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NKBA Women to Women Leadership Conference

On a gorgeous Sept 6th afternoon in Louisville, Kentucky, Suzie Williford, NKBA Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, personally welcomed us to the 21C Hotel. Out of over 300 applicants the lucky 75 of us met and welcomed one another on the rooftop terrace overlooking downtown Louisville and the Ohio River. The atmosphere was effervescent as there was good food, wine, music, and plenty of laughter.

Suzie explained that this event, the NKBA Women to Women Leadership Conference, was a long time coming and that for years she dreamt of orchestrating it. The goal was to bring together women from all corners of the design and remodeling industry to connect, share, and inspire one another. Her hope, she said, was to create a series of ongoing mentoring and leadership relationships within the community starting with her and 5 other industry powerhouse women who I will talk about shortly.

The next morning we started with an inspiring and humorous kickoff from Sarah Robbins of 21C Hotel group as she told us about her life and career path. After that we moved into a panel discussion by all 5 of our other advisors:

  • Chas Daniels, Entrepreneur and President of her own firm, Acero Bella, Inc.

  • Cheri Phyfer, President of Water Innovations (attendance was remote)

  • Mary Putman, VP of Marketing for GE Appliances

  • Sherry Qualls, Owner and CEO of WhiteGood PR

  • Marcia Speer, President of Poggenpohl U.S.

All of these women were vulnerable, funny, and inspiring by turns. The openness of the conversations we had that day from beginning to end created the environment to allow for all attendees to do the same. And that we did! We talked about the business environment, the path in life we have all walked to be where we are now, families, education and so much more. For everything that was different amongst us, there was so much more that was the same.

Our afternoon was centered around what interested us as individuals. I took a revitalizing yoga class and an art lesson before it was time to prepare for dinner where once again we mingled and got to know more of our mentor groups. The night ended with a funny and engaging Bourbon tasting event. Since I personally know nothing about bourbon even learning how to sip it properly was a laughable activity.

The final morning we had a nice breakfast and recapped what we had done during the conference. It was an opportunity for everyone to speak about what our personal take-away was from our last few days with time to exchange contact information. Then we were whisked off to the GE Headquarters for more great food, demonstrations, and another engaging panel of women making a difference in their communities. More affirmation of how much better we make the world when we follow our passions.

There is NOTHING more powerful than feeling seen.

It is the greatest gift you can give someone.

I have always known that I am a herd creature. I love my NKBA Manhattan chapter as well as the other organizations that I belong to. I’m so proud to be President of our chapter and I hope that I can lead with just SOME of the passion these women bring to the table. Our industry is in good hands.



Julie and her team have a passion for creating beautiful, engaging and functional spaces, focusing on both the physical as well as the emotional well being of your environment. Click on the links below for package details:

A design collaboration done between client and designer done entirely o​nline. Purchase the package below, submit photos of the space and existing furnishings you like to see incorporated in the design and a sketch of the space with measurements.

Need some assistance in selecting paint finishes for your home? A design collaboration done between client and designer done entirely online. Purchase the package below, submit photos of the space and and fabrics.

Whether it is directing the flow of chi through the arrangement of furnishings, design or colors; Julie and her team can help you to create the spaces that support your vision of a balanced life, rich in the areas that matter to you.

There is no second chance to make a good first impression. When the time comes to sell or rent your home, ease the transition and maximize return by helping your home look its very best.

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