Three Independent Industry Experts to Judge Contest Entries
Florence, AL – June 15, 2015
Just two weeks ago, HPS Schönox asked flooring professionals to show us your worst and how you made it your best with the opening of its second annual Schönox Worst Subfloor in North America Contest™. Today the three judge panel of independent industry experts was announced. Tom Jennings (Vice President of Member Services, WFCA,) Dean Thompson (President & CEO, RFCI,) and Robert Varden (Executive Director, CFI) will judge contest entries in an impartial manner that includes having all identifying information removed from the entry with only the photos and project notes provided for their review. Judging will begin after December 14th, the deadline for contest submissions.
“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,” explained Tom Jennings, Vice President of Member Services, WFCA. “The Worst Subfloor Contest is a great platform for the industry to demonstrate its expertise.” The Contest is open to flooring companies to show the tough subfloor conditions they tackled and how they renovated them using Schönox products.
“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,” commented Dean Thompson, President & CEO, RFCI. “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.” The judges for the contest will review photos submitted by Contest entrants showing the before and after conditions of the subfloor along with details of how the project was executed.
“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,” said Robert Varden, Executive Director, CFI. “I’m looking forward to reviewing the Contest entries and seeing how flooring professionals are meeting and exceeding these challenges.” The Contest entries will be independently judged with first, second, and third place winners based 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.
The Contest runs through December 14th with winners to be announced at TISE (Surfaces) in 2016. Entries can be submitted at hpsubfloors.com/worstsubfloor. “The Contest is a great chance for flooring professionals to gain some well-deserved recognition and PR while at the same time encouraging excellence in the industry,” explained Doug Young, HPS Executive Vice President. “I am excited to see the entries that will be coming our way in the coming months while working hard each day to support flooring professionals with every project that they undertake.”
Tom Jennings, Vice President of Member Services with World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), is a lifelong member of the flooring industry. He was literally born into his family’s retail business, which he sold in 2006. Tom has since served the industry in numerous capacities, primarily as an educator and speaker. He is a past-Board Chairman of the WFCA and currently serves as the Board Chairman of WFCA Services, Inc.
WFCA serves as an unbiased source of information on all types of flooring including: carpet, hardwood flooring, laminate flooring, ceramic tile, rugs, stone, cork, bamboo, and vinyl flooring. The WFCA and its 3000 members are dedicated to providing consumers with the service and support needed to ensure a successful flooring purchase experience. Tom resides in Lawrence, Kansas.
Dean Thompson, President & CEO of the Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI), makes frequent visits to Washington D.C. and Capitol Hill to address strategic issues that impact flooring manufacturers. His career spans over 50 years in the floor covering industry including executive roles with Armstrong World Industries, Milliken & Company, and The Hatteras Group, a management consulting firm.
Dean has earned numerous industry awards including a Presidential Citation for his work on the American Society of Interior Designers National Board of Directors, an honorary Fellowship in the International Interior Design Association, and multiple awards for his work at Milliken. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Flexible Vinyl Alliance, a member of the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Society for the Plastics Industry. A native Nebraskan, Dean presently resides in LaGrange, Georgia
Robert Varden is the Executive Director of Certified Flooring Installers (CFI), the world’s leading flooring installation organization. He is the past president of CFI having served two terms, a CFI Master-II Installer #969, past chairman of the Certification Committee, and a member of the CFI Certification Team. In addition, Robert serves as an independent consultant, inspector, speaker, expert witness, columnist, technical advisor, and owner of an installation workroom. He is regarded as an expert in carpet backings and installation procedures.
Robert is a past recipient of the Charles Gress Award for outstanding service in the field of flooring installation and the Best of the Best Flooring Installer Award for an outstanding display of his carpet installation talent. With over 30 years in installation, education and research, he brings a proven track record of membership growth and a history of establishing and maintaining strategic relationships with affiliated groups. Robert is a resident of Rockwall, Texas.