Ruud Steenvoorden, past vp European Federation of Parquet importers (EFPI) and director of corporate buying for Europe’s largest wood flooring provider, Fetim B.V., has joined The Floor Covering Institute. Steenvoorden is currently president of his independent consulting firm, Steenvoorden Consultancy. He will continue to live and work from South Africa while traveling internationally to service clients.

“We could not be more pleased to add Ruud to the team and provide our clients with his excellent insights and experience,” said Institute President Jim Gould. “Ruud is a strategic thinker with hands on experience getting wood and laminate flooring manufactured in China and marketed across Europe. He helped Fetim introduce flooring into their offering and managed their wood flooring business until late 2009. Fetim is now the largest provider of imported flooring in Europe and Ruud’s experience helping them get there is now available to our clients.”

Steenvoorden said he is eager to get started. On March 24, he will co-moderate the International Wood Flooring Summit in Shanghai during DOMOTEX asia CHINAFLOOR with Jim Gould. “This will be our third year of meeting to bring the global wood industry together. I am proud to participate in this unique event every year, but this year I am particularly pleased to represent this prestigious group of consultants who are aligned with my goal: to bring a long life to the flooring business.”

The addition of Steenvoorden continues the institute’s strategy to have experts around the world to service clients internationally and help keep abreast of the changing environments in the global floor covering market. Presently the Institute has consultants with offices in the Germany, the U.K. and now South Africa. “India and China are probably the next places we will look to add affiliates,” said Gould, “but we are more interested in the person, their knowledge and expertise that they bring to our team rather than their physical location.”

A peek at what it was like when Steenvoorden first began manufacturing flooring in China in the early 1990s can be read in an interview posted on the Institute’s blog site at blog.floorcoveringinstitute.com.