Chicago retailer, Robert Hill, set to begin term as WFCA chairman
"This is a unique time in our industry," said Hill, a native of northern California who now lives in Chicago, "a time that creates an opportunity for this organization to grow in membership, resources and services. It is a time when we can make a difference by simplifying a complicated world."
"Unlike most trade associations, the WFCA has the financial resources to back its initiatives," the new leader observed. "The sale of the Surfaces trade show for $40 million plus in 2000 makes it possible for us to undertake programs that can make a difference, not only for our members, but also for consumers. We have the resources to deliver on our promises."
He added that a soon to be re-launched WFCA website will serve as a "national clearinghouse" for consumer looking for information on all types of floor covering. "It's designed to be truly helpful, to demystify the whole buying process, and to make decisions easier. It will also enable consumers to find local WFCA dealers and members who are WFCA-certified flooring experts."
WFCA, he added, is uniquely well positioned to support the industry.
"[It is] the only place where every segment of the floor covering industry can come together - not only retailers, but manufacturers, distributors, installers and members of the related service industries - for information and ideas that will create a stronger business future."
Plans call for Hill to emphasize the strengths of the organization to expand membership during his term in office. "Our members benefit from access to unbiased information on everything from new installation techniques and creative problem solving, to the latest consumer behavior marketing research. Our certification program enables members who qualify by taking a test to call themselves ‘WFCA-certified flooring experts,' thus giving them a distinction in the marketplace."
Hill's FCA operation includes a chain of floor covering centers, a home furnishings and design center, and the nationwide FCA Network of stores that run from New Jersey to New Mexico. He also serves on the board of the National Floorcovering Alliance (NFA) and has been the recipient of numerous industry awards, including the Chicago Floorcovering Association's "Retailer of the Year." He launched his career in floor covering working as a mill contract salesman in San Francisco.
In addition to Hill's appointment as chairman, WFCA board members elected Donny Phillips, president, Atlanta Flooring Design Center, Duluth, Ga. as chairman-Elect; Brooks Mancini, president, B. T. Mancini, in Reno, NV as cfo; and Jeri Pischke, vp, Home Valu Interiors, Fridley, Minn as corporate secretary. In addition, two vice chairmen were elected to serve on the Executive Committee: Sam O'Krent, president, O'Krent's Abbey Flooring Center, San Antonio, Texas, and Frederick Schmidt, president, Century Tile and Carpet, Lombard, Ill.
The appointment where made s WFCA's Spring Board Meeting in Washington, DC. D. Christopher Davis continues as president and chief executive officer of the 3000-member, Anaheim, Calif. based trade association.