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NAFCD partners with Affinity for members' HR support

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 4.09.40 PMChicago—The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) has partnered with Affinity HR Group, a consulting team specialized in all facets of human resources, management and strategic workforce planning. Affinity HR Group is staffed by a group of seasoned HR professionals with years of combined experience providing sound people support to clients nationwide.

Kevin Gammonley, NAFCD executive vice president, said the group aims to “provide our members with a human resources offering that addresses challenging people-management issues. Through this partnership, members will be able to access discounted pricing and receive customized tools and services based on the size and needs of their companies.”

Affinity HR Group’s expertise in all facets of human resources offers go-to consultants no matter the HR challenge. Products and services available to members through the partnership include:

- Ad hoc HR support

- Custom-designed employee handbooks

- HR compliance audits

- Affirmative action planning

- Corporate policy development

- Job description development

This benefit can be shared with member companies’ HR personnel. Learn more about all NAFCD partnerships and member resources at

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T&L Distributing founder awarded Lifetime Acheivement

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Orlando, Fla.—The late Bob Thomas, owner and co-founder of T&L Distributing, was awarded the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2015 NAFCD (North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors) convention here earlier this month. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes exceptional leadership or outstanding contributions that have led to expanding the vision of the floor covering distribution industry.

Founded on the principles of honesty and excellence, Thomas opened T&L Distributing in Houston in 1972. With his steady hand and a group of motivated managers, T&L has become one of the largest flooring distributors in the nation with multiple locations covering six states.

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NAFCD: Distributors see value in networking

November 9/16; Volume 30/Number 11

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 4.20.26 PMOrlando, Fla.—The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) continues to evolve as it seeks new ways to provide value to membership. While the recent annual convention—held here Nov. 3-5 in conjunction with the North American Building Materials Distribution Association (NBMDA)—provided valuable networking opportunities and insight on key issues that impact all wholesalers, the organization continues to provide resources throughout the year to further enhance distributors’ businesses. FCNews sat down with the executive board at the convention’s trade show event for a brief round-table discussion to examine some of the issues impacting distribution, the association’s initiatives in 2015 and plans for the coming year.

What was the NAFCD up to in 2015?

Chaidez: The biggest initiative was to reemphasize the NAFCD brand, which is the value of networking within the industry. It’s the value of reaching out to all the different partners in the industry, bringing them together, learning from each other and exchanging ideas. What we have seen at this conference is the result of that.

Jaeckle: We launched an online biweekly newsletter, Distributor Digest, which, among other things, emphasized the value of this conference. We also interview someone within the industry and provide links to all articles written on distribution. Those could even be from outside the industry. The newsletter also provides information on events, partner discounts, education opportunities, products of the NAFCD and more.

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 4.24.28 PMWe also strengthened our partnerships with NWFA [National Wood Flooring Association], WFCA [World Floor Covering Association] and Surfaces. Among other things, this involved being part of their organizations and having them offer space to the NAFCD at their events for our members to network.

Mandell: WFCA is more retail oriented. It’s about working together.

Jaeckle: The main interest involves sharing information on key issues to both, like installation. We rely on the success of the retail segment, and that is WFCA. Anything we can do to help them helps all of us.

Chaidez: One of the things we did in 2015 was schedule a conference call with all past presidents to get their thoughts and input on the direction NAFCD should take. Bobby Weiss of All Tile suggested working closer with WFCA. Also, everyone said we should focus on the value of networking and tailor the conference to be a networking event.

Did membership increase in 2015?

Mandell: We increased membership on both the manufacturer and distributor sides. We looked outside the normal realm. For example, we are focusing on adding value to members who used to be with FIANA [Flooring Installation Assocation of North America] and get them involved.

Chaidez: DespitScreen Shot 2015-11-12 at 4.24.36 PMe consolidation in the industry, NAFCD added 10 distributor members, 11 manufacturer members and four allied members, like software companies. Allied members are those who provide services to the industry. It was a total of 25 new members, our largest increase in quite some time.

How was 2015 from a business standpoint?

Powell: A lot of people saw a slowdown in the summer, seemingly driven by a stock market blip and the labor shortage with installation.

Chaidez: It was a year of change for the industry: strong commercial, strong builder, modestly improving residential.

What do you mean by change?

Chaidez: It’s about the changes we are seeing with our customer base. Customers are diversifying their businesses. Commercial is now venturing into property management. Ceramic-only dealers are now going into wood. Hard surface-only dealers are now going into soft surface. And distributors who weren’t selling supplies are now getting into supplies. The industry is adding complexity into their businesses so they can continue diversifying their offerings.

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 4.24.44 PMJaeckle: We all had to react very quickly to Lumber Liquidators. We have seen the importance of knowing your suppliers and knowing everything about the products you are bringing in. Compliance is important to consumers and retailers, and we as distributors must ensure we are delivering products that meet all environmental concerns and requirements.

Is private labeling becoming more important?

Jaeckle: In the last five years we have doubled the amount of private label lines. Reasons for that include having more control over the product, single distribution and product differentiation.

Mandell: With private labeling you are not required to have as many SKUs. You decide what you are going to bring in. And it is personalized to your market.

Chaidez: We see private label brands as a way to fill distribution gaps. The whole concept of narrow and deep is easier to manage—a narrower number of SKUs to allow for deeper inventory levels.

What changes are you seeing in product?

Chaidez: Wood continues to take share from carpet, LVT continues to take share from laminate, the new WPC product takes share from LVT and laminate, and ceramic is taking share from all categories.

JaecklScreen Shot 2015-11-12 at 4.24.50 PMe: In ceramic, the wood look is unbelievable. Three or four years ago it was a blip. Now it is our third best seller in tile. And five years ago 12 x 24 was nothing. Today that size accounts for more than 40% of our sales.

Powell: WPC products are continuing to gain momentum. They offer the best features of LVT and laminate without downsides. USFloors getting its patent approved has been huge. There seems to be an intent to keep the quality up, meaning the lower quality imports will lose their place in the market which is good.

How has labor shortage impacted distribution?

Mandell: It definitely impacts claims. A huge reason why people have claims is because installers are not certified or properly trained. Another impact is if people have to wait too long to have their product installed, it lends itself to more DIY. This is positive for home centers, negative for distribution. I think it is fair to say the industry doesn’t have a solution for this.

Chaidez: The question is, what is the role of the manufacturer and distributor to create more demand to train new people in becoming an installer? Higher wages? More certifications? The job itself is gaining more value because there is more demand than installers.

What are some of NAFCD’s initiatives for 2016?

Jaeckle: We want to continue growing our membership base. We have realized our strength comes from numbers and diversity.

We are also hoping to enhance some of our benefits to our members such as the private analysis report. That is a voluntary report where distributors submit financial data such as sales percentage per category, how many SKUs, etc. We want to get more flooring specific, things like sample expense. We would also like to have more flooring-specific education at our next convention.

We are looking at instituting a program for our members to get discounts on various services to add value. Examples would be ADP, Ferrell gas, Grainger, fuel cards, transportation logistics. We also want to develop a strong pipeline of people who can serve in this organization. We have to get people engaged. We want to know we have a list of people who actively want to serve.

Mandell: We also want to diversify the board, especially our manufacturer board members in terms of the products they sell. Also more geographic and size diversification. We are not always looking for mid to large distributors; we also want to get the perspectives of smaller distributors so we can understand everyone’s challenges.

What has been the reaction to this event?

Jaeckle: We have received positive feedback. The membership is energized. They love the schedule, speakers and roundtable discussions. The most consistent message is they love the energy from the networking opportunities. This is the only event that offers that opportunity; Surfaces is too big.

[In terms of what we can do differently] people want to see more levity and fun. The membership breakfast is an important function of the organization; maybe we can do some things to liven it up and make this event more engaging. We can keep the formalities but make it more interactive.

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NAFCD + NBMDA Annual Convention wraps up

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 10.08.00 AMOrlando—Another successful NAFCD + NBMDA Annual Convention took place on Nov. 3-5 at the Hilton Orlando here. For the sixth consecutive year the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) and North American Building Material Distribution Association (NBMDA) brought together more than 700 distribution professionals throughout the leading floor covering, specialty building material, cabinetry and woodworking industries to network, engage, learn and grow their businesses.

During the three days in Orlando attendees gained insights on trends in the floor covering and building products supply chain; learned tips for employee recruitment and retention; discovered how to expand their innovation and strategic thinking; reviewed global economic forecasts; shared best practices with their peers; participated in manufacturer-hosted meetings and social activities; strengthened relationships with current trading partners; and built relationships with new partners.

The 2016 NAFCD + NBMDA Annual Convention will take place Nov. 1-3 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

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2015 NAFCD + NBMDA Annual Convention reveals Diamond sponsors

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 11.10.34 AMChicago—The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) and North American Building Material Distribution Association (NBMDA) have revealed the Diamond level sponsors of the 2015 NAFCD + NBMDA Annual Convention, taking place Nov. 3-5 at the Hilton Orlando in Orlando.

The Diamond level 2015 NAFCD + NBMDA Annual Convention sponsors include Artistic Finishes, Chemcraft, Dancik, DMSI, Flooring Pro Fastening, Grass America, LW Mountain, M.L. Campbell, Zamma, UPG, Rev-a-Shelf and Meganite.

This annual convention brings together the top distributors, manufacturers and service providers from the floor covering, specialty building material, cabinetry and woodworking industries to network, engage, learn and grow their businesses in one place. Through the participation and contributions of the companies in the sponsorship program, NAFCD and NBMDA are able to develop and host a high-quality event where attendees can form their operating and logistics plans, develop marketing plans, discuss new products and cover the critical factors that establish and strengthen their partnerships.

Register at

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NAFCD releases 2015 Quarterly Sales Trends Report

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Chicago—The NAFCD (North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors) has released its 2015 Quarterly Sales Trends Report, a robust benchmarking and forecasting tool that provides NAFCD members with invaluable data and insights. The report delivers NAFCD members with information on near term and regional demand trends, sales forecasts as well as business management.

“The Quarterly Sales Trends Report is helpful in seeing how the industry is doing overall,” said Rosana Chaidez, NAFCD president and vice president of sales & marketing and procurement at J.J. Haines. “It provides a strong understanding of where we perform compared to other distributors and sets a good benchmark.”

Highlights from the report showed that NAFCD distributors and manufacturers are off to a good start in 2015, with a 10% and 4% increase in sales respectively. April was a strong month for respondents and 2015 growth targets have increased with 75% of distributors increasing their Q2 goals over the past few months.

Distributor sales growth targets remain up 6% in 2015, similar to forecasts put in place earlier this year, and roughly two points higher than 2014 actual growth, which was up 4%. However, NAFCD distributors remain cautious with nearly 30% reducing forecasts for Q2 in 2015.

The report also indicated that manufacturers now expect sales to improve more than 15% in 2015, roughly three points higher than forecasts earlier this year and actual 2014 sales, which was up 12%.

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NAFCD announces 2015 officers and board members

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 1.55.48 PMChicago—The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) has announced the organization’s 2015 Board of Directors. The NAFCD Board of Directors is comprised of industry executives from both distributor and manufacturer member firms that handle different types of floor covering materials, related products and accessories.

Rosana Chaidez, senior vice president, CMH sales at Haines, will assume the position of president and as the first female president of the association. “As an NAFCD member for many years I’m honored to be leading this organization as president,” Chaidez said. “I look forward to continuing and enhancing the benefits of NAFCD membership in 2015.”

“NAFCD is enjoying membership growth due to our enhanced value proposition,” said Kevin Gammonley, executive vice president. “We are excited about the positive impact the 2015 Board of Directors will have on the organization as a result of their collective experiences in our industry.”

Executive Officers:

  •  President Rosana Chaidez (Haines, Glen Burnie, MD)
  •  President-Elect Torrey Jaeckle (Jaekcle Distributors, Madison, WI)
  •  Vice President Heidi Cronin (The Cronin Company, Portland, OR)
  •  Treasurer Geoff Work (The R.A. Siegel Company, Mableton, GA)
  •  Immediate Past President Craig Folven (Herregan Distributors, Eagan, MN)

NAFCD Distributor Directors:

  •  Robert Hagood (William M. Bird & Company, Inc. North Charleston, SC)
  •  David Powell (Erickson’s Flooring & Supply Co., Ferndale, MI)
  •  Steve Rosenthal (All Tile, Inc. Elk Grove Village, IL)

NAFCD Manufacturer Distributors:

  •  Flavia Gaggio (IndusParquet USA)
  •  Duane Goetze (ShawMark Floors)
  •  David Ford (Stauf USA LLC)
  •  Alex Shaoulpour (Horizon Floors)
  •  Dave Darche (Bona U.S.)
  •  Sean Swanson (Kahrs International)


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2014 NAFCD + NBMDA Annual Convention a resounding success

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 9.43.55 AMChicago—More than 700 distribution professionals came together from throughout the leading floor covering, specialty building material, cabinetry and woodworking industries for another successful NAFCD + NBMDA Annual Convention, Nov. 18-20 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel in Dallas.

Distributor attendees took advantage of many opportunities to build relationships and make strong business connections with hundreds of new and existing supplier partners. Attending distribution firms represented approximately 900 distribution center locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. One-on-one business meetings allowed attendees to form their operating and logistics plans, develop marketing plans, discuss current products and future offerings and cover the critical factors that establish and strengthen their partnerships.

In addition, the event’s educational sessions were highly rated and featured an impressive roster of thought leaders. Nationally recognized speakers shared their expertise on economic trends, innovative thinking, generational differences, trends in the building product supply chain and work-life balance. Attendees walked away with practical tips and best practices that they can implement to enhance their business and personal brand.

“We are very pleased with the number of industry leaders and executives who attended this year’s event and helped make it a success,” said Kevin Gammonley, executive vice president of NBMDA and NAFCD executive director. “As always, this highly anticipated event allows attendees to establish and strengthen new partnerships all in one place. We received positive feedback on the tabletop session, networking opportunities and education offerings.”

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NAFCD announces Leadership in Action and Lifetime Achievement Award recipients

image001-4Chicago—To celebrate leaders in the floor covering distribution industry, the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) announced its Leadership in Action and Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.

The Leadership in Action Award recognizes individuals for the positive impact and meaningful contributions that they have made to their company’s success. Aaron Hormann of Herregan Distributors, Jim Boyce of Rosel-Heck Co. and Flavia Baggio have all demonstrated leadership and contributed positively to the industry while being an innovator, motivator and a proactive contributor towards effective solutions.

Lifetime Achievement Award recipients have shown exceptional leadership and made outstanding contributions that have led to expanding the vision of the floor covering industry. Don Evans of Swift-Train, Jim Gunter of The Cronin Company, James C. Gould of The Floor Covering Institute and John Capell, Kerry Capell and Marsden Haigh, founders of CMH Space Flooring, are all recipients of the award.

All award recipients have made a tremendous impact in the floor covering distribution industry, and will be honored during the 2014 NAFCD and NBMDA Annual Convention.

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NAFCD announces support for Habitat for Humanity ReStores

Picture 1Chicago—The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) announced its support for Habitat for Humanity by creating awareness of Habitat’s ReStores and the two organizations’ shared values of community involvement, housing opportunities and environmental stewardship.

NAFCD is encouraging all of its members to join the effort by donating materials and products to the Habitat ReStore in their trade area. Habitat promotes the reuse and recycling of materials. NAFCD members can also educate their associates and customers about Habitat’s mission of building homes and changing lives in communities across the nation as well as the purpose of Habitat’s ReStores.

“We are excited to work with Habitat in supporting local Habitat ReStores,” said Kevin Gammonley, NAFCD executive vice president. “This is a big win for our members and for the many people and communities that Habitat supports.”