Shaw, Mannington welcome new leadership

Home Featured Post Shaw, Mannington welcome new leadership

Shaw Industries and Mannington Mills, two of the most storied manufacturers in the flooring industry, are boldly stepping into the future with newly appointed leaders in key positions.

Shaw named industry veteran Jon England as its new vice president of the industry-leading COREtec brand, which was launched a decade ago at Surfaces and continues to be the standard by which all other LVT-branded products are measured. Jon England most recently served as chief sales and marketing officer at then-J.J. Haines (now Belknap Haines). Prior to that, he spent 14 years at Mohawk Industries, where he held several key positions.

For Mannington, Tom Pendley, previously the president of Mannington Commercial, first assumed the transitional role of chief operating officer last summer when it was announced that chief executive officer, Russell Grizzle, planned to retire. Upon Grizzle’s retirement at the end of 2022, Pendley took the mantle of president and CEO, becoming the latest in a distinguished line of top executives for this venerable company.

FCNews senior editor, Ken Ryan, recently caught up with England and Pendley to discuss their respective transitions.

Jon England

You have held a variety of positions over the years. What makes you right for this one?

I feel confident with what the future has in store as I take on this new role. I think it’s safe to say I am all-in on COREtec and believe in the power/potential of this brand. Beginning my career in the retail business has given me a unique insight into the industry and a concrete understanding of what it’s like to be Shaw’s customer.

In many respects COREtec is to LVT what Kleenex is to tissue paper. Is this a blessing or a curse?

It’s certainly a responsibility. But we welcome the challenge. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the COREtec team it’s that not one person knows how to leave well enough alone. It’s a team of true originals—free thinkers, innovators and people who keep challenging the status quo. COREtec sets the pace in rigid core design, innovation and performance and, while that can be scary at times it’s mostly exciting. My job is to serve the team, the brand and our customers who, rightfully, expect the best from the best.

How do you and your team maintain COREtec’s dominant position in the marketplace?

The secret to success is keeping the customer at the center of all we do on the COREtec team. It’s key to ask questions, listen carefully, consider all possibilities and variables thoughtfully and then act with honesty, integrity and passion. COREtec became the best by being unapologetically original—and taking risks where others coasted on tradition.

What do you have in store for 2023?

We are especially excited for the strides COREtec will be making with Soft Step, COREtec’s new Pro (SPC) styles with enhanced bevels + Pro portfolio simplification, the Design Services tool and our Available Now program that is designed to make both the retailers’ and homeowners’ lives easier.

With so much competition in the LVT category, how do you keep COREtec from being commoditized?

We’re going to keep looking ahead rather than behind as to what the competition is doing. We offer premium products and services and we believe the consumer is willing to pay for true solutions that add value to their homes and their lives. And we’re here to help our retailers grow their business with COREtec.

What skill sets do you possess that you are bringing to this position?

The skills I bring are based on what I have learned in previous positions in previous years in the industry. As I continue to grow in this role, I will continue to make it a point to always ask, “How might we?” I truly believe there is strength in not only diversity but candid collaboration.

Tom Pendley

You’ve been in the position for a few months. What are your impressions?

So far, no surprises. All my thoughts have been validated. We have a focused, talented leadership team, an associate base committed to what Mannington stands for and a board and shareholder group that is committed to giving the organization whatever it needs to succeed.

You are the latest in a long line of distinguished executives at Mannington. Thoughts?

Needless to say, when presented that way it is very humbling. It challenges me every day to protect the legacy that has been established long before me.

What are the biggest challenges/opportunities for Mannington?

Our challenges are no different than anyone else doing business in today’s environment. The amount of uncertainty in the market today is hard to articulate. It can become paralyzing. Our opportunity is to focus on what we can control, focus on the customer, focus on our associates and get better every day.

What skills do you bring to the company?

I bring the typical skill set: a deep understanding of financial statements and how to impact the numbers, strong operational and manufacturing experience, many M&A transactions—both simple and complex—significant private, family-owned company experience and so
on. These skills give me some qualifications, but the reality is that these will not determine my success in this role. My success will be determined by my ability to align the organization and our leadership in such a way that we are all striving toward the same goals/outcomes.

What are your expectations for Surfaces 2023?

My expectations are that Surfaces will once again be a great way for us to kick off a new year. It’s always been a highlight for us and our customers. The excitement of the new product introductions coupled with the industry’s largest in-person event equals a lot of momentum going into the first quarter. We know it looks to be a challenging year, but we also know that Surfaces generates a lot of sales and a lot of enthusiasm, which goes a really long way. We’re ready for 2023 and can’t wait for the show to open.

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