KBB 2023 Person of the Year
December 4, 2023
We are proud to announce the KBB 2023 Person of the Year and eight Praiseworthy Picks as part of our annual program.
Nureed Saeed, Owner & Creative Director, Nu Interiors, California & New Jersey
Nureed Saeed (above) stands out as the KBB 2023 Person of the Year winner for many reasons, and her passion for diversity, equity and inclusion in the design industry is at the top of the list. She is an active writer and speaker on the topic – appearing in a plethora of publications and podcasts – and feels it is important to not only talk the talk but to also walk the walk. Saeed became interested in DEI for personal reasons while she was growing up and wants it to be a part of everything she does.
Her bi-coastal firm, Nu Interiors, specializes in designs that are equal parts thoughtful, functional and socially and emotionally conscious. Saeed considers sustainability in all projects, paying close attention to where the products are being sourced and who her vendors are. She researches them by reading their reviews, visiting their social media platforms and asking questions in her community so she knows which vendors care about the same things she does.
Karen Hockley, Owner, Kitchens by Karen, Enola, Pa.
We chose Karen Hockley as the “Curriculum Star” because in the last year alone, she has written and presented more than 20 classes for her peers. She has been teaching virtual classes for three years and is also the host of two Facebook groups dedicated to the industry: Cabinets 101 and the Kitchen & Bath Dealer Pack.
Glenn Kross, COO, Coastal Countertops Group, Bridgeville, Del.
Kross is our “Agent of Change,” as he has completely rebranded his company through operational changes and upgraded product offerings, which resulted in a drastic increase in revenue. His company’s Ugly Kitchen Contest earlier this year resulted in more than 35,000 digital interactions. Photo credit: Jordan Davies
Jared Chevraux, EVP, JTEK Solutions Group, North Canton, Ohio
Chevraux was chosen as our “Accessibility Advocate” for his charity works and commitment to universal design. He is a Certified Environmental Access Consultant and writes a pro-bono series for Special Needs Living Magazine, a publication for those involved in serving the special needs population in his region.
Michael Menn, President, AIA, CGR/CGP, CAPS, Michael Menn Ltd., Northbrook, Ill.
This architect is named our “Peer Favorite & Industry Pillar,” having received more than 10 nominations. Menn has spent his career mentoring and his colleagues and being a coach to small business owners. According to one of his nominators, “Michael sets an example through honest, ethical standards.”
Sophia Amiano, Lead Designer, Amiano & Son, Design-Build, Southampton Township, N.J.
This designer was chosen as our “Go-Getter” since she has taken the industry by storm since her arrival just five years ago. This year, Amiano was chosen to be part of the first Moen Designer Council, and at KBIS 2024, she will touch on her insights as a Gen Z designer in a new age of home remodeling. Photo credit: Adrienne Ingram, Element Photography
Wendy Glaister, Principal, Wendy Glaister Interiors, Modesto, Calif.
Glaister was chosen as our “Connector” for her creation of the Interior Design Society Designer Experience at KBIS in 2021. Her goal was to help her interior designer colleagues successfully navigate the world of kitchen and bath in a friendly, non-challenging way. It includes tours of eight to 10 top brands exhibiting at KBIS. Photo credit: Rachel Venema
Mark Conacher, Director, Liberty Fitting Service Ltd, U.K.
Conacher was named our “Skilled Trades Champion” because he walks their talk in the K&B industry. He supports the work of several local, self-employed tradespeople, and in the last two years, he has researched government initiatives so he could hire young people on short-term work experience contracts. Photo credit: Peter Morgan – Morgan James Media Ltd.
Jessica Hannesson, Owner, Hannesson Home Interiors, Billings, Mont.
Hannesson is the “Business Buff” because she has been pivotal in the success of her full-service interior design firm. As part of the firm’s goal to always be customer and employee centric, she created an automated process within Clickup so her team can communicate on such things as project checklists and onboarding new hires.
—By Chelsie Butler, KBB Executive Editor
Photo credit, top image: Aimee Ryan of aimee.photos
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