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Spectra joins Starnet Worldwide-Fuse Alliance task force

Dalton, Ga.—Spectra Contract Flooring has joined the Starnet Worldwide Commercial Flooring and Fuse Alliance joint task force. Established in 2017, the task force focuses on critical issues facing the commercial flooring industry and elevating the flooring contractor profession.

The task force is currently focusing on solutions for the two biggest challenges facing flooring contractors today: recruiting and training labor, along with avoiding floor failures with an emphasis on moisture issues. Because labor is a challenge in all construction trades, the task force is working on proactive tactics to keep the flooring labor pool sufficient to meet demand.

“Our goal is to work collectively to dramatically reduce floor failures for the benefit of the entire industry,” said Jeanne Matson, president and CEO of Starnet Worldwide Commercial Flooring Partnership. “This goal, plus addressing other critical industry issues, is better accomplished working together.”

Moisture is a hot-button topic since many new solutions have hit the market from sundry and product manufacturers that sometimes creates confusion for architects, designers and end users. This situation creates an opportunity for flooring contractors to guide these customers toward the best solutions.

“We are excited to join the task force because we are dedicated to helping reverse the shortage of skilled flooring installers and address the issue of moisture’s impact on flooring installation,” said Jim Pels, general manager of Spectra Contract Flooring. “By working together to innovate the way we recruit and then train installers to follow industry standards, the task force has an opportunity to create better outcomes for our customers.”

 

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Starnet finds strength (and value) in numbers

April 30/May 7, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 23

By Reginald Tucker

 

Orlando—Starnet may be well regarded as the nation’s largest commercial flooring cooperative, but at its core it’s really about a family of contractors, vendors and design professionals just helping each other to not only survive in a rapidly changing environment, but also thrive in the process.

This is especially evident in today’s market—an environment that poses a mix of challenges and emerging opportunities for members. “The installation and estimating labor shortage is really impacting the industry,” Jeanne Matson, Starnet president and CEO, told FCNews during the group’s spring conference here. “While I believe our members are managing as well as any company can, I know they’re concerned the situation will get worse in the coming years.”

In this regard, Starnet is leveraging its scale, collective member knowledge and industry affiliations to come up with solutions. In fact, the group recently formed a joint task force with Fuse Alliance to focus on critical issues facing the commercial flooring industry. The task force will address long-standing industry concerns—labor shortages in estimating and installation being high on the list. By tapping into each other’s base of knowledge and resources, Starnet and Fuse can tackle a broader range of issues affecting the architecture and design industry with the goal of crafting a better customer experience. Collectively, Fuse Alliance and Starnet Worldwide represent more than 250 of the most influential flooring contractors in the U.S.

“The Starnet board and staff are exploring ways to help the industry, starting with highlighting some outstanding recruiting efforts executed by several of our members,” Matson said. “We also plan to share both recruiting, training and retaining best practices with all members.”

Starnet’s efforts in this regard are not lost on members. “One of the great things about being a member of Starnet is we are able to share ideas and learn from so many knowledgeable individuals in the industry,” said Mike Rajner, vice president of Ohio-based Commercial Flooring of Toledo. “If we experience a new issue, there is a very good chance that another member has already—or is currently facing that same challenge—and can offer advice on how to navigate through that situation.”

Rajner sees the lack of well-trained, productive installers as an issue that has universally affected the flooring industry. “Many young people do not view flooring installation as a viable career, and we are working to change that perception,” he explained. “There is a diversity in how each individual Starnet member supplies labor. We have union and non-union contractors, as well as those who subcontract their installation. By discussing this and other issues with dissimilar members, we are able to view the situation from a different perspective and entertain methods that we might not have thought of otherwise. As a group, we are committed to hiring, educating and maintaining an exceptional workforce.”

Mike Nelson, executive vice president of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho-based Great Floors, also applauds Starnet’s efforts in tackling the installation issue head on. “Whether it’s the craftsmen in the field or the project manager running the crew, there just aren’t enough of them to keep up with today’s demand,” he told FCNews. “Starnet has spent a lot of time and energy developing and sharing training programs to accelerate and enhance the members’ training efforts.”

But the value of aligning with Starnet doesn’t end there. Nelson said networking with other members helps address a host of other issues. “The main benefits we have experienced are the result of Starnet’s mission to improve the commercial flooring industry.  We’ve found great value in the idea sharing, webinars and training available to Starnet members. There are initiatives and best practices we learned as members of Starnet that continue to have a positive impact on our business and the service our customers receive.”

Rajner and Nelson are not alone. Commercial flooring contractors like Cheryl Acierno, owner of Denver-based Acierno & Co., and Skip Mancini, owner of B.T. Mancini Co., San Francisco, also attest to the benefits of membership. “There are so many advantages to membership—networking with my Starnet colleagues, being able to build strong relationships with our Starnet vendor partners at the upper management level and the ability to learn from others, which has helped me grow my business, Acierno said. Mancini concurred, adding, “The main benefits for my company are networking with vendors and flooring dealers, learning of best practices and the sharing of ideas. One of the challenges we face in Northern California is finding people; Starnet’s training programs are very helpful in getting new hires up to speed.”

For David Meberg, president and CEO of New York-based Consolidated Carpet—which took home a Starnet design award in the “corporate” category—the value comes in the form of connecting with his peers and sharing what he calls “war” stories. But it doesn’t stop there. “The value I try to derive now is the development of my young and future leaders. That’s where we see the value as a company.”

Commercial market outlook

Beyond the core benefits that membership within Starnet brings, the group is also encouraged by activity it is seeing at the end-user level. Many Starnet members continue to observe strength in healthcare and higher education, and most believe the hospitality sector is settling down. Corporate, on the other hand, has not been growing as rapidly as it has over the past two years, but it remains a large business for Starnet contractors.

On the whole, Matson said she is confident that 2018 will remain a solid year for the industry. “A year ago, we predicted some softness toward the fourth quarter, but that does not appear to be a risk at this point,” she explained. “As for 2019, we expect next year to remain strong, although our keynote speaker this year [Alan Beaulieu] predicted a slight dip in the second half. However, based on our membership, they are planning projects well into 2019.”
 

 

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Starnet Worldwide announces winners of 2016 Design Awards

1-entry-581-294834273Darien, Conn.–The 18th Annual Starnet Design Awards were held on April 15, 2016, in Miami, as one of the major highlights of Starnet Worldwide Commercial Flooring Partnership’s annual meeting, April 14-16.

The awards recognize creativity, professionalism, quality and versatility, and this year’s winners encapsulated the power of innovative and bold flooring installation in commercial interior design. From a critically acclaimed, environmentally conscious airport project to the renovation of a national treasure that plays host to astronauts and space-flight enthusiasts, the projects had judges and competitors seeing stars.

“Once again, we are awestruck and proud of the work done by Starnet Members throughout the country,” said Jeanne Matson, president and CEO of Starnet. “The Design Awards allow us to come together and recognize this talent and creativity. This year’s winners demonstrate to the entire industry that outstanding flooring design and craftsmanship can achieve amazing results in the commercial market. The awards also allow us to showcase the collaboration between our members, vendor partners and the A&D community. It’s a team effort that strengthens relationships and fosters innovation.”

Gold, silver and bronze prizes were awarded in six judged categories: Healthcare, Corporate, Education, Hospitality/Public Space, Environmental Achievement and Unique Installation Challenge. Votes from Starnet members, vendor partners and members of the trade press selected the winners of the third annual People’s Choice Awards.

The winners:

Corporate Category

Gold—IMM TI, ReSource Colorado; architect, OZ Architecture Denver

Silver—FSW (Food Service Warehouse), Acierno & Company, LLC

Bronze—Lockton, 34th and 35th Floors, Mr. David’s Flooring International, LLC

Judges’ Award—Master Craft Floors, Master Craft Floors, Inc.

Hospitality/Public Space Category

Gold—HarborChase of Shorewood, Mr. David’s Flooring International, LLC; designer, Direct Supply Aptura

Silver—Ronald McDonald House, The Wylie House, Interior Surface Enterprises LLC

Bronze—Kansas State University, Bill Snyder Family Stadium, North End Zone, Interior Surface Enterprises LLC

Healthcare Category

Gold—Rush University Medical Center Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Mr. David’s Flooring International, LLC; designer, Proteus Group

Silver—Shriners Hospitals for Children, Replacement Hospital, CI Select Flooring Solutions

Bronze—Pediatric Dental Care, CCA Floors & Interiors

Education Category

Gold—The New Jersey City University School of Business, Consolidated Carpet; architect, Clarke Canton Hintz

Silver—Wake Forest University School of Law, E.E. Wilson Floor Covering

Bronze—Wayne State University Multidisciplinary Biomedical Research Building, Master Craft Flooring, Inc.

Judge—Megan Walker, ASID, LEED AP, Eppstein Uhen Architects, senior interior designer

Unique Installation Category

Gold—Kennedy Space Center, Mr. David’s Flooring International; designer, Design Shop

Silver—University of Pittsburgh Medial Center Lemieux Sports Complex, DeGol Brothers

Bronze—Beaumont Royal Oak Central Pharmacy Compounding Laboratory, Master Craft Floors, Inc.

Judge—John McGrath, INSTALL, executive director

Environmental Achievement Category

Gold—Portland International Airport—Terminal Recarpet, Rubenstein’s Contract Carpets LLC; architect, Henneberry Eddy Architects

Judge—Bob Peoples, Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), executive director

People’s Choice Award Category

Gold— Rush University Medical Center Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Mr. David’s Flooring International, LLC; designer, Proteus Group

Bronze—Windcrest Elementary School, San Antonio Floor Finishers

Silver—Portland International – Terminal Recarpet, Rubenstein’s Contract Carpets LLC

 

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Search gets under way to find WFCA's next president and CEO

by Steven Feldman

Monday, May 21, 2012. Boca Raton, Fla.—The search to find the next president and CEO of the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) has officially begun. A five-person search committee was formed at WFCA’s biannual meeting here as well as the process by which the next executive will be named. Continue reading Search gets under way to find WFCA's next president and CEO