Barbara Titus, Vice President with Sheoga Hardwood & Paneling in Middlefield, Ohio, has been named the first recipient of the NWFA Women’s Industry Network award. The award’s creation was suggested, and then presented, by industry veteran, Jim Schumacher, Account Executive with 3M in Saint Paul, Minnesota, to recognize the contributions made by women to the wood flooring industry.
“3M has a long tradition of recognizing the contributions of women in business, and Barbara’s work on behalf of our industry is awe-inspiring,” says Schumacher. “Not only does she give of herself, but she also rallies others to get involved as well. The work she has done to involve our industry with the Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. program has made a huge impact on our members, including 3M, but more importantly, on the lives of severely injured veterans, first responders, and their families. To say that her efforts have changed lives is a true understatement.”
In 2014, Titus became involved with the Gary Sinise Foundation by donating flooring from Sheoga for a specially adapted SMART home for a local veteran. Upon learning more about the program, she made it her mission to ensure hard-surface flooring was provided for each R.I.S.E. home to improve mobility and restore independence for deserving recipients.
“It was Barbara’s enthusiasm that drove NWFA’s involvement,” says NWFA President & CEO, Michael Martin. “When she approached us with her proposal, she had already done her research. She had vetted the program, knew the key players, and shared a vision for how to structure NWFA’s participation. We knew right away that our members would embrace the program. Then when Jim mentioned 3M’s recognition program for women and suggested that NWFA start a similar program, we knew Barbara had to be our first recipient.”
Since launching the program at NWFA’s Expo in St. Louis in 2015, more than 60 NWFA members have donated product, logistics, and installation services for 39 homes across the United States, totaling more than $5 million in goods and services. NWFA currently is sourcing donations for another 18 homes in locations throughout the U.S.
To learn more about the Gary Sinise Foundation and to get involved, visit nwfa.org/giving-back.aspx.