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CFI to hold 25th convention along with anniversary celebration

Forney, Texas—Certified Flooring Installer’s Association (CFI) will offer a “who’s who” stellar lineup of industry talent and business growth opportunities at its CFI Convention. The event will feature training seminars, hands-on workshops and presentations, and will be held from Aug. 15-17 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Fla.

This year’s show will open with a welcome reception on the evening of Aug. 15, where attendees will be able to mingle with CFI trainers and presenters as well as representatives from many influential companies in the trade such as Gundlach, Measure Square, HPS Schönox and more. Thursday, Aug. 16, includes a jam-packed schedule starting with Josh McGinnis, business coach and consultant of Unlock Your Biz, who will speak about “Why Most Business Plans Are Worthless.”

In addition to multiple other showcases, workshops and new product demos, visitors will be the first to hear the unveiling of the anticipated research on The Installation Crisis by the FCLC. Thursday night will wrap with the CFI event night, including Florida’s very own Dale “The Paint Man” Henry and Band.

The last day of the show, Aug. 17, will include general sessions and additional opportunities to interface and train with some of the most recognizable names and faces in the industry, including Joe Cea of Congoleum, Don Styka of Tarkett and Paul Pleshek of NAFCT. The show will wrap up with the closing dinner awards, a semi-formal event.

“Along with our 25th anniversary celebration, this year’s show is going to be unlike any other industry-wide,” said Robert Varden, vice president, CFI. “Our convention is recognized as the number one trusted source destination for the latest information on new products, tools, techniques and training for the flooring professional.”

To register to attend the tradeshow portion or for full access to the whole convention, visit: cficonvention.org. Additionally, a room block with discounted rates is locked in for a limited time at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort.

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CFI’s accelerated carpet Installation training classes filling up

cfi installersDallas–Retailers and students across the country are contacting and booking seats for the International Certified Floor Covering Installers (CFI) exclusive accelerated carpet installation class, the association announced.

To accommodate demand and access to the class, CFI will be offering two options for the next class which will start on May 16th–one class will be available at the CFI training facility in Forney, Texas, and another will run in the WFCA office building in Anaheim, Calif.

“We hit the ground running with our training facility in Forney, and since March we have been turning out certified graduates ready to begin work immediately,” said Robert Varden, vice president, CFI. “This expansion has been a part of our plan. The facility in Anaheim offers the same level of accredited professional instructors, latest equipment, tools and products that are available at the Texas based school, as well as a vast space for training.”

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CFI graduates first class from new training school

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 9.45.52 AMDallas—On March 4, the CFI (Certified Floorcovering Installers) installation training school in Dorney, Texas, presented its first graduating class. The certified graduates came off of five weeks of intensive training ready to begin work immediately.

“I am amazed and gratified by the craftsmanship and integrity of work I have witnessed from our trailblazing graduates,” said Robert Varden, vice president, CFI Division of the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA). “The hands-on training and low student teacher ratio is of paramount importance to the caliber and success of our CFI students. Unlike other training programs, graduates of our highly efficient class had jobs lined up upon graduation.”

Since its opening a number of retailers have contacted the institution with leads on potential students as well as an interest in underwriting scholarships for students who then can go on to work for them with certified installation expertise.

Lonnie Presson, owner of Lonnie’s Carpet Max based in Rockford, Ill., said he was one of the first business owners in line to secure enrollment for two promising students. “Any retailer would be foolish to not take advantage of the training offered by CFI,” he said. “It’s absolutely amazing to think of the impact that this five-week training course had and will continue to have on the lives of the two students I sent to the school.” Presson said he already has contacted the institution about registration for the next round of training.

Interested students do not need any previous installation experience to attend the CFI class. The course offers a comprehensive lineup of all the technical aspects required for basic residential carpet installation. The next accelerated carpet installation class begins at the Forney school on April 4th followed by another offering of the course in Anaheim, Calif., on May 16th. In addition to the accelerated carpet class, the school also offers long and short-term training programs in every flooring product category for students at all levels. For more information or to register for the new carpet installation class or another program visit: http://www.cfiinstallers.org/school.html.

“Our training programs are second-to-none and our graduates deliver on our foundation of raising the level of professionalism and craftsmanship in our industry,” Varden said. The training school is designed as part of an industrywide effort to help resolve the installation crisis. “If our recent graduates are any indication of what the future holds in store, then I know we are all headed in the right direction. I hope you will join our effort and support this vital training and certification program.”

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CFI: Surfaces 2016 training courses were filled to capacity

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 10.21.01 AMLenexa, Kan.—With all of its certification courses filling to capacity throughout The International Surfaces Event (TISE), Robert Varden, vice president, CFI division of the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), declared another successful year for Certified Floorcovering Installer Association. In addition to its training programs CFI offered live demonstrations on-site in the TISE Installation Showcase. The presentations included the installation of luxury vinyl tile and patterned carpet installs, common issues with floating floors and how to address challenges with laminate.

“We had one of our most successful years to date at TISE this year,” Varden said. “Our booth was jam packed throughout the show and there was a lot of very positive buzz about the surplus of installation work available in our industry. Though still in a very early phase, our efforts to reach people and start chipping away at the installation issue appear to be paying off nicely. We have a very steady stream of training programs and certifications lined up this year and I am very excited about the progress we are making every day.”

Bob Gillespie, a certified CFI trainer from Kansas City, Mo, conducted the CFI hardwood and laminate installation training classes at the show with the assistance of certified installers from across the U.S. including David Garden (Michigan), Efren Llamas (California, Kelly Huddleston (Colorado), Roland Thompson (Maryland), Scott Terryberry (Colorado), Dick Schmidt (Ohio), Jen Zurn (Wisconsin) and Jay Zurn (Wisconsin). During the two-day training, installers learned key installation techniques for installing various types of laminate and hardwood including expansion requirements and plank replacement procedures.

The CFI carpet installation course training was conducted by Jonathan Varden from Dallas. Varden was assisted by CFI certified professionals who came to teach from across the country including Tom Cartmell (Indiana), Leon Harrison (Arizona), Dwayne Pruitt (Kansas), George Johnson, III (Maryland), Chris Sessum (Washington) and Gary Goessl (Wisconsin). Participants learned proper seam sealing, other seaming practices, and power stretching techniques.  Other topics such as stair installation, pattern identification and corrective measures, carpet construction, and different backing materials were also discussed and reviewed during the course.

“We would especially like to thank our supportive partners that made the CFI training events at TISE possible including: Mohawk, Mohawk University, Armorlock, Personna, Traxx, Wagner Meters, Lowe’s, Masland, SawStop, Armstrong, Tarkett, Atlas, and the World Floor Covering Association,” Varden said. “Our partners supply all of the products and materials needed as well as product knowledge and tool demonstrations to the installers throughout the show. We thank them for their continued support.”

CFI installation training and certification is offered throughout the year at the new CFI state-of-the-art training school in Forney, Texas, as well as in roving locations across the U.S. For more information about the school visit http://cfiinstallers.org/school. To view an upcoming calendar of classes or to schedule one at your location, visit http://cfiinstallers.org/calendar.html.

 

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CCA Global sponsors CFI installation training and certification workshop

CFI training imageUnion City, Calif.–For two days in June, flooring installers had the opportunity to attend a Certified Floorcovering Installers (CFI)  Training and Certification for Carpet at the Shaw distribution facility here. CCA Global has been sponsoring CFI events for several years under the leadership of Robert Varden, CFI executive director.

The training included installation techniques and requirements for a CFI Residential Certification. Varden demonstrated the CFI Proven Methods of Installation, which includes seam construction, pattern matching, powerstretching, stair upholstery and other techniques.

Leigh Bakhtiari of Carpet One Floor and Home, a Diamond Certified firm by Carpet One located in San Rafael, Calif., helped coordinate the event She attended sessions June 17-19, and received the CFI Technical Certification, which is available for dealers, sales personnel and others who are not part of the installation community.

Those who receive this certification must attend the entire event and complete the written portion of the test. This provides a better understanding of the requirements of professional installation and also opens lines of communication with the installers and the customers.

“Even the most experienced installer learned a few new tricks from Robert Varden and Jonathan Varden of CFI,” Bakhtiari said. “I am grateful to Carpet One for extending this training to our members and to CFI for a first-rate certification course. It is worth the time and expense of having an installer off the floor for the days of training and certification.”

Carpet installers were in attendance from six Carpet One retail establishments throughout northern California. At the conclusion of the event, a written test was administered that included required installation techniques, OSHA, EPA requirements and customer service skills.

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Judges named for HPS Schönox Worst Subfloor Contest

HPS subfloor contestFlorence, Ala.—A three-judge panel of independent flooring industry experts has been chosen to oversee the second annual Worst Subfloor Contest sponsored by HPS Schönox.

Tom Jennings, vice president of member services, the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA); Dean Thompson, president and CEO, the Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI); and Robert Varden, executive director, Certified Floorcovering Installers (CFI) will judge contest entries.

“I’ve worked in the flooring industry all of my life, having been quite literally born into it with my family’s retail business so doing things right and seeing the industry perform at its highest level is important to me,” Jennings said. “The Worst Subfloor Contest is a great platform for the industry to demonstrate its expertise.”

“Much of my work today is concerned with representing and supporting the flooring industry helping to develop guidelines to ensure quality and sustainability with flooring products and their installation,” Thompson said. “I was eager to assist with the Schönox contest not wanting to miss a chance to support the industry and efforts to continuously improve what is done in the field every day.”

“In my 30 years of flooring experience as an installer, educator, consultant, and technical advisor, I have seen so many tough subfloor conditions and the pressing need for expertise in addressing these situations,” Varden said.

The contest is open to flooring companies to show the tough subfloor conditions they tackled and how they renovated them using Schönox products. The contest runs through Dec. 11, with winners to be announced at The International Surface Event (Surfaces) in Las Vegas. Entries can be submitted at hpsubfloors.com/worstsubfloor. First, second and third place winners are chosen on the severity of the original subfloor’s condition, the skill and attention to detail taken in executing the project, and the quality of the finished subfloor.

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Floor Covering Leadership Council formed

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 2.46.16 PMAnaheim, Calif. – The Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC), an organization currently comprised of 15 associations—all dedicated to flooring—was formed in July, with the goal of addressing and improving some of the most pressing issues and problems faced by members of the flooring industry.

Organizations that have expressed a Council membership commitment include the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), National Institute of Certified Floorcovering Inspectors (NICFI), Marble Institute of America (MIA), Ceramic Tile Distributor Association (CTDA), Carpet Cushion Council (CCC), Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI), Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI), National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), Flooring Covering Installation Contractors Association (FCICA), Certified Flooring Installer (CFI), Floor Installation Association of North America (FIANA), National Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD), North American Laminate Floor Association (NALFA) and American Flooring Association (AFA.)

FCLC represents an evolution of the Floor Covering Industry Issues Council (FCIIC.) The remaining active members of FCIIC, including WFCA, voted to overhaul the organization. They adopted a new name, revised their mission statement, and plan to revitalize membership and bring about a positive impact in the industry. The exploratory meeting to determine interest in and need for what would become FCLC took place on April 16, 2014, in Nashville, during the National Wood Flooring Association convention.

The new purpose statement for FCLC reads: The Floor Covering Leadership Council exists to identify issues and develop solutions that lead to the success of the floor covering industry and its professionals.

The official first meeting took place in Orlando on July 29. Seven associations were represented at this meeting and worked to identify the overall mission of FCLC as well as an ongoing agenda for the group. Members agreed the most effective way to bring about industry change was through group-focused action and cooperation. They identified the three most pressing issues affecting the flooring industry: access to training, the looming shortage of flooring installers, and the need for improved coordination between the several trade organizations that exist within the industry.

The topic deemed most important was access to efficient, effective and affordable professional training and instruction for industry members in all capacities. The FCLC organizers noted that manufacturers, associations, and colleges and schools across the country offer a vast number of training and education programs. They decided that the industry could derive great benefit from a centrally organized online portal, bringing all of those programs together and providing users with information about and links to courses in their areas of interest and their geographic locations. Ideally the information bank will also facilitate streamlining of training so organizations can avoid the costs of developing instructional programs for their employees that already exist and can be made available by today’s technology.

The second concern was in the area of flooring installation and its future. Currently the installation side of the business is facing a tremendous shortage of trained professionals across the country. This shortage has its origin in the recent economic recession, but the upturn in the U.S. economy has had little effect on the number of people turning or returning to careers in installation. Members of FCLC voted to begin work on a campaign designed to showcase and promote the many benefits of being an installer.

The last initiative identified by the group was establishing effective and ongoing communication and cooperation between associations in the industry. Members of associations dedicated to this industry recognize that they represent more power and influence together that each on its own. Through a concerted focus and effort the group hopes to bring the flooring community closer together, streamlining communications in order to keep everyone fully informed and capable of acting in concert to further the interests of the industry.

At the same meeting the council also identified leaders to head up each of the three issues identified. Jim Hieb, CEO, MIA, will direct the training program. Robert Varden, chairman, CFI, will oversee the installation and next generation initiative. And Kim Oderkirk, executive vice president, FCICA, will head up the communication and cooperation issue.

In addition, the group also elected Scott Humphrey, CEO, WFCA, to chair FCLC and Michael Martin, president and CEO, NWFA, as the vice chair. Kay Wiley, executive administrative assistant to Humphrey will serve as secretary. All will serve two-year terms.

“I am thrilled to be at the helm of such a powerful and motivated organization,” Humphrey said. “By bringing these associations and their member constituencies together I have no doubt we will be able to make a positive impact in the industry from which everyone can benefit.”

“We’re at a unique time in the flooring industry where a changing of the guard is taking place in many associations at the same time,” Martin said. “This group provides a forum for us to not only learn from each other, but to also develop new products and services that will have tremendous benefits to the entire industry. The spirit of collaboration is growing as we learn to see each other’s perspectives and define our goals together.”

Going forward the group plans to meet two times per year. The next meeting will take place in Miami in conjunction with the International Surfaces Event (TISE) on Oct. 19, 2014. Associations focused solely on flooring are welcome to join FCLC. For more information on the Floor Covering Leadership Council or to become a member, contact Scott Humphrey at 800-624-6880 or via email at shumphrey@wfca.org.

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Personna taps CFI president in advisory role

Verona, Va. – Personna is pleased to announce Robert Varden, president of the International Certified Flooring (CFI), is joining its team as Technical Advisor.

Robert Varden

A globally-recognized name in the flooring installation business, Mr. Varden will put 35 years of industry experience to work assisting Personna in the research, design and development of its carpet installation tools and blades, as well as oversee customer support services, including a technical support line and instructional videos available at Personna’s new website, personnablades.com, beginning February 3, 2012. Continue reading Personna taps CFI president in advisory role