By Steven Feldman
New York—The floor covering industry came together en masse last night to honor its own at the inaugural Footsteps to the Future Gala, held here at One World Trade Center. Honorees Jeff Lorberbaum, chairman and CEO of Mohawk Industries, and Howard Brodsky, co-founder, chairman and co-CEO, CCA Global Partners, along with Peter Dunn, president of CBS Television Stations, were feted for their extraordinary support of Building for America’s Bravest, a program of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Endowment.
The foundation was started to honor the memory of Stephen Siller, a firefighter who laid down his life to save others on September 11, 2001. Its goal is to continue Siller’s legacy through its programs that support our nation’s first responders and catastrophically injured service members.
In 2011, the foundation officially began Building for America’s Bravest, a program that builds smart homes for our most catastrophically injured service members returning home. Each home is custom designed to address the unique needs of each individual. Energy efficient, automated and easily accessible—these homes use “adaptive technology” to help our most severely injured heroes live better, more independent lives. The first home was built for Army Specialist Brendan Marrocco, the first quadruple amputee to survive any war. Through October 2016, 56 smart homes have either been completed, are under construction or are in the design stage. The foundation has set a goal to build a minimum of 200 smart homes throughout the country.
Both Mohawk Industries and Carpet One have been instrumental in the success of Building for America’s Bravest. Mohawk supplies the flooring for the smart homes, and Carpet One members supply the installation services while spreading the word of the organization. As such, Lorberbaum was honored with the Let Us Do Good Award, while Brodsky was given the Follow the Footsteps Award. Dunn was handed the Tunnel to Towers Legacy Award.