The World Floor Covering Association will be celebrating its golden anniversary with a special commemorative dinner, Oct. 2 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz. Event organizers are inviting members from throughout the WFCA’s 50-year history, along with surviving members of founding organizations the Western Floor Covering Association and the Retail Floorcovering Institute/American Floorcovering Association.
“We’re inviting all past presidents and all past board members to come to the event,” said Dennis Blake, past president of the WFCA (1993-1994) and head of the group’s Anniversary Committee. “Many of the past presidents will be there, because that group is pretty well wired. But, many of the oldest board members are either deceased or retired, and many are no longer in the business. We’re going to get everybody there we possibly can.”
Along with giving colleagues a chance to reminisce, the event will serve as an induction ceremony for the late Marvin Berlin into the WFCA’s Floor Covering Industry Hall of Fame. Berlin was a retailer well regarded for his visionary applications of technology in the flooring business (See related story). He will be the 37th flooring professional to be so honored.
“We are also going to honor all the past Hall of Famers,” Blake added. “We’re making up a visual presentation of the past 50 years, and we’ll show pictures of each Hall of Famer as they were inducted, and have them stand up. Then we’ll induct Berlin.”
Paul Pumphrey, who is the only member of the WFCA to serve as president of both the Western Floor Covering Association and RFI/AFA, said he is looking forward to the event for several reasons, but the most important is a personal one.
“The flooring industry is more than a business to me,” said Pumphrey, 84, who began working in the industry as part of his father’s rug cleaning business when he was 10. “It’s my life.”
He recently sent hundreds of color slides and clippings to David Alton (WFCA past president, 2004-2005) for a special video presentation that will play during the 50th anniversary dinner. Alton said the presentation is designed as an overview of the past 50 years, with period music matching the slide program.
“I’m looking forward to that presentation probably more than any other thing,” Pumphrey noted. “I believe it will fully enchant the people there.” He said they would see old pictures of themselves and gasp, “My god, that’s me!”
D. Christopher Davis, president and ceo of the WFCA, said the event will reinforce the importance of the attendees’ efforts within the organization as they were “part of something much larger than their individual businesses, but an organization that has matured into a useful and productive component and solution provider for those in the flooring industry.”
He commented that the 50th anniversary celebration would not only showcase WFCA’s history, but much of the flooring industry as well. “Many of the people who will be in the room in Scottsdale were the ones who provided the framework for the association of today,” he said.
The festivities will also include two commemorative gifts: a special paperweight and a framed keepsake photo taken of each attendee. On Saturday, Oct. 3, the association will hold a no-host golf tournament and shopping tour of Scottsdale.