Alfred I. Halpern, an industry leader who was instrumental in the drive to establish a new standard of quality and training for the floor covering industry, died Oct. 12, according to his family members. During his 50 years in the floor covering industry, Halpern greatly influenced many aspects of the floor covering business particularly those related to installation.

In addition to being a founding member of the steering committee for the International Standards and Training Alliance (INSTALL), he sat on the International Labor-Management Committee for the Floor Covering Industry when it was formed in 1990. The committee's purpose was to assimilate hard tile installation services into the existing United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Halpern played a key role in creating INSTALL as this committee's solution to raising the quality of floor covering installation professionals in North America.

Halpern had served as executive director and clerk to the Northeast Flooring Contractors Association, Inc. (NFCA) since 1988, and was also a trustee and secretary for the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee with the Floor Coverers Local 2168, and trustee for the New England Carpenters Training Center.

In 1993, he was listed in Who's Who in the East and received the President's Award from the Vocational Adjustment Center Advisory Board. At other points during his career he served as New England sales manager for the Amtico flooring division of American Biltrite Rubber Co., and as sales manager and vp of contract sales for Joseph Silverman & Co., a wholesale floorcovering distributor.

After serving his nation in the military, Halpern earned a degree from Harvard College in government and international relations. He has been a member of American Mensa since 1990.

"Al was always the consummate gentleman and an inspiration to all of us at INSTALL," said Jim Schmid, director of INSTALL. "His sound advice helped propel the INSTALL program to international recognition and his quick wit kept us smiling. We will dearly miss him."