Larry Nagle, FCIF vice chairman and co-founder, said the foundation, which launched in 1985, has seen several milestones that helped underline its purpose. One of these milestones, according to former Shaw president Julian Saul, was getting Nagle on the board as chairman in the mid-‘90s.
“I talked to Larry and asked him to get re-involved with FCIF,” Saul recalled. “My father, Harry Saul, was one of the founders, and when I was involved I thought it was important to get Larry on the board. Larry was a retailer and a close family friend.”
Added Nagle, “Julian called and asked me if I would take over the chairmanship of FCIF. I went to the board, all manufacturers, and told them we would need to put some retailers on the board. From that decision, CCA Global Partners became deeply involved in the foundation with their annual golf tournament, which has raised over $1.6 million.”
Saul agreed adding retailers was an important turning point for the foundation. “[Late CCA co-founder] Alan Greenberg was so passionate about the golf tournament which really helped out FCIF. He loved to fundraise. It’s fitting that CCA renamed the yearly tournament in his honor.”
Another milestone for the foundation was partnering with the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) to manage day-to-day operations in 2004. “Former WFCA president and CEO D. Christopher Davis volunteered to handle all of the administrative work for FCIF,” Nagle noted. “The group has done a magnificent job handling everything.”
In honor of all of his hard work both in FCIF and within the industry, Davis will be posthumously inducted into the WFCA Industry Hall of Fame during a special FCIF gala set for March 21 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Keith Campbell, Mannington Mills chairman, will also be inducted.
Nagle said this black-tie gala will be patterned after FCIF’s first gala hosted in 2007, which was also held in New York City. “We held the original gala because we wanted to give FCIF a bigger platform and make it a bigger brand while also celebrating people in the industry.”
Scott Humphrey, WFCA CEO and FCIF president, said he was excited the foundation would be hosting another gala on the foundation’s 30th birthday. “I think it’s a great opportunity. Competitors come together and they’re not competitors for that period of time because they’re focused on a different goal. Just seeing all of these major contributors to the foundation sitting around a table, all shaking hands, you almost forget they’re big-time competitors.”
Humphrey noted FCIF is a way for “the flooring industry to help the flooring industry. To be blessed enough to give back to those who have worked hard and came into a hardship they cannot control is its own blessing. We care about each other. We are a family.”
Howard Brodsky, CCA co-CEO and FCIF chairman, said he first became aware of FCIF almost 20 years ago, when a retail employee became terminally ill. “He applied and got a grant from FCIF, and it meant the world to him. There are very few industries where the industry raises money to take care of their own. Everybody in the industry should be proud of what FCIF does.”
He added being part of FCIF is a “truly heartwarming experience. People might be competitors but in the end they are all in it to help others. Since CCA started the golf tournament 12 years ago, 100 percent of the money we have raised has gone into the foundation.”
FCIF has helped people in many different areas, Brodsky stated, including “those with cancer, those in need of transplants, people paralyzed from the neck down, and those needing handicap vans or ramps. It is also a real blessing for people who are going through catastrophic times just to be able to afford basic necessities like living expenses and food when they cannot meet those expenses themselves. These grants have helped change their lives during the most difficult times of their lives.”
Nagle said FCIF has always had the ability to raise money to take care of those in need. “We have to take care of anybody who’s in trouble. I also want to say, in the years when we did not have enough money, it was the easiest thing to call people in the industry and get their help. No one has ever said no to me. No one has ever turned down a request.”
To learn more about FCIF or to donate, visit fcif.org.