Monday, February 13, 2017

BEHIND THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

You may know their names. Perhaps you've seen their faces, but never had a proper introduction.

I had the privilege of going behind the scenes to give one-on-one interviews with those who make up SNEFCA's board of directors. While it was an exhilarating experience, I'll be honest in saying it got weird in some instances. Nonetheless,what an honor and one experience I'll never forget.

I present, to you, an informal, formal introduction of SNEFCA's board of directors:


SNEFCA President: Katie Gresham

Employment & Title:
       Elite Flooring Specialists, Showroom Manager

How long have you worked within the flooring industry?
       I have been in the flooring/ remodeling industry for 17 years.

Why did you join the BOD?
     I joined the board after I was invited to attend one of their meetings to see what it was about. I felt it would be rewarding & beneficial to be part of an organization that had a common interest for all involved in our industry.






Do you have any long-term goals you'd like to accomplish while on the BOD?
   My long term goal with the association is to grow membership throughout Southern NE. Joining all aspects of our industry, manufacturers, distributors, retailers for betterment both personally and professionally, by hosting an array of events that will be beneficial for all levels of sales & installation of flooring as well as events too just get together for some FUN to gather with friends and meet new people!


Can you share a factoid about yourself, that may be unknown to most?
 I am a proud drop out of the NASCAR Technical Institute.  NASCAR is a guilty pleasure of mine.


SNEFCA Vice President: Steve Silvestro


 Employment & Title:
    ProSource Wholesale of Hartford, Sales/ Showroom Manager

How long have you worked within the flooring industry?
    15 years 
Why did you join the BOD?
    1. Give back/ help the industry I am involved in.
    2. Find ways that our industry can help the community. 
    3. Help with teaching/ training industry partners.

Do you have any long-term goals you'd like to accomplish while on the BOD?
   1. Get more people into the industry.
   2. Create an ongoing training/certification schedule for installers, retailers, and other industry partners 
   3. Ongoing support of our community by donating time, financial assistance, or organizing drives. 

                                                                                                                                                Can you share a factoid about yourself, that may be unknown to most? 
    I would rather be outside!! 
       Fishing, kayaking, camping, etc…..

Steve, I noticed a pattern in your responses. Do you only answer in threes?
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Maybe



SNEFCA Secretary & Treasurer: Kelly Miffitt

Employment & Title:
    DWP Carpet Binding,  Office & Warehouse Manager

How long have you worked within the flooring industry?
    Since 2004

Why did you join the BOD?
    I wanted to join the floor covering association to become involved with the event planning, particularly potential fundraising events. I was also hoping it would provide me with the opportunity to meet more folks while getting my name out in the floor covering world.

Do you have any long-term goals you'd like to accomplish while on the BOD?
    Although it would take an excruciating amount of effort, money and resourcefulness, I would like to see SNEFCA start its own trade school. It's something that may be in the distant future, however, due to the shortage of installers & the number available for hire dwindling year-after-year, I think it would be stellar if some sort of certifiable school program could be created by us. 

Can you share a factoid about yourself, that may be unknown to most?
    I like to dabble with the creative arts.  Dancing is my first and primary love in life, I've performed a handful of times doing stand-up comedy &  I am a writer, actress, director's assistant, producer (and however else I may be of use) for a production company started by my best friend, JYA I AM Productions.


 Board of Directors:
(In no particular order of importance ... ok, they're in alphabetical order.)


Brian Booth




Employment & Title:
    Booth Flooring, Inc. , President

How long have you worked within the flooring industry?
   30 years in the flooring business.

Why did you join the BOD?
    I joined the BOD to meet & network with others in the flooring business and for an opportunity to give back. 

Do you have any long-term goals you'd like to accomplish while on the BOD?
    I am so old all of my long term goals have been met; getting involved with events and serving on the executive committee. 

Can you share a factoid about yourself, that may be unknown to most?
    I was supposed to be a drummer in a rock band but figured selling carpet would be more fun than being a rock star. :) 


Writer's Note: upon answering the last question, I think Brian may have had a minor aneurysm, as this was his expression for a brief moment of time.


Mike Brunelle


Employment & Title:
    Stiller Distributors, Sales Rep 

How long have you worked within the flooring industry?          Since 1998

Why did you join the BOD?
    I wanted to help organize events and provide services and opportunities for my customers above what my job entails.

Do you have any long-term goals you'd like to accomplish while on the BOD? 
    Learn to actually play golf…. then Mike dapped, making him possibly the trendiest interviewee of the bunch. 

Can you share a factoid about yourself, that may be unknown to most?
    I am married with 3 children. Ryan, 15, Adam 10, and Sarah 26. My passion is youth sports and coaching.  I would love to someday open up my own indoor/outdoor sports training facility. 


Joe Cataldo


"Hi, I'm Joe. I work for The John Boyle Company."

"How long have I worked in the flooring industry? Who says I work?"

"Unknown factoid? I plead the fifth...[sheepish laughter]."



Steve Reynolds

"My name is Steve & I work for Daltile."

 "Check these guns out!"

"'I have no further comments at this time."


Rick Shane

Employment & Title:
   Bestflor Distributors Inc., Retired December 2012
How long have you worked within the flooring industry?
    Since February 1, 1960 

Why did you join the BOD?
    I have been on BOD on and off (mostly on) since 1960.
    I joined for many reasons, but who remembers something from 57 years ago?  

Do you have any long-term goals you'd like to accomplish while on the BOD? 
    To have a hand in growing SNEFCA, bringing history, hopefully good, to new & younger members.  

Can you share a factoid about yourself, that may be unknown to most?
    My wife & I eloped and we were the last plane to fly over Cuba before the "Bay of Pigs" in October 1962....probably not that interesting to anyone else !!! 

 Kevin Tosta


Employment & Title:
    NRF Distributors, Inc - Territory Manager 


How long have you worked within the flooring industry?
    I started in floor covering in August of 1996.

 Why did you join the BOD?                                                                               I knew very little about SNEFCA , [I was invited]to a meeting and I liked what I heard.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Do you have any long-term goals you'd like to accomplish while on the BOD?                                                                                                                    I know that I am in the floor covering business long-term and I would like to help educate and assist retailers, salespeople and any floor covering professional I can. I realize many parts of the floor covering business is a “ dying breed “ so if I can help someone better their business or help them be more successful, I’m all in. 
Can you share a factoid about yourself, that may be unknown to most?
    I survived two years at Cheshire Correctional Prison. 
Now, I was a Correction Officer during those 2 years, but for 8 hours I was locked up right along side the inmates.  My buddy & co-worker got in a fight with an inmate one night and almost got tossed off the second floor. Another one of my fellow officers got bit by an inmate. I knew it was time to look for a new career… 



BRAD TURKER

Mr. Turker took this opportunity to answer using interpretive dance... or maybe he was voguing? I did warn it got weird at points...

Employment & Title:
I know that Brad works for Michael Halebian & Co. 

Why did you join the BOD & do you have any long-term goals?
"I'd rather not say."



Can you share a factoid about yourself, that may be unknown to most?

There they are. SNEFCA's board of directors!

Granted, I added to the content as I deemed necessary or felt appropriate.
Sarcastic, attempting to make the reader laugh or poor writing- whatever your perspective may be, I assure you we are a bunch of hard-working, passionate individuals who have been learning how to operate as one.
Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses. We are learning how to use our best attributes keeping SNEFCA's best interest in mind, in order to improve the association, which will be beneficial to all involved.

Thank you for taking time to read this post to get an "informal, formal introduction" to the board!



Please feel free to informally introduce yourself in the comments!







Thursday, January 5, 2017

Let's Get Started: Here's a Simple Introduction

Greetings & Salutations!


We can start 2017 by proudly announcing recent restructuring SNEFCA (formerly CFCA) went through has been fully completed; the Board of Directors worked diligently, extremely hard & most importantly, we worked together as a team. Collectively we created the SNEFCA Mission Statement which will better define what we do and what we are about. We hope that all involved, in the flooring industry, will support our purpose.

We are SNEFCA, the Southern New England Floor Covering Association. Operating out of Connecticut's Hartford district, we're here to serve all of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. We're also an affiliate to the World Floor Covering Association, which we'll keep you updated on as well.


If we're going to be honest, 2016 was a quiet year for us. Although we had the best of intentions to provide our members with fun social outings and educational events, the arduous paperwork involved with expansion of territory & changing our name resulted in many of those events being canceled, postponed or they had a limited attendance, so you may not have heard about them. With that being said, we were fortunate enough to close out the year with a handful of ups that outweighed those particular downs.


For one, we awarded three young and aspiring recipients with $500 academic scholarship awards. Following that, a $250 donation was made to The Hospital for Special Care (under the name of a person who has worked in the flooring community for decades who was diagnosed with ALS). 


In November we hosted a free dinner with guest speakers:
David Romano of Benchmarkinc who shared insights of the industry & Kaye Whitener of the WFCA who discussed the new tiered membership and their benefits. SNEFCA also awarded retiree of Dalene Flooring One, O'Neil Langley, with a Lifetime Achievement award.
Most recently our members rallied to participate in Coats for CT, a coat drive to help the less fortunate keep warm in the winter.

With the New Year underway, SNEFCA is very excited for what we have in store for our members in 2017. With two big events already set in stone (sorry, you'll have to come back to find out the details) and a superb team working on multiple certification seminars to help in education for both sales & installation we're headed into an exciting direction.

Before we sign-off on this blog, let's first clarify what SNEFCA is an acronym for. Of course, the obvious is true; Southern New England Floor Covering Association, that is probably a no-brainer to most. However, we used the letters to help create our mission statement & build our sub-committees.


S - sponsorship/membership, as a member you pay an annual fee. The fee helps pay for the operational costs to be the association we are and working towards becoming.


N- newsletter/networking, we're going to have news for you and we'll use every platform possible to get it out there, e-blasts, social media sites and quarterly newsletters.


E- education, with so many resources available, we're going to put them to use! Distributors, product reps. and the mighty WFCA provides us with a killer combination of endless possibility.


F- family, well, this one may seem a bit out of place, but let's take a second to learn why it isn't. 
At the end of the day, most people's priority is to get home to their family. Family is the reason we wake up in the morning and go to work to begin with, the reason we know love exists. We understand the importance of family, therefore we want our members to feel a desire to bring both worlds, flooring & family, together. Bottom line, we'll be hosting family friendly social events to provide an opportunity in which members can do so.


C- community, there are many ways we will contribute to our community. Participating in activities, as we did with the coat drive; or making monetary donations when possible.

A- awards/recognition, scholarships & lifetime achievement awards will always be annual; however we'd like to expand that by giving recognition for a "job well done" when possible within our newsletters or social media posts.


In order for SNEFCA to be successful, each sub-committee needs to work in tandem to get our best out there in the flooring world. With the help of our members' contributions and a dedicated Board of Directors eager to get 2017 rolling, this could most certainly be one of the best years the Southern New England flooring industry has seen in a long time.


What are some of your goals this year? What are some activities you would take part in, to make the flooring industry better? What can SNEFCA execute to help make YOU better?