Jim Lee congratulates Gary Verhey on his appointment as president/CEO at the recent FIANA convention in Minneapolis, MN. Pictured (L to R): Jim Lee, Brabara Verhey, Gary Verhey

Gary Verhey

The Floor Installation Association of North America (FIANA) has announced that Gary Verhey will take over as president/CEO on January 1, 2010, replacing retiring founding officer and current president/CEO Jim Lee.

“In this industry over the last number of years, a great deal of change and evolution has taken place. It’s time for a change and some fresh ideas,” said Lee. “The Board of Directors has elected Gary to continue FIANA’S growth plans and industry vision.”

Verhey, a longtime industry veteran, sold his Spokane-based, full-line flooring products and installation supplies distributorship, Inland Northwest Distributing, to T&A Supply of Seattle in 2007.

“I’ve known Gary since our days with Roberts Consolidated Ind. back in the mid 60s,” Lee said.  “He built a very successful company in Inland Northwest and brings a lot of experience to FIANA,” Lee added.

This is the second retirement for Lee from the industry. His first was when he sold PFS (Professional Flooring Supply) to his son Dan and daughter-in-law Debbie in 1994.

“I had every confidence they could (and they have) build it from that point on, much better than I could. I knew it was time for me to give way to someone who could do that and they were the perfect choice. I walked away from my company, PFS, knowing I did the right thing. That was 14 years ago and I was right. I go back a few times a year for a free cup of coffee and to say hello to some longtime employees. But, I have never regretted my decision.”

“I leave FIANA at the end of 2009 knowing that Gary, with the support of his wife Barbara, can do the same thing. I know I will never regret this decision either,” Lee said. “The Verhey’s (Gary and Barbara) and the Lee’s (Jim and Fran) will work closely together during the transition, and the take-over in 2010.”

“After 53 years in the flooring industry, working for manufacturers and starting PFS, then with our founders starting FIANA, it’s time for me to leave; it’s time for a change,” Lee remarked.

“The flooring industry has been good to me and my family and still is. I hope many of you will come to the convention this year (September 16-18, San Antonio), and next so I can visit with you and talk about where did all the time go,” Lee added.

Now in its 15th year, the Floor Installation Association of North America (FIANA) is a non-profit organization whose members are manufacturers or distributors of floor installation products and/or flooring accessories currently from throughout Canada and the United States with an association objective of “Professionalism Through Education.”

For more information, contact Jim Lee, FIANA President/CEO at (888) 883-4262.