2017 NWFA Service Award Winners

Volunteers play a critical role. Without their time, passion, and dedication, associations would become stale and fail to remain relevant for their members. Programs have more life and more excitement because they have been directly influenced by members of the industry.

This is especially true with the National Wood Flooring Association. The NWFA was founded as an organization by the industry, for the industry. Participation and feedback from its members are a cornerstone of NWFA’s growth and significance.

Without the support of volunteer instructors, committee members, Board members, and numerous other volunteers, the programs and initiatives deemed most valuable by the membership at large would become stagnant and cease delivering benefit.

Volunteers keep ideas fresh, programs moving forward, and offer new perspectives to ensure that NWFA’s program offerings remain relevant.

To thank those members who go above and beyond, NWFA recognizes volunteers with Service Awards. Service to the industry is defined as giving of one’s time to advance industry programs, projects, and initiatives.

Achievements are calculated based on a cumulative summation of areas of service within the NWFA. These areas include, but are not limited to, participating on NWFA Boards, participating on committees, mentoring, participating in the Hardwood Federation Fly-In, proctoring for NWFACP, and contributing to Hardwood Floors Magazine.

The Vanguard Service Award is the first award one can achieve. This award requires earning 25 service points. Members can then earn the Ambassador Service Award, which requires earning the Vanguard Award and an additional 25 points. Specific service activities and their respective points may be found at nwfa.org.

Recipients were recognized at the Wood Flooring Expo this past April in Phoenix, as well as in NWFA and Hardwood Floors Magazine media channels. Honorees also received an achievement pin.

Vanguard Award Honorees: Steve Brattin, SVB Wood Floors; Brenda Cashion, Swiff-Train Company; Brian Greenwell, Mullican Flooring; Jeff Johnson, MAPEI Corporation; Dick Olesen, Olesen Floor Consulting; Dan Natkin, Mannington Mills, Inc. (not pictured); and Toby Merrill, DuraSeal (not pictured).
Ambassador Award Honorees: Kevin Murphy, Mullican Flooring; Jenny Riddle, Distinctive
Hardwood Floors; Jon Smith, Smith Flooring, Inc.; Barbara Titus, Sheoga Hardwood
Flooring & Paneling, Inc.; John Wooten, J.J. Haines & Company.

Industry Leadership Award
The Industry Leadership Award is one of the ultimate awards NWFA recognizes. Individuals receiving this honor have achieved both the Vanguard and Ambassador Service awards, and have gone above and beyond in their contributions to the industry. Additionally, the NWFA Board of Directors must approve the candidates by a two-thirds majority. This year, Galen Fitzel, retired from 3M, received this award.

Fitzel served on the NWFA Board of Directors from 1998-2007 as well as on several NWFA committees. During his 35 plus years in the industry, he has helped train hundreds of students in wood flooring safety and sanding techniques, ultimately improving technical skills and the wood flooring industry as a whole.

Though most members are compelled to give back to the industry without the promise of recognition, these tokens of appreciation demonstrate the gratitude of the organization and the industry for volunteer commitments.