Unite Floor Training Alliance has named its board of directors. The newly formed non-profit organization based in Rockwall, Texas, is aimed at uniting the training entities across the flooring industry. 

The board includes: Sonny Callahan, co-founder and chair of the National Association of Floor Covering Technicians (Paul Pleshek, alternate); Tom Cartmell, branch sales manager, Diverzify; Val Chestohin, lead floorcovering instructor for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades’ District Council 16; Seth Gladden, director of marketing, Industrial Flooring Division, Meridian Adhesives Group/Taylor Adhesives; Kevin Keefe, national technical sales manager, QEP Roberts; Ken Kennedy, director of technical services, The Dixie Group; Larry Marvel, field services technical representative, Tarkett; Lew Migliore, founder and president, LGM and Associates; Brett Miller, VP technical standards, National Wood Flooring Association; Danny Sherman, technical trainer, NFIC (Jonathan Varden, alternate); and Andrew Smith, West Coast customer relations manager, Engineered Floors.

Amy Carter has also been named administrative assistant.

“As a 501(c)(3) association, Unite itself will do no training,” Varden said. “Unite is all about collaborating the training entities and promoting those training entities for what they do best. If we work together, there's so much more we can do than each of us in our independent training entities.”

Varden said during a January 3 virtual board meeting that the installation crisis in the flooring industry is very real. "We’ve got installers leaving the business at a faster rate than we can replenish them with new, trained installers...The secret is for young people to first, be made aware of the installation trade and second, engage them where they are.”

For more information about Unite Floor Training Alliance, contact Robert Varden at rvarden@ifcta.org.