New York—More than 200 leaders in the flooring industry gathered here recently to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Floor Covering Industry Foundation (FCIF) at the Rainbow Room atop the famed Rockefeller Plaza. The foundation raised over $250,000 to support flooring industry workers battling catastrophic illnesses during the event.
“The 40th Anniversary Gala, along with our annual donations, is a true testament to the caring power of the floor covering industry,” said Andrea Blackbourn, executive director of the FCIF. Blackbourn extended a special “thank you” to Roger Marcus, who planned and led the event. “It was a unique evening celebrating the legacy of philanthropy and leadership in flooring,” she added.
At the same time, the FCIF 40th Anniversary Gala served as a platform to recognize the lifetime accomplishments of industry leaders. This year, FCIF honored Howard Brodsky and Jeanne Matson of CCA Global Partners, and Dana Teague of Informa Exhibitions.
Brodsky, co-founder, chairman and co-CEO of CCA Global Partners, is a world leader of cooperatives and a prolific American entrepreneur. CCA is one of the largest cooperatives in the United States with sales surpassing $10 billion. CCA Global Partners services 20,000 childcare centers, 2,000 non-profits and services over 1,000,000 independent family businesses.
Brodsky was the first American to be awarded the Rochdale Award, the “Nobel Prize of Cooperative Business” given every two years to an individual who has made the greatest impact in cooperatives worldwide. Additionally, he received the Business Leader of the Decade Award and the Global Leadership Award by the World Affairs Council. He was also inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame as well as the Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame. In addition, Brodsky is the founder and chairman of the Cooperatives for a Better World, a worldwide non-profit that aims to scale the global cooperative movement.
Matson, the former president and CEO of Starnet—the largest purchasing cooperative of independent commercial flooring contractors in the United States and Canada—currently serves as a consultant for CCA Global. During her tenure at Starnet, the organization enjoyed strong financial growth while strategically adding new members to ensure representation in all geographies within North America. In addition, Matson and the Starnet team developed a comprehensive training and education program for the members and preferred vendors. Her focus throughout was on strengthening the partnership between both groups and advancing the commercial flooring industry overall.
Prior to joining Starnet, Matson was an executive at the Clairol division of Procter & Gamble, serving as the general manager of P&G Professional Beauty Products. She is active in her community as a volunteer EMT, serves on the Board of the Connecticut Women’s Forum and is the past-chairman of the Center for Hope in Greenwich, Conn. Matson was elected to the board of the National Cooperative Business Association, and she currently sits on the board of the FCIF.
Teague, vice president at Informa Markets, oversees a design portfolio of events, which includes The International Surface Event (TISE), the largest North American event serving the floor covering, stone and tile industries. TISE comprises of three brands: SURFACES, StonExpo/Marmomac and TileExpo. In addition, Teague manages the AIA Conference on Architecture as well as The International Roofing Expo, the International Pool, Spa, Patio/Deck Expo and Inside Self-Storage Expo.
Starting in the events industry nearly 30 years ago, Teague—who also sits on the board of the FCIF—has risen from a show director in 1989 to the vice president of Hanley Wood Exhibitions in 2013, which was acquired by Informa Markets in 2014. She has worked on events such as the American College of Emergency Physicians and the International Autobody Congress & Exposition. In 2006, Teague started working on SURFACES and StonExpo, now totaling 19 years of service to the floor covering, stone and tile industries. Her vision, team development and leadership has brought the TISE event to its current success as the annual industry marketplace.
On a mission
In an industry where family values run strong, it should come as no surprise that a relief fund is available to flooring workers who are suffering through a medical crisis. FCIF, a non-profit, provides direct assistance to applicants who are facing a medical situation—their own or one affecting a household member—that could render them unable to work and earn income to support their needs. To qualify, recipients must have at least five years of service to the flooring community and demonstrate financial need. Grants can be used to foot the bill for medical care—everything from testing and prescriptions to hospitalization and medical equipment—or to pay for basic needs such as food, shelter and utilities.
“Due to the generosity of individuals and corporations in the industry, we are able to meet the requests of each family who meets our qualifications,” Blackbourn said. “It speaks volumes that we do not have to keep a waiting list.”
Charlie Dilks, FCIF board chair, said this charity is one of very few industry-specific foundations designed with a singular mission: to take care of their workforce during their hardest battles.
To make a donation to the FCIF, to or apply for assistance, visit fcif.org.