In January 1995, a group of manufacturers and distributors of floor installation products/sundries met and decided to form an association dedicated to bring together this group in an effort to raise the level of "Professionalism through Education." Thus was born "The Floor Installation Association of North America" (FIANA). This year we will celebrate our 12th Anniversary with our 12th Annual Convention & Trade Show in Atlanta, October 5-8. Over the past 12 years we have grown to over 180 member companies. Member distributors have approximately 400 locations in the U.S. and Canada.

Our convention features outstanding speakers on business topics as well as motivational and planning. We will open with Dennis Brown who will present ‘The only difference between "A Good Day and a Bad Day is Your Attitude." He will be followed by Andria Ryan, an attorney who will speak about "Your Company and its Compliance with Laws Governing Your Employees."

We will also have a presentation by The Gracheks on setting up a show room counter sales area and point of sale selling. Our luncheon speaker will be Max Carey on "Survival of the Fittest." It's not what you think. This year at our 12th Anniversary dinner, we will have John Powers, whose subject is "Do what you do, Love what you do!" In addition to these outstanding speakers we will have seminars on the installation of carpet, wood, ceramic and the proper selection of adhesives for the installation of all types of flooring.

You will not want to miss any of this exciting, educating and stimulating event. If your company manufactures or distributes any type of floor installation products, sundries or services, we encourage you to join FIANA and attend our 12th Annual Convention & Trade Show. Only members of FIANA may exhibit or attend our Convention & Trade Show. Please check out our web-site www.fiana.org. For further information regarding membership and exhibit information contact FIANA at Info@fiana.org. fax to 817-326-4097 or call us at 888-883-4262.

C & C Wholesale Focused on Customer Service In 1975 Blake and Mary Christian started C & C Wholesale Distributors in Dallas, Texas with a borrowed pickup truck and a dream of providing flooring installers and dealers with quality products at a reasonable price. After helping get C & C's first warehouse and showroom in order, their son Jim went off to college. With Blake and Mary's commitment to excellence and service, they were able to grow their customer base rapidly. Jim would come back to Dallas on weekends to help unload stock trucks from their main supplier at the time, Roberts. Soon branches were added in Richardson and Tyler as C&C Wholesale Distributors logged an impressive record of growth. Jim Christian joined the company in 1979. Their daughter Karen came on board in 1986 in administration and then to outside sales. Over the years, C & C expanded by opening branch locations in most major cities in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, with the latest additions being New Orleans and Oklahoma City. Now with thirteen locations and a fleet of trucks, C & C offers its customers a wide array of superior products and excellent service given by employees well versed in installation products and procedures.

C & C stays focused on customer service and quality of products; C & C Wholesale's mission is to provide education, service, solutions and products that assist dealers and installers in the proper installation of floor covering. Because of C & C's commitment to providing its manufactures and customers it's best efforts, they have resisted the temptation to branch into the distribution of floor covering and remains dedicated to selling only installation products and sundries.

The people at C & C never forget that proper installation is vital to the future of the flooring business, and that when an installer walks into C & C Wholesale he should be treated with respect and made to feel like he belongs there. New Orleans phone number: 504-472-0030; and our newest location, Oklahoma City: 405-948-8100.

Quality, Professionalism Make Carpet Cushions & Supplies a Success

Carpet Cushions & Supplies was founded by Aaron and Jeff Karsen in 1979. What were and have remained the company philosophy and goals are:

1. To make the installation supplies easily accessible to the installers. In 1979 we saw a trend that there were going to be more independent carpet installers in the workplace. Over the course of our 27 years in business we have continued to open or acquire new locations to make those supplies more available. We currently have 15 locations in four states. They include Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Indiana.

2. We have aligned ourselves with what we perceive as some of the top quality manufactures' in the industry. Some of these suppliers include Mapei, Roppe, Halex, Loxcreen, Parachem, Orcon, Crain, Roberts, Flexible Foam, Leggett and Platt, and E.R. Carpenter to name only a few.

3. We feel some of the things that separate us from the box stores and our other competition are: Our professionally trained and an educated employee staff. We pride ourselves on having a lot of employees that have been with us a long time. Our centralized purchasing department for example (the two Chris's in Chicago have been with us for 26 and 27 years respectively).

We have ongoing internal educational seminars for our employees with our manufactures. We are involved in CFI and always attend Fiana and Surfaces. 4. Service is the key to our success; 3 years ago we moved our corporate headquarters in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. The 70,000 square foot building has allowed us to better service our customer base.

CLARK Flooring Solutions: Changing with the Times

CLARK Flooring Solutions is owned by "D" Clark and his two brothers, Tom and Tim. The "D" stands for Devon. It could also stand for "Dynamic" because that's an apt description of the man who founded CLARK in 1980 and has since built it into one of the top floor covering distributor-ships serving Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia tri-state area.

Early on, "D" decided on a business philosophy: work hard, be honest, have a genuine interest in customers and suppliers, be very fair, and make a profit.

The philosophy has worked. In 1983, CLARK was so successful it opened a Cleveland - Akron branch. Then in early 1992, CLARK opened its Carnegie distribution branch and shortly after in 1992 the company opened the Youngstown branch. The opening of locations continued with 1999 opening of the Altoona-Hollidaysburg, and in 2003 the opening of the branch in Columbus-Gahanna. It has been rumored that CLARK is currently looking for yet another market to share its great service and products to more customers. Yes, CLARK plans to grow in product offerings and geographically.

CLARK Flooring Solutions has changed with the times. This company has evolved from a typical supply distributor to a professional sales team to service the needs, educate and provide solutions for our customers. CLARK is known to add value to all who has dealings with the company.

"D" is an old-timer now. All of 50 years old. With a main office in Pittsburgh, five other branches, 40 plus people and over a thousand accounts to service. His advice to the youngsters? "You're part of a marriage with your suppliers and customers. Encourage each other and learn from each other, and help your dealers and installers with solutions to the day-to-day problems." A last piece of advice: "Spend as much effort keeping your bills paid as you do in collecting them."

Greenbaum: One of the Oldest Names in the Industry

The Greenbaum name in distribution is no doubt one of the oldest in the industry. Founded in Sept. 1937, it is now 69 years old. The current owner is Dave Greenbaum, son of the founder, A.L. Greenbaum. The Greenbaum Co. started in a small building in downtown Los Angeles with a line of decorative aluminum molding, felt back linoleum rugs, floorstone and rubberlike matting.

These products basically carried the company through World War II. Post-war lines that were added by the company were plastic laminates Amtico rubber and vinyl tile, and tools and accessories.

As the company flourished, it moved into larger headquarters in 1950. However, in 1968 the company was sold to L.D. Brinkman, doing business under the name Brinkman/Greenbaum.

Dave started with his dad in 1959 working the warehouse and then shortly thereafter doing outside sales. He stayed with the company until 1974 when he moved on to one of his competitors. He founded his own company in San Bernardino, the David C. Greenbaum Co., where he is still located, in Sept. 1980.

The company has 30 employees and does business in southern Calif. and Clark County, Nevada. In San Bernardino he desires to operate differently than his two main competitors. He has only three branches and an outside sales staff of seven. Although he does a brisk branch will-call business, his main thrust is outside sales calls. He believes his company's ease of doing business is important to his success. His phone system is not computerized or answered by a machine, but by an employee who will help you on the spot. Dave's son Jim has been an integral part of the company since 1996. He is the credit manager plus works in outside sales.

In a story about the company in September, 1997, publisher Howard Olansky called the Greenbaum name one of the most revered in the flooring distribution industry.

Hank's Specialties Celebrates 30-Year Anniversary!

In May 1976 Hank Grachek started selling floor covering supplies in an 800-square-foot rental garage. Two years later Hank's Specialties moved its budding operation into a permanent 4,700-square-foot location in New Brighton, Minn.

Over the next 11 years, Hank groomed his sons, Randy and Bruce, in all facets of his business. "In 1989 my father sold the remaining shares of the Business to Bruce and myself, although he was still very much involved," said Randy Grachek.

During those 11 years Hank's Spe cialties added several branch locations, superior product lines and long-term loyal employees.

The 1990s were a decade of great growth, adding locations in Fargo, N.D., Omaha, Neb., Eau Claire, Wis., Des Moines, Iowa, Rochester, Minn. and St. Cloud, Minn. This growth gave Hank's a strong presence in the Midwest to both their customers and suppliers. The new Millennium continued the growth shown in the ‘90s with the opening of an 110,000-square-foot distribution head quarters just blocks from the old location in New Brighton in 2003. New branch locations opened in Cedar Rapids, Iowa., Cedar Falls, Iowa, Sioux Falls, S.D., Duluth, Minn. and Rapid City, S.D.

"Over the last 30 years Hank's Specialties has shown the ability to provide great products at a competitive price," added Randy Grachek. "Our commitment to inventory and our coverage of the Midwest shows dedication to our customers and vendors."

Professional Flooring Supply: The PFS Team Makes the Difference.

Professional Flooring Supply was founded by Jim Lee in 1977. We are committed to providing the floor covering professional with the finest selection of installation tools and materials available. A family business with family values, then and now. We have learned the importance of proper materials, techniques and skilled installation. The pursuit of these components and dedication to these fundamental principals contributed to the evolution of today's Professional Flooring Supply and ultimately the solutions we endeavor to provide. PFS supports the installation community and the professional floor-covering dealer through individualized, personal job-site specific training on all of the products and solutions that we offer.

At PFS we realize the primary responsibility we have to our clients is responsiveness to their needs. We provide access to large inventories in ten locations, dozens of dedicated company-owned trucks, a daily commitment to service our client at a level that is beyond expectation. PFS associates are motivated, trained, and empowered to make that responsiveness possible.

Now serving every major metropolitan area and surrounding communities in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Western Louisiana. We offer products and services which provide solutions for the most demanding and creative commercial or residential project. www.ProfessionalFlooring.com