Experience Builds a Company, Part II; Kitchen & Bath Cabinet Maker Showplace Wood Products Enlists Millennials to Grow the Company

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While homebuilding and remodeling surges with renewed vigor, a Midwestern kitchen and bath cabinet brand builds on its successful past with an eye toward a Millennial-dominated future.

The management team at ShowplaceEVO cabinetry takes on a very millenial look, but boasts an impressive average 16 years of cabinet industry experience.

The ShowplaceEVO cabinet manufacturing managers (LtoR): Melchor Rodriguez, Julie Portice, Sam Moser, Jeremy Seykora, Brad Baltzer, Jeremy Fischer.

We’ve got a great team of experienced managers...I feel like I was born for this.

A new generation is assuming leadership positions at Showplace Wood Products, a kitchen and bath cabinet manufacturer located in the hard-working plains state of South Dakota. The company recently expanded to create a new brand of cabinetry and has redefined what experienced cabinet makers look like in the process.

But before you can fully appreciate the significance of this, it helps to understand a little about the company's path to prominence in the kitchen and bath industry.

From its beginning in 1999, Showplace recognized that providing a superior level of customer service would be a competitive advantage and promised dealers who would sell the company's cabinetry heightened levels of support.

To back-up this promise, they “sold” potential dealerships on the competency of its core group of eight founding partners, proudly boasting of the team's impressive 150 years of combined management experience in the cabinet industry.

As it turned out, the idea of a company built on personal experience resonated well with independent dealers throughout the country; hundreds of dealerships saw opportunity in selling a new cabinet brand developed by a proven team, and the company flourished.

In recent years, the company identified building career paths for its employee-owners as a goal and the company embarked on a structured leadership training program, along with intensified management succession planning. This strategy would prove valuable as growth opportunities were later identified by the company.

"We had plans for expansion and chose a proactive approach to developing our future leaders from within the company," reports president and COO Paul Sova. "Many of our staff had already removed their leadership training wheels and they were ready to take on greater responsibility."

Flash forward to 2015 when Showplace announced the creation of a new full-access (frameless) kitchen and bath cabinet brand they would name ShowplaceEVO. Showplace hedged its bet on the growth potential of full-access cabinetry by building a sizeable 60,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on their Harrisburg, SD campus.

While the ShowplaceEVO plant was under construction, a team was being carefully selected to run the new operation and the employee-owners chosen would quickly take their place in the new facility. This group would personally develop the manufacturing layout, learn all aspects of the new state-of-the-art equipment, and build prototype cabinets, much like the company founders did seventeen years earlier.

Once the ShowplaceEVO management team was placed, an interesting experience-related fact surfaced; both the 1999 founding team and the 2016 ShowplaceEVO team carried equal levels of industry experience, averaging an impressive 16 years as cabinet makers when assuming responsibility for their respective operations.

But this significant level of industry-specific experience happened for the ShowplaceEVO management team at an earlier age than it did for the founding group; led by Jeremy Seykora, ShowplaceEVO’s 30-something production manager, the new team is largely comprised of employee-owners from the millennial generation.

In defiant contrast to the bad rap millennials often get over their perceived poor work ethic, the ShowplaceEVO team carries a "bring it on" attitude, determined to continue the success experienced by the company over the last 17 years. They have also rededicated themselves to the deep-rooted customer service culture of the company, ensuring that competitive advantage remains intact.

“We’ve got a great team of experienced managers,” said Seykora. “We may look young, but don’t let that fool you. We’ve been successfully making cabinets and taking care of customers our entire adult lives.”

"I feel like I was born for this," Seykora added confidently. "We learned the business from a team that is arguably among the best in the industry and they still work right across the street if we need them."

The company reports it is actively seeking additional dealers to sell Showplace and ShowplaceEVO cabinetry throughout the country and continues to hire employees to support growing sales.

With many of the original senior managers still very active in the business, Showplace Wood Products' demonstration of support to its younger employee-owners has positioned the company to successfully carry the Showplace cabinet experience well into the future.

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About Showplace Wood Products:
100% employee-owned Showplace Wood Products, Inc. manufactures fine cabinetry for the home, sold through more than 600 independent kitchen and bath dealers in all 50 states and parts of Canada. Every cabinet is made-to-order to fit the individual homeowner's specific style and space requirements. Showplace is among the largest American-made cabinet manufacturers in the country.

Showplace has 547 employees with three manufacturing facilities, two in Harrisburg and another in Beresford, SD. The company also owns and operates five retail showrooms, called Showplace Kitchens – these showrooms are located in Harrisburg and Sioux Falls, SD; Urbandale, IA; Parker, CO; and Fargo, ND.

Showplace builds and distributes custom and semi-custom cabinetry for the home. The company also builds Murphy wall-beds, entertainment centers, designer closets, and cabinetry for home offices. Showplace Renew refacing addresses the needs of homeowners whose cabinets are still functional, but in need of a visual update with a quicker project timeframe. Showplace Renew offers new hardwood doors and drawer headers, veneers for face frames finished to match, as well as an option to add new Showplace cabinets and accents.

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Scott Korsten
contact@showplacewood.com
605.743.5255
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