Alfred I. Halpern, an industry leader who was instrumental in the drive to establish a new standard of quality and training for the floor covering industry, died Oct. 12. During his 50 years in the industry, Halpern greatly influenced many aspects of the floor covering business, particularly those related to installation.

In addition to being a founding member of the steering committee for the International Standards and Training Alliance (INSTALL), he sat on the International Labor-Management Committee for the Floor Covering Industry when it was formed in 1990.

Halpern had served as executive director and clerk to the Northeast Flooring Contractors Association (NFCA) since 1988, and was also a trustee and secretary for the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee with the Floor Coverers Local 2168, and trustee for the New England Carpenters Training Center.

"Al was always the consummate gentleman and an inspiration to all of us at INSTALL," said Jim Schmid, director of INSTALL. "His sound advice helped propel the INSTALL program to international recognition and his quick wit kept us smiling. We will dearly miss him."