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HEALTH CHECK: Since 1981, the Floor Covering Industry Foundation (FCIF) has donated over $4.5 million helping people in the industry who have come under extraordinary hardships due to health or injury. It’s latest venture to help the industry and raise awareness took place during Surfaces in the form a special health screening, which was co-sponsored by Hanley Wood Exhibitions, owner of Surfaces, and the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA). The booth, located outside the upstairs exhibit hall was staffed with professional nurses offering free confidential check-ups to attendees. Screenings included total cholesterol, blood sugar analysis, blood pressure and body mass index, with participants being given immediate personalized results.

HEALTH REPORT: Despite initial problems with having to relocate the booth due to the Las Vegas fire marshal, those involved said the initiative went well. Chris Davis, president and CEO of both FCIF and WFCA, said, “There was steady activity. Since this was a first time deal, we had no idea what to expect, but I think it is safe to say several hundred went through the process. Everyone tested was provided with a brochure about FCIF, so we’d like to think the awareness of the Foundation was increased.” Will it be done again? Kelly Cooper, Hanley Wood’s marketing manager, said, “It’s a great benefit for attendees. If WFCA/FCIF want to do it again, which I hope they will, we’ll promote it earlier and more frequently.”

EXPO CARD: Speaking of Surfaces, Hanely Wood has done something to help attendees be proactive in following up with those exhibitors they spoke to during Surfaces, with the launch of the ExpoCard Visit Tracker. It uses the information compiled by virtue of the ExpoCard lead retrieval system used by Surfaces exhibitors to swipe the name tag of attendees. The free service gives each person a private link containing the contact information for the exhibitors they saw. To find out more about this initiative, email postshowct@experientinc .com.

LEGAL FIGHT: The Maryland Northern Virginia Floor Covering Association (MDNVA-FCA) has been particularly busy over the past year and things are not slowing down as the organization has taken up the fight against Maryland’s Workplace Fraud Act, which, among other issues, is impacting dealers in both states. Kurt Zanelotti, president and CEO of Contract Carpet Systems, and chairman of MDNVAFCA’s legislative committee, said of the 80 dealer members in the association, the state has already put 29 under audit, including some from Virginia. “We have seen fines from the comptroller’s side of the audit in the $100,000 range and above.” As such, the organization has retained the services of Bruce Bereano, a leading state lobbyist to represent the industry’s interests during the current legislative session. The lobbying effort is not cheap and MDNVAFCA is seeking any financial support possible. Donations can be sent to MDNVAFCA – Legal Fund, P.O. Box, 5724, Fredericksburg, Va. 22403.

CONDOLENCES: We send our thoughts to the family of Lowell Randall who passed away on Jan. 3 in Las Cruces, N.M. at the age of 96. Randall is an unsung American hero. A pioneer rocket scientist, he helped launch the U.S. space program, first as part of a team lead by Robert Goddard, another rocket pioneer. And believe it or not, it all started when he was a carpet installer. The Roswell, N.M., native became an engineer without ever attending college, getting the job with Goddard after installing carpet in his home. Randall’s story is a true American fairy tale on how anyone can go from the floor to the moon and is chronicled in the book, “Lowell Randall: Rocket Pioneer,” by Joe Gold.

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