Armstrong to Separate Flooring and Ceiling Businesses
Lancaster, Pa.—Armstrong World Industries’ board unanimously approved a plan to separate the company’s flooring business from its ceilings (building products) business. The separation is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2016.
According to the company, the separation will create two independent publicly traded, strong companies.
“We expect both businesses to improve their industry leading positions and maximize their strategic opportunities,” said Matthew Espe, president and CEO. “There is little existing overlap between the businesses, and we expect the separation to create minimal incremental operating expenses and result in no disruption to our customers, distributors and suppliers.”
For more, call (717) 397-0611 or visit armstrong.com.
Flooring Companies Ranked Among Top Organizations
Dalton—Mohawk Industries, Shaw Industries and Tarkett’s Tandus Centiva division were ranked among Trainingmagazine’s annual Top 125 training organizations.
Coming in 14th on the list, Mohawk was the highest ranked flooring company as well as the highest ranked manufacturing organization. Recognized for its corporate training initiatives, as well as Mohawk University, which provides retailers with world-class training, education and business management resources.
Shaw’s education and training efforts that extend beyond its 23,000 associates to customers, the community and the future workforce, landed the manufacturer on the list for the 11th consecutive year and at No. 29 on the Top 125.
Tandus Centiva’s strategic account selling course that reaped outstanding sales results by creating a shift in the way the sales team thinks secured the company’s No. 56 spot on Training’s list.
For a complete list of the Top 125 organizations, visit trainingmag.com.
WFCA Names Gold Standard Retailer
Anaheim, Calif.—American Carpet One of Honolulu won the 2015 Gold Standard Award from the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) for excellence in retailing.
The award carries with it a $5,000 check, trophy, acknowledgement on the WFCA website and a customized WFCA Gold Standard seal for the store’s entrance.
Scott Humphrey, WFCA’s CEO, said American Carpet One, which has been in business for more than 40 years, “took center stage amongst multiple submissions for this year’s award. We could all learn a lot from its model. They look at their staff as a team. No one position is more important than another. Everyone plays a key role. If one of them fails they all fail. The team all has the same goal—turn the customer into a raving fan. This is achieved through dedicated and exceptional customer service delivered by staff members that are highly trained, motivated and eager to please.”
Along with having to be a WFCA member and being in business for at least three years, to win the award, a company must have a clean Better Business Bureau report and is then reviewed and judged on four areas:
- Knowledge. Ensuring a knowledgeable management and staff who work to remain informed on the state of the industry at all times.
- Customer Service. Providing courteous service and offering customers help throughout the purchase and after-purchase processes.
- Quality of Store Image. A clean, professional, well maintained store must be presented at all times.
- Code of Conduct. The facility must adhere to WFCA’s Code of Conduct.
For more, call (800) 624-6880 or visit wfca-pro.org.
Mirage Honors Top Distributors
Saint-Georges, Quebec, Canada—Boa-Franc, maker of the Mirage hardwood brand, recognized distributors who have demonstrated outstanding performance during the prior year with its 12th annual Spirit Awards.
Tri-West received the Maestro Award for its investments to spruce up its Mirage displays throughout the company’s territory and to support and promote Mirage sales programs in 2014.
For the second year in a row, Ohio Valley Flooring received the President’s Award for being the distributor with the highest percentage increase in sales.
Derr Flooring won its fourth Golden Growth Award for the highest unit sales volume.
For more, call (418) 227-1181 or visit miragefloors.com.
Shaw Women Recognized for Excellence
Dalton—Shaw Industries’ Kellie Ballew, product sustainability manager; Reesie Duncan, Shaw Contract Group creative director, and Deanna Mathis, supply chain business solutions manager, are recipients of the Women in Manufacturing Science, Technology, Engineering and Production (STEP) awards.
Part of the STEP Ahead initiative launched in 2012 to promote the role of women in manufacturing through recognition and research, the STEP awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry.
“These women are the faces of exciting careers in manufacturing,” said Jennifer McNelly, Manufacturing Institute’s president. “We chose to honor them because of their significant achievements in manufacturing through positive impact on their company and the industry as a whole.”
The efforts of the STEP Ahead program parallel those of the Shaw Women’s Innovation Network (WiN), a program Shaw launched last year to support the development of leaders at the mill through resources and opportunities that help women drive successful careers.
For more, visit shawfloors.com.
NWFA Partners with Gary Sinise Foundation, BizUnite
St. Louis— The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) has joined the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program in an effort to build smart homes for veterans who have sacrificed their health, many losing multiple limbs during their military service. In this partnership, NWFA member manufactures will provide materials for the projects.
According to Michael Martin, NWFA’s president and CEO, NWFA members will participate in projects for up to 15 homes per year, and will partner with manufacturers that match the U.S.-based manufacturing requirements of the R.I.S.E. program.
Sinise noted, “NWFA is playing a crucial role in making these homes a reality for those who have sacrificed so much in defense of our freedom and I thank them for standing with us in support of our wounded service members.”
In other news, NWFA has partnered with BizUnite for the Business Marketplace program, which provides NWFA members with savings in many business operations.
Through BizUnite, nearly 20 companies provide ongoing discounts to NWFA members, in addition to already existing NWFA member discounts. Using this new program, Martin said members could save on regular expenses they already may be incurring. “Through BizUnite, members are part of a network of cost-savings opportunities they couldn’t receive on their own.”
For more, call (800) 422-4556 or visit nwfa.org.
Floors and More 2014 Small Business Winner
Benton, Ark.—Floors and More was selected as the 2014 small business winner by the Bryant, Ark., Chamber of Commerce.
Floors and More, which was featured in the January issue of Floor Trends, is a residential and commercial operation that has been serving the region since 1979.
A key reason for winning is due to how involved the company is in the local community. Floors and More continually contributes volunteer hours, monetary donations and support to community organizations and efforts.
For more, call (501) 316-0267 or visit floorsandmorear.com.
Teragren Celebrating 20th Anniversary
Bainbridge Island, Wash.—In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Teragren is holding a Spring Sale in the form of a consumer rebate offer on all flooring during the months of April and May.
“To be celebrating two decades in this industry is no small feat, and we are extremely proud of where we came from, where we are now, and where we’re going,” said Mark Jordan, Teragren’s president “This promotional event is a great way for us to jumpstart the home renovation season and to celebrate our 20 years in business with current and new customers.”
During the bamboo manufacturer’s Spring Sale, customers can claim a rebate of $.50 per square foot across all Teragren flooring product lines.
For more, call (206) 842-9477 or visit teragren.com.
Exhibitors Make TISE Recycling a Success
Las Vegas—The results are in from The International Surface Event’s (TISE) recycling initiative. Over a three-day period, more than 84 exhibitors donated 140,765 pounds of gently used flooring products instead of throwing them out.
Mountain Re-Source Center (MRC) and its subsidiary, Tile Partners for Humanity, along with Informa Exhibitions U.S., which owns the show, led this initiative with joint participation and support from the Freeman Cos., United Services and the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Together, they collected a total of 571,725 pounds of commodity materials that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.
Product donations filled eight 53-foot trailers and one large flatbed stacked high with rolls of carpet. Donations from the show have more than tripled since the program was launched in 2012. The donations were delivered to two charitable organizations—Habitat for Humanity (Las Vegas affiliate) and River Valley Community Outreach Center (Gridley, Calif.).
For more, visit tisewest.com.
Gordon Named Fuse Executive Director
Laguna Niguel, Calif.—Geoff Gordon is the new executive director of Fuse Alliance contractor buying group. Ron Lee, who previously held the executive director position for approximately 10 years, will take on the role of COO.
Gordon joined Fuse’s leadership team in 2013, and prior to that, he served on the board for seven years. With more than 35 years in the flooring industry, Gordon has held sales and leadership positions including Armstrong territory manager, Designweave regional manager and vice president of sales and marketing, and president of SCS Flooring Systems.
For more, visit fusealliance.com.
Houzz Study Indicates Growth in Home Renovations
Palo Alto, Calif.—The Houzz Barometer posted an index value of 75 or higher for the first quarter of the year, indicating that there is optimism about a continued industry rebound. A value over 50 indicates more firms reporting an increase than a decrease in business activity related to existing homes in a given quarter than the prior quarter.
“With a community of over 25 million monthly unique users, 90% of whom are homeowners, and more than 600,000 active home professionals, Houzz is in a unique position to provide unprecedented insights into the health of the home renovation, building and decorating industry,” said Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at the social media site. “Barometer findings are consistent with other leading industry research and economic indicators of growth and confidence for the home improvement industry.”
For more, visit houzz.com.
Swiff-Train Recapitalized by Stonebridge Partners
Houston—Swiff-Train Co.’s management team has recapitalized the company in partnership with Stonebridge Partners of White Plains, N.Y. Swiff-Train is a full-line supplier and distributor of floor covering products in Texas and surrounding areas and the parent company of the EarthWerks brand, which is distributed nationally by a network of independent wholesalers.
According to the company, Swiff-Train’s management team will retain a significant ownership stake. Jonathan Train toldFloor Trends, “I am CEO of the company and there are no Stonebridge employees working for Swiff-Train. Our current management structure stays in place with the exception of me becoming CEO, Jason [Train] moving to vice president of sourcing and my father, L.A., being on the new board, which consists of myself, Jason, L.A., and delegates from Stonebridge.”
For more, call (361) 883-1706 or visit swiff-train.com.
Torlys Expands Western Canada Footprint
Calgary, Canada—Torlys’ new 31,000-square-foot facility here includes office space, a product showroom and a warehouse, providing expanded service to customers in Western Canada.
“Torlys continues to invest millions of dollars in the Canadian flooring industry,” said Peter Barretto, president and CEO. “We are investing in the inventory levels in the Calgary facility to serve all our Western customers more quickly. Delivery will be same day in Alberta and one or two days in British Columbia and Saskatchewan. This also frees up resources in our Ontario warehouse to better service our Eastern Canadian customers.”
For more, visit torlys.com.
Editor’s note: For complete coverage of these and other industry news stories visit our website at floortrendsmag.com, where you can also sign up for a free subscription to our daily enewsletter, TalkFloor.