Attendees at one of the many educational sessions during CFI's recent convention.

“Change! Challenge! Choice!” was the theme of the 14th annual Certified Floorcovering Installers Association (CFI) meeting in Kansas City, Mo. With an eye toward arming CFI members with the latest tools and techniques to combat the recent downturn in housing, the recent event included educational sessions and hands-on workshops designed to take a hard look at the business.

“Our company made some drastic changes last year,” said Bobby Shurman, a CFI member from Colorado, while teaching a business skills workshop. “We do not work 10 to 12 hours a day for six or seven days a week. We operate as a successful business working normal hours that allows for a life with our families. I challenge you to do the same.”

Chris Davis, CEO of the World Floor Covering Association, addressed the flooring professionals on hand with a similar message. “You must set goals and you must strive daily to meet the expectations that you set. I encourage each of you to set realistic goals that can be reached and do this for the rest of your life.”  

During the three-day meeting, CFI recognized two members for their outstanding contribution to the industry. Michael Lassetter of Dalton, Ga., and Charles Pruitt of Newcastle, Okla., received the Charles R. Gress Award, named in honor of a CFI installer who “gave above and beyond his talents, time and funds to further the cause of the CFI and professional installation.”

CFI president Leon Harrison was among those grateful for the quality of the CFI members. “We can’t possibly thank everyone who has made CFI what it is today.  CFI has the best associates in the industry who are always here to keep us current on new products and systems and support us with technical information.  When we return home, we are asking our local distributors for products that they have not received.  CFI members are on the cutting edge,” he said.

CFI CEO Jim Walker concluded the event with a rousing speech.  “It’s been a great convention because of you,” he said. “Change! Challenge! Choice! is our theme. I encourage you to repeat these words continuously during the year.”