Leave of Absence
The flooring industry is still very much a people industry. People design the products, people distribute them, they sell them—to people—and, lastly, people install the goods.
Few industries can say there are people involved at every level and phase and that’s what makes this such a special industry and one I have enjoyed reporting on for more than 22 years now.
I bring this up because there are many people in the industry who know I recently went under the knife for a major, and complicated back operation. Those close enough to me know I’m not exaggerating by using those terms. Plus, since my surgeon used those exact words I figured so can I. This is why I missed my first Surfaces since 1994, just at the time when the show was being hailed as a national event and the most important trade show for the industry. It is also why I have not recently been seen at the myriad of other industry events and functions people are used to seeing me at.
Before going any further, I want to personally thank all the people who reached out to me personally by phone, email and social media to see how I was recovering, as well as to all those who asked about me through a member of my team. Also, a major thanks to the people and companies that sent me special care packages while I was in rehab re-learning how to walk and gaining my strength and stamina back, along with those who have continued to check in since I’ve come home to continue my recovery. I cannot tell you how truly appreciative I am for all the kindness. And how blessed I feel knowing so many people care about my well being.
I also want to thank my team at Floor Trends, TalkFloor and our parent company, BNP Media, for all their hard work, dedication and going above and beyond to pick up the slack as I’ve been plowing along trying to get healthy.
The good news, is all indications are pointing to the operation being a success. Meaning by next Surfaces I should not only be able to cover it from corner-to-corner like I’ve always done but do so pain-free—or as close to that as possible. Granted I may not run around the market like I did in the ’90s but I’ll be doing it much easier than I have in recent years.
That’s the good news. Unfortunately, with the good, comes the bad. Despite the positive prognosis for a full recovery, due to the severity of the operation, some unintended complications have developed. As a result, I have not been able to work up to the high quality, professional standards I hold myself to—and, which, I believe you, my readers, have a right to get from me and your trade publication.
Those who know me know I take tremendous pride in my work, and have always given it my everything to being the industry’s very best. By not being able to give 110% like I am accustomed to, I feel like I am letting our readers—and my team—down.
So, with this writing, I, unfortunately, am having to take a step back from the publication to allow me to put everything into getting healthy, while also allowing our flooring brands to push forward with our mission of bringing you the best information to help you run your businesses.
Because this is an important position and one that shouldn’t be vacant for what is an unknown time, I understand my role will most likely be filled by someone else. Thank you again for entrusting me to be your conduit of industry news and information—it is an honor I have never taken lightly—and knock on wood (or laminate or tile or resilient or carpet…) I’ll be back in the saddle sooner than later.
In the meantime, I would truly love to stay in contact with as many of my industry friends as possible. Please contact me at my personal email, email@example.com, or my cell, (516) 263-8493, or look me up on Facebook or LinkedIn.