KBB - May 2009 - (Page 36)

Profile Suzie Williford, VP of sales, Texas for Kiva Kitchen & Bath in Houston, began her career in 1974, answering phone calls for $2.00 an hour at her father’s plumbing and hardware appliance store in Corpus Christi, TX. Today, Williford, the new president of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), recalls that she never anticipated a career path in sales—especially after her father sold the family business: “I had too much fun and love invested in the business,” she said. Since then, Williford has devoted much of her time to trade associations and has been If someone had asked you when you were a child, “What do you want to be when you grow up,” you would have answered… A movie star or a dancer. I love being in front of people. People would be surprised to find out that you…? Went through years of special classes in elementary and high school because I had a speech impediment. Those classes would give me the confidence and ability to speak in front of hundreds of people. What learning experience has had the most impact on you? My dad believed if you’re going to do a job, then do it right. What is your greatest strength as a leader? I have a really good natural instinct on which direction to go. And I love people and I love to lead them. I like to be part of a team and have everyone work with me and not for me. Q&A Suzie Williford, KIVA KITCHEN & BATH a member of the NKBA since 1978. She is also the NKBA’s chair of the Ad Hoc DPH Certification Committee and previously chaired the Finance Committee. Additionally, Williford served on the National Speakers Bureau and has spoken at colleges, showrooms, design centers and conventions. As NKBA president, she will be taking the stage at this year’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (K/BIS) in Atlanta. Williford brings her business know-how to the NKBA and is keenly aware of the challenges ahead for generating sales in the current economy. What’s the best sales tip you’ve given to a designer? Don’t work for free. If clients only knew the amount of time that designers put into a project. It’s incredibly overwhelming. Designers will frequently do things for clients on a gratis basis without realizing they have a tremendous value. What’s the best thing that has happened to the industry in the past five years? Everyone involved in manufacturing, design and sales has become completely environmentally conscious. What do you like to do in your spare time when not working or traveling? I like to be with my family, especially standing around the kitchen island, talking with my teenagers and laughing. Do you have any professional pet peeves? Complacency and lack of action. When people aren’t giving it everything they’ve got or when they are afraid to make a decision. No one bats a thousand. But when you make a mistake, be accountable for it. What is your favorite place on earth? I’ve seen so many wonderful places and cities. But my favorite place on earth is home. When you walk in the front door and see your family, there is no other feeling. If you could have a five-minute conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? My parents who are both deceased. My dad was president of his trade association for his lifelong career. I remember traveling to conventions with him when I was in my 20s. I would love to share with them my NKBA experiences. They would be very proud. s —Matthew Marin What are some of the proudest experiences in your career? Becoming the president of the NKBA and the first woman to reach senior management for Kiva Kitchen & Bath. Also, in more than three decades, I’ve trained a lot of people in sales and to see them become very successful is an incredible high. What is one of your biggest goals as the president of the NKBA? I’d like to expand educational opportunities for our members. And given the economic climate, I would like to ensure that we stay financially safe and strong. What “words of wisdom” can you share with others? If you really believe that you can look at this economic climate as an opportunity to become stronger and better, you have positioned yourself to be very successful when times get better. 36 + K BB May 2009 July 2004 / www.kbbonline.com / The Official Sponsor of K/BIS www.kbis.com http://www.kbbonline.com http://www.kbis.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of KBB - May 2009

KBB - May 2009
Contents
Online Contents
Online News
Editorial
Focus
Trends
Products
Profile
Design
Top Projects
Merit Projects
Cover Story - Clean Slate: A Spa-Like Bath Turns to Stone
Honorable Mentions
Practice
Education
Editorial Index
Ad Index
Favorites
Special Supplement: Tap into Taiwan

KBB - May 2009

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