Jim Walker, CEO of the International Certified Floorcovering Installers Association (CFI), announced he is stepping down effective immediately. Robert Varden, CFI’s executive director, has been named the new CEO.

In a press release announcing the decision, the association stated, “As a founding member of CFI, and long-standing CEO, Jim has led the tremendous growth of this organization for the last 22 years to help it become the widely recognized leader in flooring installation training that it is today.”

Walker noted, “CFI has a bright future ahead. As CFI enters a new era, it is important to not only thank the members for their support, [but also] the numerous manufacturers who have always willingly donated products and tools for training, the dealers who proudly display a CFI installer’s credentials in their showroom to promote pride and customer satisfaction, and the numerous friends who were there at the beginning for encouragement and support—many who are members still today.”

As CEO, Varden, a 30-year industry veteran, said he will look to build new relationships with manufacturers, retailers and distributors “in order to communicate the importance of professional installation.”

“CFI is grateful for both Jim and [his wife] Jane’s numerous heartfelt contributions over the years. Their profound commitment to the advancement of the professional flooring installer and desire to improve the industry has been remarkable. We wish them well going forward.”

The association noted “Varden has been instrumental in the success of CFI during his leadership as executive director. He takes on his new position as CEO with great respect for those before him and a passion to take CFI to new heights.”

In a related announcement, CFI said it has moved its national office out of Kansas City, Mo. The new address is 12201 W 88th Street, Lenexa, KS 66215. The phone number will remain (816) 231-4646.

For more information, visit www.cfiinstallers.com.