Veteran flooring retailer Steve Pulsipher, who passed away at age 75 following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease, was known for his exemplary negotiating and mentoring skills in his three decades as a flooring retailer with RC Willey, which also included representation of the National Floorcovering Alliance (NFA) as its long-time treasurer.
Pulsipher, who graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in business and minor in finance, served his entire professional career in the flooring industry. At RC Willey, where he spent 29 years, he rose to the level of vice president of the flooring division. Pulsipher also served as treasurer of the NFA for many years before retiring in 2010 due to health reasons. As a testament to his worth to the group, the NFA tried coaxing Pulsipher out of retirement in 2010 to consult for them in negotiations with suppliers.
At the time, Jeff Macco of Macco’s Floor Covering Center in Green Bay, Wis., credited Pulsipher with being “one of this industry’s best negotiators and was responsible for many of the great deals that put a lot of money in NFA members’ pockets.”
The NFA’s spring meeting in Banff, Alberta, Canada in 2010 marked the final soiree for Pulsipher, who was honored by members and vendors as part of the opening night festivities. “I think the most important thing about Steve is his uncompromising integrity and honesty,” Macco said back then. “He’s a man of a few words, but those words are well chosen. And he’s a tremendous buyer with an uncanny ability to get the best deal. Not only that, he was always willing to share and teach his buying skills to anyone who would ask.”
Bill Cogdall, then co-president of Contract Furnishings Mart, Portland, Ore., remarked at the meeting, “Steve always gave 110% to the group. Where a lot of people would sit back, he was always in the game. He is honest as the day is long and always kept his word to the vendors.”
Among those who benefited from Pulsipher’s mentorship was Eric Mondragon, currently the hard surface buyer for RC Willey. In a condolence note, Eric Mondragon wrote: “Steve was a great mentor to me. I wouldn’t be where I am at today without his guidance and advice. He is truly one of the best people I’ve ever known. He will be missed.”
Pulsipher is survived by his wife Connie, their children Jennifer Johnson (Rob), Alisa Pulsipher, Derek Pulsipher (Ra’Shelle), Heather Claunch (Floyd) and their 14 grandchildren and one great granddaughter. He was preceded in death by two brothers and three sisters.