Three prominent industry veterans will be inducted into the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) Flooring Industry Hall of Fame at a black-tie gala April 28 at Cipriani's-42nd Street in New York City. Julian Saul, who recently retired as the president of Shaw Industries, will be inducted alongside Phil Gutierrez, Abbey Carpet's chairman and CEO, and the late Alan J. Lorberbaum, founder of Aladdin Mills (now part of Mohawk).
"This is an excellent and well-deserved group of individuals to be added to the Industry Hall of Fame," said WFCA chairman Robert Hill.
All three inductees have been responsible for elevating the industry, the WFCA says. Saul helped build his father's Queen Tufting business into the industry's fourth largest carpet maker, which merged with Shaw in 1998. Saul is also widely regarded for his philanthropy, especially his support of the Floor Covering Industry Foundation (FCIF).
Gutierrez is credited with reinvigorating a flagging franchise system by turning Abbey Carpet into an industry behemoth, with more than 1,000 franchises operating as Abbey, Floors To Go and The Floor Club stores. He is also well-known for his support of the FCIF, the WFCA notes.
Lorberbaum, who founded Aladdin Mills along with his wife Shirley in 1957, is credited as one of the first carpet producers to invest in new fiber extrusion technologies and a dedicated, wide-ranging distribution system. Through Lorberbaum's leadership, Aladdin grew to become one of the most prominent carpet maker in the industry. It is now part of Mohawk Industries.
These inductees will join the 32 industry luminaries who have already entered the WFCA Hall of Fame. Shirley Lorberbaum, the late wife of Alan Lorberbaum, and the late Harry I. Saul, father of Julian Saul, number among those who have been recognized.
Each year, the WFCA announces a call for Hall of Fame nominations. These nominations are screened by a special committee. The most recent inductee was Jim Walker of the International Certified Floorcovering Installers Association, in 2005.
The gala event in New York will also serve as an FCIF benefit, according to the WFCA. For more information, visitwww.wfca.org.
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