Happy New Year! It’s a great time to be in flooring industry, and I love that we always start the year with a bang—regional markets, retail conventions and The International Surface Event (TISE). Our team will be in full force at shows this month, discovering the industry’s innovations, gaining insight into strategies and learning about the market forces that are moving us in new directions.

You may have noticed a fresh look for Floor Trends this month. We’ve made a few changes to the magazine’s design and layout that feature a simple, elegant style, crisper graphics and photography. We have adjusted our approach to departments and features to help us tell stories more clearly and provide readers with more ways to dive into content. The credit for the new look goes to our talented art director, Rick Arvidson, who has his finger on the pulse of magazine design trends.

Our editorial team has gone through a few great changes, too. Danielle Clair, who has been with Floor Trends for four years, has been promoted to managing editor. She will help bring fresh insight to print and web features, along with managing our workflow. Associate editor Terra Donnelly will dedicate herself to Talk Floor, working closely with flooring guru and Talk Floor Editorial Director Dave Foster to provide more dedicated daily content and unique story angles to our reporting on the flooring industry. And, of course, Floor Covering Installer editor Michael Chmielecki continues to provide expert insight into the installation side of the business.

This month, we also welcome Irene Williams, founder and CEO of the marketing firm Msg2Mkt, who will write a regular column about digital marketing strategies. With nearly 25 years of experience working with manufacturers and dealers in the flooring business, Irene teaches brands how to find their voice in the digital, social media and mobile marketplace.

I’m hopeful that this year’s Surfaces will be the best yet. It’s a good sign that the Mohawk brands, Couristan, Mannington, Armstrong, Dream Weaver Carpet and Tarkett are some of the major players showing their support to the industry by exhibiting at the show. I’m also intrigued by the plans set in place for retail, design and architecture communities. Retailer Day provides dealers the opportunity to learn a lot in a small amount of time. Designer Day, sponsored by Houzz, gives designers the scoop on upcoming trends and the newest products, and the Designing with Natural Stone program provides architects and designers the chance to learn advanced techniques in the use of marble, granite and other stone materials.

Wishing you a great start to 2017. See you at the shows!