The Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC) conducted its first meeting of the year in Charlotte, N.C.

Fourteen volunteer representatives from flooring industry associations representing all sectors of the industry attended the meeting.

The two-year-old group’s initiatives, decided on in 2015, include improving communications between member groups and the industry, collaborating and sharing industry-wide professional training programs between member organizations and addressing needs and issues related to the installation crisis.

As part of its initiative to streamline communications and cooperation between organizations, members of each organization comprising FCLC provided a general overview and update on the state of their respective groups at the meeting. Discussion points included general news, executive hires and staff changes, upcoming events and industry-related issues facing each association. Once each organization shared their updates, members collaborated to discuss which of the issues faced by their groups could be better addressed by working together at the local, state and national levels. In addition, representatives shared information on their own training programs and initiatives that are available for use by members of other FCLC associations. Updates on the group’s own website, which houses a database of all member industry events as well as industry news, were also discussed.

One of the most pressing topics for the group at the meeting was the need to address and resolve the installation crisis. Certified Floorcovering Installer’s Association (CFI), whose own mission is tied closest to this industry-wide issue, provided updates about the launch of its school, located just outside Dallas. Throughout the year the school provides a full schedule of professional installation training and certification to students at all levels and in every category of flooring. In addition to its line-up of ongoing courses, the school also regularly offers a one-of-a-kind, proprietary accelerated 5-week carpet installation training course throughout the year. Robert Varden, vice president of the association, shared news about international attention that the school has attracted. He told FCLC attendees that discussions of CFI training programs overseas are underway. 

FCLC attendees also elected members to fill open positions for the 2017 to 2019 term. The term begins Jan. 1, 2017 and ends Dec. 31, 2019.

  • Chair: Michael Martin, National Wood Flooring Association 

  • Chair elect: Bob Blochinger, National Institute of Certified Floorcovering Inspectors

  • Secretary: Kim Oderkirk, The Flooring Contractors Association

  • Chair of communications: Kevin Gammonley, North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors

  • Chair of training: Stephanie Owen, National Wood Flooring Association

  • Chair of installation: Robert Varden, CFI