With just under a year at the helm as President of the NKBA, Mark Bruce has made some significant changes. Changes include the severance of the awards and conference programme, an increase in support of chapter and community events, alongside an intense focus on improving education opportunities.

For many members, the separation of the awards and conference would have come as a surprise, due to its long history of success. Mark says that the event’s success is precisely why the split was needed.

“The NKBA conference is always hugely successful and gets bigger each year and this causes venue and logistic issues. In addition to this, members often attend for two different reasons. Some go to experience the awards event and others for the educational content from the conference.  It made sense to offer both these products, at different times, and to target the market specifically, rather than try to continue meeting both needs in one event,” explains Mark.

Another hugely anticipated move from the Board and management of NKBA is the launch of its new publication. The new publication is a complete guide to all the entries to the 2023 NKBA Excellence in Design Awards. It is hoped that it will create a platform for NKBA to grow industry recognition and showcase the diverse work of members.

“I am very excited to see this publication come to fruition. The NKBA team and board have worked incredibly hard to make this project happen, and I am certain it is going to be well received by members. Strategically, the NKBA are delighted to bring this publication under the NKBA marketing umbrella and to tell the story of our members,” says Mark.

From a governance perspective, Mark has made several changes to ensure the Board is running at a professional level. Mark says he is a big believer in ensuring the Board is doing what it has been elected to do, which is to govern.

“I wanted to ensure the NKBA has a Board that governs, rather than a group of doers. This means focusing the attention of our Board on governance and strategic goals rather than operational objectives. I believe this is important for any successful Board. We are very lucky to have an incredibly dedicated team on the NKBA Board who volunteer so many hours to benefit members, their time and efforts are commendable,” says Mark.

Not just a man of change, Mark Bruce is a passionate advocate of the NKBA. He has been involved with the NKBA for more than 25 years and in this time has held positions on the BOP and Waikato Chapter Committee, CDS Board, and NKBA Board. Outside of the NKBA, he has also been on the JITO, NAG and Rotary Boards. In addition, Mark has been a national kitchen design tutor and assessor for NZQA since 2007 and is currently a tutor of the Diploma of Kitchen Design. With this enthusiasm for education, Mark hopes to influence members to embrace education more widely.

“My number one goal for NKBA is to be an educational leader for the industry. I believe the biggest value the NKBA adds is through education. Not only to students, but qualified designers and suppliers.  The kitchen industry has traditionally been insular, with people in it rarely sharing their experience. We need to break that trend and allow our members to learn off each other, rather than make the same mistakes.  Over the years I have seen some very successful designers show very bad spatial design habits.  I want future designers in New Zealand to understand the importance of ergonomics and spatial planning.  Just because a kitchen may look good, doesn’t mean it works well. Our mentors need to be trained and qualified, so the basis of the design is sound.  I believe our members have a similar view. They want to be part of an organisation that they will learn something from and contribute to,” he shares.

To hear more from Mark and the future of the organisation, all members are encouraged to attend the NKBA AGM on Friday 8 June at 3pm. More information and details on how to register to attend can be found here