CKCA Brings Massive Value to Members at 2023 Moncton National Forum

The Canadian Kitchen Cabinet Association (CKCA) National Forum 2023, held in Moncton, New Brunswick, from September 28th to 30th, was an outstanding success, delivering significant value to its attendees. The sold-out event brought together cabinet manufacturers from across Canada, offering a plethora of opportunities for learning, networking, and professional development. Here’s a comprehensive overview of how CKCA upheld its goals and values while providing immense value to its members.


Plant Tours: Insights into Industry Practices

One of the key highlights of the forum was the series of plant tours, including visits to the lean production floor at Glenwood Kitchen, the circular strategies at Future Doors, the automation of the metal fabrication industry at Imperial, and the industry-leading practices at Triangle Kitchen. These tours provided invaluable insights into industry best practices, allowing attendees to witness innovation in action. Not even at the largest trade shows do you get to see so much machinery up and running. By showcasing the inner workings of successful cabinet manufacturers, CKCA empowered its members with practical knowledge and inspiration to enhance their own operations.


Funding Innovation – Pathways to Success

In today’s rapidly evolving industry landscape, staying competitive often requires adopting new technologies and processes. However, accessing the right technology can be costly, and this is where government programs can play a pivotal role. CKCA recognized this challenge and dedicated a session to address it. Luke Elias from Muskoka Cabinet Company briefly touched on his journey of innovation in adopting advanced, already available technologies and developing his own Intellectual property before introducing Rejean Belliveau from Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada, who shed light on various government funding programs, such as the Strategic Innovation Fund. This session provided insight for members to navigate the complex world of funding opportunities, ensuring that they can embrace innovation and stay ahead in the industry.


The President’s Dinner: A Glimpse into the Future

The President’s Dinner at the CKCA National Forum was a special evening of networking and insights. Stan Pauls, CEO, and Owner of Décor Cabinets, shared his thoughts on the industry’s direction and offered a preview of what attendees can expect at the next National Forum in Manitoba. Stan Paul brought a wealth of experience and actionable advice, exemplifying CKCA’s commitment to bringing industry leaders together and fostering a sense of community among its members. It also provided a platform for discussing the industry’s future and how CKCA can continue to support its members on their journeys.


Managing Stress and High-Stakes Conversations

The modern workplace is no stranger to stress and high-stakes conversations. To equip its members with the tools to navigate these challenges, CKCA invited Deanna Dumont Van Woudenberg to present strategies for managing stress and successfully handling important discussions, both professionally and personally. Deanna’s insights were especially pertinent given the increasing levels of anxiety and aggression in society. Her practical advice addressed the need for effective communication and maintaining a positive workplace culture, which resonated with attendees from the cabinet manufacturing industry.

Deanna Dumont Van Woudenberg’s presentation was spectacularly intellectually and emotionally compelling. For me, this was truly one of the most valuable events, making it clear to me the massive need for mental health care and the practical application of psychology in our industry.


Unlocking Potential: AI’s Role in Cabinet Manufacturing

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming industries, and cabinet manufacturing is no exception. Nikki Van Boeyen of Gipman Millwork and Design Ltd. share her innovative use of AI in her company and the beginnings of its implementation across their design department. Nikki’s presentation highlighted how AI tools can drive unprecedented growth and development within the industry. Attendees learned about practical applications of AI such as generating social media content or job postings and advanced applications such as customizable scheduling and calendar tools. This session emphasized CKCA’s commitment to keeping its members at the forefront of industry advancements.


CKCA’s Dedication to Its Members

CKCA’s dedication to its members is a cornerstone of its mission. The association provides numerous opportunities for members to grow and strengthen their businesses. Through programs like the National Forum, CKCA creates spaces for suppliers and manufacturers to collaborate, fostering a sense of community and shared learning. Additionally, CKCA offers education and resources, including visibility and recognition through its website directory. The association’s network of like-minded individuals forms a valuable resource for connecting and forming strategic alliances within the industry.

CKCA’s membership is open to all cabinet manufacturers, related millwork manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, and associates across Canada. The association recognizes the importance of business relationships and mentorship within the industry. Many companies join CKCA specifically for mentorship opportunities, where they can connect with experienced industry professionals. These connections provide guidance, insights, and solutions to challenges that arise in the cabinet manufacturing business. The sense of having a supportive network behind them boosts members’ confidence in tackling obstacles.


Moreover, the CKCA encourages members to grow their knowledge and industry perspective collectively. By learning from each other’s experiences and brainstorming collectively, CKCA aims to help members overcome challenges more efficiently. This collaborative approach allows members to bypass common obstacles and benefit from the collective wisdom of the industry.

The CKCA National Forum 2023 exemplified the association’s commitment to its members and the cabinet manufacturing industry as a whole. By delivering valuable insights, educational sessions, and networking opportunities, CKCA upheld its goals and values. The event showcased how CKCA serves as a central hub for industry professionals to learn, grow, and connect, ensuring that its members remain at the forefront of the ever-evolving cabinet manufacturing landscape.

Tyler Holt is the Editor of Wood Industry / Le monde du bois magazine. He has a master’s degree in literature and publication, and years of experience in the publishing and digital media industry. His main area of study is the effect of digital technologies on industrial and networked production.


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