Introducing the 2020 Hardwood Floors Magazine 40 Under 40

Hardwood Floors is honored to recognize 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who are helping to determine the future of the wood flooring industry. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow.

This year’s list was unveiled during the Hardwood Floors N.O.W. (Networking. Outlook. Workmanship.) online event in November.

We are privileged to shine the spotlight on these outstanding men and women whose career accomplishments have moved them to the forefront. Their professional track records have helped to establish them as some of today’s brightest stars – before their 40th birthday.

Read on to learn more about them.

1. Logan Cala
Eastern U.S. Business
Development
Sheoga Hardwood Flooring
MIDDLEFIELD, OHIO

Logan Cala joined Sheoga Hardwood Flooring as an intern during his junior year of high school. He worked in the manufacturing plant and returned to Sheoga every time he had a break from college. After graduation, he asked for a sales position. There were no openings at the time, so he worked in the plant again until a position became available. Before moving into sales, Cala had worked in every manufacturing process at Sheoga. In the two years he has been working in sales, he has assisted with East Coast distribution and helped build the company’s new website. Cala is an avid fitness enthusiast, having completed a significant weight loss journey. He now helps others build their fitness/wellness plans to achieve their goals. He is also a family farmer/4H supporter, youth group supporter, involved with the Geauga Growth Partnership, and enjoys cleaning up his local township while walking with his family.

2. Allison Chapman
Marketing Director
Howell Hardwood Flooring
DOTHAN, ALABAMA

Allison Chapman led Howell Hardwood Flooring through a branding process for its unfinished engineered product line now known as Hapwood™ by Howell. She developed a joint marketing program to be used in conjunction with customers to promote site-finished flooring emphasizing Hapwood™ to builders, designers, and specifiers in their local markets. Chapman worked with the sales team to develop a Certified Provider Program to offer the company’s premium warranty against seasonal movement. A graduate of Auburn University, Chapman joined the Howell team in 2017. She has been a community volunteer coordinator for projects including blood drives, bottled water donations for disaster relief, riverside clean up, and for the company-wide conserve water awareness program each November. She also has been involved in two Habitat for Humanity projects. In her spare time, Chapman enjoys running, gardening, and spending time with her family at the beach or their family farm.

3. Brian Coleman
General Manager
Intermountain Wood Flooring
MILWAUKIE, OREGON

Brian Coleman had more than a decade of experience installing floors and running his own installation business in Colorado before joining the Intermountain Wood Flooring team. Intermountain was so impressed with Coleman’s knowledge and work ethic that they offered him a position with the company seven years ago. Since then, he has relocated for the company three times and served in the role of inside sales support, outside sales, regional director, and now general manager. As the regional sales director and outside sales associate, he built up the revenue in the territory. He then was asked to open a location in the Milwaukie area of Portland, where he has been the general manager for three years. Examples of his community service include that while working for Nielson’s Hardwood Floors in Colorado, Coleman donated his material, time, and labor to install floors for a hospice company, as well as building a stage for a local church.

4. Justin Conroy
Owner
J.C.’S Hardwood Floors
ST. JOSEPH, MISSOURI

Since the early 2000s, Justin Conroy has been practicing the wood flooring trade. Through hard work, word-of-mouth, excellent customer service, and ensuring each job is done right, he has built a well-known company throughout Northwest Missouri and beyond. He has several full-time employees and jobs booked out months in advance. The company has won the “Best of St. Joseph” award and the city’s “People’s Choice” awards. They specialize in wood floor and stair restoration, refinishing, and installation of new wood floors. Whether it’s coaching little league teams, participating in city clean-ups, being there for a friend after a medical emergency, donating time, talent, or money to the less fortunate, or finishing church and gym floors in the communities in which he works, Conroy never hesitates to help. He is a husband, father, and U.S. Air Force Veteran.

5. Patrick Derry II
Owner
Awesome Hardwood LLC
SPRING HILL, FLORIDA

Having a passion for wood flooring is something that began when Patrick Derry II was a teenager. Though he has been installing wood floors for more than 15 years, Derry started from the ground and worked his way up. Awesome Hardwood provides hardwood floor installation, sand and finish, stairs, and custom designs. Derry notes that he gains more skills, experience, and expertise with every single project. Part of his growing process also has included education through the NWFA. Derry is an NWFA Certified Wood Flooring Inspector, Certified Installation Professional, Certified Sand & Finish Professional, and Certified Sales Advisor. He also is a CEU presenter. In addition to donating to Habitat for Humanity and local schools, Derry has donated labor, materials, and consultations to help clients and colleagues who do not always have the means to complete projects.

6. Ben Deumling
President
Zena Forest Products
RICKREALL, OREGON

By founding Zena Forest Products in 2008, Ben Deumling has created an infrastructure for growing, sawing, and processing hardwoods, quickly becoming the second-biggest oak sawmill in the state. Deumling and his team create high-quality, environmentally sustainable hardwood flooring with rarely used native Oregon hardwoods. The company has been recognized with the USDA Value-Added Producer Grant, the Mid-Valley Green Product Award, and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Leadership Award. Deumling manages his 1,300-acre family forest not just for timber, but for the benefit of his community. His FSC-Certified forest management provides clean air and water for all his neighbors, and a long-running, free hunting program gives local hunters access to recreation and food. In 2018, he partnered with Sparrow Furniture, giving discounted and free lumber to help refugees overcome employment barriers by providing them paid woodworking apprenticeships. He also served as a volunteer member of Oregon’s State Forest Advisory Council from 2017-2019.

7. Thomas Fletcher
Kiln Manager
Hull Forest Products Inc.
POMFRET CENTER, CONNECTICUT

Thomas Fletcher earned degrees in Forest Technology and Forest Management from the University of New Hampshire before starting with Hull Forest Products 12 years ago as a lumber grader. He moved into the company’s custom flooring shop, and was instrumental in adding new machinery and modernizing production equipment. Fletcher managed the floor shop for many years while also working in the flooring sales department, learning the customer side of the business and traveling to trade shows. Currently, his background in wood technology is being put to good use as the dry-line manager. There, he is in charge of quality control, load logistics, packaging, and shipping lumber for domestic and export markets. Fletcher currently serves on the Board of Directors of the New England Kiln Dryers Association and is a member of the New England Lumbermen’s Association. In his spare time, he enjoys maple sugaring and, of course, woodworking.

8. Jordan Foster
VP of Sales
Foster Specialty Floors
WIXOM, MICHIGAN

Foster Specialty Floors, a sports floor contracting company, was established in 1924 by Jordan Foster’s great grandfather, C.G. Foster. While he’s the fourth generation owner now, he started in the family business at age 13, working in the warehouse during the summers. He then moved into deliveries and installations throughout the next decade while attending school, ultimately earning a degree in marketing from the University of Michigan. In 2009, Foster went full-time, building a customer base that includes the University of Michigan and Michigan State University basketball programs. Jordan is the Chairman of the Young Professional Council for the Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association (MFMA). Through his company, he oversaw donations to replace the gym floor at Spain Elementary in Detroit, as well as donating and installing flooring at the Howell Teen Outreach Center. He and his company also donate to numerous local schools and organizations and participate in charity events to help fund athletic programs.

9. Chris Friest
Owner
The Floor Doctors
DES MOINES, IOWA

After more than a decade in retail sales, Chris Friest decided to go out on his own. In 2018, he opened The Floor Doctors in Des Moines, Iowa, in a small 800 square foot space with one other employee. In 2020, he expanded The Floor Doctors, moving to a 5,000 square foot store with five employees and nearly two dozen subcontractors. When seeking new talent for his team, Chris joined forces with the Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines and their “Professional Women in Building” organization. This organization empowers women to seek out careers, invest, and train the next generation of people in building trades with opportunities to network, fundraise, and offer students scholarship opportunities. Friest and his team advocate for and sponsor Iowa Skilled Trades, a team of industry professionals bringing initiatives, education, and awareness to skilled trades in Iowa. He is also a foster and adoptive parent, having fostered seven children and adopted five.

10. Greg Gaylord
General Manager
Gaylord Forest Products
TWEED, ONTARIO

Greg Gaylord’s introduction to the family business began with him piling lumber at the age of 10. He has been on board full time for the past 15 years. In that time, the company has evolved from manufacturing and selling hardwood flooring in their local area to supplying product worldwide. Their wide plank flooring can be found in the homes of professional athletes, musicians, and celebrities, and has been showcased on the popular Netflix show, “Million Dollar Beach House.” Gaylord has received the NWFA Vanguard Award, and the company was recognized with the NWFA Wood Floor of the Year award for Best Manufacturer Factory Finished Floor in 2015. He and his wife, Emma, have been married for 10 years and have two children, Ophelia and Edison. Gaylord also is a partner in an affordable housing project. He and his daughter sell art (his is wood, hers is in crayon) and donate the earnings to charity.

11. Justin Hypnarowski
New Business
Development Manager
AHF Products
MOUNTVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA

With a mechanical engineering degree, Justin Hypnarowski joined the flooring industry as a quality engineer for a large manufacturer in 2009. After joining the product team, he discovered product development, particularly in hardwood flooring, was a passion. He has been a key member of the AHF Products team since the company’s inception in January 2019. In his current role, he develops products specifically tailored for unique customer applications and different markets around the country. Hypnarowski was part of the team that developed AHF’s Hydropel waterproof wood technology and most recently, Barnwood Living by Mark Bowe (TV host of Barnwood Builders). Hypnarowski and Bowe worked side-by-side to fulfill Bowe’s vision for this new collection. When not traveling to develop products or meeting with customers, Hypnarowski enjoys DIY remodeling, volunteers as a soccer coach, and is involved with local charity work.

12. Borja Iglesias
CEO/Owner
Rivafloors
MIAMI, FLORIDA

The origin of Rivafloors dates back to 1937 when a workshop in northern Spain began to create European floors. Borja Iglesias now represents the fourth generation of this family-owned business. He had a vision of creating engineered wood floors from Spain and bringing them to market in the U.S. With no brand or name recognition, he started the company in Miami, Florida. The dream has become a reality, as the company now has logistics centers in four different territories and is sold in 14 states. In addition to his passion for hardwood flooring, Iglesias has been actively involved since day one with the Malembe Objective, a non-profit organization that was created by a group of young Spanish students. Their mission is to work every day with 500 girls and boys of all ages in the Kimbondo Orphanage to educate and implement sanitary conditions. The orphanage is located in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. For every order placed, Rivafloors makes a donation to Malembe Objective.

13. Richard Johnstone
President
Strong Roots Flooring Inc.
KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA

Nearly two decades ago, Richard Johnstone started refinishing floors. He ultimately went out on his own to open Strong Roots Flooring Inc. Over the years, it has grown to a flooring store that promotes sustainable flooring, and encourages environmentally-friendly refinishing. Currently, he oversees the retail store, as well as crews of in-house trained hardwood refinishers. To further improve his knowledge and skills, Johnstone received certification with Loba-Wakol in Germany and is a Bona Certified Craftsman. Part of Strong Roots Flooring’s mission is to marry the company’s passion for hardwood flooring with their appreciation of nature. While building a modern and sustainable flooring company is not easy, Johnstone believes that by doing so he is setting the bar for other flooring professionals. Finally, this year, Johnstone launched a tree-planting initiative where 10 trees are planted for every 100 square feet of hardwood refinished. They have planted more than 8,000 trees since March through Eden Reforestation Projects.

14. Jesse Joyce
President
Middle Tennessee Lumber
BURNS, TENNESSEE

Jesse Joyce joined Middle Tennessee Lumber in May 2006 as a salesman at the distribution center. Since then, he has participated in forming the flooring division, developing a marketing strategy, expanding distribution, modernizing equipment, and creating an engineered flooring line. Now, he is the second generation of his family to serve as president of the company. Joyce invested heavily in production equipment that made the company more capable of responding to custom lumber and flooring requests. He also updated Middle Tennessee Lumber’s marketing campaign to reflect the pride the company takes in its final product. Joyce and his father, Bill, are deeply involved in the local communities of Burns and Dickson, Tennessee. Together, they work with schools on job and career training and participate in many local fundraisers. He has served on the Board for both NWFA and the Hardwood Manufacturers Association (HMA), and worked with the Hardwood Federation in Washington, D.C. to educate lawmakers on the benefits of hardwood production.

15. Mike Karolitzky
Regional Sales Manager
P.C. Hardwood Floors
DANBURY, CONNECTICUT

Mike Karolitzky started with P.C. Hardwood Floors in 2010 as a warehouse associate. After a few years, he became a full-time salesman and then manager of the Waterbury, Connecticut, location. He participates in many learning/educational opportunities and is known as the go-to resource for jobsite and technical questions in his area. In February, Karolitzky was promoted to Regional Sales Manager and now oversees four of the company’s locations. For more than 10 years, Karolitzky has volunteered as an EMT for the town of Southbury, Connecticut. During that time, he has experienced many close calls and helped save lives. He also organized a group to install 600 square feet of wood flooring free of charge for a Habitat for Humanity home. He donates his time to other local charities, has arranged community events, neighborhood clean-ups, and collected food and clothing for the local homeless shelter.

16. Nate Kelly
Territory Manager
Norton Abrasives
WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS

As a territory manager with Norton Abrasives, Nate Kelly is constantly on the move, teaching contractors about abrasives, sanding sequences, and more. He is a student of the industry, always looking for more knowledge and seeking further education. In his current role, Kelly is the voice of the contractor and for a good reason. He spent the early days of his career sanding gym floors. He later transformed that passion into his own company, Patriot Hardwood Flooring. He is known for always being willing to help or loan machinery, and making contractors’ lives easier. For years, Kelly has gone on mission trips to share his knowledge of the construction industry with locals across South America and India, where he has helped build a dozen schools and churches.

17. Schawn Lawson
Operations Manager
Lägler North America
DENVER, COLORADO

Schawn Lawson started as a driver for Lägler in 2014. He quickly moved up into machine repairs and inventory management, then advanced to PST® training, and finally, into sales and operations management. Beyond being an amazing source of knowledge for Lägler equipment, he also is extremely well-versed in hardwood flooring species and installation, so he easily can troubleshoot with customers. He has proven to be an invaluable source of support, know-how, and leadership for the company. Lawson has traveled from coast to coast to share his skillsets with wood flooring pros across the country. He has participated as an instructor in multiple trainings with industry partners, and also volunteers his time for projects. He helped install and sand the floors for the NWFA and the Gary Sinise R.I.S.E. Foundation’s 44th home for USAF Technical Sergeant Matthew Slaydon and his family.

18. Madison Miller
Digital Designer and
Developer
AHF Products
MOUNTVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA

Madison Miller joined AHF Products on the first day of its creation in 2019. She led the initiative to build a high-performing digital presence for the family of brands (Bruce®, Hartco®, Robbins®) under AHF Products. Three of the company’s websites were designed, built, and launched by May of the company’s first year, with two additional sites by end of the year. Miller performed user research on key audiences to ensure each website was a user-friendly, valuable tool to hardwood flooring retailers and their consumers. Miller volunteers at her church’s KidZone, helping children learn and grow in their faith. She visits with seniors living alone in her neighborhood, providing them with friendship and extra help around the house. She also leverages her digital expertise through her volunteer work to build and maintain websites that support local businesses.

19. Jake Mitchell
VP of Operations
Ridgefield Industries
CRYSTAL LAKE, ILLINOIS

Jake Mitchell was born into the family business. Ridgefield Industries manufactures hardwood flooring, wood vents, and grills. After college, Mitchell worked in the distribution area. He then began purchasing lumber and studying the company’s production processes to improve safety and efficiency. As VP of Operations, he does some of everything, but is always looking to improve both the products they make and the processes behind the scenes. Mitchell is an Eagle Scout and volunteers as the Cubmaster for his son’s Cub Scouts pack. He also is involved actively with donating flooring and labor to local Habitat for Humanity projects. Previously, he organized donations and labor to refinish a local roller skating rink’s floors after it was vandalized and in danger of closing. Mitchell and the Ridgefield team were recognized with an NWFA 2019 Community Service Award for that project.

20. Taryn Molina
Account Services – Retail
Bona US
ENGLEWOOD, COLORADO

After graduating from the University of Northern Colorado, Taryn Molina started working for Bona in June 2007 as a Core Account Specialist. With hard work, passion, and pioneering, she advanced into her current role as Account Services Manager– Retail. She has played a key role in the growth of the Bona retail business. She has created databases, tools, and reports that streamline account processes, minimize human error, and add to the overall effectiveness of the order and shipping process cycles. In addition to volunteering at Habitat for Humanity and the Food Bank of the Rockies, Molina is a long-standing regular volunteer at the Denver Rescue Mission. She also is a continuous fundraiser and proponent for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She participates in several St. Jude events, such as the Warrior Dash and St. Jude Walk/Run, and encourages friends and family to join her.

21. Jenna Norris
Owner
Definitive Designs LLC
TUCSON, ARIZONA

Upon graduating from the University of Arizona in 2005, Jenna Norris began working at her father’s construction company as a project manager. She and her husband, Ryan, started Definitive Designs in 2007. While her primary role in the business is the office manager, she quickly became the in-house flooring designer, working closely with clients to help them choose their dream floor. Norris gets to know her clients and their flooring needs while establishing and maintaining client relationships. She enjoys attending flooring conventions with her husband throughout the year to learn about new product innovations and continue their education in the industry. The couple’s three children like to get involved in the family business too. They recently were featured in a promotional video designed to make people laugh during this stressful and unprecedented year. She also serves at her local church, welcoming families on Sunday mornings, as well as supporting several charities in her local community.

22. Ryan Norris
Owner
Definitive Designs LLC
TUCSON, ARIZONA

After working as a flooring installer for three years, Ryan Norris and his wife, Jenna, started Definitive Designs in 2007. There he specializes in hardwood flooring and refinishing. He believes in true craftsmanship and is passionate about the wood flooring industry. Norris is known in his community as a wood flooring expert who will always opt to save the floor. He frequently shares tips and tricks to increase efficiency on the jobsite, and has created a tool to assist on refinishing projects. Norris spends his free time with his wife and three children. He donates time and materials to help those in need with flooring projects, and is active in local charities throughout the community. He also faithfully serves on his church’s worship team and leadership board.

23. Benjamin Nutter
Partner
Steve Nutter Cabinetry
and Specialty Flooring
EAST FALMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS

Benjamin Nutter has been a part of his family business as a flooring contractor and carpenter for more than 13 years. He is a Bona Certified Craftsman and has been a member of the NWFA since 2016. Much of his work can be seen in the seaside homes around Cape Cod and as far away as Long Island, but his passion lies in historical restorations. His most recent projects consist of flooring restorations for Highfield Hall and the Wianno Club. Nutter is one of more than 450 volunteers at the Falmouth Community Service Center. He participates in the collection and distribution of more than 4,600 bags of groceries each month. Additionally, he supports homebound individuals by packing and delivering supplies so that they may live independent lives. He spends his free time crafting furniture and baking for the nurses at the local hospital where his girlfriend works.

24. Angel Olalde
Owner
Angel’s Wood Floor
Restoration
STERLING, ILLINOIS

Nearly 15 years ago, Angel Olalde started working for a company that offered flooring installation, sanding, and refinishing in Minnesota. When he and his family relocated to Illinois, he started his own company, Angel’s Wood Floor Restoration. Working in Western Illinois, there is a large number of 100-year-old homes. These projects always require special attention, as many of these floors only have one sanding left in their life cycle, but preserving as many of them as possible has always been a priority for Olalde. When he is not working on a floor in a historic home, Olalde is volunteering for his son’s school. He also works with Gus Macker Basketball, an organization that provides a place for players of all skill levels from ages 7 to 50 to be part of a team. He also donates to charities in his community and mentors those just getting started in the flooring business.

25. Mika Old
Sales Director
Old Wood LLC
SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO

Mika Old graduated from Texas Tech University’s Rawls School of Business with degrees in International Business and Marketing. She entered a career in high-tech sales, but soon left because she realized that while the family flooring business offered less money, it offered the opportunity to help grow a business she actually owns part of. She has designed and staffed the company’s trade show booths in Dubai, Japan, New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, and is a regular at TISE and the NWFA Expo. When she’s not spreading the word about Old Wood’s plank and end-grain flooring, Old puts her EMT License to use helping the community. She once delivered a baby in a parking lot by herself, and she has worked medical on movie sets and with the Viveash volunteer fire crews. She also spent time in central and southern Africa, teaching young women entrepreneurial skills and working in neonatal clinics.

26. Matt Poole
Hardwood Floor Refinisher/
Owner
Matt Poole Hardwood
Restoration Inc.
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA

As a kid during the housing boom of the 1990s, Matt Poole started helping with his father’s hardwood flooring business. He became full-time with his father in 2004 and eventually started his own company in 2011. Poole is an NWFA Certified Sand & Finish Professional and has participated in several manufacturer schools, including the Bona Sand & Finish School in 2007 and 2015. Matt is eager to help a fellow floor person, and loves networking with other professionals at conventions, schools, and on social media. Poole has participated in the NWFA’s partnership with the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program to install wood floors in a wounded veteran’s home. For 12 years, Poole served as a professional firefighter and EMT with two departments in his local area. He would help the community during his 24-hour shifts and work on floors on his days off. He is passionate about doing what he can to help a fellow citizen in their time of need.

27. Dan Portu
Owner
Heritage Hardwood
Floors LLC
WEST END, NORTH CAROLINA

A second generation flooring professional, Dan Portu began learning the trade from his father when he was 10 years old. He took the leap of starting his own company in North Carolina, and has established himself as a top floor refinishing company in the area. Portu has been certified by several manufacturer programs, including DuraSeal, Loba-Wakol, Lägler PST in Germany, and is a Bona Certified Craftsman. Portu started and currently administrates a Facebook group where more than 400 like-minded floor sanding professionals have joined to frequently pose questions, exchange experiences, share solutions, and show off their final projects. Participants say not only is it rich in information, but it is also a great tool for networking and building a sense of comradery within the industry. As the father of twin boys, Portu spends his spare time with them, participating in activities such as remote control cars, hiking, kayaking, and off-road mudding.

28. David Potter
Owner
David Potter Flooring
PACIFIC GROVE, CALIFORNIA

David Potter started working with his father in the
hardwood flooring industry when he was 17, and started his own business seven years ago. It remains a family operated company, with Potter’s wife, Ashley, handling all of the office operations. And, he still lays floors side-by-side with his father. Restoring old floors is a passion of Potter’s that runs deep, and he loves the transformation of what an old floor revival can do for an entire home. He also has a forum on Instagram for industry professionals to seek advice and counsel. The Potters have donated floor refinishing to the Point Pinos Lighthouse in Pacific Grove (the oldest operating lighthouse on the west coast) and to his local elementary school. Potter has also been a volunteer baseball and football coach for his sons’ teams.

29. Tyler Powell
eCommerce Business Manager
Powernail Company Inc.
LAKE ZURICH, ILLINOIS

As Powernail’s eCommerce Business Manager, Tyler Powell has revitalized and directed the company’s omnichannel branding and operations. He has a strong background in digital sales, marketing, and distribution. He also revitalized the company’s digital brand by developing both print and video content. Having volunteered at NWFA trainings since 2018 and been involved with numerous other trade associations since 2013, Powell strives to understand every level of the hardwood flooring industry. His strategic thinking and customer/installer-centric approach to sales and marketing have been fundamental in Powernail’s continued success as a U.S.-based manufacturer of fastening products. He also has organized Powernail product-specific training sessions. In addition to his work within the flooring industry, Powell has spent time volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and writing for Amnesty International.

30. Kristen Riggs
Marketing Manager
Cefla North America
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

Since joining Cefla North America in 2019, Kristen Riggs has attended and managed two technical tours to Italy, and oversaw the construction of a customer experience and innovation area in the company’s laboratory for surface enhancement technologies, all while simultaneously coordinating AWFS 2019 and relaunching CeflaLive Charlotte. In light of COVID-19, this year, Riggs launched online strategies that highlight Celfa North America products and services. She was able to skillfully use photography, video, graphic design, and copywriting to enhance the customer’s digital experience. Riggs has participated in industry-related organizations including a future leaders group, membership committees, and awareness committees. She regularly contributes to local animal shelters and is a strong advocate of local business, performing marketing services pro bono to help small businesses with graphic design and marketing communications.

31. Jamie Rooney
Senior Tech and Training Specialist
Bona US
ENGLEWOOD, COLORADO

With a background of professional training in the oil and gas and healthcare industries, Jamie Rooney started out handling tech calls on the Bona Technical Support line and assisting at sand and finish schools in the U.S. and Canada. Within one year, Rooney became a lead trainer at those same schools. Now he is a senior trainer, leading two-and three-day schools, as well as participating in NWFA schools. In addition to handling the tech line during the pandemic, Rooney has cross-trained to learn the Bona retail product line. He handles troubleshooting calls and services professional and retail Bona customers. He has developed a passion for the industry and enjoys collaborating with industry professionals to broaden his own knowledge and skillset. Rooney has participated in multiple fundraising walks and runs to support St. Jude Children’s Hospital, including a virtual event in September 2020.

32. Leigh Shannon
President
EverLeigh Wood Interiors
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE

Leigh Shannon’s entire career has been linked with the hardwood industry, with special emphasis on flooring. Upon entering the industry with her family’s company, Shannon Lumber Group, she has branched into her own business focused on industry trends and customer needs. She has held the position of president for two companies, including her own. Due to her leadership creating and branding those companies, she saw sales increase in new territories by more than 100 percent year-over-year. Shannon’s role in the community follows the lead of her parents, who encouraged and supported her. She offers her time and expertise to a variety of educational, social, and manufacturing organizations. She has been an active member of the American Society of Interior Designers, International Interior Design Association, and American Institute of Architects.

33. Dylan Siddle
Partner
Williamsport Wood Floors
WILLIAMSPORT, PENNSYLVANIA

Dylan Siddle has been sanding floors since he was seven years old. Over time, he became interested in learning more about the new methods and the tools being used by experts in wood flooring installation. From there, Siddle and Nicholas Maxson decided to go out on their own and together founded Williamsport Wood Floors. Siddle’s desire to perfect his craft has enabled the company to become a household name for floors in their area. Siddle has attended Bona Sand & Finish school and is a Bona Certified Craftsman. Siddle believes strongly in giving back. He volunteers with the Kiwanis Club of Williamsport, donates to local charities meaningful to him, and is always available in his neighborhood to help anyone with anything.

34. Alex Staalner
Brand Manager
Brookhuis America Inc.
JEFFERSON, GEORGIA

After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Studies from Georgia Southern University in 2015, Alex Staalner started working in the flooring industry. He spent two years working with QuickWood, a company manufacturing, distributing, and selling finish and sanding equipment. He became the main outside sales link to the market and developed a strong market knowledge during this time. In 2018, he joined Brookhuis America Inc. as the brand manager and currently is responsible for all activities of the company’s marketing efforts in North America. Staalner has conducted process seminars for local distributors to help them expand their knowledge in finishing techniques, and continues onward with providing rough mill details and information. Outside of the business, Staalner is an Eagle Scout and volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America.

35. Amber Stringer
Director of Marketing
Mullican Hardwood Flooring
JOHNSON CITY, TENNESSEE

Upon graduating from East Tennessee State University with a degree in Marketing, Amber Stringer started her career with Mullican Flooring in the claims and marketing department. Management quickly recognized her customer service skills, which led to being positioned in the customer service department. Gaining a wealth of wood flooring knowledge, she then moved into product development and marketing manager roles. Last year, Stringer was promoted to Director of Marketing for the company. Outside of the flooring industry, Stringer has been a volunteer leader in helping coordinate the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Race for the Cure. She also has been involved directly in several housing projects like the Appalachian Service Project, working to provide affordable housing for community members. She also enjoys donating to Habitat for Humanity, working with the Gary Sinise Foundation, and helping with her son’s Little League Tee Ball team.

36. Amy Strope
Office Manager/Marketing
Low Country Flooring
PAWLEYS ISLAND,
SOUTH CAROLINA

Having grown up in a hardware store and earning an interior design degree from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, it was a natural fit for Amy Strope to specialize in kitchen and bath design for contractors. She spent nine years in that role before moving to South Carolina, where she now works for Low Country Flooring. She assists with consultations, conducts field measures and jobsite visits, all while keeping the office and showroom organized, and handling advertising and online marketing. Strope was one of the top local fundraisers for Children’s Miracle Network and MUSC Children’s Hospital in Charleston. She also created “ADOPTAPALOOZA,” a local mega animal adoption event, which has found homes for more than 50 dogs and cats during the last three years. She also has organized multiple food and supply collection drives for victims of Hurricane Harvey, Operation Christmas Child, and other local non-profit organizations in the Pawleys Island and Georgetown area.

37. Alex Verseman
Vice President
Missouri Floor Company
MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MISSOURI

Alex Verseman has worked in the flooring industry for more than 20 years. He learned the labor side of the business during the summers throughout high school and college. Upon earning a degree in Business Management, he moved into the office, where he currently serves as the Vice President of Missouri Floor Company. He is the third generation of the Verseman family to hold ownership in the business. In 2008, he achieved Accreditation through the Maple Flooring Manufacturer’s Association (MFMA). He was nominated to the Flooring Industry Advancement Foundation (FIAF) in 2016 and to the Flooring Industry Council (FIC-STL) Board of Directors in 2018, where he continues to serve. The FIAF and FIC both focus on the advancement of the flooring industry throughout the St. Louis area. He also is active in his church and his children’s school, where he currently serves on the leadership team.

38. Paige Weber
Plant Engineer
AHF Products
BEVERLY, WEST VIRGINIA

Paige Weber found her calling for wood flooring production when she started a project at the AHF Products plant in Beverly, West Virginia, the largest solid hardwood flooring manufacturing plant in North America. There she put her B.S. in Machine Design from Purdue University to work. Weber has driven capital projects that improve the plant’s efficiency, including boiler upgrades and dust system improvements. She has implemented a supplemental feed system to improve throughput by 20 percent at the lumber yard stackers. Her current initiative implements an arbor selection model to drive yield improvement. Her peers say her attention to detail greatly enhances the quality and productivity of the plant. Weber is a member of the Society of Women Engineers, and spent time while at Purdue volunteering with high school girls to educate them about opportunities for STEM careers.

39. Lisa Wells
Owner
Geneva Flooring Quality Wood Floors
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

Lisa Wells’ family has been in the flooring business in San Diego for 40 years. She started at the company in 2000, and when her mom semi-retired in 2018, she took control of the company. Lisa’s unique expertise includes floor refinishing, floods and repair, custom projects, and answering technical questions. Wells has been a Director on the Board of the San Diego County Floor Covering Association for nine years and currently serves as Vice President. She regularly coordinates events to raise money for local charities and educational scholarships. Wells was a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for a child awaiting reunification with her parents. She earned a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Counseling in 2011, then volunteered at South Bay Community Services, providing hundreds of hours of therapy to teens and their families. Wells also has conducted group therapy with junior high and high school students in several local schools and for the Chula Vista Police Department’s Juvenile Diversion Program.

40. Stephen Young
Owner
Young Brothers
Hardwood Floors
DENVER, COLORADO

Stephen Young owns and operates Young Brothers Hardwood Floors with his brother, Matthew. In 2020, Young Brothers won the NWFA Floor of the Year award for Best in Color/Finish and Textured Wood. That project entailed a herringbone pattern with a ½” channel routed into the perimeter of the room and fleur-de-lis designs routered into the floor and filled with melted silver alloy. It comes as no surprise that Young is known as a market influencer for the industry through social media, often sharing photos of their latest projects. Education is a big focus for Stephen Young, as he is an NWFA Certified Installation Professional, Certified Sand & Finish Professional, and Certified Sales Advisor. He also has become a Bona Certified Craftsman, and has participated in numerous NWFA classes. Young has contributed to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and donated free labor and product to help a homeowner whose daughter has cerebral palsy.

 

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