Johannes Boonstra is Rubio Monocoat’s territory manager for Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio, for business related to onsite finishing for hardwood flooring and artisans that work in the furniture business who use the company’s products. In addition, he covers technical sales on the industrial side of Rubio Monocoat’s UV oil business for manufacturers. Boonstra also participates in Rubio Monocoat training schools, which take place at their headquarters in Spicewood, Texas.
Boonstra recently was featured on the NWFA Wood Talk podcast, so Hardwood Floors magazine caught up with him to ask a few more questions.
Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I grew up saltwater fishing on the ocean in Holland. My intention was to be a professional fisherman, but it didn’t pan out. I also used to race motorcycles and cars on dirt tracks back in the Netherlands.
How did you get started in the industry?
My grandfather was a painter by trade. When I was a young kid, we used to finish a lot of floors as painters. Parquet layers would install and sand them and we would finish them. Staircases with Swedish finishes were the big thing back in Holland, so we finished a lot of those as well. I moved to the U.S. in 1989 and, because of my background as a master painter, I started working for a large architectural paint company. A couple of years into it, that company acquired the Synteko floor finish line. That is really how I got involved with hardwood flooring and finishing in the U.S., because of my paint background.
Who has influenced your career the most and why?
Daniel Boone. I could see myself a lot in his love for the trade and that he shares that knowledge with other people. That is my principle too. I always say it doesn’t do me any good to take my knowledge to the grave with me, so I’d rather teach other people about what I know.
What is your favorite wood floor project that you’ve participated in?
I’ve been involved in giving tech support to John Yarema’s floors and they always have been very impressive to me. One in particular that made a tremendous impression was the Huntsman Hunt Club in Dryden, Michigan. It was a 15,000 square foot addition that had hunting scenes, marquetry, and inlays. (This floor won the NWFA Wood Floor of the Year for Best Commercial Application Design in 2003.)
What energizes you to stay in the wood flooring industry?
I really like the people I work with, the contractors are down to earth, and it’s great fun to work in this business. I enjoy being able to continue helping others in the industry by sharing guidance and advice on finishes. My interest always has been in teaching people about technical aspects in the finishing world.
What are you listening to right now?
I put a lot of time in on the road, so I mostly listen to NPR and BBC News.
Do you have a morning routine that sets you up for success?
Breakfast! I like my hot tea, a bowl of cereal, yogurt, and fruit or oatmeal. I have to have that in the morning or I don’t function well. Then, by 10:00 a.m., I need to have a good cup of coffee. It’s definitely a routine for me.
What keeps you busy outside of work?
Projects around the house, camping, hunting, and fishing. There’s never enough time for that, though! I enjoy spending time with my family and traveling. Alaska is one of my favorite destinations; we have been there at least five times.
You can listen to a technical-focused discussion between Boonstra and NWFA’s Brett Miller,
as well as other hardwood flooring experts by visiting hardwoodfloorsmag.com/nwfa-wood-talk-podcast.