NAFCD honors four with lifetime, leadership awards

Home Inside FCNews NAFCD honors four with lifetime, leadership awards

Volume 26/number 18/January 21-28, 2013

Chicago—Mort Creech of J.J. Haines, Ben Hagood of W.M. Bird & Co. and Ken Herriges of Herregan Distributors are the 2012 recipients of the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors’ (NAFCD) Lifetime Achievement award. As well, Bill Simonson of Jaeckle Distributors was named the 2012 Leadership in Action Award recipient.

The Lifetime Achievement award recipients were honored for their exceptional leadership and contributions that have helped expand the floor covering distribution industry. The Leadership in Action award honors those up-and-coming leaders whose innovative practices have resulted in positive business growth.

“NAFCD is pleased to again honor several longtime leaders as well as recognize those who are responsible for our continued growth,” said George Roth, NAFCD president. “Ken, Mort and Ben are true examples of what has made this industry great in North America. Thanks to their dedication, we’ve been able to remain resilient as a sector and as a community. That dedication is also evident in our young leaders like Bill, who are helping this industry remain strong and relevant in our fast-changing economy.”

In Creech’s 40 years with J.J. Haines, he continually contributed to the company’s growth and success. Having served in various leadership roles including president, CEO and board chairman, he helped the 138-year old company transition from its family-owned and managed structure to one with a CEO selected from outside the family. His selfless nature was critical as he led the nation’s largest flooring distributor, Roth noted, always putting the company’s interest above his own.

When Hagood took the reins of William M. Bird & Co. in 1965, he brought the long-standing organization into the modern era of distribution while maintaining the core values and relationships that are vital to the success of any distributorship. His contributions included new technologies and improved business practices, he said, with a focus and style that ensured the highest regard and respect for his employees, customers and competitors alike.

Herriges’ floor covering career began in 1949, in St. Paul, Minn., in retail sales. He co-founded Herre-gan Distributors in 1965, bringing it from a startup company to one of the top 25 distributors in the industry. “Lead-ing by example, Ken is extremely dedicated to the industry, his company and his customers,” Roth said. Throughout his career, Herriges served on the boards of several flooring organizations, including the NAFCD.

As Jaeckle’s vice president of operations, Simonson’s natural leadership skills and business sense have helped keep Jaeckle’s expenses down while producing great results. “During the recession, Bill’s teams met or beat their expense budgets while keeping the needs of the customers at the forefront of his priorities,” Roth said. “This was largely thanks to his creative lease and contract negotiations as well as restructuring the entire delivery system. For these and many more reasons, NAFCD is proud to recognize Bill with the 2012 Leadership in Action award.”

Each recipient received his award at the recent 2012 NAFCD Annual Business Meeting in Orlando, Fla. (FCNews, Nov. 19/26, 2012).

For more on the NAFCD industry awards, visit

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