Members of the Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI) met in Sarasota, Florida, last week for the annual Fall Board of Directors and Associate Member Meeting to discuss strategies for continued growth of the resilient flooring category.
"2024 is game time," said RFCI President and CEO Bill Blackstock.
Blackstock told attendees that while the economy is currently presenting a number of headwinds, he is optimistic. A decade of under-building has led to a shortfall of 6.5 million single-family homes in the United states. On the remodeling front, single-family renovations will peak in 2025.
“It won't be a sudden stair step—it'll be a buildup to that," Blackstock said. "So even though we have headwinds in multiple sectors of the market right now, there's some fundamentals—and particularly in single-family and multifamily—that are very encouraging as to what's just beyond the horizon on this front.”
For commercial, there is some activity in institutional and hospitality while office works out what the future of the hybrid workforce will look like.
"I think it'll have that definition worked out by the end of 2024 at the latest on that side, and then there's some positive factors in the commercial sector in 2025 and beyond," Blackstock added.
Meeting highlights included a formal presentation of the new RFCI Board Officers for 2024. Chairman Herb Upton of Shaw Industries was recognized for his dedicated leadership at RFCI over many years, including the last two as chairman. Teresa Williford, RFCI director of programs and services, was honored for her 15 years of service and leadership.
Expert speakers addressed topics that included: An overview of RFCI’s strategic deployment, a summation of key variables in the economy, analysis of trends in the flooring industry, key initiatives by the American Chemistry Council, development of business strategy in ambiguous times, a review of regulatory issues, and a construction outlook. Additionally, a thought panel composed of the RFCI Officers addressed important questions regarding the resilient industry. Former NFL star and ESPN personality, Merril Hoge, gave an inspirational presentation entitled “Find a Way” from his book of the same title.