The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) is proud to announce 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Mort Creech of JJ Haines, Ben Hagood of W.M. Bird & Company, and Ken Herriges of Herregan Distributors, as well as 2012 Leadership in Action Award recipient Bill Simonson of Jaeckle Distributors.
The Lifetime Achievement Award recipients were honored for their exceptional leadership and contributions that have helped expand the floor covering distribution industry. The Leadership in Action Award honors up and coming leaders whose innovative practices have resulted in positive business growth.
“NAFCD is pleased to again honor several longtime leaders as well as recognize those who are responsible for our continued future growth,” said NAFCD President George Roth. “Ken, Mort, and Ben are each true examples of what has made this industry great in North America. Thanks to their dedication, we have been able to remain resilient as a sector and as a community. That dedication is also evident in our young leaders like Bill, who are helping this industry remain strong and relevant in our modern, fast-changing economy.”
In Mort Creech’s 40 years with JJ Haines, he continually contributed to the company’s growth and success. Having served in various leadership roles including President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board, he helped the 138-year old company transition from its family-owned and managed structure to one with a CEO selected from outside the family. His selfless nature was critical as he led the nation’s largest flooring distributor, always putting the company’s interest above his own.
When Ben Hagood took the reins of William M. Bird & Company in 1965, he brought the long-standing organization into the modern era of distribution, while maintaining the core values and relationships that are vital to the success of any distributorship. His contributions included new technologies and improved business practices, with a focus and style that ensured the highest regard and respect for his employees, customers, and competitors alike.
Ken Herriges’s floor covering career began in 1949, St. Paul, MN, in retail sales. He co-founded Herregan Distributors in 1965, bringing it from a startup company to one of the top 25 distributors in the industry. Leading by example, Ken is extremely dedicated to the industry, his company, and his customers. Throughout his career, he served on the boards of several floor covering organizations, including NAFCD.
As Jaeckle’s VP of Operations, Bill Simonson’s natural leadership skills and business sense have helped keep Jaeckle’s expenses down while producing great results. During the recession, Bill’s teams met or beat their expense budgets, while still keeping the needs of the customers at the forefront of his priorities. This was largely thanks to his creative lease and contract negotiations as well as restructuring the entire delivery system. For these and many more reasons, NAFCD is proud to recognize Bill with the 2012 Leadership in Action Award.
Each recipient received his award at the 2012 NAFCD Annual Business Meeting in November 2012, in Orlando Florida. For more information on the NAFCD industry awards, visit www.nafcd.org.