Last Fall, Nationwide Marketing Group rolled out a new partnership with FEI Group, an organization that represents hundreds of independent dealers in the flooring, cabinets, kitchen and bath and exterior contracting spaces. Brian Penabad, senior vice president of FEI, sat down with us to talk about the opportunities that exist for members of both groups to take advantages of the partnership — in particular, FEI’s Kitchen & Bath Alliance.
Rob Stott: All right, we are back on the Independent Thinking Podcast and diving into a fun conversation this week with our partners at FEI Group, and Brian Penabad, the Senior Vice President over there. Brian, how you doing man? How’s everything?
Brian Penabad: I’m great man. Good to talk to you. Good to connect and I’m happy to be on the Independent Thinking Podcast with you.
Rob Stott: Yeah, absolutely. And diving into, did I hear you right before we jumped on, you have a podcast room? Is that literally what you’re sitting in right now?
Brian Penabad: No, we do. So here-
Rob Stott: That’s awesome.
Brian Penabad: At the FEI office here in Georgia, we have a room just for this so we could… The acoustics are real good here, man.
Rob Stott: Specifically for the Independent, no, I’m sure lots of other opportunities as well to talk to people because you guys are doing some awesome things over there. And I’m excited to dive into it with you this week on our podcast. So first of all, just appreciate you having the time and wanting to do this.
Brian Penabad: Well, thank you. I thank you for the invite and with our NMG partners and FEI, with us being all linked at the hip, it’s pretty cool to be on the podcast so thank you.
Rob Stott: It is. No, first opportunity, so we’re intending to have you make a great first impression of FEI Group and we’ll have a lot of fun. A lot of things to dive into, but I want to start just about yourself, introduce to our audience who you are and your background and path to FEI.
Brian Penabad: Well, that I can do, Rob. So I’ve been here I guess a little over eight years now, right? If you want to get real specific, I started January 3rd, 2017.
Rob Stott: Wow.
Brian Penabad: At FEI Group. And I came from American Woodmark, so I’ve been in the cabinet business. I was there almost nine years. Great company, great culture. They really taught me the cabinet business. I came from outside of that business, knew nothing about it. I was selling drywall and ceiling tile and grid before that and then all of a sudden American Woodmark hires me and multiple positions over that nine years. Sales Rep, Senior Sales Rep, District Sales Manager, Regional Sales Manager. So I really grew up and cut my teeth with American Woodmark, still have a ton of friends there to this day. Great company, great culture. And took that knowledge of what they taught me. And then FEI recruited me, and I came on board at that time back then in 2017 to run our kitchen and bath business.
Rob Stott: Gotcha.
Brian Penabad: So I came on board to run those two divisions. We had two divisions at the time, KBx and KBA, and really started going from there. And different positions over the years here at FEI to now, I work on our kitchen and bath side obviously with my background. But then I also work in our roofing and siding group as well called Exterior Contractors Alliance so it’s pretty cool. Here at FEI, we have six divisions.
Rob Stott: Yeah.
Brian Penabad: We’re at two flooring divisions, two kitchen and bath, one in roofing, siding, and now our new one on the traffic safety piece out there. So we’re covering all the gamuts.
Rob Stott: No, I mean, the expansion of the group, which we’ll dive into in a second, it sounds a lot like what’s happening at Nationwide, which I think makes it even a stronger partnership with how we’re going through the whole home and adding divisions here and there and just growing the expertise. And makes perfect sense. I want to take one step back further with you on your own personal background. This space in general, what got you into the interior of the home and interested in kitchen and bath? And you talk about the selling drywall and all that. What sparked your interest and gave you that interior home, bit by the home bug?
Brian Penabad: That’s a great question, man. So my background was, I knew going to school I wanted to be, I felt personality wise, hey, sales would be a good thing for me. So I was a marketing major, got out of school. My uncle at the time owned his own business and he said, “You know what? You should go into sales.” So I got recruited out of school to go to work for United States Gypsum, which was the drywall, the ceiling, tile grid, cement board, and it was a sales job. Here I am some 22 year old kid, they give you a company car, a laptop, and a cell phone and say go. And I was like, “Well, this is the best deal ever.”
Rob Stott: That’s awesome.
Brian Penabad: So, I did it, I love it. I’ve been a road warrior my whole career. If you take a look, you follow our LinkedIn page or anything, I’m on the road all the time still to this time. I love it. I love being on the road, I love being in front of the customer, so that’s really what it was. There wasn’t a specific, was my uncle’s advice and me being a marketing major saying, “Hey, let’s put my hat in the ring for sales.” And USG happened to be the company that recruited me out of college, and then that led for me, like I was in the space and then I got a recruiter called me, went to American Woodmark and then it just.
Rob Stott: That’s funny.
Brian Penabad: It was a snowball effect. We like to joke and say once you’re in cabinets, you’re never getting out.
Rob Stott: They lock that cabinet on you. Is that what you’re saying? You get inside?
Brian Penabad: I mean, it gets to the level of when you show up for a party at other people’s houses, you’re looking at the kitchen cabinets, okay?
Rob Stott: You are that judgmental guest that I’m sure that now I know not to invite you to parties. Is that what?
Brian Penabad: I get the speech from my wife beforehand. You’re in the car on the way there. She goes, “Hey, we’re not going to say anything, okay?”
Rob Stott: Awesome. No, that’s really, it’s funny how those things work too, right? I mean one suggestion and here you are a whole career later, so it’s pretty cool to see how that happens. But you did it a little bit already, the pitch on FEI and what you guys are and all the different spaces that you’re involved in. Talk about that elevator pitch to someone that’s not familiar with the group, what would you tell them?
Brian Penabad: What I would say is, and I appreciate the opportunity to do that, this is our 25th year in business. So FEI Group started in the flooring space. The single family new construction contractors out there that are servicing the Pultes, the Toll Brothers, all the big builders in the flooring spaces where we started 25 years ago. Then that morphed 18, 19 years ago, we got into multifamily flooring, formed that group. The multifamily solutions does exactly what it says on the flooring side, all that turn work, national property management work. So when we say we’re in those spaces, we have members of each one of these groups that do this kind of work out in the field.
And then 15 years ago we got into the cabinet space with KBx. Those are the members that we call them the large cabinet and countertop distributors, primarily servicing the builder community. Then in, what was it? 2015, we got into the Kitchen & Bath Alliance, which is the group we’ll talk about a lot more today, the group that has the most synergy with all the NMG groups and everything there. But we formed that group in 2015. And those are your true retail remodel, brick and mortar itching and bath showrooms, right? Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s going to come in, I want to remodel my kitchen or bath. That’s where they would go to, one of our KBA members. And these are the folks that compete with maybe the Home Depot, the Lowe’s, the Menards of the world. But it’s the true dealer community that you could come in full soup to nuts. Well, they’ll do the flooring, the cabinets, the countertop, the appliances, the lighting, the plumbing. It’s a full one-stop shop. So it’s truly a great group.
When I went to remodel that I just did a year ago, we worked with one of our members, a couple different members to do it and it makes sense within the KBA because that’s the group that are experts of it. And then we formed in 2019, end of summer, beginning of fall, we formed the Exterior Contractors Alliance. So if you pay attention to the four groups that I just laid out, going to ECA, that was our first foray outside of the home.
Rob Stott: Right.
Brian Penabad: Right? So our ECA group is primarily roofing and siding and they’re the biggest players, the who’s who. In a short time period we already have 88 members in that group, almost 300 locations. And those 88 members, Rob, equal almost 3 billion in top line.
Rob Stott: Wow.
Brian Penabad: So in a short time period, that’s taken off. And then our newest group is traffic safety solutions. And what they are is, I’m not an expert in this space, so I’ll do my best, but it’s the folks that do the state, federal, local government work for that. All the striping work that you see on the roads when you’re driving and all the stuff that hey, road work has to be done or they’re putting signs and cones out. These are the experts in that space.
Rob Stott: Interesting.
Brian Penabad: That’s our newest group, so we’re really getting outside.
Rob Stott: Yeah, I was going to say you’ve gone from inside the home to the outside of the home to now those streets right in front of the home. So you’re slowly crawling out and capturing more of the space in general, which is cool to say.
Brian Penabad: Exactly.
Rob Stott: No, that’s awesome. And a lot. Yeah, I imagine, and we can dive more specifically into what you’re seeing in that you mentioned the kitchen and bath space and the synergies there, but on the retail side, you talk to those dealers that are in that space, it’s been quite the last couple of years. So I mean, we’ve seen a lot of fluctuation, consumer demand, things like that. So I’m wondering, we’ve seen on our side and reported to members what we’re seeing from the retail side. But for you guys, how are you following the market? What’s going on and how have these last few years been and what’s the outlook over the next couple?
Brian Penabad: I mean, that’s a great question, Rob. What I would say is, I mean I’m sure everybody has known it, seen it, you see it in your numbers. If you’re a business owner, the last couple years were record years, right? So you’re coming off, it was, dare I say, I don’t think people were, hey, I’m stepping back. I don’t have to go out there and hunt as much because the orders were just coming in. On the retail side, our members, the KBA members, you had people with backlogs of, “Hey, I can’t get to your work for 10 months.” And they would just put their name on the waiting list and they’re just getting to that work now.
So we all know, you guys are experts on the appliance side with allocation, the backlogs there just getting stuff 6, 8, 10 months longer to get product. It was the same thing on cabinets. Lead times shot out to, in many cases over 20 weeks, 20 to 25 weeks. It was crazy. But people were still saying, “Okay, hey, I’m investing in my home.” And then the other thing is, Rob, that I think we’ve got to play out and the reality is in the retail remodel space is if anybody’s got a sub 5% mortgage at this point.
Rob Stott: They’re not going anywhere.
Brian Penabad: Right? So it’s hey, I’m not going anywhere. I’m not switching that mortgage for high six or seven plus, so I’m going to remodel. I’m in this home for the long term. And if you locked in some good rates for the people that locked in it three and a half or below, hey, I’m going to be here for 30 years. It’s time to remodel.
Rob Stott: Personal experience of doing that ourselves here. You mentioned you just had some remodel work. We did the same during the, I think the height of when it was popular to do so. And yeah, I’m with you. We’re going to be here for a little bit. It was nice to have, I think we moved here in 2016. So those rates, what they were then. But it’s unique to see because I think we’re past talking about, it’s still in the conversation because it’s only a couple years ago. But past talking about the pandemic effect and everything that did, and that obviously had an increase as people were in their homes. Now it’s the financial impact of post-COVID and what we’re seeing with rates and things like that. So I mean at a time where there’s been a lot made of the economy and that’s a thing that is still floating out there to an extent.
But in this space in particular in the home space and whether it’s appliances or furniture or even obviously the remodeling, it’s unique to see not many industries I think have this sort of resurgence. People realizing, “Well, maybe I could have moved,” and now it’s like, “No, I obviously don’t want to for their own personal reasons,” because of where they are with their finances and the rates and things. So almost like a second kick or a rebound if you will, of people I imagine that you’re seeing that are deciding to do these projects and the remodels and things like that. So helping these businesses not stay afloat but see their pipelines refill back up to what they were.
Brian Penabad: I think that’s exactly what’s happening, Rob, that it’s on the retail remodel side. You had a lot of members still working through that backlog, right?
Rob Stott: Yeah.
Brian Penabad: They couldn’t get to it. There was a lot of product on allocation or the lead times were so long, so slowing down projects to get to it. Well, now they’re working through that backlog. But then you have other folks to that point of, okay, I moved in a couple years ago, or I moved during the pandemic or beforehand and then now it’s hey, I’ve been here a couple of years, I got to lay of the land, I do want to remodel now. And you got projects. I mean, think about it. It’s not just the interior. Outdoor kitchens is the largest growing category in our space.
Rob Stott: Right.
Brian Penabad: You guys know that as well. Everything at NMG, just go to PrimeTime and see that whole section. Outdoor kitchens are huge. So you got people putting in money there, remodeling in the interior, our members do all that work too. Outdoor kitchens, outdoor spaces, remodel. We got members that are full design build and remodel firms that’ll do anything. It’s not just cabinets. “Hey, I’m going to redo your basement, I’m going to redo a bathroom.” They’ll do all that kind of work. So I think that’s keeping people busy, but you’re also, if you’re not, it’s not what it was, so you need to market again. If you’re not running ads in your community, whether it’s radio ads, geofencing, that kind of stuff, or capitalizing on all that, you have to do that again, right? It’s not the last two years, it has slowed down. So you do have to make sure your name is out there and I think our members have done a heck of a job with it.
Rob Stott: Well, what’s awesome is you beat me to the punch on wanting to ask with the market as it is, and of course there’s going to be an increase in projects as people realize that they’re going to stay still. But at the same time, what my question was going to be, what are you imploring members to do? And it’s neat to hear because anyone that’s listening, a Nationwide member knows that it’s the same things we’ve been imploring in terms of not say, now’s not the time to stop marketing and things like that. So what’s cool is that the synergies are there between the two groups and what you’re telling your members and we’re telling ours. So I think a little over a year since the partnership was officially formed, and I want to give you the chance to talk about that, the partnership and the benefits that you’ve realized, but also of those synergies and why it was important to bring this together and the opportunities that exist.
Brian Penabad: Yeah, it is a little over a year, it seems like yesterday, the time’s flying.
Rob Stott: It’s crazy.
Brian Penabad: I would tell you from our perspective, right?
Rob Stott: Yeah.
Brian Penabad: So, from the FEI Group perspective, first is the synergy starts with the mission statement with us from day one that it’s the helping the independent entrepreneur thrive on their own terms. If you look at everything FEI, our mission statement, our pyramid, it’s literally that sentence summed up into one, we have the same goal. We want our members to succeed. Whatever we can do to help them grow, build their business, be successful in their marketplace, we’re an added tool for our members. We’re just another tool in the toolbox for them to help them and deploy and be more important in their marketplace. And it’s the same core values that Nationwide Marketing Group has. So I think that was the win. But then if you take it down to the member level and how is it getting to our FEI members, I think one of the first things that we picked up was a lot of the business services and the platforms that Nationwide offers.
If you go back to Cybersafe Solutions, we jumped on that partnership right away. Nexa, we picked up through you guys. We’re doing a lot of work with the Nationwide digital marketing team. So especially for certain members and those kind of things like you talk about, we’re saying, “Hey, if you’re not investing in marketing, if you’re not investing in your website, if you haven’t done anything with your website in a few years, you were so busy, now’s the time, don’t wait on it. Don’t let the train pass you by.” And a lot of these services and things we’ve been able to plug in, and frankly I think we’ve been able to share resources back and forth to each other. But I would say I’d argue Nationwide and our partnership has fast forwarded us 10 years because you guys had a lot of things already in place that maybe we were working on, but it just got us there that much quicker.
Rob Stott: Right. No, makes sense. I think looking the other way too, the evolution, and we talked about it a little bit ago, just the evolution of both of our groups, but if you’re talking specifically about nationwide and expanding categories and looking at those, I don’t want to call them ancillary, but those related verticals that an appliance dealer right now knows that yes, they’re selling appliances, but what are some of those other opportunities to differentiate and separate yourselves from the big box competitors that are down the street and things like that.
And it’s those things. You’re already in the home, a consumer’s looking to replace appliances, talking at a time when these consumers are also looking to stay put. So an opportunity, you want to install that new appliance, how about you talk about those things around it, the cabinets, the countertops, all that sort of, the flooring even. You talk about all those opportunities. So certainly a two-way street for the benefits here, right?
Brian Penabad: We call it, Rob, elevate your offering. So you’ve actually, what we’re going to call the, we’re doing a couple of sessions here at PrimeTime in Nashville and the learning academy and that’s the moniker we’ve put on it. But elevate your offering, meaning you’re becoming more important to the end consumer, right? If you are not just appliances, if you’re selling cabinets, countertops, plumbing, hardware, all these different categories, you become a one-stop shop. In our world on the kitchen world, for our members that do sell all the products, meaning everything I just listed, the cabinets, the countertop, flooring, et cetera, we call that the perfect kitchen because then what happens is they’re not going to shop at a competitor or somewhere else to go look for the other categories.
And what happens if you end in somewhere else? Well, if they sell all those things, you could lose the sale. On the builder side, we do the same thing for the single family, new construction, whether it be flooring or cabinets with the builder, we say you become more important to the builder if you’re offering more than one category. So our members that sell the flooring, the cabinets, the countertop, what have you, we’ve got members that sell appliances to the builder as well. You become so way more important to the builder, it becomes harder for them to price shop you out.
Rob Stott: Right. No, it’s crazy. And it just dawned on me too. I had a moment here making a connection in my head of past episodes and not, so when this publishes, if you’re listening, you can go back. Don’t stop, wait till we get to the end. But I want to let you know that you can go back about two episodes. I want to say we had KBA on here, who just recently released their first ever independent showroom report on the kitchen and bath space. So I’m sure a lot of your members were interested in that and the data that came out of that. And I’m just thinking about the importance of that showroom experience and what it means to your members.
And I could pull out any number of stats about it, but just knowing that consumers place a lot of emphasis, they do a lot of learning in these showrooms and educating themselves. And you talk about the upselling opportunity, I think they, I forget the specific number, but they spend, I don’t know, it was 30 or 40% more. Their budget increases when they go into a showroom. So a lot of benefits to having that whole kitchen, whole home solution if you will, as a dealer. Whether you’re just an appliance dealer right now, or even the other way. If you’re a showroom and wanting to add these appliances and get into that whole home solution and being that one, to your point, a one-stop shop for the consumer.
Brian Penabad: That report that you’re referencing, Rob, we sent it out to the membership, and it is an unbelievable report if you are a dealer out there.
Rob Stott: Oh, 90 pages of just data.
Brian Penabad: If you’re a dealer out there and you haven’t at least perused this thing or an owner of a dealership, you got to take a look, right?
Rob Stott: Yeah.
Brian Penabad: Because it’s talking about the importance of the showroom. But I think there’s things we help our members with too that you can piggyback off of looking what somebody else’s did at with their showroom. How have they done it? Look at what the home centers have done. Take a look at the Home Depots and the Lowe’s of the world where they’ve actually cut down the footprint. But I think that that’s a smart philosophy. Our dealers are doing it too, that you don’t need, “Hey, I don’t need 5,000 square feet.” If you have it, that’s great. But also remember the 5,000 square feet is harder to maintain. And especially in the cabinet world, which is different than appliances. If they discontinue a fridge, you pull the fridge out, put a new one in, it’s not that bad of a pain point.
Rob Stott: Right.
Brian Penabad: They discontinue the door style where the finish of the cabinets and it’s your main display, that’s way more of a pain point. You got to pull it out, rip out the display. You had the countertops on there, you had everything you wanted. What if it’s a functioning kitchen that you’ve got in your showroom now and now all of a sudden you got to pull it out? So that’s why the smaller footprint on the showrooms, it can really, really help. And we’ve helped our members reconfigure the showrooms to say maybe one functioning main show display, one functioning vanity area, or just a vanity area and then a bunch of cabinet front onlys, or a front wall to show different finishes and all that. You can maximize the space. If you only got 1500 square feet to work with that, that’s plenty.
Rob Stott: It never even dawned on me that these showrooms, they essentially become a home project for these dealers. So if they need to swap something out, they’re basically taking the time that they would be maybe in a consumer’s home and having to apply that labor to their own showroom.
Brian Penabad: 100%.
Rob Stott: That’s crazy.
Brian Penabad: And think about it, you take your install team off the road and they’re not doing it and then they’re doing your work. That’s why these large showrooms sometimes get dated. They don’t want to rip it out. Then you’re under construction to your point before, the showroom is your sales tool.
Rob Stott: Yeah. Well yeah, and I mean other areas of the report too, just the technology that’s been added and how comfortable consumers are getting, and I mean the importance of lighting in the showroom, showing natural light as opposed to what the lighting might be in that consumer’s kitchen. So detailed, it’s so crazy to dive into and a report that is certainly for every independent showroom dealer. I want to turn it back to the partnership and talking to our appliance dealers, the FEI and KBA relationship and looking at it from the Nationwide perspective for our retailers, is it something that, should it appeal to every appliance dealer that’s out there or does it make sense for a certain type of dealer? What would be your advice or guidance to someone hearing this listening and wondering if it’s for them?
Brian Penabad: It’s definitely for a certain type of dealer. It’s not going to be everybody’s cup of tea. Some people may say, “I’m an appliance expert, that’s my wheelhouse, I’ve been doing it for 25 years, that’s where I’m going to stay.” But for those entrepreneurs that are looking to diversify and say, “Okay, appliances is part of my offering, I now want to get into plumbing cabinets, countertops, all these different areas,” that’s what the Kitchen and Bath Alliance could do for you, and the group could do for you. To give you an idea of scale, size of the group, we have 152 members across the country. We are nationwide and that’s close to, I don’t know, we’re approaching probably 240, 250 showrooms across the country and collectively FEI, we’re the largest purchasing cabinet organization in the industry. So that’s pretty cool to say that with all the funnels through our members.
So we do have fabulous partnerships on cabinets, flooring, countertops. We’re in 18 different categories. So that, like I said, cabinets, flooring, plumbing, lighting, hardware, all these different categories that you would expect if I’m going to be a full-blown retail remodeler. And if you were looking right, we’ve talked to a lot of Nationwide folks over the last year plus, I think we have now Rob, it’s somewhere around 11, 12, maybe 13 now that are KBA members, but also Nationwide Marketing Group members. So there is synergy there already. Yeah, we were in Dallas at the last PrimeTime. Our booth was busy from the moment the show floor opened.
Rob Stott: Awesome.
Brian Penabad: Till closing. So I think they’re showing an interest on Nationwide Marketing Members’ side that hey, I do want to get in the kitchen and bath. I do want to become more of a well-rounded dealer where I’m diversified and show everything. And that’s where we come in because we’re in so many different categories that we can help. And we can help in the process of, if the group’s not for you today because we do require, hey, part of it that we’re invitation only is that you got to have a showroom to be a member.
But if you’re not in it today, or you’re building to grow into that space, that doesn’t mean you can’t come talk to us, call us, email us, we’re here to help because maybe we can give you the steps and ideas. We’ve been doing this a long time and we know the people that have successfully just said, I’m jumping in. Well, what did they do? What were their successes? What were their pain points? We can give you the playbook to say, hey, here’s what I want my business to look like in 24 months if you follow all these steps.
Rob Stott: Yeah, no, absolutely. That’s an awesome point. And one that I know, you talk about just the ability to network within too, and that’s always been a big pitch of Nationwide, is having this massive network of your colleagues and peers to lean into. I even think too, a little bit outside of the box thinking on the partnership and how it benefits, but for the dealer that’s maybe not even looking to get into that space, you guys mentioned your network and there’s always the search for those partners that you want to work with to get your appliances into a home, you see a new community going up, maybe it’s a KBA member that’s working on that. So knowing those people and having that network and expanding your partnerships as a retailer too. So even if you’re not necessarily in that stage of your business of wanting to expand into this space and become that one-stop shop, now you’ve got a network to lean into of people that we know that are close peers and colleagues of our own to.
Brian Penabad: Yeah, all part of the family.
Rob Stott: Yeah, exactly.
Brian Penabad: The way I view that, Rob, is that’s a volley back and forth to both sides of the fence, right? If I’m the appliance dealer and I’m looking for, hey, maybe somebody can recommend me because they don’t sell appliances, well, you could build a rapport with one of our KBA members and then vice versa, it helps the KBA member that says, “Hey, appliances isn’t for me. I have a small showroom, I don’t have the room, but you know what? I could become friends with a Nationwide member in my market and we’re throwing leads back and forth to each other.”
Rob Stott: There you go. See that? I love it. That’s awesome. That’s the power of the network, the power of the partnership, and we love to see it and love to see it continue to grow. So I know you’re busy, you got a busy time of year coming up for you guys and you have a show around the corner too, is that right?
Brian Penabad: Yeah, it’s coming quick man. So we’re going to have registration out here in about a week or two, probably early August, but then our show’s October 18, 19, 20 down in San Antonio, Texas at the beautiful JW Marriott. And we’ll have every bit of, because we invite all our divisions, all our supply partners around, we’ll have every bit of 800+ people down with us in San Antonio.
Rob Stott: That’s awesome.
Brian Penabad: It’s a big show. And then like I said, over the three days, to us, it’s very similar. I hear you using the buzzwords of networking, peer to peer interaction, those are our keys to success as well. That’s what made FEI what it is over 25 years. And there’s no better time at our annual conference because the networking, the sharing of best practices, the peer-to-peer interaction from members, the time with your supply partners out there, it’s invaluable in over two and a half days. It’s really, you come in Wednesday morning or Tuesday night and you stay through Friday night into Saturday. It’s pretty spectacular buddy.
Rob Stott: No, it’s one of those things, I hate to talk about it like drinking the Kool-Aid, but go into a PrimeTime, that’s the aha moment for anyone that doesn’t get it or that hasn’t gotten it. You go there, you experience it, and you come out with a different feeling. I imagine it’s a lot the same for you guys and going to your event and you hear about it, but it’s not until you experience it that you can really truly understand the power of the group in every form, whether it’s the vendor relationships or just being able to network and talk and everything that it’s about. You come out with a completely different feeling. So I know.
Brian Penabad: Well, our goal is always, Rob, because we time it for September, October to have conference is so that the members come in, they get motivated, close out the year strong, but then you’re also, hey, I’m going in with these new ideas, fresh ideas for the next calendar year coming. So you close out that one year and then you get on the path to success for the next year. So timing for us wise is always very good at the end of the year with that.
Rob Stott: No, that’s great. It really is and we look forward to continuing to see it and follow it and awesome to have you on the podcast, but something I think we might have to make a regular, this was a fun time, fun conversation.
Brian Penabad: Rob, anytime man, I’m here to, we didn’t even get into supply and all that stuff.
Rob Stott: I know.
Brian Penabad: I could talk for five days about that, who our partners are, all that stuff.
Rob Stott: Yeah, absolutely. Well, then for sure, we’ll have to book it. We’ll get the powers that be to get our schedules aligned and do it for sure. So Brian, this was awesome. A great conversation, nice opportunity to introduce for those that don’t know or haven’t really explored the FEI KBA, and Nationwide relationship to dive into it. So this was a lot of fun and appreciate it, man.
Brian Penabad: Well, thank you Rob. And if anybody, whoever else is, you want to learn more about us, we do have a specific website just for the Kitchen & Bath Alliance. It’s kandballiance.com, that’s all one word, kandballiance.com. We’re going to be at PrimeTime in Nashville. We got a ton of stuff going on. Happy hour on Sunday, two learning academy sessions. So look for that, it’s called Elevate Your Offering: the Power of the K&B Alliance Membership. We’ll have a booth at PrimeTime. So we’re going to be well represented at, not just in Nashville, but every PrimeTime coming. So if you miss us in Nashville, we’ll be there too.
Rob Stott: Love it. No, and we’ll include links too. Check the description of the episode of whether you’re on YouTube, wherever you’re watching or listening, and we’ll get all that stuff in there for you for ease of access. So we appreciate it and look forward to seeing you down there.
Brian Penabad: Thanks Rob. Thanks for everything man.