The Floor Covering Installation Contractors Association (FCICA) celebrated its 30th anniversary at its annual convention recently in Savannah, Ga. The event attracted 115 people, including members of the Starnet commercial flooring cooperative, making it one of the largest FCICA events in recent memory.
Harold Chapman, president and ceo of Bonitz Floor Group and the keynote speaker, welcomed the renewed focus, calling installation managers “the backbone of this industry.”
According to Jeanne Matson, Starnet president and ceo, the convention represented an opportunity to bring members of FCICA and Starnet together. “FCICA has been creating a very sharp focus and that is important to us. We thought our members would be a good fit for this group.”
Christine Bodden, OEM account manager for Royal Adhesives, said the event was her first FCICA convention. “For me, this show is about staying on top of the industry standards and networking. I can stay up on trends and where the market is going.”
FCICA plans to hold its mid-year meeting Oct. 3-5 in Florence, Ala., and its 2013 convention in New Orleans, March 10-13, 2013. For more information about FCICA, visit www.fcica.com.
Sitting at the table with industry expertsDuring FCICA’s 30th anniversary convention in Savannah, Ga., I had the opportunity to sit down with installation managers from across the United States. They were: Byron Clinkingbeard, Cornerstone Commercial Flooring in Baton Rouge; Brian Robinson, The DeGol Carpet Ceramic Tile Center in Duncansville, Pa.; Nick Lauranzon, Hodgman’s Commercial Flooring in Richmond, Va.; and Craig Shannon, Corporate Floors Inc. in Grapevine, Texas. I was also joined by my colleague Diana Brown, BNP Media group publisher.
Sitting with these people over a leisurely dinner, I was immediately struck not only by their level of professionalism, but also their friendliness. They were experts when it came to discussing the ins and outs of the installation business (almost all of them had a story about a recent job plagued by moisture issues). However, they were also completely open about their everyday lives. Despite the challenges they faced, they were kind, friendly and genuinely interested in each other’s stories, eager to share, listen and learn.
That was probably the biggest takeaway I had from this event: The warmth and camaraderie of the installation community. I had a great time getting to know these people, and I hope to see them again at future events.
Diana Brown was also impressed. After the show was over and we were heading back to the airport, gathering our thoughts, she said she was convinced on the importance of FCICA membership based on what she had seen. “What a terrific group of people all coming together to learn and share experiences to enhance their profession and career.” –M.C.