Alan Lorberbaum, a carpet industry pioneer and the founder of Aladdin Mills, died in Boca Raton, Fla. at his home two days ago. He was 82.

Remembered for his kindness, respect and generosity, Lorberbaum worked hard to grow his rug business Aladdin Mills, which he founded in 1957 with his late wife Shirley. What began as a small mill at the site of a former skating rink would grow to become one of the industry's leading carpet and rug manufacturers and a proving ground for innovations that helped set a new standard of quality and efficiency in the industry.

Among his many achievements, Lorberbaum was one of the first carpet producers to invest in fiber extrusion. He also adopted new methods that led to greater efficiency in production and distribution, or what he called "sudden service." He said that his customers should always receive a higher level of service than the going industry standard, and backed up his words by investing in a highly efficient trucking and distribution network.

Lorberbaum is also credited for hand-picking a talented team of executives to build Aladdin into an industry leader. He remained fiercely devoted to his employees throughout his life. Employees recall that Lorberbaum treated them both as individuals and as members of an extended family.

In 1994, Lorberbaum merged his company with Mohawk Industries and joined the board of directors. Thanks partly to his legacy, Mohawk is today one of the largest flooring manufacturers in the world.

Lorberbaum is survived by his daughter Suzanne Helen; son Jeff; daughter-in-law Sarah; son Mark; brother Charles; and several grandchildren. Contributions in memory of Alan Lorberbaum can be made to: Dalton State College Foundation, 650 College Drive, Dalton, GA 30720.