace for woodworking professionals. The events are organized by Closets & Organized Storage and FDMC magazines respectively. Each is a distinct media brand of Woodworking Network. The twin-bill event is scheduled for April 17-19, 2024, at the Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumburg, Ill.

2024 Closets Expo and Wood Pro Expo Illinois Exhibitor Prospectus


Reserve a Booth


CCE and WPE each kick off with a separate full-day conference on April 17, co-sponsored by the Association of Closet and Storage Professionals and Cabinet Makers Association respectively. The two-day co-located expo, April 18-19, features woodworking machinery, supplies, and components. Additional educational programming is offered on each day of the expo. Tours of local manufacturing plants and the popular Top Shelf Design Awards networking reception are also key features of the event. View current program schedule.

For information about exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities, contact Laurel Didier, exhibit sales. For all other inquiries, contact Kim Lebel, show manager. 

More Woodworking Network events
Wood Pro Expo Lancaster, Oct. 24-25, 2024, Spooky Nook Sports/Warehouse at the Nook, Manheim, Pa.

Salon Industriel du Bois Ouvré (SIBO), Oct. 24-26, 2024, Centrexpo Cogeco, Drummondville, Quebec.

Woodworking Machinery & Supply Conference & Expo (WMS), Nov. 12-14, 2025, Toronto Congress Centre, Toronto, Ontario. 


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About the author
Rich Christianson | President/Owner/C-Level

Rich Christianson is the owner of Richson Media LLC, a Chicago-based communications firm focused on the industrial woodworking sector. Rich is the former long-time editorial director and associate publisher of Woodworking Network. During his nearly 35-year career, Rich has toured more than 250 woodworking operations throughout North America, Europe and Asia and has written extensively on woodworking technology, design and supply trends. He has also directed and promoted dozens of woodworking trade shows, conferences and seminars including the Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo and the Woodworking Machinery & Supply Conference & Expo, Canada’s largest woodworking show.