Anaheim, Calif.—The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) announced the winners of the Howard Olansky Affiliate of the Year Awards. Named after the late Howard Olansky, co-founder of Floor Trends, which co-sponsors the program, and industry Hall of Famer, the annual awards honor regional WFCA affiliates that exhibit excellence in their member communications, training, benefits and related programs.
The Howard Olansky Awards are given in three categories based on the size of the affiliate: large association, medium association and small association. Judges select a winner and designate honorable mentions in each category. They make the awards based on outstanding contributions in several categories, including: educational and training programs; lobbying and advocacy; social action, community support and charitable efforts; and membership recruitment and benefits. Winners in each category receive a trophy and honorable mention winners receive a plaque.
This year’s announcement of the winners was made by Freida Staten, WFCA’s vice president of recruitment and affiliate relations. “WFCA is thankful to have such a wonderful group of affiliates who continue to bring valuable benefits to flooring professionals in their local communities. Each year, among a myriad of achievements, these standout associations continue to grow their membership, support local charities and provide ongoing networking opportunities for members. Their leadership and support help us bring greater opportunities and successes to the flooring industry. We look forward to another great year as we team together to bring additional business growth and profitability to all members.”
Starting with the Large Association Category, The winner is the Flooring Association Northwest (FAN), formerly the Washington State Floor Covering Association, which won for the second year in a row. Honorable Mention was awarded again to the Maryland & Northern Virginia Floor Covering Association.
Staten said FAN continues to provide a wide range of benefits and programs for its members. “This WFCA affiliate also extended its work with local and state governments on industry issues affecting its members.”
Helping the association’s win, she noted, was a variety of “standout events in 2013 including a State of the Industry update with industry heavyweights from Shaw and Mohawk; customer service, motivational, color sales and health reform seminars. FAN also coordinated another successful regional trade show with over 80 vendors showcasing a host of services and products for the attendees.”
The association has gone “above and beyond” when it comes to member communications,” Staten added. “FAN keeps its members up to date and in the know in a variety of ways—publishing a quarterly newsletter; sending weekly e-mails; and maintaining its own website. FAN also offers a variety of exclusive member benefits including a complete line of insurance, a comprehensive safety manual, complaint guide and claim forms. The association actively supports the local community. It participates in many local charitable events, serves dinner to the homeless, and donates generously to the Floor Covering Industry Foundation (FCIF). Members also had the opportunity to network with their peers at a number of social events including their annual golf tournament and a dinner cruise.”
Put simple, she said FAN “continues to be one of the most successful WFCA affiliates, demonstrating time and time again its commitment to serve its members and the industry as a whole.”
Debbie Tott, FAN’s executive director, called the award “a real honor. We wish to thank WFCA and Floor Trendsfor recognizing our association. The award can be credited to the commitment of our board and members. We have a great group of people up here in the Northwest.”
She added, FAN is “proud to be an affiliate of WFCA. We feel so strongly about the benefits and service WFCA offers that all of our regular members are automatically enrolled in WFCA. Our members get two memberships for the price of one. The trade scholarships our members take advantage of are making a difference in educating and certifying them. WFCA has been a solid organization for years and we are really excited about the exciting new directions that are sure to take us all to a new level.”
In the Medium Association Category, the winner is the Chicago Floor Covering Association (CFA). The Honorable Mention was awarded to the San Diego County Floor Covering Association.
Staten said CFA had “an outstanding 2013, kicking off the year with its Product Installation Fair, which featured dozens of vendors exhibiting a wide array of products, tools and services. The association also hosted an informational meeting on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and held a State of the Industry event with the WFCA’s CEO, Scott Humphrey, as the keynote speaker.”
She noted, CFA continues to publish it’s “highly regarded quarterly newsletter High Traffic, keeping members informed on the latest news and industry issues. In 2013 the association established a retail advisory board to help retail members succeed in business.”
This affiliate is also committed to community involvement, Staten added, volunteering over 500 hours of service in 2013. “The association raised money for local charities helping families and children in need and continued its tradition of awarding educational scholarships to members’ children—giving away a total of $14,500.”
Jack Kolaya, CFA’s executive director, said, “We are very proud of our association, and as the oldest floor covering association we feel we have marked our place in the industry. That being said, to be recognized by the WFCA and Floor Trendsas the best really makes us very proud. We think we do good things, but it means a lot more when others feel the same. On behalf of the board we would like to say ‘thank you’ for this honor.”
The Small Association Category winner is the Minnesota Floor Covering Association (MFCA). Two Honorable Mentions were awarded this year—the Wisconsin Floor Covering Association and the Utah Floor Covering Association.
Staten said MFCA managed to grow its membership “by a remarkable 18% in 2013. Among other recruitment activities, members of the association attended the Twin Cities winter market to promote the benefits of membership in their local association and the WFCA. The group also put together a successful and well-attended State of the Industry event in the spring with speakers from Mohawk, Tarkett/Johnsonite and Florstar.”
The association also hosted several social events throughout the year, she added, including its annual golf tournament and dinner where it recognized and honored the best local retailer, sales rep and distributor of the year. “The event also raised money to fund the association’s educational scholarship program, and four scholarships were awarded totaling more than $1,500.”
Upon receiving the award, Lori Anderson, MFCA executive director, said, “I’m so honored to accept the Howard Olansky award on behalf of the association. Our board’s commitment to bringing the flooring industry’s hottest topics to our members through our bi-annual seminars has helped to increase our exposure and membership. We are looking forward to another year of activities including our annual golf outing. Thank you very much for this award and recognition.”
For more information about the Howard Olansky Awards or the WFCA, call (800) 624-6880, or visit wfca-pro.org.