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National Kitchen & Bath Association Moves Headquarters to Lehigh Valley

By Colin McEvoy on October 14, 2022

The world’s leading non-profit trade association for the $189 billion kitchen and bath industry has announced it is relocating its global headquarters to the Lehigh Valley.

The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) will be moving its headquarters from New Jersey to Bethlehem, a move that will bring national exposure to the Lehigh Valley as the association’s 50,000 members attend conferences, trade shows, and meetings in the region.

“Why Bethlehem? It’s an emerging ‘creative class’ city with a rich history, world-class colleges, and universities, a diverse population, the amazing Hotel Bethlehem to house out-of-town guests, and access to major transportation hubs,” said Bill Darcy, NKBA CEO and an alumnus of Moravian University.

“We look forward to joining and contributing to the dynamic Bethlehem community while providing an exceptional work environment for our employees,” Darcy said. “Our global reach connects some of the largest kitchen and bath manufacturers, retailers, and design professionals around the world and we are anxious to introduce them to the beauty and unique culture embedded in the Lehigh Valley.”

The new National Kitchen & Bath Association headquarters is located at 1 West Broad Street in Bethlehem.

The new NBKA headquarters will be located at 1 West Broad Street and employ about 40 people in the region. Darcy said the Bethlehem location was chosen after an extensive search that included multiple locations of varying sizes and types.

“This is another sign of the Lehigh Valley’s growing reputation as a mid-sized market where companies and associations want to be,” said Don Cunningham, President & CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC). “It speaks to the quality-of-life assets of the Lehigh Valley and Bethlehem that the National Kitchen & Bath Association has chosen to locate here.”

The association’s headquarters was previously located in Hackettstown, New Jersey.

Darcy said the move was inspired by NBKA’s need to find a location that would support a new philosophy of what the ideal “work environment” comprises. The adoption of hybrid workplace policies, the need for flexibility, and for technical acuity coupled with a desire to connect with makers, artists, technologists, and other creative class contributors in a small urban location made Bethlehem a logical candidate, he said.

“We needed to change how and where we operate to fit the work and technology paradigm,” Darcy said. “The new, dynamic space will do just that.”

NKBA includes nearly 50,000 members in all segments of the kitchen and bath industry, and has educated and led the industry since the association’s founding in 1963. Its mission is to inspire, lead and empower the kitchen and bath industry through the creation of certifications, marketplaces and networks

The association also owns the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), the largest North American Kitchen and Bath trade show, which s part of Design & Construction Week (DCW).

The NKBA has considered a number of wellness components in the design of its new Bethlehem headquarters and is incorporating the statement further with its “Carry the Keys” cycling initiative. 

Several NKBA staffers and association members will participate in a bicycle trek from Hackettstown to Bethlehem on Nov. 8, during which they will “carry the keys” from the former headquarters to the new location,

Darcy said this reinforces NKBA’s commitment to health, wellness and good living: “In our post-pandemic world, design and construction professionals are taking a more holistic approach to wellness, at home and at work.”

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