With members in 49 countries, the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) serves wood flooring professionals around the world. Recently, we were able to catch up with Steven Suntup, an NWFA member from South Africa who is in the process of relocating to the United States.
As the third generation of a family rooted in the timber industry, Suntup has been involved in flooring his whole life. In 1989, he started his own company, Suntup’s Wooden Flooring, where he imported, manufactured, and installed floors in South Africa.
After joining the NWFA overseas, he was a founding member of the South Africa Guild of Solid Wooden Flooring Installers (SAGSWFI). He also served as Vice Chairman (nine years) and Chairman (four years) for the Southern African Wood, Laminate and Flooring Association (SAWLFA). Before moving to the U.S., SAWLFA presented Suntup with a Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize his dedication and contributions to the industry.
Some of these contributions include writing the South African Bureau of Standards specifications on wood flooring, writing the technical installation training manuals for SAWLFA, and managing the training and accreditation for SAWLFA installer members for nearly 10 years.
Since arriving in the U.S., Suntup has had to familiarize himself with differences in flooring standards between the U.S. and South Africa, and he has leaned on the NWFA to help him navigate.
“The NWFA University and hands-on training events have helped me to understand the American flooring technicalities better,” shares Suntup. “Many are similar to what we were doing in South Africa, but these courses have played a key part in helping me with the technicalities that are different.”
“I’m looking forward to working closely with the NWFA and building many more relationships in the industry in the U.S.,” he adds.