There was a buzz of excitement felt by all in attendance at the 23rd Annual CFI Convention in Dallas, Texas, which took place Aug. 3 through Aug. 5. The three-day educational event kicked off with a welcome reception sponsored by Traxx, Tarkett, Tools4Flooring, DriTac, Mapei and Ardex.
In his welcoming address, CFI vice president, Robert Varden, stated, “The CFI Convention has been somewhat of a family reunion for some, an educational experience for others but more than anything a time to refresh, renew and turn our attention to the future. There are many great things on the horizon for CFI, the installation community and the flooring industry as a whole. Just being here shows that you are committed to our industry and your business.”
The highly anticipated CFI member jacket was sponsored this year by Personna, Traxx, Royal Adhesives, Tools4Flooring.com, WFCA, Wagner Meters, Roberts/QEP, Tarkett, Better Tools, Ardex, Futura Industries, Mohawk, FCICA, Warmup, Armstrong, Crain, HPS Schonox, Congoleum, Informa, Mapei, Taylor Tools, NAFCT, DriTac, Duo-Fast and Armorlock.
In recognition of the support, Varden commented, “We thank all of the sponsors of the CFI member jacket which is worn proudly throughout the year. It is because of your support that we are able to provide professional training and education to flooring installers and those new to our trade.”
The opening session on Thursday morning featured Scott Wheeler from CCA Global announcing a partnership created between CCA and CFI that would allow CFI to service all technical calls for the Flooring America and Carpet One stores across the U.S. Keynote speaker, Robb Overholt, concluded the session with a motivational presentation that led into the Associate Showcase which featured new products and tools from numerous flooring manufacturers. Attendees had early access to the tools and products and were able to get acquainted with highly sought contacts and resources that will serve as their point people if they run into issues on a job.
The day continued with a variety of seminars including: product knowledge, hands-on installation skills and business topics. The last sessions of the day consisted of seminars on Implied Warranties by Jeff King, WFCA, legal counsel; Hand Sewing Stitches by the CFI Team of Trainers; Moisture Mitigation by the Traxx Tech Team; Understanding How You Are Wired by Scott Humphrey, CEO, WFCA; and an Inspection Trends Town Hall and Subfloor Challenges presented by HPS Schönox.
Tom Jennings, vice president, professional development, WFCA, commented, "A highlight of any CFI Convention for me is the quality of the individual breakout sessions. This year attendees were able to learn topics ranging from the latest updates on legal matters to hands on instruction in hand sewing carpet and custom resilient flooring. Always a great way for anyone interested in flooring installation to spend a couple of days.”
The night concluded with an on-site party featuring a dueling pianos group and a hand-rolled Cuban cigar station sponsored by Traxx and Mapei.
On the last day of the conference, King gave an insightful and informative update on new laws and pending legislature that affect those in the flooring business and Humphrey addressed the group about the future of installation and the specific actions WFCA is taking to improve our industry. Humphrey stated, "This year’s CFI Convention has been an amazing success. The feeling of unity we have felt here is unlike anything in the industry. Two things are certain: The value of quality installation has never been as high as it is today, and it all starts with CFI.”
The next CFI Convention will be held in Orlando, Fla., in 2017.
For more information, visit cfiinstallers.org.