New York—More than 200 flooring industry leaders gathered here recently to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Floor Covering Industry Foundation (FCIF) in the Rainbow Room atop the famous Rockefeller Plaza. The foundation has raised more than $250,000 to support flooring industry workers battling catastrophic disease during the event.
“The 40th Anniversary Gala, along with our annual donations, is a real testament to the caring power of the flooring industry,” said Andrea Blackbourn, FCIF Executive Director. Blackbourn gave a special “thank you” to Roger Marcus, who planned and led the event. “It was a unique evening celebrating the legacy of philanthropy and leadership in floors,” she added.
At the same time, the FCIF 40th Anniversary Gala served as a platform to recognize the lifelong achievements of industry leaders. This year FCIF honored Howard Brodsky and Jeanne Matson from CCA Global Partners and Dana Teague from Informa Exhibitions.
Brodsky, co-founder, chairman and co-CEO of CCA Global Partners, is a global leader in cooperatives and a prolific American entrepreneur. CCA is one of the largest cooperatives in the United States with revenues exceeding $10 billion. CCA Global Partners serves 20,000 daycare centers, 2,000 non-profit organizations and serves more than 1,000,000 independent family businesses.
Brodsky was the first American to receive the Rochdale Award, the “Nobel Prize in Cooperative Affairs” awarded every two years to an individual who has made the greatest impact in cooperatives around the world. He also received the Business Leader of the Decade Award and the Global Leadership Award from the World Affairs Council. He was also inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame and the Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame. In addition, Brodsky is the founder and president of Cooperatives for a Better World, a global non-profit organization that aims to scale the global cooperative movement.
Matson, the former president and CEO of Starnet – the largest purchasing cooperative of independent commercial floor contractors in the United States and Canada – is currently an advisor to CCA Global. During her tenure at Starnet, the organization experienced strong financial growth while strategically adding new members to ensure representation in all geographic areas within North America. In addition, Matson and the Starnet team have developed a comprehensive training and education program for the members and preferred suppliers. All along, her focus has been on strengthening the collaboration between both groups and advancing the commercial flooring industry in general.
Before joining Starnet, Matson was an executive in the Clairol division of Procter & Gamble, where he was the general manager of P&G Professional Beauty Products. She is active in her community as a volunteer EMT, serves on the board of the Connecticut Women’s Forum, and is past president of the Center for Hope in Greenwich, Conn. Matson was elected to the board of the National Cooperative Business Association, and she currently serves on the board of the FCIF.
Teague, vice president at Informa Markets, oversees a design portfolio of events, including The International Surface Event (TISE), the largest North American event for the flooring, stone and tile industries. TISE consists of three brands: SURFACES, StonExpo/Marmomac and TileExpo. In addition, Teague manages the AIA Conference on Architecture, as well as The International Roofing Expo, the International Pool, Spa, Patio/Deck Expo, and Inside Self-Storage Expo.
Teague, who started in the events industry nearly 30 years ago, has also risen on the FCIF’s board from show director in 1989 to vice president of Hanley Wood Exhibitions in 2013, which was acquired by Informa Markets in 2014. She has participated in events such as the American College of Emergency Physicians and the International Autobody Congress & Exposition. In 2006, Teague started working on SURFACES and StonExpo, now totaling 19 years of service in the flooring, stone and tile industry. Her vision, team development and leadership have driven the TISE event to its current success as the annual industrial marketplace.
on a mission
In an industry where family values are paramount, it should come as no surprise that an emergency fund is available for floor workers battling a medical crisis. FCIF, a non-profit organization, provides direct assistance to applicants dealing with a medical situation — their own or that of a family member — that leaves them unable to work and earn income to meet their needs. To be eligible, recipients must have been employed by the flooring community for at least five years and demonstrate financial need. Grants can be used to pay the bill for medical care — everything from tests and prescriptions to hospitalization and medical equipment — or to pay for basic necessities like food, shelter, and utilities.
“The generosity of individuals and companies in the industry allows us to meet the requests of any family that meets our qualifications,” Blackbourn said. “It speaks volumes that we don’t have to keep a waiting list.”
Charlie Dilks, chairman of FCIF’s board of directors, said the charity is one of the few industry-specific foundations designed with a unique mission: to take care of their workforce during their toughest battles.
To make a donation to the FCIF, or to request assistance, go to fcif.org.