The Floor Covering Consumer Credit Association (FLEX), which facilitates credit for floor covering purchases, said it will cease operations at the end of June and donate its remaining assets of $770,700 to the Floor Covering Industry Foundation (FCIF). In announcing its decision, FLEX stipulated that about $330,000 would be earmarked to establish a permanent endowment at the FCIF, which is administered by the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) to assist people in the floor covering industry who are in need.

The executive director of FLEX, Roger Hunt, said the association was being dissolved because its role in "pioneering the use of credit to our industry is now complete." The availability of consumer credit has growth significantly in the years since FLEX was established, he explained. "The competitive landscape is far different today than it was 19 years ago. The concept of credit as a marketing tool is well understood among floor covering retailers and there are multiple programs for providing that tool," Hunt said.

The association, which was formed in 1987 by the WFCA and other trade organizations in the floor covering business, generated $16.5 billion in sales and worked with more than 21,000 retailers since its inception.

Paul Comiskey, the chairman of FLEX, noted the gift to FCIF is in keeping with the association's tradition of service to the flooring industry. "Ever since our inception, we have been dedicated to raising the professionalism of the retail community and to making specialty retailers more competitive in the marketplace. To this end, we have supported industry certification, education and training program. In this same selfless spirit, we chose the Floor Covering Industry Foundation to make this legacy gift of $777,700. As we have helped many in the floor covering industry over the last two decades, we hope our work lives on in the FCIF and continues to assist those most in need."

Keith S. Campbell, the Mannington Mills chairman who also serves as chairman of FCIF noted that the gift will help the organization continue it mission well into the future. "This infusion of funds creates a marvelous situation that places the foundation on solid footing to continue well into the future to provide assistance to those in the floor covering industry in need," said Campbell.

D. Christopher Davis, President of the WFCA and FCIF Floor Covering Industry added his praise for FLEX. "This gift to the Floor Covering Industry Foundation is one more example of the selfless contributions the FCCCA has made to the industry over the last two decades," said Davis. "We are all touched by their generosity and honored to be given the responsibility to carry on their good works by helping those in our industry most in need. The men and women who helped make FLEX so successful are true heroes and deserve to be called 'champions of our industry.' "