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Industry honors Werner Braun

IMG_1202Dalton — Werner Braun served as the face and the voice of the carpet industry during some of its most successful years and during possibly the worst recession in industry has ever faced. But after 14 years, he is stepping down as president of the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) on March 31.

On Tuesday, March 18,  industry leaders gathered at the Dalton Golf and Country Club to honor Braun and the work he has done with CRI.

“Werner presided over the Carpet and Rug Institute during a time of great change,” said David Jolly, president and CEO of J+J Flooring Group and chairman of the CRI. “He presided over the Green Label program and the continuation of the Green Label Plus program, which is something that is nationally recognized and is probably the envy of many trade organizations. That showed that our industry was proactive in dealing with concerns about indoor air quality concerns. He promoted the Seal of Approval program, which makes the carpet-owning experience much better. And, in 2009, when all of us went through the Great Recession, Werner presided over a streamlining of the Carpet and Rug Institute. Werner has just done a great job through all of that.”

Ralph Boe, who recently retired as CEO of Beaulieu of America, praised Braun for his leadership on issues such as dealing with consumer concerns on indoor air quality and allergies. “He was able to put us together with the right organizations and individuals to work our way through those issues,” Boe said. “He’s been excellent from that standpoint. And he has just been an excellent president.”

Braun worked for 31 years for Dow Chemical Co., then worked briefly as senior director for international relations at the Chlorine Chemistry Council before joining the CRI as president in 2000.

Industry leaders commended Braun for his professionalism, integrity and devotion to the carpet industry. In particular, several lauded his ability to help them find consensus and work together on issues of mutual concern.

“He deserves accolades for putting up with the rest of us around here,” joked Mohawk Industries CEO Jeff Lorberbaum.

But Braun praised industry executives, particularly CRI’s board members, as well as the staff of the CRI for making his job easy.

“It never has felt like a job,” Braun said. “When I retired from Dow in 1998, at my graduation party I said I felt truly blessed. I can say those same words today.”

Braun said he plans to spend more time with his family and to travel. He says he also hopes to increase his involvement with charitable organizations and community groups. He said that has always been something that was important to him but he had to let that involvement decrease over the last few years as his duties at the CRI took up more of his time.

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Boe announces retirement, Vercruyssen named CEO/president

Karel Vercruyssen, left, and Ralph Boe

Dalton – Beaulieu Group announced a transition to dual CEOs as Dr. Ralph J. Boe, CEO of Beaulieu America, prepares his retirement from the company he has led for a dozen years. Boe’s retirement will be effective February 28, 2014. Beaulieu Group also announced that Karel Vercruyssen has been promoted to CEO/president of Beaulieu America, effective immediately. Vercruyssen was named president and COO of Beaulieu America in April, 2012. Prior to joining Beaulieu America in 2012, Vercruyssen was CEO and president of Beaulieu Canada for five years. Continue reading Boe announces retirement, Vercruyssen named CEO/president

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Beaulieu makes executive level changes

The nation’s third largest floor covering manufacturer announced changes in its management structure, effective immediately. These changes reflect Beaulieu’s continued plan to strengthen and grow its position in the market following its securing a $230 million loan refinance package in October of last year and a string of successes with major accounts and industry awards since Surfaces. Continue reading Beaulieu makes executive level changes

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Miller honored with FCNews’ Lifetime Achievement Award

by Steven Feldman

Fostoria, Ohio—Donald Miller, president and CEO of Roppe Holding Corp., was honored by Floor Covering News on March 12 with the Albert Wahnon Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was presented to Miller at Roppe headquarters here in front of many of the people who matter most to him: his family and employees. Continue reading Miller honored with FCNews’ Lifetime Achievement Award

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What happens in Vegas shouldn’t stay in Vegas

by Celia Payne

Las Vegas—Surfaces 2012 presented the opportunity to shine—even brighter than the Vegas strip. The successful protagonists at the show know you must set yourself apart among a sea of introductions. Continue reading What happens in Vegas shouldn’t stay in Vegas

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Beaulieu announces $230M loan refinancing plan

by Louis Iannaco

Dalton—Executives at Beaulieu of America have announced the securing of $230 million in loan refinancing. Said Ralph Boe, president and CEO, “We are now poised for continued growth in the current marketplace. And, as the largest privately-held carpet manufacturer in the U.S., Beaulieu will continue to focus on the needs of its customers to be the ‘supplier of choice.’” Continue reading Beaulieu announces $230M loan refinancing plan

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Executive forecast: Carpet mills continue to invest in technology, hope for a turnaround

Carpet mills continue to invest in technology, hope for a turnaround

 

By Louis Iannaco

 

In broadloom, it continues to be about the housing market and, according to mill execs, jobs. 2011 can best be described as flat, and as for what executives see for 2012, all indicators continue to point to housing/the economy and unemployment as key indicators for the category’s health.

This is not to say mills have not invested in themselves, and plan to do so in the coming year with technology and social media playing major roles. A light at the end of the proverbial tunnel continues to be commercial, which once again fared better than residential. Continue reading Executive forecast: Carpet mills continue to invest in technology, hope for a turnaround

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Boe honored with FCNews' Lifetime Achievement Award

LAS VEGAS—Ralph Boe, president and CEO of Beaulieu of America, the world’s third-largest carpet mill, was honored Jan. 25 with the Floor Covering News Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was presented to Boe during Surfaces’ general session here before more than 700 people. Continue reading Boe honored with FCNews' Lifetime Achievement Award