Over the last two years, I have been an Advisor for NKBA Global Connect, and have enjoyed witnessing the program’s consistent growth. One of the key focal points of NKBA Global Connect is to offer a unique opportunity for members to gain insights, network, and gain a deeper understanding of the North American kitchen and bath sector. By facilitating this level of immersion, the initiative aims to bridge the gap between international businesses and the intricacies of doing business in the North American market.

KBIS - NKBA Global Connect luncheon

NKBA Global Connect members have access to a robust network of business advisors and strategic alliance partners. Furthermore, these resources play a crucial role in providing specialized support to aid international exploration, development, and growth opportunities for North American manufacturers and distributors.

NKBA Global Connect serves as a conduit for international entities entering the North American kitchen and bath market. It provides an environment that fosters learning, networking, and strategic collaboration, and is a cornerstone for global businesses to navigate and succeed.

New NKBA Global Connect Members Exhibit at KBIS

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be heading back to Las Vegas for KBIS 2024.  While there, I’ll be taking part in several get togethers with NKBA Global Connect members, new and old, and an ever-growing number of international exhibitors.

I will also be meeting with some of the international brands that I have advised over the past couple of years and am excited to visit the booths of the brands whose product  (and the people behind them) that until now, I have only seen and met over Zoom.

NKBA Global Connect Member Spotlight

THRILL International

Below is THRILL International, an Italian brand that I was particularly enamored by as I have never seen anything like it for the residential market.  They produce a glass chiller/sanitizer that has been used in the hospitality and commercial market but is now making its way to the residential market.  KBIS 2024 will be their debut into the North American residential market.


THRILL comes as countertop, freestanding, or flush-installed units and can be used indoors or out.  In less than 4 seconds, not only does it chill, but it also sanitizes glassware or plastic, making it the perfect solution for entertaining.  A rechargeable battery allows several days or weeks of use, depending on how often it is used.  All that is needed is a CO2 canister, which can be placed under the counter or behind the scenes, and you have a party!


The attractive price point ( it retails for under $2000) makes it a must-have add-on for the luxury home.  I can imagine installing it in the home bar and perhaps a countertop version in the outdoor kitchen.  Just imagine all the “oohs” and “aahs” when entertaining!

In addition to the Vortex SBI – the flush-install unit, the Vortex Wood unit, the countertop version  clad in a choice of ash, walnut or wenge wood, is what I have my eye on.  Keep YOUR eye out for THRILL when you’re at KBIS later this month and tell Robert I said hi!

THRILL Vortex Wood


Concelo, originating from New Zealand, has designed a waste bin that cleverly combines form and function. The active lid feature allows for easy waste disposal, staying within the unit when the bin is pulled out, thereby eliminating the need to open the lid with the other hand.

The top/side mount allows for the trash can to be installed up high and right below the countertop where it belongs.  For the busy household that needs multiple bins, Concelo has a solution for that.

The unique clip and clean system allows you to easily take the pieces apart to be cleaned so you can kiss the nasty and filthy trash can goodbye!

Concelo will also be a first time exhibitor at KBIS so stop by and say hello to them in South Hall during KBIS.

NKBA Global Connect German Haus Fair Tour

NKBA German Haus Fair Tour

In addition to bringing international brands to North America, the NKBA Global Connect program brings North American designers abroad to discover brands and products that they might be able to use in their projects back home.  I recently attended a trip to Germany with NKBA for the German Haus Fair.  There,  we attended Küchenmeile, the annual open house of German kitchen appliance, cabinetry, and plumbing manufacturers.

NKBA German Haus Fair Tour
NKBA Global Connect Suzie Williford

Along for the ride was Suzie Williford, EVP Industry Relations and Chief Strategy Officer for the NKBA and my longtime mentor/muse Veronika Eagleson, Founder and CEO of Modenus Media. We also had a great time dining out and networking with kitchen and bath professionals from around North America.

German Haus Fair Tour

To acquaint the group with European kitchen trends, we explored the trade shows that were set up around town.  There they showed off the latest appliances, plumbing, and cabinetry introductions.

NKBA German Haus Fair Tour

NKBA Global Connect Haus Fair

Bora was featured as one of the vendors at one of the shows. Bora’s innovative downdraft systems captivated the North American designers, as they are unlike anything currently available in the US.  Heads up – Bora will be showing at KBIS for the first time this year, so you’ll definitely want to check them out in West Hall.

Bora - Kuchenmeile

NKBA Global Connect Showroom Tours

In addition, we were taken on showroom tours at Nobilia, Hettich,and Poggenpohl, where everyone was thoroughly impressed by the German style and innovation.


Last but not least, we were taken to Miele, where we enjoyed a tour of the Miele museum, showroom and behind the scenes tour of the factory.  Below are photos of the museum and showroom. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to take pictures in the factory.  It was fascinating as there were machines and robots controlling everything.  What a contrast to go from the past to the future, all in one factory!


Over the last few years, NKBA Global Connect has made major strides in making the world a smaller place to conduct business.  They recognize that the kitchen and bath business is no longer limited to the confines of the North American borders, but instead it is a global economy.  I hope that you take the opportunity to visit the Global Connect Lounge in South Hall when you’re at KBIS at the end of the month!

Jeanne K Chung | Cozy Stylish Chic