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J+J Flooring’s David Jolly to retire

Dalton, Ga.—David Jolly, J+J Flooring president and CEO, recently announced his retirement from the company, effective March 31. What’s more, James Lesslie, current executive vice president of sales and marketing for Engineered Floors, has been appointed president of Engineered Floors’ commercial division which includes J+J Flooring, EF Contract and EF Hospitality.

Jolly’s 27-year tenure with the company and his retirement mark the end of an era spanning three generations. David’s grandfather, Rollins Jolly, along with Tom Jones, founded the company in 1957. David’s father, Jim Jolly, served 40 years with the company before retiring in 2006 as chairman and CEO. David has served as president since 2006.

“It’s been an honor and privilege to work alongside all the talented and highly dedicated people that make J+J what it is today,” Jolly said. “I hope I’ll be seen as a good steward of the company who worked diligently to keep J+J’s founding culture intact—to treat people with respect, to invest in the future, to keep the focus on our customers and to always give back to the community. Today, the company is stronger than ever. It is extremely well positioned to write a new chapter for its future.”

Jolly joined J+J in 1991 as a marketing services coordinator. He later served as director of marketing for Invision Carpet Systems in 1995, then as vice president, marketing & contract services. Following roles as vice president, marketing & products, and senior vice president, sales & marketing, he was named president and COO in 2006. In 2010 he became president and CEO.

Under Jolly’s leadership, the company experienced sustained growth and achieved several industry-first accomplishments. In 2005, Jolly worked to get the company back into the modular carpet business, successfully growing alongside the demand for soft surface tile products. Jolly also paved the way for the introduction of Kinetex, an advanced textile composite flooring that, according to Jolly, “exhibits the innovative product history that has been a legacy trademark of J+J.” In 2014, J+J was independently certified as the first floor covering manufacturer in the U.S. to achieve Zero Waste to Landfill status. In 2016, Jolly helped successfully lead the merger with Engineered Floors. In 2017, the company celebrated its 60-year anniversary by celebrating its associates and its dedication to developing quality products and environment stewardship.

For more information, visit jjflooringgroup.com or call 800.241.4586.

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J+J Flooring Group introduces new Kinetex products

Put a Cork in It
Shown is Put a Cork in It.

Dalton—J+J Flooring Group recently introduced two new Kinetex products: Put a Cork in It and Tri-Plex. Both feature the human-centered properties for which Kinetex products are known, along with contemporary and appealing designs. This versatility offers unmatched flexibility for designers to create the commercial spaces they envision.

Boasting a name that matches its clever and quirky design, Put a Cork in It is an approachable yet distinctive 24 x 24 tile. Multi-tonal cork-like flecks appear through 16 colorways creating a pattern that brings an unexpected level of character and personality. Tri-Plex is a 24 x 24 modular tile and offers a balanced mix of modern patterning, crisp color and unsurpassed product performance. Tri-Plex features 12 colorways that can easily be mixed and matched for a unique installation. Both Tri-Plex and Put a Cork in It can be paired with the company’s new LVT or carpet products.

Through innovative design, construction and materials, Put a Cork in It and Tri-Plex contribute to better acoustics, greater comfort, improved traction (when compared to a hard surface) and enhanced indoor air quality, according to J+J. Both products come standard with PreFix, a pre-applied releasable adhesive allowing the ability to install over concrete with an RH up to 99%, reducing the need for costly moisture mitigation.

For more information, visit jjflooringgroup.com or call 800.241.4586.

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J+J Flooring Group releases annual corporate sustainability report

JJFG_ReportCoverDalton—J+J Flooring Group marked continued progress towards its environmental performance goals, according to the company’s fifth annual corporate sustainability report. The report covers the company’s environmental and social responsibility investments and progress during the 2016 fiscal year.

Highlights from the report include a 23% reduction in the company’s energy consumption since 2010—an achievement that exceeds J+J’s 20% reduction goal four years ahead of the company’s 2020 deadline. The milestone follows the company’s 2014 achievement of Zero Waste to Landfill Certification, six years ahead of its 2020 goal.

The milestones are part of J+J’s 20/20 Vision, an operational guidepost for managing J+J’s environmental performance through the year 2020, using the company’s 2010 performance as a baseline. The company’s 20/20 Vision goals include:

  • Eliminating use of landfills (achieved in 2015)
  • Reducing water usage by 66%
  • Reducing energy intensity by 20% (achieved in 2016)
  • Increasing the use of renewable energy to at least 10% of total consumption
  • Reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions by 20%
  • Increasing recycled, bio-based or renewable content in our products to 33%

Further progress towards J+J’s 20/20 Vision includes:

  • Off-setting more than 50% of direct energy consumption with Green E REC energy credits through the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Power Partnership, qualifying J+J as an EPA Energy Leadership Partner
  • A 34% water consumption reduction since 2010, including a 10.9% reduction in 2016
  • An 18% reduction in GHG emissions since 2010, including a 3.4% reduction in 2016

The report also highlights an expanding product mix and record number of new product introductions for J+J, along with the company’s focus on social responsibility, including an inclusive workplace culture, career development, employee health and wellbeing, and charitable giving (J+J employees gave their time and support to more than 20 local, regional and national charitable organizations in 2016 alone).

J+J Flooring Group’s 2016 corporate sustainability report is available as a hard copy by request or online.

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NeoCon 2017: Exhibitors report uptick in attendee quantity, quality

July 3/10: Volume 32, Issue 2

By Steven Feldman

 

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 2.34.43 PMChicago—NeoCon 2017 played to rave reviews last month, with just about every flooring supplier extolling the virtues of a show that saw increased traffic from 2016, matched only by the quality of those visiting their spaces. Their sentiments were confirmed by show management which reported an uptick of 7% in attendance shortly after the close of the event.

“Our take is that NeoCon is busier this year,” said Michel Vermette, president, The Mohawk Group, whose third floor space was bustling from start to finish over the first two days. “This year there are more end users. Major players. A lot of tech companies and financials—major groups that have big projects,” and it all has to do with the economy. “There are substantial projects out there. I think everyone wants to take advantage of these better economic times to catch up on some things they may have left behind for some time.”

Ralph Grogan, president and CEO of Bentley Mills, which showed product in its 10th floor space as well as its Kinzie Street showroom located within steps of the Merchandise Mart, went so far as to say this was the “best show ever for us.” Or at least since Grogan took the helm four years ago. “The traffic has been great. It seems like we’ve seen more people than we have had in years past. We definitely have seen more end users come by who are working on big RFPs.”

Even exhibitors on the 7th floor, which houses the temporary space, were pleased. Milton Goodwin, vice president of commercial sales for Karndean, agreed the show was busier than last year. “We looked at leads generated over the first two days, and they were significantly more than last year. That’s how we initially gauge it, and down the road how much business we got.” He added that Karndean saw a blend of attendees. “You have people coming with projects as well as some tire kickers. We love the ones who are doing the immediate-gratification jobs.”

What bodes well for the contract side of the flooring business is the fact that projects are coming from all segments. “Corporate was a bit soft last year but seems to have rebounded a good bit this year,” said David Jolly, CEO, J+J Flooring Group. “We are still very strong with our Kinetex product as well as carpet in both education and healthcare. Those are the three segments we focus on and this year they all seem to be pretty robust. It’s especially nice to have more interest and energy in corporate because that is 50% of what we do.”

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 2.35.24 PMBentley’s Grogan also welcomes the corporate rebound, which he attributes to greater profits. “We are bigger into the corporate market vs. some others. We have always thought corporate profits are the biggest indicator as far as how people are spending money. Most companies over the last two quarters have been doing really well. Stock prices are up for a lot of companies. So we are seeing people spend money. Millennials want good workstations, so people are investing in that.”

Russ Rogg, president of Metroflor—which markets its Aspecta brand to this audience—told FCNews every commercial segment in which the company plays has been positive. “Certainly retail has been a big part of our success. Healthcare and hospitality are growing very fast, maybe a little less on the corporate and education sides.”

Mohawk’s Vermette has seen strong demand in corporate and hospitality thus far in 2017. “But education this summer should be strong with the extra bond money in Texas and California, among others. We are very optimistic.”

What specifiers want

Designers come to NeoCon seeking, well, good design. Of course, service and price are also key components. But the good news is price, while still important, is less of a driver than it was coming out of the economic downturn. But there are other hot buttons for this audience on which manufacturers must deliver.

“You are seeing more projects with multiple SKUs on it,” Vermette said. “You see some custom projects, but less and less. You see more designers using multiple components to create a custom layout or custom office space or hospitality area, so they are very creative with your running-line pieces.”

He added that it’s not just carpet anymore; rather, it’s a hard/soft combo. “We make sure we can meet that requirement across the board. That gives us an edge over some of the carpet-only mills. It’s something we have been doing for over four years now, where our carpet tile matches up to our resilient tile. You don’t need a transition of any type. We make sure we have some products that color coordinate and also complement each other in size. We also make sure the life cycle of our products match up. If we decide to do something with a particular carpet tile or resilient tile, we still make sure there’s a coordinate that replaces it with a fresher, newer look.” As for price, Vermette said you always have to be relevant, “but it’s definitely not the concern it was during the downturn.”

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 2.35.09 PMRandy Merritt, president of Shaw Industries, noted that designers want product, service, innovation and, yes, price. “Is price the most important thing? Probably not. But everybody has a budget. There are a lot of projects where the design firm specifies one thing and when it is time to start doing the project they talk about value engineering. That’s the big term. That means lower price for a cheaper product.”

Jolly believes the big focus at NeoCon is always design. “That’s where it always starts, but every designer will tell you his or her project budgets matter. So I’ll still argue it’s design, but it’s design with value. It doesn’t just mean low-end pricing. Also, knowing what will enhance their customer’s brand or work experience.”

Karndean’s Goodwin is finding visitors want testimonials, like where a particular product is being used and whether they have peers using it as well. As for cost, “In this arena, price is important, but they are usually talking in terms of a general price. For the audience here, it is predominantly design that is the driver.”

Positive pulse

Ask any executive about business in the first half of the year, and most will agree it has been good, not great. J+J’s Jolly called the first six months of the year “very good” driven by product design. “We introduced 36 products last year, which is a lot for us. We really worked hard on corporate and education and it’s paying off for us this year. Those segments are still very strong.”

At Shaw Contract, Merritt was a little less bullish. “Healthcare has been pretty good still. Hospitality has been pretty good. Retail is a battle, and corporate is OK, not great.”

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 2.35.16 PMKarndean’s business is up in every commercial category, according to Goodwin, but multi-family is what’s really driving the success. “Healthcare is also a great category; there is lots of upheaval in that marketplace. And with education, colleges just let out and have a three-month window to get the business done.”

The numbers also bode well for Metroflor, but Rogg cautioned that Aspecta is a relatively new brand so posting high-percentage gains is easier at this stage. “We created this Aspecta brand to go specifically after contract opportunities only four years ago. So when a brand and a collection is this new for a manufacturer, incrementally our percentage of increase year over year is pretty nice. The first quarter was good, April and May a little slower, but we have seen orders in late May and June pick up.” He cited Iscocore as driving the lion’s share of the brand’s growth.

Meanwhile, over at Bentley, the company is enjoying a good first half but still is trying to overcome the perception the company is strictly high-end, expensive broadloom. “We completely reinvented the company the last four years, but we still need to educate our customers that we can compete with anybody in terms of styling, product pricing and just making sure people are aware we are big players in the carpet tile market,” Grogan explained. “We have doubled our carpet tile business in the last three years. We are doing a $2.5 million expansion to double the capacity on our tile line. We need to educate our customers on what Bentley has to offer.”

 

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J+J Flooring Group promotes Ginger Gilbert to director of product design

Ginger Gilbert
Ginger Gilbert

DaltonJ+J Flooring Group has promoted Ginger Gilbert to director of product design.

Gilbert, who most recently served as director of product—Kinetex, will now assume responsibility for product design across J+J’s Invision brand and Kinetex brand. The move streamlines the company’s management structure and brings enhanced efficiency to the development of new products from J+J’s product design team.

“Ginger has proven to be highly successful at developing design-forward commercial flooring products that generate broad appeal and interest,” said David Jolly, president, J+F Flooring. “Her experience and ability to work effectively with other areas across the organization, including manufacturing, marketing and research, are great assets as she assumes this expanded role.”

Gilbert joined J+J Flooring Group in 2013. Prior to joining the company, she served in both leadership and key design roles at leading companies throughout the flooring industry. Gilbert also brings a decade of experience as an interior designer working with architectural firms including Taylor + Associates and FKP Inc.

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CRBI honors Shaw Industries, J+J Flooring with Greenie awards

Shaw Industries - SNAPAdairsville, Ga.—The Coosa River Basin Initiative (CRBI) honored three local businesses—including two flooring companies—one local government and an area non-profit organization as winners of the 2nd Annual Greenie Awards during the organization’s Green Gala at Barnsley Gardens Resort in Adairsville.

The awards recognize extraordinary efforts to protect and preserve natural resources in the upper Coosa River basin of northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama in the fields of outdoor recreation, land protection, water conservation, sustainability and innovation.

“The actions of our honorees have directly benefitted the health of the Coosa, Etowah, Conasauga and other streams in the upper Coosa River basin,” said David Tucker, CRBI Executive Director.

The Bartow County Greenspace Program received CRBI’s Outdoor Recreation Greenie. Bartow County, working in conjunction with local municipalities, businesses, landowners, federal agencies and non-profit organizations, has been instrumental in establishing four new public boat launches on the Etowah River during the past five years to support the creation of the Etowah River Water Trail.

The Jasper-based Mountain Conservation Trust of Georgia won the Land Protection Greenie. Since 1991, the Trust has helped permanently preserve more than 4,500 acres of land in north Georgia, including 282 acres in Pickens County in 2015 that will help protect drinking water sources and habitat for federally protected fish species in the Etowah River basin.

Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer and a leading floor covering provider, received CRBI’s Water Conservation Greenie. Since 2006, the company has reduced water use in its manufacturing processes by 31% and has a goal of achieving total reductions of 50% within the next 14 years. This effort has reduced water withdrawals from the Conasauga River and other streams and reduced the amount of wastewater discharged to these same water bodies.

CRBI’s Sustainability Greenie was awarded to J + J Flooring Group, another Dalton-based flooring company. In 2015, the maker of modular carpet and textile composite flooring became the first carpet manufacturer to be certified as a zero waste-to-landfill manufacturer. The company’s 750 employees recycle and reuse carpet scraps on site, and even the small amount of waste the company produces is sent to a Huntsville, Ala., waste-to-energy facility.

Hannah Solar, an Atlanta-based solar energy provider, received CRBI’s Innovation Greenie. In recent years, Hannah has been an instrumental player in making Georgia the fastest growing solar market in the nation. Among Hannah’s many projects installed in the Coosa River basin are arrays in Rome, Calhoun and Lyerly. Hannah’s facilities produce clean energy that reduce our dependence on water-intensive energy production and offset more than 3.6 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

The event generated more than $48,000 for CRBI programs to protect the region’s drinking water sources and North America’s most biologically unique river basin.

Sponsors of the Green Gala include Burgess Insurance, Cook & Connelly, Culbreth Carr Watson Animal Clinic, The Finnell Firm, Marglen Industries, McRae, Stegall, Peek, Harman, Smith & Monroe LLP, Mitigation Management, OTR Wheel Engineering, Shaw Industries, State Mutual Insurance and The Pool Store.

CRBI is a 501c3 non profit organization and member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance. Its mission is to inform and empower citizens to protect, preserve and restore North America’s most biologically unique river basin.

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J+J Flooring Group introduces two textural carpets

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 3.24.46 PMDalton— J+J Flooring Group has introduced two Invision carpet products: Structure and Mineral. Featuring sophisticated textures and colors, both products can be used in a variety of environments.

Structure is a simple and elegant broadloom inspired by the unique details of various architectural elements. Tweed-like, rugged textures combine with uneven weights and coloring evoking the look of aging brick, hand-woven textiles and weathered woods.

Mineral is a 24 x 24 modular product that brings a classic look to multiple decors. Seven colors ranging from green, gray and chestnut offer expansive design flexibility. The company’s ColorLoc Plus technology brings an added level of superior color performance.

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J+J Flooring Group cited in Waste360’s zero waste to landfill operations

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 5.04.17 PMDalton—J+J Flooring Group, a leading manufacturer of commercial specified flooring, was highlighted in Waste360’s list of top 20 companies with zero waste to landfill operations.

Serving approximately 70,000 professionals worldwide, Waste360 is the leading information and services provider to the solid waste, recycling, organics and sustainable communities. “[J+J Flooring is] the first commercial flooring manufacturer in the United States to achieve landfill-free status,” the company wrote. “For years the company has worked to reduce waste it sends to landfills through effective reuse, recycling and repurposing methods.”

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J+J Flooring names Blackstock corporate VP of sales strategy

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 11.25.17 AMDalton—J+J Flooring Group, a leading manufacturer of commercial specified flooring, has named Bill Blackstock as the company’s new corporate vice president of sales strategy.

Blackstock will succeed Bill Crosley, current corporate vice president of sales strategy, who is retiring later this year after 36 years with the company. In the interim, Blackstock will work closely with the entire J+J leadership team to further hone the company’s short and long term sales strategies and product initiatives. Blackstock will assume his new role Sept. 1.

“Our success has always been founded on the quality of people that comprise our company,” said David Jolly, president and CEO of J+J Flooring Group. “With Bill Crosley and Bill Blackstock, we have two of the finest sales management professionals in our industry.”

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J+J Flooring Group introduces first Kinetex plank products

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 2.04.10 PMDalton— J+J Flooring Group has introduced the first modular plank products from Kinetex textile composite flooring. The sophisticated ombre patterns of Umbra and Umbra Stripe were inspired by the darkest, innermost shadow of an eclipse. This effect, when set upon a modular plank, creates a myriad of design installation possibilities ranging from sublime and refined to tailored and bold.

These products are constructed of a knitted polyester fabric and cushioned polyester felt backing, and come in 18”x36”. Kinetex offers a soft textile aesthetic with the durability of hard surface flooring, making it an ideal flooring solution for multiple types of interiors.