HARTFORD, CONN.—One flooring veteran spent 23 years of Saturdays working in his father’s New York City store. Another started out as a helper. A third was a perfectionist who rubbed off on his son. These were some of the stories behind the three Lifetime Achievement Award recipients who were honored recently by the Connecticut Floor Covering Association (CFCA).
The event’s goal was to give recognition, distribute awards and celebrate the efforts and accomplishments of several people, said CFCA’s president Jim Walsh, sales manager at Bestflor Distributors in Hartford. “All the people have made significant contributions in the flooring trade.”
The annual banquet attracted a diverse group, including retailers, distributors, manufacturing representatives and installers. A slide show presentation featured award-winning showrooms and custom jobs installed by contractors throughout the state.
During his acceptance speech, Lifetime Achievement winner Michael Fishman recalled beginning his career in his father’s flooring store and later working jobs as an inner city teacher, cartoonist, sales manager and author.
Retired storeowner/installer Bob Wiik, who also received an award, attended the event with his son, Robert, who learned the trade from his father. “Fussy,” said the younger Wiik when asked to describe his father. “I try to do it as good as him.”
Another father-and-son team featured award winner Larry Marolda, who, along with his wife, Eunice, was accompanied by his dad, Ted. For years his father operated a furniture and flooring store in Winsted, Conn., where the younger Moralda worked as a helper, estimator, decorator and salesman.
Other award recipients were:
- M.F. Higgins & Co. in Newington, which earned three awards for commercial work;
- Sullivan & Son Carpet of Hamden, which was honored twice for commercial carpet and vinyl tile jobs;
- Karen and Mark Cook of Cook & Kozlak Flooring Center in Canton, who received two awards for ceramic tile and natural stone jobs; and
- Dave Theriault, who also works for Cook & Kozlak, who received a “professionalism in installation” award.
When it came to designing a custom area rug, the top award went to installer Donny Ehrgood of East Hartford. Another award recipient was Bailey Barall, owner of Barall & Konover Floors in Hartford, whose 74-year-old company received recognition for a commercial ceramic tile job.
Representatives from retail stores BT Tile & Carpet Co. in Uncasville, Conn., and Heritage Floor Covering Co. in Wallingford, Conn., accepted plaques for their store designs. Others receiving recognition included mill representative John Donnangolo of Mohawk Industries and distributor rep Carrie Bartucca of Michael Halebian & Co., in Hartford.
A special award went to former board president Brian Booth, who was recognized for his service to the flooring group.