paul johnson
Paul Johnson, president, Interiors One, Carpet One in Tulsa, Okla., has been elected chairman of the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA).

Paul Johnson, president, Interiors One, Carpet One in Tulsa, Okla., has been elected chairman of the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA).

Johnson will take office on July 1. He fills the role vacated by Janice Clifton of Abbey Carpets in Napa, Calif. who will become immediate past chairwoman. 

At the spring board meeting in Santa Fe, N.M., directors also elected Scott Walker, president, Walker’s Carpet One, Bellingham, Wash. as chairman-elect; confirmed Mellissa Murphy, Johnson Paint & Decorating, Columbia, Mo., as secretary; Donny Phillips Jr., Atlanta Flooring Design Center, Suwanee, Ga. as CFO; Aaron Pirner, CAP Carpet, Wichita, Kan. as vice chairman; and Janice Clifton, Partner Owner, Abbey Carpets, Napa, Calif. as past chairwoman. These individuals will comprise the association’s executive committee for the 2014-15 fiscal year ending June 30, 2015.

The WFCA elects a third of its board each year for three-year terms. Directors in Santa Fe confirmed the selection by the membership of directors of the board to serve terms beginning July 1. In addition to re-electing Phillips, WFCA members also re-elected Maryanne Adams and Kelby Frederick. Newly elected directors to 3-year terms include Curt Bowler, Abbey Carpet of Missoula, Missoula, Mont., Shane Lewis, Town & Country Floor Design, Abbottsford, BC, Canada and Roger Wilson, Nampa Floors & Interiors, Nampa, Idaho.

Directors also re-elected Keith Campbell, chairman, Mannington Mills, Salem, N.J. to a three year term as an associate board member.  

Johnson’s career in flooring spans more than 35 years.  He got his start at Thomas Parker Furniture in Laurinburg, N.C., during 1978, while still an undergraduate student. Putting himself through school was taxing on the young student, and he was always on the lookout for ways to earn more cash. His skills in accounting made him a standout at the home/flooring store where he worked. While working on the financial side of the business, Johnson recognized through invoices he came across that he was making $4 dollars per hour while the Carpet Installers were making $40,000 a year. For Johnson, the next step on his professional path was obvious. 

Knowing there was a lot of money to be made in the area of flooring installation, Johnson quickly aligned himself with local installers in the area and got to work. Within a few months he co-founded a sub-contractor installation business, which he sold to his partner before entering the next phase of his career.

Upon graduation from University of North Carolina, Pembroke, Johnson began learning the ropes in retail and manufacturing one flooring category at a time. Following college he took a position selling Armstrong resilient at JJ Haines Company in Goldsboro, N.C. After Haines he joined the manufacturing side of the business at Philadelphia Carpet in Tulsa, Okla, in 1983. Johnson was then hired away by World Carpets as regional vice president. He continued his professional growth on the manufacturing side of the business until 1998, when he bought his own store in Tulsa, Okla.

Interiors One, Carpet One is comprised of six units including four Carpet One Floor & Home stores and two Floor Trader stores. The company’s employees – which include Johnson’s wife, Ronda, and their daughter and son - stay knowledgeable through a training room, a full-time instructor/trainer and monthly training sessions, as well as classes through Carpet One University. Johnson attributes much of his success to his commitment to educating himself on every touch-point and a solid understanding of the industry at every level from the ground up. Through his previous positions in accounting, sales and manufacturing, he was able to travel to most major metropolitan areas of the U.S. Johnson said he gained important insights and learned secrets of the trade from retailers large and small during that time.  He feels that such relationships have been a driving force in the growth and success of his business.

Johnson joined the WFCA when he entered the retail side of the business nearly fifteen years ago. He has held a number of WFCA positions including secretary, chief financial officer, and his current role as chairman elect.  In addition Johnson served on the Industry Relations Committee.

Johnson, his family and employees are supporters of Habitat for Humanity—and not only with monetary donations. Johnson also encourages his staff to contribute their time to support the community. Johnson and his crew also support the local Rotary Club.

“As many of you know, we have recently changed our focus from the entire flooring industry to the ‘heart’ of the industry – its retailers. Without them we do not exist,” said Johnson.  “WFCA brings all of these family-run businesses together and gives them a voice, a platform, and the power to make a difference.  The organization and its membership drive change and make things happen for the greater good far beyond what individuals could do on their own."

Johnson said he plans to make this year “the year of the ‘family business.’ Scott and his talented team have exciting programs and initiatives in place that I have no doubt will attract new memberships and help take the organization to new heights. I look forward to working with our executive team and our board to enhance the business environment for retailers across the country.”

For more information, visit wfca.org.