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Registration for 2016 FCICA convention opens

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 9.45.27 AMWest Bloomfield, Mich.— Registration has opened for the Flooring Contractors Association (FCICA) Annual Convention, slated for March 6-9 at the Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Fla. The convention, Back to the Basics, will feature the Commercial Flooring Tradeshow, the first Successors gathering, educational sessions, roundtables, industry networking opportunities and optional tours.

Visit to register.

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FCICA, Ardex Americas, Nora Systems to offer scholarship in honor of Bruce Newbrough

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 4.56.09 PMWest Bloomfield, Mich.—The Flooring Contractors Association (FCICA), Ardex Americas and Nora Systems have established the Bruce Newbrough Memorial Scholarship for the Certified Installation Manager (CIM) program in honor of Bruce Newbrough, former director of applications development at Ardex.

The scholarship has been developed to provide educational opportunities to floor covering installation managers who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to and excellence in proper substrate preparation and installation of floor covering.

“FCICA is honored, not only to have known and worked with Bruce Newbrough, but also to have this opportunity to work with both Ardex and Nora toward our common goal of a standard of excellence for installation managers in the Certified Installation Manager program,” said Gerry Swift, FCICA chairman.

Individuals interested in applying for the scholarship can visit Applications must be received by June 1. The scholarship will be awarded in July.

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FCICA: Focus on installation manager segment pays off

March 16/23, 2015; Volume 28/Number 19

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 12.47.19 PMSan Diego—Having worked for a multimillion dollar flooring contractor, Gerry Swift, current chairman of the Flooring Contractors Association (FCICA), understands the critical importance a well-versed installation manager has in the business—not merely from a technical standpoint but with operations and management as well.

“We would bring in flooring installers and hope and pray they could take on a management role that included learning contractual obligations, installation requirements, scheduling, changing orders—everything that goes with project management,” Swift said.

During his four years as chairman, Swift, the FCICA board and executive directors have changed the direction of the group to focus on the installation/project manager. To further that push they created the Certified Installation Manager (CIM) program to arm these individuals with the knowledge and expertise needed to succeed in the marketplace.

Financial Management and Closing Out the Job—the final two modules in the eight-module CIM program—were introduced at the 2015 convention, held here at the Kona Kai Resort. This initiative is in keeping with the organization’s goal to train and certify flooring contractors’ key people (those charged with running commercial projects) to gain expertise on matters ranging from technical installation systems to financial management.

FCICA encourages its members to complete the program, which is entirely web-based and allows candidates to work at their own pace—from their office or home computers.

Swift, whose term ends June 30, said the organization’s change of focus was a “pie in the sky idea.” Fortunately, he added, the majority of the board “agreed to narrow our focus on that segment of the business, and the results speak for themselves. We needed this. Rather than being another flooring association we decided to focus on people who can make or break our jobs. As much as I’d like to take credit, there was a lot of hard work from Kim [Oderkirk, executive vice president] and Kelly [Fuller, director of education] and others to put this together.”

According to Swift, the CIM program has “identified” FCICA in the industry, and as a result flooring contractors want their installation managers trained. “This is pretty extensive training, and it also creates a career path for those installers who have been on their knees for 30 years; now they have an opportunity to move up in their respective businesses.”

Incoming FCICA chairman Mike Newberry, vice president of labor relations at Inside Edge Commercial Interior Services, a flooring contractor based in Eagan, Minn., said so far 41 contractors have signed up for FCICA’s program. “We’re just getting started here. This has to be a viable program that gets written into spec, that is part of the installation requirements.”

Sponsors for the CIM program include Schönox for the Master level; Ardex Americos, BFC, Flexco, Flooring Services, Johnsonite, Master Craft Carpets, RFMS, Roppe, Royal Adhesives & Sealants and Wagner Meters at the Fellowship level, and Advanced Adhesives Technologies and Allied Construction Technologies for the Apprentice level.

Making strides, growing stronger

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 12.47.41 PMThe 33rd FCICA convention featured a record turnout of 168 attendees, including 47 first-timers. Various committee chairs delivered reports on the organization’s health: The annual budget of $300,000 is nearly double what it was five years ago and 29 new members have joined FCICA, which boasts a retention rate of 94%.

Some veteran FCICA members said the organization is stronger and more diversified in its membership than perhaps ever before. In the late 1990s FCICA went dormant for a couple of years, and even as little as five years ago—during the recession—there were financial challenges.

Christopher Capobianco of Ecore International, who is leaving the board after a record 12 years of service, said the group has succeeded because it continues to bring in fresh blood with new ideas. “This is not a ‘good old boys’ club. It is a very unselfish group that is willing to help.”

Mike Roberts, vice president at Bonitz Flooring Group, which has multiple locations in the Southeast and is the industry’s largest contractor, said the development and implementation of the CIM program has changed the trajectory of the FCICA. “We are providing information and training that is relevant and needed and appears to be fairly popular, so I think we are definitely on the right track. Attendance is gaining, and the economy is better, too. We are getting more representation from all the different categories, contractors and associates. The FCICA went through some hard years, as did other associations. When the economy is tough it can be difficult. There were a lot of starts and stops and rejiggering of the organization, but I am pleased with where we are. Hopefully we can get enough certified installer candidates in the field to make a difference for everybody.”

Swift said the percentage of contractors has steadily increased and represents many different interests. “Today we have Starnet members here, Fuse members, Spectra members; we don’t discriminate. All of these associations have recognized what we are doing. I always thought we were very unique.”

Newberry said a continuing goal is to attract new members, encouraging them to attend the conventions and get involved in the organization. “Joining the committees has been huge for me; it has allowed me to learn the inner workings of the group. So my message is join, get involved. You have to play to win and you have to really be here and be part of this. The years of experience we have here from people who want to impart their knowledge is great. Christopher and Gerry’s leadership style has helped us get to where we are today, and I want to maintain that consistency.”

Several vendors who took part in the tabletop segment of the convention said they enjoyed the intimacy of the conference, which afforded them the opportunity to converse with decision makers. “Anytime I can interact with the installation managers one-to-one, like I can do here, it is a good thing for our business,” said Tony Dominguez, technical services manager for Halex, marketers of VersaShield. “This is my new favorite show.”

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FCICA releases updated FIT resilient program

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 4.57.52 PMWest Bloomfield, Mich.—The Flooring Contractors Association (FCICA) has completed updates to the Floorcovering Installation Training (FIT) program for resilient books 5 to 8.

The FIT curriculum was established to meet the demand for skilled floor covering installation personnel and to create a minimum standard for installation training. The FIT program encompasses a set of tools intended for use by installation contractors to train their installers in-house. The classroom instruction is intended to be paced so that it can be reinforced regularly by job field experience. These materials support educational opportunities for both trainees and established installers who seek upgraded training. The user-friendly curriculum can be adapted to each individual installation company’s size and needs.

The resilient set of books has been updated and reformatted, and a glossary of terms has been added to each book to make them more user friendly for students, instructors and reference manual users.

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FCICA announces educational sessions for Convention 2015

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 4.41.00 PMWest Bloomfield, Mich.—FCICA, the Flooring Contractors Association, has announced this year’s educational sessions for Convention 2015, which will be presented on Monday, March 2 and Tuesday, March 3.

Convention 2015, Riding the Wave of Success, will be hosted at the Kona Kai Resort and Marina in San Diego, Calif. The four-day event will feature five educational sessions, a Tabletop Show, industry networking opportunities, reception and dinner at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, a silent auction plus optional tours for attendees.

Three Certified Installation Manager (CIM) modules will also be presented at this event and those individuals working on their Installation Manager certification will receive credit.

The educational sessions are as follows:

Installation Manager Module #7: “Financial Management: Budget vs. Actual,” presented by Terry Wheat, president of RFMS, Inc., Monday, March 2.

Installation Manager Module #7a: “Handling Claims on the Jobsite,” presented by John Kozak of CBC America, Sonny Callaham of Royal Adhesives and Sealants and Sim Crisler of LGM and Associates, LLC., Monday, March 2.

Installation Manager Module #8: “Closing Out the Job,” presented by Amy Johnston of Flooring Services, Inc. and JR Allred of Dalton Carpet One, Monday, March 2.

“What’s New with Safety,” presented by Jack West, national account executive for Federated Insurance, Tuesday, March 3.

“Tools and Equipment—Are You Prepared?” presented by Kevin Hawthorne of Aramsco, Tuesday, March 3.

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FCICA announces tours for Convention 2015

Convention Theme logoWest Bloomfield, Mich.—FCICA, the Flooring Contractors Association, is pleased to offer six exciting tours to give attendees a taste of San Diego!

Convention 2015 Riding the Wave of Success will be hosted at the Kona Kai Resort and Marina in San Diego, Calif. The four-day event will feature five educational sessions, Tabletop Show, industry networking opportunities, reception and dinner at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, silent auction plus some great optional tours for attendees.

Attendees will have the opportunity prior to the start of the convention on Saturday, Feb. 28 to golf at Torrey Pines South, the nation’s foremost municipal golf course situated atop cliffs towering above the Pacific Ocean. Limited tee times are available. Also on Saturday, is an afternoon tea and shopping in Old Town where you can discover five original adobe buildings which include shops, restaurants and a museum.

On Sunday, March 1, attendees can visit the world famous San Diego Zoo. The tour will include a 40-minute double-decker bus tour, lunch and a round trip ride on the Skyfari aerial tram. The next day, a tour is scheduled to make perfume at Tijon and eat lunch at George’s at the Cove Ocean Terrace in La Jolla. With expert guidance, you’ll be mixing beakers of oils and enjoying the process of perfume production.

On Tuesday, March 3, join us for a walking tour of Little Italy with a pasta-making demonstration and lunch at II Monello. The tour showcases hidden neighborhood landmarks and historical homes and makes use of intriguing archival photos showcasing the world that was.

For adventure day on March 4, set sail on the America, a once in a lifetime opportunity to sail on an America’s Cup replica vessel. Join us for this memorable sail surrounded by the sights and sounds of the world’s most beautiful harbor.

The executive vice president of FCICA, Kim Oderkirk, personally selected these tours for Convention 2015. “I am very happy to offer this selection of tours to our attendees and their guests. I hope attendees will stay on Wednesday to network and enjoy the day on the America. It will be a once in a lifetime experience!” New for 2015 tour pricing is the ability to receive a discount by signing up for the four days of tours which includes: Old Town, Zoo, Tijon and Little Italy.

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FCICA announces support for INSTALL

image_miniWest Bloomfield, Mich.—FCICA, the Flooring Contractors Association, has announced its support for the Installation Standards & Training Alliance (INSTALL).

“INSTALL is a tremendous example of a training and certification program for the commercial floor covering industry and falls in line with the goals of FCICA,” said FCICA chairman Gerry Swift. “The floor covering industry is continually in need of proud and professional floor covering installers, which this program produces. FCICA’s vision is to provide the highest level of installation expertise, so we are proud to support INSTALL and greatly value its focus to enhance the level of technical floor covering installation skills. It is organizations like INSTALL that will enhance and lead the floor covering industry to growth.

INSTALL has been a member of FCICA since 1997 and has helped carry out our mission and vision for the commercial floor covering industry,” Swift continued.  “As the Flooring Contractors Association, we recognize the importance of maintaining standards and specifications, as well as uniform training, which all leads to quality craftsmanship. FCICA emphasizes installation management education and training and is glad our members have a connection to INSTALL to seek out such opportunities.”

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FCICA to host moisture management webinar

Screen Shot 2013-12-23 at 8.37.53 AMWest Bloomfield, Mich. — FCICA, the Flooring Contractors Association, will host a webinar about moisture management on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 11 a.m. EST.

Jason Spangler of Wagner Meters will present the program on Moisture Measurement of Wood and Concrete.

The program is intended to provide information on some of the common sources of moisture in wood and concrete, why it is important to properly test each prior to flooring installation, industry accepted methods and instrumentation for testing, and why not all methods are equally as effective at ensuring success.

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FCICA announces lineup for 2013 mid-year meeting

FCICAWest Bloomfield, Mich. – FCICA, the Flooring Contractors Association, is excited to announce that online registration is now open for its 2013 mid-year meeting to be held in Pittsburgh, Oct. 2 to 4, 2013, at the Sheraton Station Square.

The Educational Sessions on Thursday October 3rd will include: Continue reading FCICA announces lineup for 2013 mid-year meeting

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FCICA to host seventh webinar

West Bloomfield , MI  – FCICA, the Flooring Contractors Association, is hosting its seventh webinar on April 18, 2013 at 11:00 am EST.  Christopher Capobianco will present the webinar  “Concrete Moisture Testing Basics:  WHY? WHEN? WHERE? HOW? WHO?”  This session will be a a basic overview for installation managers, installers, architects and sales personnel.  This complex subject is often discussed in terminology that is hard to understand.  The webinar will offer an understandable explanation for WHY, WHEN and WHERE moisture testing should be done, HOW to do it properly, HOW to get certified, and WHO should be responsible for the testing.  This is a great seminar for those who aren’t knowledgeable about the subject and a helpful overview for those who would like a review.

Please complete the registration form at You may either scan and email to or fax to (248) 661-5018. Registration deadline  April 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm EST.