William Clark, the former CEO of Azrock and a major presence in the flooring business whose influence continues to resonate throughout the industry, died September 25 after a lengthy illness. He was 84. "Bill" Clark started his career in 1948 as a sales rep at Uvalde Rock Asphalt Company's Azrock division and was elevated to president in 1973 and, a year later, named chairman and CEO.
Under Clark's leadership Azrock grew to become a leader in the U.S. flooring market. While its position as a trendsetter in the area of design had far-reaching implications for the export market, the company's forward-looking approach was not confined to style and design. Clark helped engineer innovations that displaced asphalt tile and shift new, more efficient manufacturing technology.
He has been widely praised for his ability to bring a fresh perspective to the commercial market through the use of innovative patterns and styles. When Azrock later became a wholly owned subsidiary of Domco Industries, Clark was asked to help guide the venture. In 1995 he was Azrock chairman Emeritus as well as Domco ambassador at large. While active at the company and upon his retirement, Clark was also a much sought after speaker for industry meetings and training programs. He served as president of the Resilient Floor Covering Institute for six terms; and was active on the boards of the American Floorcovering Association (now WFCA) and the NAFCD; foundation Board Chair of the National Home Fashions League and board member of the Dallas Market Center.
He is also a member of the World Floor Covering Association Hall of Fame and a WFCA prestigious Distinguished Service Member (honored for exceptional contributions to the advancement of the WFCA).
Friends and colleagues agree that for nearly a half century the flooring industry greatly benefited from Bill Clark's leadership and spirit of innovation. Beyond his business skills, those who knew him say he was guided by friendship, honesty. They recall him as a visionary who inspired countless numbers of people.