Carrie Brown

Carrie Brown works with XL North as a marketing consultant. With experience in copywriting, graphic design, and web development, Carrie uses her skill set to create and implement effective marketing strategies and campaigns for clients.

business best practices

At the recent FCICA Annual Convention in Tucson, we spoke with members about their experiences in the association. They offered their takeaways from the event and explained the benefits of an FCICA membership.

What are some of your takeaways from the recent convention?

Larry Chandler, Director of Commercial Sales and Bird Pro Supplies, William M Bird Co.: FCICA is concerned about the commercial flooring contractor and wants to help the membership be prepared, qualified, and profitable in our industry.

Amy Johnston, Installation Project Manager, Flooring Services, Inc.: At this convention the biggest things for me were the new tools on the market, information about independent contractors (as we have all employees as we are a union shop so a pretty foreign subject to me), and new product info at the trade show.

Pat Kelly, President, Synergy Flooring, Ltd.: FCICA is growing! More contractors are now attending the convention. The CIM program has developed into an excellent training process for commercial installation managers. All of my project managers are now certified! The Successors group is also growing!! New leadership training opportunities are available to the Successors (SALT).

How was the convention helpful for you and your organization? What did you learn that you can apply throughout the rest of the year?

Amy: The convention is always helpful to me, even though I have been in the industry for over 30 years. My roles along the way were mostly operations related and not connected to products. The trade show has become a learning ground for me. I can’t pinpoint something specific that I will apply all year but there were products presented I had not heard of before (future applications?), there is some technology that is coming out soon that will be big time savers – I love when I get the inside track – specifically new versions of non-installation tools that we already utilize for moisture readings and estimating, so we will be upgrading.

Pat: We continued to develop new contacts and relationships with our suppliers. The FCICA Associate Members are available to help us handle some of our most challenging opportunities we may encounter on a project.

Larry: As a distributor, it allows me to meet face to face with manufacturers I am already aligned with, as well as to meet with potential new manufacturers. Their expertise is incredibly helpful which allows me to be helpful to our customers in turn.

What do you enjoy most about the FCICA conventions and meetings? What do you most look forward to?

Pat: I enjoy the networking with other Contractors and sharing of best practices!

Larry: The networking opportunities are wonderful.

Amy: I look forward to the education sessions because if I am not learning anymore, why bother? I also look forward to seeing the friends I have made in the industry (from previous FCICA conventions and mid-years) and networking with new faces as well. It is a great group of people that attend and participate in the FCICA! The more events you attend the greater the bonds that are formed. Many I have met are not only my friends but extended family.

How would you describe the value you and your organization receive from the FCICA? What are the benefits of membership?

Larry: Belonging to FCICA has helped me become better informed about issues that impact my customers. Through FCICA we are more equipped to support our customers with the frontline battles they face every day. Whether it is moisture, or any type of installation issue, the knowledge we receive can be passed along so everyone wins.

Amy: The tangible benefits of membership are listed on the FCICA website – trucking partner, health care options, insurance partner, discounts etc. As a contractor, access to that alone is worth the membership each year. However, the real value in my opinion is to be an active member in this organization as the people whom participate want to participate. There are contractors from all over and the manufacturer representatives are the tech gurus. They educate us first, push product second. Education by an elite group is priceless, in my opinion.

Pat: FCICA keeps us updated on the newest products and processes that will help grow my business profitably!! The educational opportunities are excellent!!

Learn more about FCICA today!

FCICA, the Flooring Contractors Association, brings manufacturers’ technical representatives, industry consultants, software vendors, inspectors, logistics firms and commercial flooring contractors together in one place offering education, training, networking and direct access to the expertise that everyone brings to the table; to enhance our members’ businesses and the flooring industry. Every member is part of the commercial flooring industry and is focused on the continued improvement that training and education provides. Visit to learn more about membership opportunities today!