Al’s column

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by Al Wahnon

HIGH GROUND: Wilsonart Flooring is a class company. It recently decided to exit the market on Dec. 3 after 15 years in the laminate flooring business. Management sent a letter to its “Retail Partners” to thank them for their dedication and support over the past decade and a half, and asked them to “…assure your customers that Wilsonart International will honor all warranties on Wilsonart Flooring products sold through Dec. 31, 2011.” That gives the retailers a full year to sell off their Wilsonart inventory with the full confidence and backing of the manufacturer. The company noted: “This action is being taken due to a downturn in business during the past 24 months.” They are leaving the industry but they are leaving with dignity.

HIGH HONOR: Armstrong’s Luxe Plank won a 2010 Most Valuable Product (MVP) award from Building Products magazine. Armstrong is the only flooring manufacturer to receive an MVP award this year and Luxe Plank was one of only 31 products out of more than 70 entries selected by a panel of four independent judges—an architect, remodeler, building materials dealer and builder—who evaluated product submissions based on their ability to reduce installation time, call- backs, labor costs and other factors that bring value to building professionals. This is the ninth year of the MVP awards. A feature story will appear in the summer issue of Building Products, which reaches 40,000 builders, remodelers and contractors.

MARSHALL PLAN: Remember Marshall Adelstein? He retired eight years ago after 40 years in the industry with an assortment of 28 distributors. His last stint was with Classic Tile and then the retirement dinner and the exodus from our shores to the sunny climes of Florida. He is now living in Boynton Beach and says he knows there are many veterans of the floor covering industry who are retired and living in Florida, part-time or full time. He thinks it would be a great if “old friends” got together from time to time “to share what we have in common.” So, he would like to hear from transplanted “Easterners” and maybe meet at Duffy’s. If you’re down there, call Marshall at 561.738.4559 or drop a note to him at 8300 Marsala Way, Boynton Beach, Fla., 33472. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

SUPERMAN: I almost always discuss the manufacture and sales of floor coverings and the people involved in those procedures. But I came across the story of Jerry Beasley and was so impressed by it that I would like to share it with you. Beasley doesn’t make or sell carpet, he delivers it. He chauffeurs flooring products all over the country with the care he would muster if he were driving Miss Daisy. He is a Shaw Industries line-haul driver and has clocked more than four million miles since 1975—and he did it without a preventable accident. Incredible. Beasley was recently inducted into the National Truck Council’s Driver Hall of Fame. This prestigious award goes only to drivers who have logged at least two million miles and have 20 years or 50,000 hours of consecutive driving with- out a preventable accident. I am in awe of Beasley’s record. I get an award when I drive 100 miles without a preventable accident—my insurance premiums don’t go up!

SIMPLE AS ABC: Dal-Tile, the largest manufacturer and distributor of ceramic tile and natural stone in North America, has signed on for its eighth consecutive season as tile provider to ABC’s hit show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” It has supplied tile for nearly every episode of the show’s current seven-season run, including the pilot filmed in September 2003. Extreme Makeover’s eighth season premieres on Sunday, Sept. 26. Check it out. Many veterans of the floor covering industry who are retired and living in Florida, part-time or full time. He thinks it would be a great if “old friends” got together from time to time “to share what we have in common.” So, he would like to hear from transplanted “Easterners” and maybe meet at Duffy’s. If you’re down there, call Marshall at 561.738.4559 or drop a note to him at 8300 Marsala Way, Boynton Beach, Fla., 33472. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

SUPERMAN: I almost always discuss the manufacture and sales of floor coverings and the people involved in those procedures. But I came across the story of Jerry Beasley and was so impressed by it that I would like to share it with you. Beasley doesn’t make or sell carpet, he delivers it. He chauffeurs flooring products all over the country with the care he would muster if he were driving Miss Daisy. He is a Shaw Industries line-haul driver and has clocked more than four million miles since 1975—and he did it without a preventable accident. Incredible. Beasley was recently inducted into the National Truck Council’s Driver Hall of Fame. This prestigious award goes only to drivers who have logged at least two million miles and have 20 years or 50,000 hours of consecutive driving with- out a preventable accident. I am in awe of Beasley’s record. I get an award when I drive 100 miles without a preventable accident—my insurance premiums don’t go up!

SIMPLE AS ABC: Dal-Tile, the largest manufacturer and distributor of ceramic tile and natural stone in North America, has signed on for its eighth consecutive season as tile provider to ABC’s hit show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” It has supplied tile for nearly every episode of the show’s current seven-season run, including the pilot filmed in September 2003. Extreme Makeover’s eighth season premieres on Sunday, Sept. 26. Check it out.

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