The two largest organizations of commercial flooring contractors, Starnet Worldwide Commercial Flooring and Fuse Alliance, recently held their first joint task force meeting. Last year, these two organizations announced that they had formed a joint task force to focus on critical issues facing the commercial flooring industry as collaborative step toward supporting each networks’ members and better serving their manufacturers.

While the group discussed a wide variety of topics, the task force ultimately decided to focus on the two biggest challenges facing flooring contractors today: recruiting and training labor and concrete moisture issues.

Because labor is a challenge in all construction trades, the group discussed proactive tactics to keep the flooring labor pool sufficient to meet demand. Moisture is also a hot button topic since many new solutions have hit the market from sundry and product manufacturers that can create confusion for architects, designers and end users. This situation creates an opportunity for flooring contractors to guide these customers toward the best solutions.

The meeting took place at TISE 2018 in Las Vegas and included four Starnet members, four Fuse members and was moderated by Mike Hutton of Fuse and Eric Boender of Starnet. Jeanne Matson and Fred Williamson from Starnet and Geoff Gordon from Fuse also attended. The Starnet members included Ric Pleis (Floor Connection, Arroyo Grande, Calif.); John Kellen (Kellen Flooring Solutions, Dallas, Texas); Dan Ulfig (Master Craft Floors, Detroit, Mich.); and John Becker (Floors by Becker, Minneapolis, Minn.). The Fuse members included Todd Birtcher (Floors Inc., Lincoln Neb.); Rick Elfman (Flooring Solutions, Livermore Calif.); Rick Goolsby (Business Flooring Specialists, Houston Texas); and Andy Meyer (Flooring Systems, St. Louis Mo.). Moving forward, the task force will meet once a quarter via teleconference to work toward putting a plan in place for both initiatives.

For more information, visit or