As you may have already noticed, we are not, as previously announced, running the Installation Excellence Awards, as we have for the past three years. The reason? Simply not enough entries were received by the January 31 deadline. It is unfortunate that we are not able to feature these outstanding installations in each issue this year. Installers deserve recognition for their skill, their dedication to their trade, and their creativity. With this in mind, we will do our best to recognize you, the installer, for your work through other means than the awards.

The Installation Excellence Awards were started in 2000, and were FCI's way to recognize installation professionals for their hard work and creativity. For each issue, we selected two outstanding installations to feature, and the winners received $250 and a chance for the grand prize, $700 and a trip for two to the Surfaces show in Las Vegas. The winners that I spoke with were all thrilled to be recognized by their peers, and rightfully so. All too often, installers are not recognized for their backbreaking efforts to beautify and personalize people's homes. To help spark your imagination, in terms of personalization, FCI will be offering more articles on advanced areas of floor covering installation, such as insets and designs, starting with this issue, in which columnist Jon Namba explains the ins and outs of custom insets and designs for a variety of different flooring materials. These types of installations not only show off your installation skills, but because they involve extra labor time, can also add to your profit margin.

Although we're not presenting the Installation Excellence Awards this year, we will continue to feature installations in a new feature, "FCI Snapshots." This photo-driven section will show before, during and after pictures of a variety of installations. If you haven't seen it before, take a look at the "FCI Snapshots" section in this issue to see what it's all about. This is your chance to put the results of your hard work on display for your peers to admire. If you would like to be featured in "FCI Snapshots," just send before, during and after photos of your best installation to: FCI Snapshots, 22801 Ventura Blvd, Ste. 115, Woodland Hills, CA 91364-1222. If interest is high enough, we would love to bring back the Installation Excellence Awards, but in order for that to happen, we need for you, the reader, to get involved. So, send in those installation photos, and you may find yourself in the pages of Floor Covering Installer.