With this issue, FCI is now 20 years old. Twenty years of covering the industry, and more importantly, connecting with the industry. Twenty years is a big milestone for us, but one thing I did not want to do is make it so central that it took away from the real meat of our coverage, which is you guys, the issues you face and the business decisions you make every day.

So, if you’re picking up this issue looking for a lot of information on us and our history, you’re not going to find it here. Rather, you’ll need to look in our online archives at www.fcimag.com to find stories from previous months about Jon Namba’s reflections on 20 years, some personal recollections of our late co-founder Howard Olansky, and an overview of other industry companies that have celebrated recent milestones. In this issue, columnist Christopher Capobianco discusses 20 years of the resilient flooring industry and his 10-year history writing for us. It might seem like a low-key way to celebrate, but what youdo in this industry is a lot more important to us than what wedo.

I always look forward to January, because that means it’s time for Surfaces, a time to say hello to old friends and make new ones, and be reminded about what makes this industry great. Yes, there are problems in this industry – some small, some seemingly insurmountable – but for one week in Vegas, we can all learn about the newest technologies and techniques, spend some time catching up and simply bask in the energy that a new year, and a huge flooring tradeshow that is only getting bigger, brings.

Since Surfaces is the time for companies to reveal their “next big thing,” I’m going to spoil one surprise and let you know about our inaugural FCI Installation Awards. This new program looks to honor the most professional and creative installations of the year in both residential and commercial settings in five flooring categories: Carpet, Ceramic Tile, Hardwood, Laminate and Resilient.

You’ll be able to find out more details at our booth, S6671, but the basics are that anyone in the flooring industry can enter by providing several photos and a short write-up of the project. Winners will receive a plaque and have their projects featured in our magazine throughout the year, with judging being done online by your peers. Yes, we’re turning 20, but our focus is not on us; it’s on you. This new awards program reflects that.

See you at Surfaces!