Chicago—The Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC) added Robert Blochinger, president of the National Institute of Certified Floorcovering Inspectors, as its new chair starting immediately. Blochinger will help lead FCLC through a strategic planning process this year designed to develop an industry-wide plan for tackling the shortage of qualified installers in the industry.
Blochinger is the owner of Blochinger & Co., based in Boca Raton, Fla., where he has worked as a certified flooring inspector since 1990. He has been a flooring contractor for 35 years and is also a forensic investigator of flooring failure, consultant, expert witness and training instructor in addition to supporting a variety of industry organizations and initiatives.
FCLC also welcomes the Multilayer Flooring Association (MFA) as its newest association member. Based in St. Calhoun, Ga., this newly formed industry trade association has a mission to establish standards to insure the performance and safety of polymer composite core products for indoor residential and commercial environments, as well as monitor compliance of its members’ products through third party certification of these standards. In addition, the MFA will actively promote sustainability throughout both the life cycle of the product and the supply chain.
FCLC’s next meeting will be held in August during the Certified Floorcovering Installers Convention & Expo in Orlando, Fla.
Charlotte, N.C.—As part of its mission to work together to resolve some of the flooring industry’s largest issues, the Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC) conducted its first meeting of 2016 on April 29 here. Fourteen volunteer representatives from flooring industry associations representing all sectors of the industry attended the meeting.
The two-year-old group’s initiatives, decided on in 2015, include improving communications between member groups and the industry, collaborating and sharing industry-wide professional training programs between member organizations, and addressing needs and issues related to the installation crisis.
As part of its initiative to streamline communications and cooperation between organizations, members of each group comprising FCLC provided a general overview and update on the state of their respective groups at the meeting. Discussion points included general news, executive hires and staff changes, upcoming events, and industry-related issues facing each association. Once each organization shared its updates, members collaborated to discuss which of the issues faced by their groups could be better addressed by working together at the local, state and national levels. In addition, representatives shared information on their own training programs and initiatives that are available for use by members of other FCLC associations. Updates on the group’s own website, fclcouncil.org, which houses a database of all member industry events as well as industry news, were also discussed.
One of the most pressing topics for the group at its April meeting was the need to address and resolve the installation crisis. Certified Floorcovering Installer’s Association (CFI), whose own mission is tied closest to this industry-wide issue, provided updates about the launch of its new school located just outside of Dallas. Throughout the year the school provides a full schedule of professional installation training and certification to students at all levels and in every category of flooring. In addition to its lineup of ongoing courses, the school also regularly offers a one-of-a-kind, proprietary accelerated five-week carpet installation training course throughout the year. Robert Varden, vice president, CFI, shared news about international attention that the school has attracted. He told the FCLC attendees that discussions of CFI training programs overseas are underway.
FCLC attendees also elected members to fill open positions for the 2017-2019 term. The term begins January 1, 2017 and ends December 31, 2019.
- Chair- Michael Martin, NWFA
- Chair-Elect- Bob Blochinger, NICFI
- Secretary- Kim Oderkirk, FCICA
- Chair of Communications- Kevin Gammonley, NAFCD
- Chair of Training- Stephanie Owen, NWFA
- Chair of Installation- Robert Varden, CFI