Dean Howell, president, Moda Floors & Interiors in Atlanta, Georgia, has been elected chairman of the board of the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA). Howell, who has been a member of the board since 2013, succeeds Deb DeGraaf as she steps down but remains engaged with the organization as immediate past chairman.
At the fall board of directors meeting in San Antonio, Texas, directors also elected Sam O’Krent, president O’Krent Floors, as chairman-elect; confirmed Don Roberts, preside, Central Alabama Flooring, as chief financial officer and treasurer; Adam Nonn, president Nonn’s Kitchen Bath & Flooring, as secretary; and Jim Walters, former president Macco Floor Covering Center, Inc.; Lauren Voit, president, Great Western Flooring Co. as vice-chairs. These individuals will comprise the association's executive committee for 2022-2023.
The WFCA elects its board of directors for three-year terms. Current directors include:
- Cheryl Acierno, Acierno & Company
- David Garden, Installation Services, LLC
- Skip Mancini, BT Mancini Co., Inc.
- Typhannie Watson, Carpeting by Mike, Inc
- Jay Kopelson, Mannington Mills
- Madeleine Bayless, RFMS
“At WFCA, we always believe that we are stronger, together; our board leadership reflects our efforts to bring together the best and most collaborative minds in the industry to address current and critical issues affecting the independent floor covering dealer,” said Scott Humphrey, president and CEO of WFCA. “We are incredibly grateful for Deb DeGraaf’s service and guidance through a time of unprecedented challenges faced by our industry and in the world. Now we are poised to emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever under the able guidance of Dean Howell as the new chair of our board of directors. Widely respected for his wealth of industry knowledge and experience, Dean's leadership will be tremendously helpful as we continue to fulfill our mission."
Howell spent 18 years in the corporate world working for The Trane Company and Home Depot, where his service took him and his family abroad for seven years in Belgium, China, France, and the Netherlands. This experience deepened their love for architecture, building materials, and interior design.
After fulfilling their corporate career goals, the Howells settled in Atlanta and researched their next challenge. Interested in the idea of owning a small business together with his wife Janice, they discovered an opportunity to purchase a flooring and window covering franchise with Nationwide Flooring and Window Coverings. Their corporate business experience in sales, operations, and customer service, coupled with their natural interest in interior design, made the opportunity a perfect fit.
The Howell’s business thrived, and it soon became one of the top franchises in the country. However, when the unstable economy caused the franchisor to go out of business, they put their industry experience into converting the franchise in 2009 into an independent flooring and interiors company, Moda Floors & Interiors. When defining their business, they drew inspiration from their time overseas. Captivated by European design, architecture, and materials, they wanted their business to express cutting-edge style and European flair. “Moda,” the Italian word for fashion, personifies the business focus on staying a step ahead in design, installation, and service.
“It has always been an honor to serve the WFCA, whether on the board, or now as board chair,” Howell said. “It is a responsibility I take very seriously. This organization and its membership drive change and make things happen for the greater good far beyond what individuals could do on their own. I am eager to continue the momentum of my predecessors who have led this association to new heights.”