FEI Group Convenes National Conference

December 20, 2021

FEI Group, parent company to KBx and K&B Alliance, held its 22nd National Conference at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix, Arizona. Nearly 700 attended the three-day, invitation-only event which is open to FEI Group members and suppliers and offers an agenda featuring workshops, industry experts, networking and activities.

This year’s theme, “+1”, placed an emphasis on finding just one more thing to implement in your business and in your personal life that would make your company or yourself better. Attendees were asked to consider their +1 throughout the event, whether in workshops, breakouts or during networking opportunities. The theme hit home for both members and supply partners and will continue to be woven into the initiatives the group has planned in the coming year.

Adam Vellequette, Principal of KBF Design Gallery in Maitland, Fla., said, “Thank you for establishing such a contagious culture; it really sets the stage for these successful conferences. Where else can you get access to these industry leaders while also engaging in one-on-one conversations, potentially gaining a mentor to help you grow your business? We had so many takeaways that it’s taken us days to organize our notes. Thanks again for a great conference and for always making us feel so welcome and important.”

FEI Group is composed of five divisions and boasts over 300 members with nearly 900 locations nationwide. Group discussions revolved around both the challenges and the opportunities members are facing in today’s climate – supply shortages, ever increasing lead times due to labor shortages and, of course, the number of price increases happening across every aspect of the industry.

“This was the first time we’ve been together as a group this size in over two years,” said Brian Penabad, vice president of FEI Group and president of KBx and K&B Alliance. “It was such a great opportunity for reenergizing our business groups. The feedback has been tremendous.”

The company also recognized and honored Dave Gheesling, its founder, who passed away unexpectedly last year. Gheesling was an innovator, a visionary and a friend to many. He was remembered fondly for touching thousands of lives over the course of his time at the helm of FEI Group.

“I was referred to FEI by a longtime client of mine who had recently become an FEI/K&B Alliance member,” said Sam Rochat, president of Andover Products/CafeCountertops in Knoxville, Tenn.I realized immediately the level of commitment the corporate team promises and delivers in order to help my company succeed. The collective buying clout of the membership vastly exceeded my expectations. Have a closer look at this group – you’ll be impressed.”