The ninth annual convention of the International Certified Floorcovering Installers Association (CFI) returned to Kansas City, Mo., where the conference was first held. The conference, held Aug. 15-19 at the Westin Hotel, drew 367 attendees, and featured a variety of informative seminars and conferences, as well as a leadership conference under the direction of the World Floor Covering Association. In keeping with the convention's theme, "United We Stand," red, white and blue decorations and T-shirts were on display throughout the conference. At the business meeting, current CFI Vice President Jon Namba was elected president of the organization. Outgoing president Bob Gillespie thanked the attendees present for their support during the previous year, and offered a warm welcome to new president Namba. Next year, the convention will return to Kansas City to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The annual Charlie Gress Award, the highest recognition that can be presented to CFI installers, was awarded to the following members:
Gene Campbell, #290 master installer, Des Moines, Iowa. Campbell was one of the first installers certified, and was instrumental in bringing CFI to Iowa. Campbell is the second-oldest CFI installer, and an officer of the local CFI chapter. Stan Cunningham, #320 master installer, Kansas City, Mo. Cunningham is the oldest CFI installer. He is a former union apprenticeship trainer, and an officer of the local CFI chapter. James Hale, #7101 RI-II CI-II, Seminole, Okla. Hale founded the CFI chapter in Oklahoma, where he served two terms as president. He also developed a training program for Mohawk retailers. Charles Kubich, #3515 master installer, Nebraska. Kubich is a member of the regional CFI certification team, and is an officer of the local CFI chapter. Roger Linser, #169 master installer, Marshalltown, Iowa. Linser was one of the first installers certified in Iowa. He assisted with founding two chapters in Iowa, is an officer of the local chapter, and is a member of the regional CFI certification team Dave Nestor, #5660 master installer, Villa Park, Ill. In one year, Nestor was instrumental in the certification of over 300 installers. He is a member of the certification team in Illinois. Roland Thompson, master-II installer, Frederick, Md. Thompson is president of the local CFI chapter, and is a Carpet One installer of the year. Tim Zdybek, #7739 RI-II CI-II, Toledo, Ohio. Zdybek is a member of the CFI regional certification team, and travels with the national team. In addition, Ben Boatwright, master installer from Atlanta, received the 50+ jacket for volunteering time, talent and financial resources to over 50 certifications since he began certifying. Few installers have received this award.