Speakers

Enjoy insightful sessions and panels from top industry professionals and brands.

Speakers and Moderators

Farshid Tafazzoli Co-Founder & Chief Business Officer, Material Bank

As Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer of Material Bank, Farshid is focused on corporate growth initiatives, from strategy to execution, and key strategic partnerships across all business units. Farshid has worked alongside Adam Sandow since the earliest days as Chief Technology Officer to build out Sandow’s vision to create the world’s largest material marketplace for architectural, design, and construction materials.

Bill Darcy, CEO NKBA

Bill Darcy is the CEO of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), a forward-thinking trade organization serving a nearly $200 billion K+B industry. Within his 10+ year tenure with the NKBA, Bill has pioneered key industry initiatives> creation solutions in the face of skilled labor shortages, establishing the NKBA's 30 under 30 program, and orchestrating the 2014 collaboration of KBIS and IBS to create Design & Construction Week - now one of the world's largest, most comprehensive industry trade events.

AJ Paron, Design Futurist SANDOW Design Group

Paron is a highly accomplished professional with tremendous knowledge and relationships in the design industry. Paron serves as Executive Vice President + Design Futurist and SANDOW Design Group. Paron’s experience includes creating and leading award-winning design firms, developing national programs for ASID, developing research programs for the University of Minnesota, among many more.

Austin Maxwell, President ISFA / President + Owner Maxwell Counters

Austin is the president and second-generation owner of Maxwell Counters, Inc. Since 1981, Maxwell Counters has provided central Illinois and surrounding areas with full-service, custom surfacing for commercial and residential stone, solid surface and laminate countertops. Austin is on the ISFA board of directors, where he has served as Secretary, Vice President, and will be President in 2023.

Evan Cohen, Treasurer NSI Board / Founder + CEO, Quality Marble & Granite

Founder and CEO of Quality Marble & Granite, a slab and countertop importer and distributor located in Southern California. Evan Started Quality in 2004 with no knowledge of the industry and has since then immersed himself in learning and gaining a deep understanding of the products and the industry. Evan currently serves as the secretary for the executive board of directors for the Natural Stone Institute. Evan believes that consumers deserve to know about the products they are buying and how they will perform over time. Through constant research and education, Evan stays informed and well-equipped to share his knowledge with others. 

Raul Gutierrez, Co-Founder + Partner ITALKRAFT

Raul Gutierrez founded ITALKRAFT, a luxury Italian kitchen, bath, closet and millwork firm, with Alex Xakoustis in 2011. He manages the brand’s overall planning and strategy for purchasing and product development. A savvy businessman, Gutierrez negotiates long-term deals with raw material suppliers throughout the world, while simultaneously creating installation methods to provide clients with swift service and to maximize their investments.

Heather Squire, President PITT Cooking America

Experienced Vice President Of Business Development with a demonstrated history of working in the consumer goods industry. Strong business development professional skilled in Negotiation, Consumer Products, Retail, Sales, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

Khoi-Vo, CEO American Society of Interior Designers

Khoi Vo, CEO, ASID, has two decades of experience across interior design, architecture, and education. Most recently, Vo was a leader at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). In 2002, he founded Studio Four Los Angeles. He later founded Khoi Vo Design and was the studio’s design director for 12 years. Vo began his career at CSU as an assistant professor for the interior design program. He later became a professor and Chair at SCAD’s department of interior design. After a stint at UNC Greensboro, Vo returned to SCAD to head its former Hong Kong campus.

Kelly Martin, Vice President ISEC

Kelly Martin is Vice President at ISEC, Incorporated, a solutions-driven construction company laser-focused on delivering a world-class customer experience. She leads all aspects of corporate preconstruction including VDC, engineering, estimating, and procurement services. Her degree in Environmental Design and Construction Management, bolstered by her Executive Juris Doctorate, and her relational approach position her perfectly for forming strategic and lasting partnerships with hundreds of domestic and international manufacturers.

Martin also leads the Marketing, Communication and Organizational Development team. Her advocacy for personal growth opportunities is a driving force in executing the company’s goal to be an industry leader in people development. With her passion for construction, it’s no surprise that she was instrumental in articulating and trademarking ISEC’s mission statement “We build for life’s most important events” ™.

Fueled by a strong desire to give back and create opportunity for others, Martin guided the creation of the ISEC Foundation and served as Vice President of the Board of Directors for seven years. She currently represents Women in Construction Operations (WiOPS) as Board Vice President, sits on the Board of Trustees for the National MS Society and serves as Chairman of the Board for the Seaside Aquarium in Oregon, overseeing the mission to provide public awareness of the Pacific Ocean environment while creating a network supporting marine life sanctuaries.

Maikel Bink, Sales Director, PITT Cooking

In 2001, my work experience in the premium high end kitchen industry started at Gutmann (high end extractors), where I worked as an account manager. From there on, I worked as an account manager at Quooker and sales manager at Viking – both within their launching phases of new, high end kitchen appliances. These jobs allowed me to get to know the premium kitchen industry through and through. From 2009 my adventure as co-owner / founder of PITT cooking officially started. Since then, I have been fully committed to building a strong foundation for this brand. Starting from scratch, I created the strategic policy, set up the core business model and sales/marketing strategy and obtained all international technical certifications. Above all, I created several durable partnerships with trend setting, premium and leading brands within the kitchen, interior and architecture industry – all on both national and international level.

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