Former LIFCA president, Ken Schou, dies at age 71

Home Inside FCNews Former LIFCA president, Ken Schou, dies at age 71

Coram, N.Y.—Following a decade-long battle with cancer, former Long Island Covering Association (LIFCA) president and long-time flooring salesman Ken Schou—an integral part of the “rebirth” of the association in the early 1990s—passed away recently at Stony Brook University Hospital. He was 71.

Schou entered the floor covering industry by working in sales for Coram Rug Works in the 1970s and later for G. Fried in Westbury, N.Y., before joining Country Carpet in Plainview. In 1993 he started Carpet Tech and began on the road to becoming a flooring inspector.

An integral part of the rebirth of LIFCA in the early 1990s, Schou served as president in the mid-1990s, during which time the WFCA honored LIFCA with the Association of the Year award for 1996. He helped guide the conversion of the Long Island Floor Covering Club into an association as it became an affiliate of the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA). He felt “association” was a more inclusive designation open to more people and not like a private club.

“Ken helped build our membership and mailing list,” said Arnold Graf, LIFCA’s secretary/treasurer, “which saw our newsletter reach nearly 1,000 around the country and generate a profit for the organization.”

Joe Bianculli, president of Floormasters in Floral Park, N.Y., referred to Schou as a “very dedicated” board member while he was serving as president. “As in many fraternal organizations, there are a handful of people who take the reigns, and Ken was one of those people. When our industry was going through some major changes, Ken spearheaded a meeting of the owners of the big three — Shaw, Mohawk and Beaulieu. Ken convinced these three men to come to Long Island and have a roundtable discussion on the future and direction of the floor covering industry. Ken worked endless hours to make this happen until the 11th hour when one of the three backed out and the other two wouldn’t do it if all three were not present. And though it didn’t happen, it still earned the association recognition for a gallant attempt.”

Chris Capobianco, LIFCA’s former executive director, met Schou through his work with the association. “We worked closely together on the newsletter and in membership growth programs in the late 1980s into the mid 1990s. We were part of a small group that worked very hard to make things happen. He was a tireless advocate for the organization, and we really were at our peak in membership and activity at that time.

“Ken meant a lot to the organization. He was instrumental in us becoming an affiliate member organization of the WFCA, which gave LIFCA national credibility, helped us grow our membership because of all the benefits that come with WFCA membership and, most importantly, has helped fund much of the work we do right up to this day.”

After his family, Schou’s passion outside flooring was motor racing, and he managed the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island for many years.

Schou is survived by his wife of 35 years, April; son, Ken Jr., and three grandchildren.

LIFCA will be making a donation to the Floor Covering Industry Foundation (FCIF) in Schou’s memory.

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