Winners of the 2011 Charlie Gress Award (L to R) : Past CFI president Bob Gillespie, Nate Hall, Roy Lewis and Jonathan Varden.

Installers from across the nation returned to Kansas City, Mo. for the International Certified Floorcovering Installers Association’s 18th annual Convention, held August 11-13.

The convention started off with the board of directors meeting, followed by certification team meetings, in which the organization’s trainers reviewed the latest installation techniques for carpet, resilient and ceramic tile.  

Thursday evening, the WFCA-sponsored Leadership Conference & Dinner officially opened the convention with an introduction by World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) ceo D. Christopher Davis, who welcomed the installers and thanked the event’s sponsors.

“We’ve always been a big believer in CFI,” Davis said. “What has impressed me the most about this organization is their dedication and commitment to excellence.”

Davis was followed by the return of keynote presenter Dennis Brown, “Mr. Attitude is Everything!” Brown inspired the group with his dynamic presentation, stressing the importance of attitude in every aspect of life.

  “When you’re installing floors, you should also be installing a better attitude in yourself,” Brown advised. “The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude.”

On Friday morning, the annual Charlie Gress Awards were announced by past CFI president Bob Gillepsie. This year’s winners were Nate Hall, Roy Lewis and Jonathan Varden.

Following the awards, several key manufacturer’s representatives addressed the audience.

“With all of the new laws going into effect, we’re going to have a shortage of qualified installers,” said James Mullins of Shaw Industries. Mullins highlighted the progress that has been made recently to develop ANSI standards for floor covering installation. “ANSI 600 has moved along well; this year you will see significant changes in our industry.”

The remaining two days of the convention were filled with installation seminars and presentations from manufacturers on the latest floor covering installation products.

This year’s CFI Convention was a hit with both attendees and presenters, and the organization is now preparing for next year’s convention.

“My wife and I are attending our first CFI Convention, and it is everything we were told it would be,” said installer Jay Zurn of Precision Surfaces, Hartford, Conn. “We will certainly return next year.”

The 2012 CFI Convention is set for August in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit