By Ken Ryan
The in-person fall meeting of the National Floorcovering Alliance (NFA) apparently was successful on multiple fronts—suppliers and dealers enjoyed the fellowship as they worked on business deals, and none of the 150 attendees in Savannah, Ga., have been reported to have contracted COVID-19.
While most of the attendees did not have to submit to mandatory testing upon their return home, some of those residing in the Boston-New York region reportedly got tested. One was A.J. Boyajian, co-owner of AJ Rose Carpets & Flooring, with three Massachusetts locations. “I went straight from the airport to get one of the instant tests before I went home, and it came back negative,” he told FCNews. “In terms of success, safety is the first and most important item. That no one tested positive in itself is a tremendous success. The event was different but still very good. It was great to see our peers as well as the vendors again.”
Eric Mondragon, NFA secretary and hard surface buyer for RC Willey, Salt Lake City, said the NFA board worked hard to provide a safe environment, which led to a productive meeting. “I’m not sure anything else could have been done without taking away from what we were trying to accomplish,” he said. “I felt like we did a great job; we answered every question that came up. We pushed forward with the event and showed ‘we can do this.’”
As for the meeting itself, Mondragon said, “Everyone came away rejuvenated and excited about the rest of the year. They missed being able to meet in person and loved the chance to brainstorm with each other.”
Jason McSwain, president of McSwain’s Carpet & Flooring in Cincinnati and current NFA president, was pleased with the way the meeting was handled, but said it is time to look ahead, not back. “Flooring retailers are crazy busy. For the NFA, September is in the rear-view mirror. We’re looking toward our December priorities and spring 2021 meeting.”