My Take: Do you have time for me?

HomeEditorialsMy Take: Do you have time for me?

by Steven Feldman

They say time only matters when you’re in prison. After looking at our circulation list, I’m happy to say we have no incarcerated readers (although I can’t be 100% sure about house arrests). Therefore, I have no qualms about asking you—the mass of flooring retailers out there—to give me some of your time. And, in one of the two instances I’m about to outline, we’re talking a couple of minutes.

Let’s start with the Best of Surfaces awards competition, co-sponsored by FCNews and Hanley Wood, the proprietors of the industry’s No. 1 trade show. A couple of months back, I reached out seeking volunteers to be part of a panel of judges for the competition. It pains me greatly to classify the response as less than overwhelming. (That may be the understatement of the year.)

Aside from best booth, the four categories that will be judged are style and design; innovation; technology, and sustainability. Again, we are seeking retailers, ex-retailers, whatever. The suppliers invest a lot to bring products to market, and we feel they deserve some recognition, hence the launch of the competition last year. I’m asking for assistance in providing the most deserving floor covering companies with their due acknowledgement. Without good judges, the contest loses its significance.

The time spent would involve evaluating some of the submissions in the weeks leading up to the show.  Then, at Surfaces, judges have the opportunity to view the category’s finalists, ask questions of the manufacturer if desired or needed, and then decide the winners. Those interested in judging Best of Surfaces can contact me at I’m hoping your passion for this industry and enthusiasm to make a difference will fuel your desire to volunteer. (Or recommend a deserving individual to participate.)

For those of you who can’t invest the time to be a Best of Surfaces judge, I’m asking you for about two minutes, maybe less, to cast your vote in our Award of Excellence competition. This year we have expanded the categories to include cork and bamboo as well as cushion and underlayment.

During the course of its first 16 years, the Award of Excellence, which we co-sponsor with the World Floor Covering Association, has become the industry standard by which mills judge themselves on achieving their customer service missions. In fact, manufacturers say being named a winner is the one true measure of industry success because it is awarded to them by their customers.

Any industry personnel not employed by a manufacturer can now cast a ballot in the 17th Award of Excellence competition. Voting runs through March 29, 2013. A copy of the ballot can be found on page 29. Voting can also be done via, as well as our Facebook page, CoveringNews. In addition, ballots will be available at Surfaces 2013 in order to give as many people the opportunity to participate and make their voices heard.

In advance, I thank you for your time.

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