Finalists Announced for NKBA U Professional of the Year

by Kacey Larsen

Hackettstown, N.J. — NKBA University has announced the four professionals who will compete in the final round of the NKBA U Professional of the Year Contest. The contest will culminate in Las Vegas at KBIS 2016 from NKBA’s Center Stage on Tuesday, January 19, where a panel of NKBA judges will crown the winner.

The Grand Prize Winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip for two from Platinum Sponsor Kohler Co. to tour its global headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Kohler, Wis., and a $500 gift card. Each of the remaining finalists will also received one all-expenses paid trip to visit the headquarters and manufacturing facilities of one of the contest’s Gold Sponsors, including Franke, Rev-A-Shelf and DuPont.

The four 2016 NKBA U Professional of the Year Finalists are:

  • Danielle Burger, AKBD, Kitchen Vitality Design, Clarendon Hills, Ill. — She discovered her appreciation for kitchen and bath design through several years of experience working in high-end plumbing and hardware showrooms in Chicago, and launched her own design firm. Burger has been honing her customer service approach through NKBA University’s “Focus on the Customer” learning path, and she is currently pursuing her Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) and Bath Designer (CBD) Certifications.
  • Alena Capra, CKD, CBD, Alena Capra Designs, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — With 13 years of industry experience as an interior designer, her work and expertise has been featured on various home and design shows around the country, as well as many national and regional media outlets. She is developing an e-design service, which she’ll soon add to her list of client offerings. Through Capra’s NKBA U studies from the “Communication” Learning Path, she is learning to further drive her business through the appropriate channels and how to effectively communicate with those she works with, from her employees to senior-level executives.
  • Patricia Davis Brown, CKD, CBD, ASID, NCIDQ, Patricia Davis Brown Designs, LLC, Vero Beach, Fla. — In addition to launching her firm in 1992, she has also launched, an online consumer resource for kitchen and bath design, as well as, where she sells curated furniture and home decor items. Through her “Sales & Marketing” studies with NKBA U, Davis Brown hopes to explore new ways to further diversify her brand internationally.
  • Matt Plaskoff, Plaskoff Construction, Van Nuys, Calif. — His company was founded with a different approach to remodeling and custom home building. It is rooted in attention to detail, premium service and constant client communication to eliminate frustration and headaches often associated with the construction process. Plaskoff focused his passion for helping fellow industry professionals channel their skills into a viable business with his NKBA U coursework focused on “Business Management.”

In addition to the NKBA U Professional of the Year finals, NKBA University will host five KBIS exclusive courses on Monday, Jan. 18 and Wednesday, Jan. 20. View the full course offerings on the KBIS 2016 website.

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