The Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI), the trade association representing the interests of 22 member resilient flooring manufacturers, gathered in Scottsdale, Arizona, for its two-day annual board of directors meeting, October 26–27, 2021.

“It has been a very busy, exciting year for resilient flooring,” said Dean Thompson, president and CEO of RFCI. “We are the fastest-growing flooring category in history, and we are all looking forward to an equally exciting 2022.”

Among the agenda items was the election of a new board to serve the next two years. Chris O’Conner, president and CEO, Congoleum, and current RFCI board chairman, presented the new board members to serve 2022–2023. Heading up the new board is Herb Upton, vice president of hard surface flooring, Shaw Industries, as board chairman (previously vice-chairman); Michel Vermette, president and CEO, Armstrong, as vice chairman; and Russ Rogg, president, HMTX/Metroflor, as board secretary/treasurer.

Bill Blackstock was also introduced as the new president and CEO of RFCI and is in transition to replace Dean Thompson beginning January 1, 2022. Thompson will remain in an advisory capacity until June 2022.

In his opening remarks to the assembly, Thompson provided an overview of the six primary goals of RFCI strategy, reviewed the governance structure, and confirmed and congratulated the very active RFCI member participation on each of the RFCI standing committees. Among the many initiatives in 2021, RFCI ensures that each committee is current on key subjects related to potential member liability, such as antimicrobial claims and compliance with FTC guidelines.

The Shelton Group, the leading marketing communications agency focused on sustainability and corporate social responsibility, presented a detailed report at the meeting on the performance of the RFCI digital consumer campaign "Beautifully Responsible," launched in Q1 of 2021 and the plans for its continuation and expansion in 2022.

Jane Rohde, principal, JSR Associates, and RFCI technical consultant, updated RFCI activities related to the Washington Department of Ecology and ortho-phthalates; the revised sustainability assessment for resilient flooring; participation in the development of the Embodied Carbon Construction Calculator with Building Transparency; and work to proactively position RFCI members as leaders in the understanding of climate change.

Rohde also stressed the need for education in university design degree programs in material science, product content, and performance testing to select resilient flooring for more than its aesthetics. According to Rohde, other essential factors such as durability, pandemic ramifications, and owner project requirements are equally important.

Allison Foley, Venable/RFCI Legal Counsel, updated the RFCI Board on the issues management process designed to monitor critical federal and state agencies and non-governmental entities related to key issues that may impact the industry. Ms. Foley emphasized work underway with the State of Washington's Safer Products for Washington Act, the New York Healthy Green and Procurement Act, and EPA'S Toxic Substances Control Act. 

For more information,