WFCA Honors Its Own with Howard Olansky Awards
The staff of Floor Trends extends their congratulations to all the winners. Photo courtesy of the WFCA.

The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) has announced the winners of its 2012 Howard Olansky Affiliate of the Year Awards. Named after the late Howard Olansky, co-founder of Floor Trends magazine, the annual awards honor regional WFCA affiliates that exhibit excellence in their member communications, training, benefits and related programs. The awards are co-sponsored by Floor Trendsmagazine.

First-place awards are given in three categories, determined by the size of the affiliate: Large, Medium and Small. Honorable mentions in each category are also given in acknowledgement of the efforts of deserving affiliates. Criteria for the awards includes the affiliates’ educational and training programs, lobbying and advocacy, social action, community support and charitable efforts, and membership recruitment and benefits.

Large Association Winner – Washington State Floor Covering Association. In announcing the winner, the WFCA noted, “The Washington State Floor Covering Association continues to provide an impressive number of outstanding benefits and programs for its members each year. In 2012 it held a wide range of educational programs including: motivational marketing and small business seminars, and installation training and EPA LEED certification classes. In addition, it also held a successful tradeshow with over 70 vendors exhibiting products and services with several hundred attendees.

“WSFCA continues to be very involved in legislative issues that affect its members, including forming an independent contractor advocacy committee to work with senators, lobbyists and other associations. This affiliate successfully defeated a mandatory recycling bill, which would have increased the price of carpet in the state dramatically and they also developed a guide for dealers and installers.

“The association’s commitment to growing their membership and providing member benefits is exceptional. They increased new members by almost 20% in 2012, despite the tough economic environment. Members have access to a complete line of insurance, a comprehensive safety manual, subcontractor contracts and general contractor agreements.”

The Maryland and Northern Virginia Floor Covering Association was recognized with an honorable mention.

Medium Association Winner – Chicago Floorcovering Association. The WFCA noted, “Chicago did an outstanding job in 2012 despite difficult conditions for dealers in the Midwest. This affiliate provided a number of excellent educational opportunities for its members, starting the year with a Product Installation Fair that included over 50 vendors and featured Jim Walker, founder of CFI, as a guest speaker. It also held tile and carpet installation certification courses.

“The CFA’s annual State of the Union event was attended by over 200 people who came out to listen to keynote speakers John Goodwin, from Shaw, and Bob Leahy, from Mohawk.

“The affiliate communicates timely news and information to members via their outstanding quarterly newsletter ‘High Traffic’ and in 2012 began using Constant Contact to keep in touch. It also hosted several very successful social functions, including its annual golf tournament, which attracted 190 golfers, and the Presidential Awards dinner where the best in the industry are honored.”

The Wisconsin Floor Covering Association received an honorable mention.

Small Association Winner – Sacramento Valley Floor Covering Association. The WFCA stated, “In 2012, SVFCA made a great effort to grow its membership and successfully increased its group size by 40%. It continued to provide educational opportunities for its members, hosting several installation training events and an educational speaker series that covered topics like asbestos and new computer programs for the flooring industry. It also hosted a very successful golf tournament, which raised money for local charities, including the Children’s Miracle Hospital.”

Two affiliates were given honorable mentions in this category: the Minnesota Floor Covering Association and the San Diego County Floor Covering Association.

Cammie Weitzel, WFCA’s general manager, said she is constantly impressed by the achievements and efforts made by the group’s many affiliates. “We are all but a sum of our parts, and through our regional affiliates the World Floor Covering Association is able to make significant advances and implement positive growth and change in the flooring industry. We look forward to seeing what can be achieved in 2013.”

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