Industry pays tribute to Fred Williamson

Home News Industry pays tribute to Fred Williamson

By Ken Ryan

Fred Williamson, retiring executive vice president of Starnet, with Jeanne Matson, president/CEO of the cooperative at Williamson’s retirement party.

New York—Dozens of industry colleagues crammed into the offices of Architectural Flooring Resources here on Dec. 6 to pay tribute to long-time flooring executive Fred Williamson on his retirement. Earlier this year Williamson, executive vice president of Starnet, announced plans to retire after 13 years on the board of the cooperative and 50 years total in the commercial flooring industry.

Among the 80 in attendance were Starnet members, preferred vendor partners and other industry pundits, some who traveled great distances. Randy Rubinstein, president and CEO of Seattle-based Rubenstein’s Contract Carpets, came all the way from Hawaii, where he was vacationing. “I wouldn’t miss it,” said Rubinstein, who praised Williamson for his wealth of knowledge and great character, sentiments that were shared by many others.

Jeanne Matson, Starnet president/CEO, helped organize the party. “In my career, I have never met anyone who I could say was irreplaceable, but that would be Fred,” Matson said. “He has so much integrity, we have been blessed to have him. We will miss him terribly.”

Williamson told FCNews he was “overwhelmed” by the turnout and noted how many came from far away. Asked what he will miss most about the industry, he said. “Of course, I will miss the people the most but I will not be going away for good.”

Williamson, 74, said he plans to work as a consultant for Starnet on certain projects.

Before embarking on a five-decade flooring career, Williamson served in the Marines during Vietnam, and earned a Purple Heart during his service.

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