Pat Fell's death January 21 at the age of 52 touched people throughout the industry. He had fought cancer for nearly two years. The weekend before his death his fellow members of L. Fishman & Son brought the industry together for a dinner honoring him, and Pat was able to attend. He learned first hand the love and respect that so many people had for him during his more than three decades in the industry.

Pat Fell would never consider himself an icon. But he was very much a truly deserving icon of floor covering installation. He developed training programs, taught installation and worked tirelessly to make sure installers were certified, properly trained and became and remained true professionals. He raised the standards for installation to the highest level, which he demanded of himself and others.

Pat Fell would never consider himself a powerful, influential industry figure because he didn't hold a high profile national executive position. But he was a powerful, influential industry figure. He reached, touched and inspired installers, retailers, distributors, contractors and manufacturers worldwide.

His career began at Carpet Land, Baltimore and then he was a vital part of such companies as Chesapeake Carpet, Baltimore and Flooring Installation, Edgewood, MD.

For the past 8 years he was the man at L. Fishman & Son, Baltimore headquartered multi-branch distributor, to whom people and companies turned to for answers on installation and the products and requirements to install them. He was their tech and customer service agent.

In so many ways Pat was the industry's conscience, quick to praise companies and people when they were right, equally quick to call them to task when they were wrong.

We owe it to ourselves and to Pat Fell's memory and legacy to steadfastly continue to dedicate ourselves to professionalism at all levels.