Are there any four words that convey a greater sense of suspense? You’ve undoubtedly heard it many times before, from the Academy Awards to the Miss Universe pageant, yet those four words always seem capable generating suspense. By now, you must be wondering what the suspense is all about. The event we’re referring to is the 2002 Installation Excellence Awards. So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, the Grand Prize winner of the 2002 Installation Excellence Awards is Dan Peterson, of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Dan’s name was selected in a random drawing from the 10 finalists of the competition. He and a guest will receive $700 and a trip to Las Vegas for the Surfaces 2003 show in January.

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Dan, and all of the other finalists, and to thank all of the companies that made this contest possible through their co-sponsorship. All of the entries we received were first-rate examples of installation craftsmanship and ingenuity, and were equally deserving of winning, hence the need for a random drawing.

With this in mind, I’d like to remind all of our readers that we we’re now accepting applications for the 2003 Installation Excellence Awards. Take a moment to fill out the award application and return it to us, along with photos of your best installation, by December 31. This time next year, it could be you in the winner’s circle.

As if one contest weren’t enough, Surfaces 2003 will also be the scene of another installation contest, the WFCA National Installation Contest, which is co-sponsored by Floor Covering Installer and its sister publication, National Floor Trends. This competition is the culmination of seven regional flooring installation contests leading up to the main event, in which the finalists will be given a written test, a hands-on repair project and detailed work orders to complete a floor installation within a specified timeframe, all while under the scrutiny of thousands of Surfaces attendees. First place winners in two categories, carpet and resilient, will each receive a cash reward of $500 and a host of tools and floor covering accessories. If you want to see how the best floor covering installers in the business work, this is the place to do it.

These contests are an important way for installers to gain recognition for their skill, craftsmanship, and yes, even artistry. They are also a way for those in the floor covering installation industry to share ideas and techniques, taking the craft to a higher level. The free trips, tools, and cash aren’t too bad either. So, get out those photos, sharpen your pencils, and let the games begin!