Starnet saw record attendance at its 2018 Fall Membership Meeting, held in San Antonio, where nearly 400 of the partnership’s members joined for a weekend of education, relationship building, and growth.

“Partnering for Growth” was the theme of this year’s meeting, and the event featured education opportunities developed to position the commercial flooring contractor for growth. From general sessions and member-led presentations to floor prep demos and small group discussions, members learned various ways to grow their businesses and themselves from key leaders within the industry and partnership.

The Fall Membership Meeting served as time for members to grow and strengthen their relationships with Starnet’s Preferred Vendor Partners at the event’s popular college football tailgate-themed tabletop trade show. An event that has grown substantially through the years. This year’s trade show had 54 vendors on site.

“I heard from vendors that there were some really valuable discussions that happened at the trade show,” said Jeanne Matson, president and CEO of Starnet. “I had a lot of positive feedback from the vendors in terms of member engagement. What that says to me is our members are taking the time and making the effort.”

With growth also comes change, and as Starnet prepares to say farewell to a staple of both the partnership and the commercial flooring industry, the Fall Meeting served as one last opportunity to celebrate the career and impact of Fred Williamson, who will be retiring as executive vice president of Starnet at the end of the year.

“This is Fred’s final Membership Meeting,” said Matson. “I don’t think we will ever find Fred to be a stranger; you’ll see him again, but officially he steps off the staff at the end of the year. There’s nothing I can say about Fred Williamson that all of you don’t know in the room. He has spent 13 years with Starnet, he has had a 50 year career in commercial flooring, and he’s had this opportunity to work with all of you and to bring all the experience and the expertise that he has on the industry to Starnet which has been a gift for all of us.”

Before officially signing off, Williamson imparted lasting wisdom and advice on those who represent the future of the commercial flooring industry. As keynote speaker of the meeting’s Next Gen group breakfast, Williamson shared how from his humble beginnings working in his father’s store as a child and then serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, he learned the value and importance of strong work ethic, partnership, and taking chances that eventually helped to lead and shape his 50 year career in commercial flooring.

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