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Nkba anniversary | press release | articles | BlueStar

October 4, 2013

The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is celebrating 50 years as teh founding chapter during National Kitchen & Bath Month in October.

The Association began in 1963 as the American Institute of Kitchen Dealers (AIKD) with a group of kitchen and bath dealers in the Philadelphia area and an initial treasury of $463.  It has since evolved into a national organization with nationwide membership of more than 60,000 professional kitchen and bath designers, and is recognized as a leading industry resource for consumers.  In 1983, the American Institute of Kitchen Dealers changed its name to the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) to address the interests of the growing bathroom industry.

Local designer Robert L. Wieland, CKD, an original founder of AIKD, was the first NKBA CKD (Certified Kitchen Designer) in 1968 and also began a student scholarship program for aspiring kitchen and bath designers which the Mid-Atlantic chapter continues to this day.

“One of our goals is to educate homeowners in choosing a designer, asking the right questions, and working with a designer or remodeling firm,” says Carol Fitzgerald, CKD, VP of Communications, NKBA Mid-Atlantic Chapter.  “Choosing the right design professional is an important decision for your project’s success.  By selecting an NKBA-certified designer, you will be working with a professional who not only is skilled at assessing consumers’ individual needs, but adheres to a strict code of professional conduct, which also recognizes the importance of consumer health, safety, and welfare in kitchen and bath design.”

The local association will commemorate the 50th Anniversary milestone at a Members-Only event at “Half Hill Farm” in Malvern, PA, with a dinner sponsored by BlueStar® restaurant-quality cooking equipment for the home.  It is hosted by Chef Paul Marshall, former Chef de Cuisine of Oscars at The French Brasserie in The Waldorf Astoria, who has perfected the art of growing and preparing seasonal, local food culminating in a Farm to Table dining experience.

Event sponsor BlueStar® makes its home in nearby Reading, Pennsylvania.  Since 1880, Prizer-Painter Stoveworks, the manufacturer and owner of BlueStar® and Prizer Hoods®, has built top-quality cooking equipment for the home chef at its Reading factory.  Each BlueStar® range is handcrafted by skilled American workers, continuing a 133 year heritage of American craftsmanship.

A leader in color customization for nearly a decade, offering cooking equipment in more than 750 standard color and finish choices plus thousands of custom color options, BlueStar® lets anyone unleash their inner designer with a wide variety of color options as well as endless configurations for ranges, cooktops and wall ovens.  To view these endless possibilities, BlueStar offers an interactive website tool entitled “Build Your Own BlueStar” which allows you to customize a new BlueStar range by choosing everything from the intensity of the burners to the color of the knobs and the color of the range itself.

BlueStar professional gas ranges provide the home chef with a cooking experience that only can be matched by a restaurant kitchen environment.  Its power burners provide up to 25,000 BTUs of cooking power for consistent, controlled heat and shorter cooking times.  High heat cooks food fast and generally locks in moisture and flavor so food tastes better.  And for delicate soups and sauces, no stove matches BlueStar’s gentle 130 degree simmer burner.

In Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Mid-Atlantic NKBA Chapter, Fun Facts, Past & Present

  • In 1970, the typical kitchen customer of an AIKD (American Institute of Kitchen Dealers) member spent $4,200 on a kitchen, and nine out of ten customers chose laminate countertops, most likely in avocado or harvest gold.  Today, the NKBA reports that granite and quartz are the favored countertop materials.
  • Some new products have had staying power, and others, not so much.  The now indispensible microwave was introduced at the 1967 NKBA Chicago Show as the Amana Radarange.  But at the 1968 show, kitchen carpeting made headlines, then (thankfully) faded away.
  • In the 1980’s, whirlpools became the must-have feature in remodeled baths, and several AIKD(American Institute of Kitchen Dealers) Design Competition winners featured sunken tubs or tubs on stepped-up tile platforms.  Now, thanks to the NKBA’s Bathroom Guidelines with Access Standards, the industry is much more aware of safety in the bath.
  • AIKD held its first design competition in 1965, with the 30 entries judged by an editor from McCall’s magazine among others.  This early winner featured a peninsula with built-in barbecue and pineapple yellow countertops.  Today the contest generates more than 500 entries.


NKBA enters its 50th year as a premier association of distributors, retailers, remodelers, manufacturers, fabricators, installers, designers, and other professionals.  The NKBA’s certification program emphasizes continuing education and career development and includes designers and professionals in all segments of the industry.  The NKBA has become a valuable resource for both professionals and consumers.  Consumers can find certified designers in their area by visiting

News contact: Michele Zelman, Cherry Leaf Communications, Ltd., 718-859-6766