Mike Melkonian and Dick Hillman of Advance Floors, and Gene Podell of Carpetland garnered Retailer of the Year awards from Alliance Flooring. The retailers were selected from among the 400-member resource group for their outstanding support of programs, volume increases in 2002, and productive participation in best practices member networking.

Melkonian and Hillman are partners in Karen's Carpet and Advance Floors in Clarkston, Mich. Located in the same building, Advance Floors is a retail showroom business while Karen's Carpet is a roll stocking, mill outlet. The two partners split duties in leading this growing retail concept.

Podell is owner of five Carpetland stores throughout Virginia. Gene started out in the flooring industry working as Carpetland's controller in 1981. After managing stores in Illinois and Indiana he opened his own store in Roanoke, Va. He opened a second store in Danville in 1992. Three other stores followed and Podell now has coverage throughout much of Virginia.

The award for Highest Sales Growth went to John MacCheyne of MacCheyne's CarpetsPlus in the West region, Dawn Iversen of Jerry's Floor Store in the Central region, and Stacey Pape of John Pape Floorcovering in the East region.

Winners for Outstanding Program Support included Brent Bowman of Crown Carpet in the West region, David Gaspard of CarpetsPlus of Louisiana in the Central region, and Greg Gilbert of CarpetsPlus of America for the East region.

Carpetland winners were Jim Ray, Jr. for Highest Sales in Hard Surfaces, Kathy Fair and Larry Tegtmeier for Highest Sales Increase, and Mike Langan for Highest Total Sales at an Individual Store.