Kitchen & Bath Design News lost a valued, long-time member
of our family last month and, somehow, the magazine will never
quite be the same.
Allan R. Dresner, CKDe, had been a columnist for K&BDN
practically since the magazine’s launch in 1983. When he died in
July, at age 85, his legacy included not merely 20 years of
insightful, finely written columns, but a reputation as one of the
industry’s most astute minds a progressive, innovative professional
whose achievements as a businessman, educator and industry leader
were substantive enough to warrant entry into the NKBA’s Hall of
My own appreciation for Al Dresner was more personal.
When we first conceived K&BDN, unsure of exactly how to
proceed, uncertain of our ability to sound credible, someone told
me, “Go out and find a columnist who readers will take notice of
right away, whose credentials are established, whose insights will
be unquestioned, who’ll help stamp the magazine as a publication to
be taken seriously.”
Surround yourself with expertise, I was told. Let the expert
carry the show.
As it turned out, I followed that advice. I picked up the phone
and called Al Dresner. Lucky for me.
Al’s column, “Kitchen & Bath Distribution,” became an
important staple of K&BDN right from day one. His columns, in
fact, were as instrumental to the magazine’s success as any other
singular body of work I can think of.
Al helped breathe life into K&BDN as we struggled in our
early years for an identity and for acceptance in the kitchen/bath
trade. He helped define who we were, helped stamp us as something
special and unique. In the early years, especially, he was our
superstar, our featured act. And if magazines can be considered
living, breathing entities, then Al Dresner surely helped us find
our legs, and then our voice.
Al’s own voice was utterly unique to the trade. A pioneer and
innovator in kitchen/bath distribution, his columns exuded
experience and wisdom. Always on time, always coherent, always a
joy to read, the columns provided insight, encouragement,
inspiration. They identified key trends. They contrasted the past
with the present in a way that lent perspective, depth, meaning.
They helped readers understand how to more effectively operate
their business, how to adapt to a rapidly evolving distribution and
retail landscape, how to interact with others in the trade.
Al Dresner, however, was not simply a gifted, visionary writer.
He was also someone who K&BDN was proud to be associated with,
someone who enhanced who we were. He had substance, character,
integrity; he was extraordinarily energetic, young at heart,
progressive in his thinking embracing concepts like technology and
change when others of his generation shrunk in fear from those
Like a great ballplayer whose impact can never be duplicated, we
will retire Al Dresner’s number at K&BDN. At the same time, we
gratefully acknowledge his contributions, hope that his family
finds comfort in his memory, and offer
a prayer that he rests in peace.