CFI friends had a great time rafting on the Ocoee River. Pictured are Jimmy and Laura Walker, Jerry Harmon, Duey Johnson, Dave Edwards and Marie Martin.

Dave Stafford of Commercial Carpets of America (CCA) of Alexandria, VA presents Shawn Marshall of S&K Flooring, Altus, OK with an award honoring his commitment to flooring installation excellence. CCA, a worldwide firm, selected Shawn as the flooring contractor that goes above and beyond to provide customer satisfaction.
The CFI Convention theme for 2004 was "Installation, the Great Adventure!" What an adventure! It is impossible to measure the enthusiasm and excitement that was evident at the CFI Convention 2004 at the Chattanoogan Hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Eleven years of professionalism and pride were visible everywhere. As Jim Walker, CEO stated, "The members of CFI hold an investment in their organization, they take charge and that accounts for the tremendous growth and commitment worldwide of 16,488 flooring installers and associate members." Letters of support were received from Bob Kokoszka, President of Burtco Carpet; Carl Bouckaert, CEO of Beaulieu USA; Jeff Lorberbaum, CEO of Mohawk Industries and Julian Shaw, CEO of Shaw Industries.

Mill Tours of Durkan and Shaw

On Wednesday, July 28, the group departed on the mill tours that took them to the Shaw woven manufacturing plant in Ringgold, GA and to Dalton to visit the Shaw Technical Services Division and tufted manufacturing plants. They also visited the Mohawk-Durkan printed patterned carpet plant in Dalton, Georgia. At Shaw, James Mullins, Neva Spangler, Ken Brown, Bruce Newton and B. J. Evans led the groups through the plants and technical services division. Mullins said, "The groups learned of the specifics of manufacturing different types of carpet and the tests performed to determine the source of problems that are encountered."

At Mohawk-Durkan, Bruce Gentry and his team welcomed the groups. Gentry, "We were delighted to host the tour. It afforded us the opportunity to explain the concept of printed patterned manufacturing with the Spectronic system." The visits introduced the group to the various methods of production and the latest in manufacturing systems required to produce the many types of carpets. The tours were a highlight of the Convention and received rave reviews because of their educational value.

Certification Team Meeting

Later that evening, the CFI Certification Team met to review the accomplishments of the past year and discuss plans for 2004-2005. Ed Braile, CFI Certification Team Chairman, "The Board of Directors have voted to increase the certification fees that will be introduced in January of 2005. The increase will provide the resources to revise the CFI Website by listing members in the order of the certification achieved and provide information concerning the company to those seeking professional services. Income from the increase will also assist with the operational costs of the organization. The current fees will apply to installers who register prior to December 31, 2004 and become certified in 2005." Braile also introduced Robert Varden as the Committee Co-Chairman for 2004-2005.

The Charles R. Gress Award

Bob Gillespie, Past President explained the meaning of the Charles R. Gress Award presented annually in honor of CFI Certified Installer #355 from Cumberland, Ohio who gave above and beyond his talents, time and funds to further the cause of the CFI and professional installation. In 1996, following the untimely death of Charles Gress, the award was initiated.

Gillespie related, "Charlie was a unique individual who loved to laugh, loved his work, and truly enjoyed sharing his trade with any one who would listen. His untimely death in August of 1995 was a great loss for the CFI. CFI depended on Charlie. One man who made a difference! Receiving the Gress Award signifies that the individual has done more for the trade, for other Installers and for the CFI than is expected. This year, the esteemed honor is bestowed on five CFI Certified Installers:"

JOHN SHOFNER #6637, certified in 1999, President of the Louisville, KY CFI Chapter, is a member of the CFI Regional Certification Team who has given way beyond what is asked to promote the professionalism of CFI members. John with his wife, Robin own an installation company in Louisville and he also works for Capitol USA.

BRUCE GENTRY #2739 certified in 1996, represents Mohawk Commercial in the Technical Services Department. He grew up in the flooring installation business under the direction of his father, Ollen Gentry, as did his four brothers. He represents not only Mohawk, but also all professional craftspeople as he daily works with installers to ensure quality installation or assist with solving problems. He is a member of the CFI Board of Directors and the Patterned Carpet Specialist Team that presented the CFI workshop.

KEN BROWN #3590, certified in 1997, is a member of the Shaw Technical Services Team, who travel the nation working with flooring installers. Ken is also President of the Dalton CFI Chapter, which competes for the largest attendance with the Delmarva Chapter, recently hosting over 160 at the quarterly meeting. His father was also responsible for his ability to become a quality-minded flooring installation craftsman.

TOMMY GENTRY #2778, also certified in 1996, is the Print Manager for Shaw Design Origins, the hospitality division of Shaw. He is a member of the Patterned Carpet Specialist Team that presented the CFI workshop training and working with installers to promote the latest techniques and technology. He is responsible for providing his clients with the finest installations and daily promotes professionalism.

STEVE GENTRY #2740, the Director of Field Services for Mohawk Commercial was also certified in 1996. Like his brothers, long before CFI, they believed in customer satisfaction and doing the work in the correct manner. Daily he promotes quality installation and offers assistance to installers searching for methods to satisfy their customers going way beyond what is expected to "make it happen."

The 2004 recipients join the elite group of 65 CFI Installers who are the example of professionalism nationwide.