CCA Global Partners Retail Group’s conneXtion conference took place January 15-17, 2024, at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, with nearly 1,200 members from Carpet One Floor & Home, Flooring America, Flooring Canada, The Floor Trader, and International Design Guild guests. 

Read the story CCA Global Sets Up Second Phase of Sales Transformation Strategy for Flooring Retailers.

The convention began with Women of CCA, NEX40 and Welcome Reception events.

Opening day offered a full day of 44 education sessions, many member-led with others led by industry leaders—includes topics from training, hiring, policy, employee retention, installation, leadership, and products. Education Day highlights include speaker Matthew Luhn, a director, storytelling consultant and inspirational speaker with more than 25 years experience and credits including the Toy Story flms, Monsters, Inc., Ratatouille and more; speaker Gina Schaefer from Ace Hardware on creating a winning culture; and speaker Robert Varden on installation.

“These sessions are tailored to have impact on our members’ business, their teams and their future. Our members consistently give us feedback that one of the biggest benefits of attending the annual convention was the depth of knowledge they brought back to their businesses to help them improve and grow,” said John Gilbert, President of Carpet One Floor & Home. "Members are eager to learn ways to increase traffic through accelerating smart marketing initiatives, networking with their peers, making connections, and really feeling motivated about the future."

Read the story 2024 Trends in Flooring Design as told by Cathey Gundlach, vice president of retail merchandising for CCA Global Partners.

Day two featured a special appearance from real estate magnate and ABC’s Shark Tank Barbara Corcoran.

Retailers Honored

Three Carpet One Floor & Home members were recognized for outstanding performance and contributions during the conference. 

Drew Barber, co-owner of Spokane Carpet One Floor & Home in Spokane, Washington, is this year’s The NEX40 Award recipient. The award recognizes a member who is 40 years old or younger and has shown an outstanding commitment to CCA as a next-generation leader. Originated in 2017, the NEX40 group’s mission is to build peer relationships within the cooperative through networking events and development programs, to give emerging leaders the opportunity to engage with each another, to share best practices and to use their combined knowledge to grow personally, professionally, and cooperatively.  

Barber has been in the flooring industry for 17 years. Currently, he co-owns and operates four Carpet One stores, one Floor Trader, one Lighting One, and one Counter Fabrication Company. Barber is responsible for the operations, financing, marketing, and purchases of each business. In addition, Drew is an ad hoc member of the CCA Global Partners Board of Directors, Carpet One Floor & Home Advisory Council, NEX40 Council, and holds a position on the Daltile Statements Advisory Council.  

Dave Verissimo and Tonya Tillson of Ray’s Carpet One Floor & Home in Modesto, California, are this year’s Wally Hileman Award recipients. The Wally Hileman Award recognizes a member who has been in Carpet One Floor & Home no more than two to three years and in that time has shown an outstanding commitment to Carpet One. The award is named in honor of Wally Hileman, Carpet One’s first Vice President of Membership from 1991 to 1998.  After he passed away from pancreatic cancer the company named this award in his memory.  

For three generations, Ray's Carpet One Floor & Home has served the flooring and home improvement needs of greater Stanislaus County.  In 1994, Ray’s daughter, Tonya, and business partner, Dave, took ownership of the store. They are known for giving back to the community through their support of Modesto events including the Modesto Memorial Classic and the St. Stanislaus Festival.  The company also supports the Christian Berets and the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. 

Dean Kelly of Carpet Baggers Carpet One Floor & Home in Charleston, SC is this year’s Alan Greenberg Award recipient.  The Alan Greenberg Award recognizes the member who most embodies the Carpet One Floor & Home spirit and who best represents what CCA Global Partners co-founder, Alan Greenberg, stood for. It is based on overall participation in programs, contributions to the cooperative, and support of fellow members throughout the year. 

Since opening the store in 1992, Kelly has kept it a true family affair, having enlisted the help of his father, Colin Kelly; his sister, Traci Jobling, and her husband; along with his wife, LouAnn; and daughters Sydney and Parker.

Carpet Baggers has grown to be one of the biggest and most reputable retailers in the Low Country. That growth is attributed to Dean, who is known for treating both his staff and customers like family. Always forward thinking, Dean has instilled a multipronged, hands-on approach to achieve success and position the business for the future by investing capital into the business, providing professional and personal guidance for staff development and, most importantly, giving back to the community through many philanthropic endeavors.