CNN's Gerri Willis will serve as moderator.  

  Surfaces 2009 will offer its first ever General Session dedicated to addressing issues directly affecting the floor covering industry.   Titled “Prevailing Through the Current Crisis – An Industry Wake-Up Call,” the session – consisting of a panel of distinguished industry leaders – will address how floor covering professionals might weather the most volatile economy the nation has faced in decades.

“With all the uncertainty facing floor covering professionals today, it’s important that they know what to expect for the future of their businesses.  This is an opportunity to hear from and be heard by influential industry leaders as they share their insights for the future and how to lead the industry through the economic crisis,” says Dana Teague, Show Director, Surfaces. “It’s SURFACES’ responsibility as the leading industry event to address these issues front and center.  Attendees won’t find an event like this anywhere else.”

The Surfaces 2009 General Session will be moderated by Gerri Willis, anchor of CNN’s weekend business program, “Open House” and personal finance editor for CNN Business News, the division of CNN Worldwide that produces business news for CNN/U.S., CNN International, Headline News, CNN Airport Network, CNNRadio and the website CNN/ Willis also hosts “Issue #1,” CNN’s special programming focusing on the most important issues according to American voters. Prior to joining CNN Business News in March 2003, Willis was the senior financial correspondent for Smart Money magazine. For more information on Willis, visit

Panelists include: Ralph Boe, President and CEO, Beaulieu of America; Tom Davis, President and CEO, Mannington Mills; Tom Lape, President, Mohawk Residential; Randy Merritt, President, Shaw Industries and Frank J. Ready, Executive Vice President, Armstrong World Industries and CEO, Armstrong North American Floor Products.

“I am honored to be included as a participant in the SURFACES 2009 General Session,” says Tom Lape, President, Mohawk Residential. “With the challenges of today’s market, I can truly appreciate and support any opportunity for our industry to come together to discuss the issues we all face as well as share insights and ideas.”

With the insight from these leading executives and attendees getting the answers to their toughest business questions, the General Session will be standing room only. The General Session takes place on Tuesday, February 3 from 8:30am – 10:00am. The cost to attend is free through November 17 and $25 after November 17. Attendees should register now as space is limited and this session will sell out.

The General Session is sponsored by The Floor Covering Institute and Affluent Insights benefiting the Floor Covering Industry Foundation. 

“I am grateful that SURFACES is providing the venue for our industry leaders to share their vision of the future in a very difficult time as well as for their support of the only industry specific charity, the Floor Covering Industry Foundation,” adds Jim Gould, President, Floor Covering Institute.

SURFACES will be held February 3 -5, 2009 (Tuesday – Thursday) at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. For more information, visit or call (800) 547-3477.