The Flooring Contractors Association (FCICA), kicks off its 33rd membership year with record attendance at Mid-Year Meeting in New Castle, Del.
The event opened with an exclusive tour of the brand new, UZIN Utz plant in Dover, Del., where attendees were greeted hospitably by Phillip Utz, and staff viewed product demonstrations, learned about the history of the company and manufacturing process. Following the tour, UZIN Utz sponsored a dinner at the historic Hagley Museum and Library.
Thursday, Oct. 8 offered attendees a day of education and networking. The day was kicked off with many announcements during opening session including Gary Kloth being presented with Honorary Membership and Tom Lutz of INSTALL announcing the INSTALL CIM Scholarship opportunity. 
The four educational sessions started off by providing attendees with insight on how to communicate with different generations during the Moving Through 4 Generations session presented by Uli Munroe of Munroe Consulting. 
Then, Scott Carothers from the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation presented the very popular topic: What is Thin Porcelain Tile? Carothers discussed the properties and uses as well as the proper substrate preparation and installation of thin porcelain tile.  
Jon Namba of Namba Services and editorial director for Floor Covering Installer Magazine guided attendees through the world of Bamboo and its potential in the commercial floor covering market during the educational session, Commercial Application of Bamboo.  
The final session, Initial Floor Maintenance, was presented by Stan Hulin from the League of Hard Flooring Professionals, which emphasized the importance of initial maintenance regardless of the flooring material laid so that customers are provided with a quality finished flooring project. The evening was concluded with a reception, dinner and s’mores sponsored by FCICA Platinum and Gold members.
Dave Stafford of DSA and Honorary FCICA member (2007) offered his observations of the Mid-Year meeting, "I believe this may have been one of the most successful FCICA Mid-Year Conferences ever. I was particularly pleased to see Gary Kloth presented with honorary membership in FCICA. He is most deserving given his service to FCICA and the industry. The conference was well attended and the mood was positive, upbeat, and there was significant enthusiasm between contractor members and associates. There were a number of first time attendees and prospective members. Educational sessions ran the gamut from learning how to deal with four or more generations of people in the workplace (Mature to Gen Z) to installing thin porcelain tile and bamboo and the importance of initial maintenance in the life of an installed floor. All had an opportunity to make valuable contacts which would allow us to reach out to another professional when we have a problem. I believe all would agree that this Mid-Year conference was worthwhile."    
Friday, Oct. 9 hosted committee meetings and the Board of Directors meeting to discuss important industry topics including labor shortage, education and engaging young professionals. The successors program was formally announced, this group is open to flooring professionals 40 and under, providing networking opportunities and educational resources including special discounted rates to FCICA events. The program was developed to encourage businesses to invest in their up and coming.
FCICA’s next event is the annual convention scheduled for March 2016 at the Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Fla.  Registration for this event will open Dec. 2015.  
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