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GOLD STANDARD: The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) is now accepting nominations for its annual Gold Standard Award. The honor is presented each year to one WFCA member retailer who has been in business at least three years and exemplifies the standards of the organization and has created an outstanding retail experience. Dealers will be judged on four criteria—  knowledgeable management and staff; providing courteous customer service throughout the selling process; having a clean, professional, well maintained store, and adhering to WFCA’s Code of Conduct. The retailer also must have favorable Better Business Bureau reports to be eligible.

GOLD REWARDS: The 2013 Gold Standard winner will receive a $5,000 check, a Gold Standard trophy, press recognition and a customized WFCA seal for their store entrance. To enter, applicants must complete the submission form, which can be found at wfca-pro.org, and present multimedia marketing materials and other documents, all of which will be factored into the review process. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 31. All entry material will be treated with complete confidentiality and will be reviewed only by the judging panel. The winner will be announced during Surfaces in Las Vegas, Jan, 29 to 31. For more details, call the WFCA at 800.624.6880.

MARINE LIFE: Anyone who doesn’t think carpet has value should see the recent episode of National Geographic’s emmy-winning documentary series, “Explorer,” titled “Camp Leatherneck.” It focuses on the lives and experiences of Marines based in the Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan. This is the largest Marine base in the region, and home to approximately 7,000 U.S soldiers. The show looks at these American servicemen and the conditions they have to live through each day—the deprivations and constant dangers from improvised explosive devices (IEDs), also known as roadside bombs; rogue missile attacks and enemies who look just like the civilians the Marines have been sent there to protect.

MISSING CARPET: A segment of the episode takes place in an area of the wilderness called Fiddlers’ Green. Here, a group of Marine sergeants, who each have two months left in their deployment, are discussing the things they miss from home. The first comment came from Master Sargeant Adam Muncy: “I miss carpet. Walking through the house on carpet. Seven months of boots on your feet—nothing but dirt (the others nod and laugh in agreement). I’m looking forward to that.” As the Carpet & Rug Institute’s (CRI) Bethany Richmond wrote in the organization’s blog, “It makes me feel good to think that something as simple as carpet on the floor represents an important touch of home and comfort for a U.S. serviceman.” If this isn’t the perfect sales pitch for carpet, nothing is.

BREAST CANCER: Don’t forget October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A number of manufacturers and buying groups already tie into this with special promotions and products that go toward helping organizations such as Susan B. Koman for the Cure, the American Cancer Society and more. With the fall selling season here, this is a great time to be a leader in your community by sponsoring an event promoting breast cancer awareness, such as hosting a mobile screening truck, donating a certain percentage of proceeds to a local cancer organization or having preventive, educational literature in your store for your female customers. To find out more about the month, including some of the major organizations supporting the cause, visit nbcam.org. Considering who the industry’s main target audience is, this is one of those causes every flooring retailer and manufacturer should get behind in some way.

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