On Oct. 2., the WFCA will hold its 50th Anniversary Celebration in Scottsdale, Ariz. In honor of WFCA’s many accomplishments,NFTis proud to present a special section. This anniversary section covers the association’s early years and highlights following the merger with the American Floorcovering Association (formerly the Retail Floorcovering Institute) to form the World Floor Covering Association.

The WFCA, which has evolved into a leading source of industry education and advocacy, was once considered by many as “a long shot” following other industry club and association failures. Delegates representing 225 Western floor covering retailers and contractors met in Las Vegas in June 1959 to found the Western States Floor Covering Association (soon changed to the Western Floor Covering Association). The association established a comprehensive short- and long-term platform combining a central organization with local clubs to help its members make more money.

By the time of its second meeting in October 1959 in Reno the group had grown to represent 12 major western cities and more than 300 retailers. The group started with the Southern California Floor Covering Association, Harbor Institute, San Gabriel Valley and clubs in Denver, San Diego, Fort Worth, Portland and Seattle.

An early WFCA effort included simplifying and clarifying the standards of workmanship and materials within the industry. Headed by Jack Freeman, Beverly Hills, the technical committee program was designed to foster uniform product specifications and standards of workmanship based on both field and laboratory testing.

The association continued to implement programs for its retailer/contractor members through its travelling clinics, Convention Seminars, insurance programs. Additionally, the group established the Journeymen Training Program, and a consumer protection campaign against boiler room sales operations. In perhaps one of the earliest nods to the power of the female consumer, Dr. Joyce D. Brothers discussed women’s buying habits at the 1964 and 1965 Convention Seminars.

The accomplishments of the WFCA are virtually endless and have benefitted the entire industry for 50 years. The WFCA has been and will continue to advance the entire floor covering industry through public and industry policy, professional member certifications, legislative advocacy, and business tools and resources to increase profitability.

For details about membership in the World Floor Covering Association or its local affiliates go to www.wfca-pro.org. All segments of the flooring industry are invited to become members with various member categories offered, including retailer, contractor, installer, cleaner, distributor and manufacturer.