When Ellen Cheever was named to the Big50 in 1987, she had just left her kitchen and bath design practice to join Whirlpool Corp., as a marketing manager for their St. Charles line of cabinets.
A few years later, she left and signed on with the National Kitchen and Bath Association, with the specific task of updating the kitchen technical manuals and writing a similar set of books for the bathroom design industry. By the time she left there in 1992 -- as a newly minted member of the NKBA Hall of Fame -- Cheever had written or supervised the writing of 15 books dealing with the K&B industry.
Her next stop was New Holland, Pa., home of Heritage Custom Kitchens, where she wore all sorts of hats, from new product development, to marketing, to dealer training.
"Now I've come full circle," she says, having reactivated Ellen Cheever & Associates in Wilmington, Del., where she works as a creative design consultant on select upscale kitchen and bath projects. In addition, she is heavily involved with training for several private companies and teaches a seminar sponsored by Kitchen & Bath Design News.
Last year, Cheever married Pete Giorgi, himself a well-known kitchen designer. "I guess I can't leave this industry," she says.