Mannington Commercial welcomed about 70 Delaware Valley architects and designers, along with a handful of retailers, buyers and end-users, to the company’s headquarters in Salem, N.J., yesterday for an open house. While the event was used to showcase several new commercial products, the main focus of the day was not product launches. Rather, the event was designed to position Mannington – one of the largest flooring makers in the United States -- as a family-owned, local supplier of quality flooring products.

Natalie Jones, vp commercial marketing and carpet products for Mannington, (left) shows designers some of the company’s latest carpet tile products.

Tom Davis, CEO of Mannington, underscored the duel purpose of the meeting while addressing the architects and designers on hand. “I hope you saw some new things today,” he said at the close of the day. “But I also want to remind you that we’re here, we’re close, and we’d love you to come down here with your clients.”

Designers said the open house gave them greater insight into Mannington Commercial’s range of products, especially after viewing the newest carpet tile and resilient collections.

“I saw some great-looking carpets, with nice color combinations and refreshing new designs,” noted Ria Gulian of Interiors by Ria in Long Branch, N.J. “I think their approach to this day, bringing in architects and designers for a look around, was the right one.”

Ivys Munem, an interior designer for Posen Architects in West Orange, N.J., also said she was impressed by the event. “Mannington will stay in my mind when specifying,” she assured. She also praised the plant tours that Mannington offered during the day, because it made her realize “how much goes into making flooring, and what’s involved.”

Mannington Commercial’s Zack Zehner (right) talks resilient with Art Graff, director of capital purchasing for Genesis Health Care in Kennett Square, Pa.

According to Shawn Bell, project manager for Corporate Interiors in Newcastle, Del., the day offered a great way to bone up on Mannington Commercial’s portfolio. “I definitely jumped at the opportunity to come here, because the more you know about these products, the easier it is to sell them,” he said.

The day included several classes for CEU credits on topics ranging from environmental sustainability to carpet backing, as well as a keynote address from Sandy Wiggins, a director and immediate past chair of the U.S. Green Building Council. Zack Zehner, vp commercial hard surfaces for Mannington, said he hoped the day gave attendees a clearer picture on Mannington Commercial’s products and people. “We want architects and designers to realize we’re here and we have a lot to offer them,” he said. –Michael Chmielecki