Cal Ripken, Jr.

Baseball great Cal Ripken, Jr., is set to give the keynote address at the National Wood Flooring Association's convention in Baltimore next year. The former Oriole shortstop and future Hall of Famer is scheduled to present "Keys to Success: the Ripken Way" during the keynote session on the second day of the April 26 - 29 meeting. The NWFA says it expects the 2006 meeting to be the largest ever, with more than two dozen education sessions, demonstrations and speakers, and more than 600 exhibits showcasing an array of products and services in the Wood Flooring Expo.

In addition, the NWFA has begun accepting entries for its 2006 Wood Floor of the Year Contest, which will feature three new categories: Best Factory Finished, Best Limited Species and Best Reclaimed. The seven categories from last year will be carried over into this year's contest. The trade organization said the competition, now in its 16th year, was developed to encourage and recognize innovative design and craftsmanship in wood flooring installations. The deadline for submitting materials is Feb. 1, 2006. with winning entries selected by NWFA members during the convention.