When it comes to being true leaders and recognizing the value and importance of “giving back,” the two most recent inductees to the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) Hall of Fame had little competition. It’s not often that industry standouts share such rare traits, but few can deny the luminary nature and big hearts of this year’s recipients.
The two new inductees are D. Christopher Davis and Keith Campbell. The date for the formal induction ceremony for both gentlemen will be announced in the near future.
The industry lost a powerful voice and catalyst for improvement when Davis passed away suddenly in February 2012. In the short time he was a member of the flooring industry Davis’ touched the hearts of many and left a lasting impression that will be recognized for decades to come.
Davis became chief executive officer of Western Floor Covering Association in 1994 and, recognizing there’s strength in numbers, quickly implemented the merger of the organization with the American Floorcovering Association in January of the following year. Through this merger the WFCA was born.
In an effort to enhance the professionalism and profitability across all channels of the flooring industry — and recognizing the potential to grow membership, Davis launched benefits like the trade scholarship program. This initiative alone helped the association grow membership by over 40%.
At a point when things were looking grim for the flooring industry, Davis breathed new life into the category through the launch of a consumer awareness campaign designed to educate consumers about flooring and its impact on residential interior designs. The campaign, which is still running over 10 years later, included the launch of a non-commercial, unbiased website dedicated to flooring and geared entirely to the consumer; an extensive marketing campaign with a far-reaching line-up of some of the largest and most respected consumer magazines on the market; and a public relations program that continues to help the industry reach hundreds of millions of consumers across the country each year. Many of the initiatives launched by Davis have been recognized with national awards for excellence.
One of the more notable accomplishments in his career was the exponential growth of Surfaces, owned at the time by the WFCA, into one of the 50 largest trade shows in the world with attendance topping over 40,000. Davis strategically negotiated the sale of the show at its pinnacle for $40-million while maintaining the association’s strategic positioning, including an exhibit discount for members and a top sponsorship position. This strategic maneuver placed WFCA in its most financially solid position in its history and, as such, the association will remain in a cash positive position for many years to come.
Among many other standout accomplishments, Davis also served as chairman of the Board of the Floor Covering Industry Foundation (FCIF), a charitable organization dedicated to assisting members in the floor covering industry who experience catastrophic illnesses, severe disabilities or life altering hardships.
On a more personal level, Davis was an exemplary mentor to many. Unlike others at his level of achievement, Davis was celebrated for taking the time to listen and offer thoughtful, sound advice. His interest in people and helping them was not dictated by power and wealth. Davis genuinely cared and wanted to help people at every level succeed. His advice was always right on and those who knew him could count on him to always go the extra mile.
Keith Campbell has spent his entire career at Mannington Mills, which was founded by his great grandfather in 1915. He cut his teeth in the business at his family’s company working from the ground up in a wide variety of capacities. He joined Mannington’s Board of Directors in 1983, which paved his way to become chairman of the Board 12 years later.
Today Mannington employs more than 2,400 people across the globe and in nine manufacturing plants across North America. Under Campbell’s leadership, Mannington has experienced its greatest era of corporate growth, including two successful acquisitions – Burke Industries in 2008 and Amtico International in 2012.
Throughout his successes, Campbell has remained consistent in his commitment to Mannington’s long-standing core corporate values – Care. Do the Right Thing. Work Hard/Play Hard and Control Your Own Destiny. These values coupled with the corporate mission “to be the best people to do business with in the flooring industry” have propelled Mannington to a global flooring industry leadership position.
In addition to his corporate duties, Campbell is extremely active in multiple industry organizations and initiatives designed to help the overall industry. He is currently Associate Director of the WFCA and serves on the Finance Committee – a position he has held since 1996. Among other involvements, he serves on the Board of Directors for FCIF, an organization of which he is passionate about.
Campbell’s involvement in community activities is also vast. For over 23 years he has served as Trustee of the John B. Campbell Family Fitness Center of Salem County – a non-profit facility that provides a full array of community services to local residents. He is on the Board of Directors of South Jersey Industries, Inc., an organization dedicated to climate change solutions and conserving energy. In addition to his multitude of service and support roles at over 8 universities and educational institutions, Campbell serves on the boards of many charities, including United Way and Ranch Hope for Boys.
Campbell lives with his wife of 32 years, Shirley, in Salem, N.J. They have three children and three grandchildren.