Chattanooga, Tenn. -- CarpetsPlus ColorTile recently held its member Summit in Gainesville, Fla., at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center. CarpetsPlus ColorTile members Steve Elder and Josh Elder, owners of Gainesville CarpetsPlus ColorTile, hosted the event, which is intended to offer opportunities for networking, sharing best practices, and training.

Ron Dunn, Alliance Flooring co-CEO, began the Summit Opening Session by saying, “Summits are one of my favorite things we do. It’s easy to get into a particular mindset while running your business day in and day out. The goal is to take away two or three things to implement immediately. Then take maybe three or four more to put on the back burner for later.”

During the general session, the father-and-son team of Stephen and Josh Elder shared information about how they got started in apartment flooring as Commercial Carpet and Flooring by renting the company’s first space in a warehouse park in 1978. Stephen Elder moved twice and then in 1985 purchased his first building, a gas station, which was home until he built his current store in 2007. This 7,00- square foot-building houses offices, a showroom, and a warehouse.

“Where I find my strength a lot of times is in the people around me. I’ve been blessed,” said Stephen Elder. “We invest in our people because they’ve invested in us. We try to help them even outside of typical business situations. Once I loaned an installer money at no interest for a van when his broke down. Our staff and installers help us make money. We reward loyalty and take care of those who have stuck with us.”

Many of Elder’s installers will not install for anyone else and have been installing for him for over two decades.

“When you run into a situation you can’t get resolved you have someone to go to for some protection and help,” he said. “That’s one reason we belong to CarpetsPlus.”

The summit featured a supplier roundtable event where members spent approximately 12 minutes speaking with 25 different suppliers one-on-one about their products, services or just asking questions and getting answers. After the supplier roundtable, Doug Young and David Stowell of Schonox presented a live demo of their products.

“These roundtables are a very helpful event for suppliers, members as well as for us to see where members are currently, what their concerns are and how they see the future,” said Kevin Logue, co-COO of Alliance Flooring.

Thee Star of the Summit Award was presented members who show a noticeable willingness to participate, ask questions and show interest in what is being presented. There winners for 2018 were Don and Tina Black of The Floor Store, Cleveland, Ga., and Kelli Kadlec of Floor Craft, Colorado Springs, Colo.

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