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Where design meets manufacturing March 6-8, 2019 | Charlotte Convention Center
Back to Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo

Cabinets & Closets Speaker Information

Jump to:   Closets Track  |  Cabinets Track  |  Lean Track


Keynote Speakers


Tuesday, March 27, 8:15am Conference Keynote: Whitney Pyle, The Business Case for Diversity

Whitney Pyle is co-owner of Advanced Cabinet Systems (ACS) with her brother Philip Bowers. She has been with ACS for about eight years. With a Bachelor’s degree from the New York Institute of Technology where she majored in Math and Science, Whitney entered the workforce initially in the nuclear power industry followed by a consultancy to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. ACS offers design, engineering, manufacturing, delivery and installation services for the healthcare, educational, industrial and retail markets. An AWI Manufacturing Members since 1998, ACS is also a Quality Certification Program Licensee.


Wednesday, March 28, 9-10am Morning Keynote: Keith MorganSelling directly to the luxury consumer

Keith Morgan – His company, Bespoke, caters to an elite international clientele, emphasizing elegant custom design and spectacular craftsmanship. Not only has Bespoke won multiple Craftsman’s Challenge awards, but also Morgan has earned a reputation for his marketing prowess in the highly competitive world of luxury consumers. He’ll share advice on design, manufacturing, and marketing.

Thursday, March 29, 9-10am Morning Keynote: Elise Lowerison, Houzz, Inc., The Sales & Marketing Success Funnel: How to Attract, Close, and Retain Business

Todays empowered client is online 24/7, and well researched. With a strong online presence, you can begin cultivating a relationship with the empowered client before they reach out. This session will provide you with the tools to build positive working relationships with your clients from their initial interaction with your business online, to your determining whether or not they are the right client for your business, to having a successful working relationship throughout the duration of their project. This session will also include specific best practices and examples of how professionals differentiate their brands online, successfully implement lead screening strategies, and positively handle difficult conversations with clients.



Closets Track


Wendy Scott, Direct Cabinet Sales, US LBM, Closet Division

Wendy Scott has been designing closets for over 13 years. She is currently employed at Direct Cabinet Sales in New Jersey.  In addition to being the President-Elect of the ACSP, she is also head of the Education and Safety committees. Wendy is currently a Level 2 Certified Designer and will be receiving her Master level this week.


Joyce Hardison, Closet Crafters/Native Oak Cabinets

Joyce Hardison is lead designer for Native Oak located in Ventura, California and she has been designing for over 24 years.


Sue Tinker, Closet Works

"I knew I found my calling the day I walked into a closet showroom and saw the jewelry drawer. Organization had always appealed to me so helping others get organized would be great. That was almost 30 years ago. I've been with Closet Works for 20+ years and take pride in seeing it grow to be the largest, most successful company in the Chicago area. The emphasis on customer service is what brought me here. Continuous improvement, high-quality product and good value keeps me enjoying my career every day. My design experience includes award-winning residential closets the size of a boutique up to large-scale projects for nursing homes and university dorms at DePaul and IIT. I've worked on office projects for medical offices, laboratories and store displays. I also love the challenge of maximizing a small space and seeing how even a simple design makes a huge impact. I feel very fortunate to have found a career that has been so enjoyable and rewarding."



Denise Butchko,

Denise Butchko is a design and marketing expert who teaches these concepts with the intention of helping people grow their businesses (particularly those in the design/build industries). She’s been a contributor to Closets magazine since 2003 and is a judge for the closet industries “Top Shelf” Design Competition. She's also a member of the first graduating class of Registered Storage Designers. Her design work has been featured in national publications like “Better Homes & Gardens” and The Chicago Tribune and she works with some of the top interior design firms in the country. She’s helped cabinet companies launch closet product lines and trained sales professionals in both design and marketing, including ways to leverage social media and design to increase opportunities and brand themselves as the “go-to expert”. If you want to have fun while you learn and bring your “A” game to your business, Denise is the one to partner with to make that happen. You can find her at



Michael Stubblefield, Tresco Lighting

Michael Stubblefield has spent 45 years in the cabinet, closet, and woodworking industry. He worked his way through college in the kitchen planning department at Sears selling kitchen cabinets, has had his own cabinet shop for a number years, and was plant manager for Killion Industries in Vista, CA a manufacturer of grocery checkout stands. Michael spent twenty-two years at Hafele America Co as a salesman, sales manager, and Branch Manager of their Los Angeles facility. He has worked at Rev-A-Shelf for the past nine years first as Western Division Closet Business Manager and now as Western Division Lighting Business Manager for Tresco Lighting, a Rev-A-Shelf company.


David Biggs, Woodworking Network

David Biggs manages the Woodworking Network website and associated newsletters, the creation of webcasts and videos, and supports social media audience engagement. He also assists Woodworking Network in developing and executing integrated social media and online marketing strategies.


Mike Foti, Innovate Home Org

Mike Foti is President of Innovate Building Solutions & Innovate Home Org. Mike is a contributor to Closets & Organized Storage Magazine.


Mike Carson, Inspired Closets

Mike Carson is the former owner and operator of closet maker Closet Works, founder of the National Closet Group, founding member and past president of the Association of Closet and Storage Professionals, and current Chicagoland manager of Inspired Closets - a brand of The Stow Co.


Eric Marshall, Kitchens and Closets by DEA 

Eric Marshall has been in the closet industry for over 40 years. The industry vet was the first employee of Neil Balter (founder of California Closet and Organizers Direct). In 1997 Marshall ventured out on his own, moved to Phoenix and is the current owner of Kitchens and Closets by DEA.


Jack Z. DeLorean, AttiClosets, DeLorean, LLC.

Jack Z DeLorean is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Southern California Business School. He was one of the two initial product planners that conceived the Mustang while at Ford Motor Co., the most successful new model in automotive history.  As founder of Grand Prix of America, he designed the Formula I style racecar and road course and invented and patented the electronic timing system used. Currently, he is CEO of DELOREAN, LLC, a product innovation and development firm and has a number of groundbreaking patents to his credit, including mechanical, electronic and method innovations. Although 95% of U.S. patents are never commercialized, 100% of DeLorean’s patents have gone into production or are on a pathway to commercialization. His firm specializes in the development of high margin and high volume products for domestic and foreign patent licensing.

Lee Goldsticker, Lazy Lee

Lee Goldsticker is the inventor and designer of rotating, space-saving storage solutions at Lazy Lee. Goldsticker introduced his designs at the Miami Beach Home Show in March 2010 and currently has designed more efficient ways to utilize and increase the storage capacity of any room and room corner including bedrooms, living rooms, bathrooms, and closets. “Space management and prototype furniture is my passion,” he says, “Eclectic is my style and leading customers to their vision is my goal.”



Cabinet Track


Will Sampson, FDMC Magazine

Will Sampson is a lifelong woodworker and has been an advocate for small-scale entrepreneurs and lean manufacturing since the 1980s. He was the editor of Fine Woodworking magazine in the early 1990s and founded Woodshop Business magazine, which he eventually sold and merged with CabinetMaker magazine. He helped found the Cabinet Makers Association in 1998 and was its first executive director. Today as editor of FDMC magazine, he has more than 20 years of experience covering the professional woodworking industry. His popular "In the Shop" tool reviews and videos appear monthly in FDMC.


Rick Thaler, OGB Architectural Millwork

The president of OGB Architectural Millwork, Rick Thaler has been in the woodworking business for almost 40 years. Under Rick’s leadership, the award-winning OGB has grown in size and scope, with a project portfolio including: commercial, hospitality, retail, religious and government organizations. The company is a member of the Architectural Woodwork Institute as well as the Cabinet Makers Association and has been profiled in a number of trade magazines. In recognition of his achievements, as well as his service to the industry, Rick was named a Wood Industry Market Leader in 2016.



Laurie B. Haefele, Haefele Design

Laurie B. Haefele, Associate A.I.A, ASID, NKBA, has specialized in innovative kitchen and bath design since 1997. In addition to her attention to detail and trends, she is also known for her versatility and range of style. In Southern California, Laurie founded Haefele Design in 2002.  Laurie’s inventive designs are often influenced by her architectural sensibility; she holds a BA in Architecture from the Pratt Institute and a Master’s degree in architectural history and theory from UCLA. An award-winning designer, her company’s projects have been featured in more than 35 magazine articles and in episodes of HGTV Kitchen Trends.



Knikki Grantham, Trends Manager, Belwith-Keeler

The leap from furniture to hardware designer was an easy one for Knikki Grantham, OEM Sales and Trend Manager for Belwith Keeler Products. Knikki has more than 20 years of experience in the furniture and design industry, including 10 years in luxury interior design and sales. She is experienced in marketing and product design and development, and along with an AA in Art/Art Studies, she has attained an Associate ASID as well as other accreditations. “I have spent most of my career watching, recording and analyzing so that I can provide my clients with a timeless design or décor.”



Georg Frey, Lignum Consulting

The president of Lignum Consulting Inc., Georg Frey has been working as a consultant for the wood and furniture industry since 1999 and has extensive experience in company development planning and implementation of lean manufacturing systems. Georg studied wood technology at the University of Applied Sciences in Rosenheim and completed an apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker. He also holds the degree of an MBA (SDA Bocconi, Milan). He has served as president of North Carolina-based Lignum Consulting since 2015.


Amanda Conger, CMA Executive Director

Amanda Conger is the Executive Director of the Cabinet Makers Association (CMA). Her resume includes high profile marketing positions with well-known panel processor and casework manufacturer Premier Eurocase (Denver) and Stiles Machinery, a large provider of  woodworking technology. The CMA was incorporated in 1998 by a group of custom cabinet makers who thought the small to mid-size shop needed to network and help each other grow profitably. Currently, CMA membership is made up primarily of 20 or fewer employee operations, with the vast majority of those being 1-5 person shops. 



Lean Track


Brad Cairns, Center for Lean Learning

Brad Cairns registered his first woodworking company at the age of 16. In his own words “there was just no other path for me, I love to build stuff”. Having done display cabinetry, full museum galleries, store fixtures (for large chains), Residential kitchens, component manufacturing & commercial millwork. After 25 years in business, he brings a vast knowledge of the woodworking industry.