Al’s column

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BIG SHOES: The unexpected passing of Chris Davis did more than send shockwaves throughout all segments of the industry, it left a mighty large hole as his influence went far beyond that of the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA). Davis was personally involved in a multitude of flooring associations, organizations and committees—in many cases he was the chairman or head of a particular group. Davis was unique in his abilities and deft at being able to juggle so many different hats. How all these posts will be filled is still anyone’s guess. Will one person be able to step in and take command as Davis was able to or will the responsibilities be divided among different people? Either way, the shoes Davis left behind are large by anyone’s standards.


BIG TASK: Before any of these other affiliations get figured out, all eyes fall on WFCA’s board as it is charged with the most difficult task of all: Having to find Davis’ replacement. And it is there where things should begin. If the board is lucky enough to catch lightening in a bottle the way it did with Davis back in 1994, that person may be able and willing to step in and take the reins of everything. Regardless, hopefully the board follows the advice of some of its current directors and past chairmen to carry the vision Davis had for the association and industry forward and to new heights the way he would have wanted. And, the new person should not try to fill Davis’ shoes, but rather build from the foundation he provided.


TOPICS WANTED: Believe it or not, it’s time to start planning for Surfaces 2013 which will take place Jan. 28 to 31 in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. In fact, for the folks at Hanley Wood, the show’s owner, planning for the industry’s largest trade show is already in full swing, as they are asking any person—educators, consultants and experts—who wants to share their knowledge and business expertise as presenters for the show’s education program to submit ideas. Submissions should focus on applications-oriented, real world, problem-solving topics and be free of promotional materials to sell a product or service.


CRITERIA: Jennifer Hughes, conference manager for Surfaces’ educational program said they are seeking speakers with proven, dynamic presentation skills and in-depth knowledge—two abilities that are essential in building an unparalleled educational program which consists of 180-, 90- and 60-minute workshops, seminars and mini-sessions. “Our education program assists and teaches professionals to find solutions, increase motivation and achieve continued success by raising the bar on their own personal and professional knowledge development.” As such, course material should contain timely, practical information that can be immediately implemented in the workplace. Proposals should follow the specifications outlined in the call for presentations form at attendee/education-program/ call-for-presentations.aspx. Questions should be directed to Hughes at 972.536.6320.


END OF EXPERIENT: Remember Sears’ The Great Indoors? In the mid to late 1990s when the big boxes were spreading like wildfire and causing specialty retailers to rethink how they sold, Sears decided to get in the game with its own concept known as The Great Indoors, offering an array of items for the home, including flooring. While it sent shivers up the spines of many as some media outlets played it up as the next thing to kill the specialty dealer, fact is, the initiative took off as well as Home Depot’s Expo concept. And, as Depot did with Expo, Sears is doing with Indoors—exiting it. The company said it will close the last nine of these stores, located in seven states as part of a cost-savings initiative.

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