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Paul Friederichsen is the founder of BrandBiz, a company that specializes in PR, media strategy and placement, sales incentives, training and mobile marketing as well as social media. Visit his website www.brandbizinc.com

12:34:08 PM 
Looking to the Future of Floor Covering

Next January at the Surfaces trade show, we will recognize the best and brightest young, rising stars in the floor covering industry. I borrowed the idea for the "Future Focus Awards" from my own career experience in the ad business. In many larger markets, the 4A's (American Association of Advertising Agencies) local chapter will also have a "Jr. Ad Club" for young professionally-minded account execs, art directors, media planners and the like, ranging from new college grads to late 20's to mid-30's. Advertising agency and in-house client-side mentors and bosses will give annual recognition in their respective markets to the best of those young professionals who they nominate. In that way, the ad business encourages excellence and in a public way "takes care of its own."

Likewise, the floor covering industry is an important and fascinating business that attracts young talent. It's part design, part engineering, part environmental, part manufacturing, part marketing and sales. It's a relatively small industry but has enormous impact for the quality of life for all of us, wherever we live, work or play. Just as with the ad industry, the floor covering industry's most important resource is the people who call it their career home, whether they work for retailers, manufacturers, architects and designers or distributors.

Several months ago, Kemp Harr, publisher of Floor Focus magazine, and I met and determined to launch the Future Focus Awards, along with the generous support of a leading brand in the business, 3M Scotchgard, thanks to Jim Stevens, National Sales Manager. You won't find a stronger advocate for the industry than Kemp and his wife Anne, the art director for Floor Focus. Together, we developed the Award over the course of many meetings and long hours. The judges for the Future Focus
Awards are Jim Stevens, Buddy Jones of E. Jones & Associates, a sales and leadership training company; and Frank Hurd of the Carpet and Rug Institute.

Nominees (must be under age 35 with at least 3 years experience) and their nominators can get more information about the Award and entry forms by visiting

Deadline for entries is December 23 and the winners will be announced at the Surfaces/Stone Expo in Las Vegas, January 24. More information about Surfaces is at

At a time in this industry and country when sales and growth are in a slump, we believe it's time to celebrate the young, talented, ambitious and dedicated individuals in sales, marketing, R&D/product design, manufacturing, employee development/human development, and sustainability, on an industry-wide platform. In spite of current economic circumstances, these individuals are the future of floor covering and the hope of all of us. Let's look to the future, together.

Edited by Admin 11/26/2011
12:38:53 PM

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8:22:49 PM

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