Chair’s Cut: Surround Yourself with the Best

One of the best ways to improve a skill is to practice it with someone better than you. For example, I exercise regularly, but sometimes I work out with my neighbors, who are nationally ranked CrossFitters. I’m always a little intimidated, and I definitely have modifications, but I am always better for it.

The first time I worked out with them, I literally got a bruise on my chin attempting the chin-up bar. Now, I can use the chin-up bar without injuring myself. Yes, in scenarios such as these, you have to work harder, think faster, and push yourself beyond your perceived limits. However, eventually, your skills will improve and, someday, you might even be good enough to teach someone else a thing or two. This concept also translates nicely to your career: when you surround yourself with better, you become better.

WFOY Trophy ImageAs I write my first column as Chair, I’ve just returned from attending our NWFA Wood Flooring Expo in Tampa. For three days, I listened to presentations by some of the top thought leaders in our industry, networked with best-in-class professionals from around the world, and witnessed the artistic genius of our 2022 Wood Floor of the Year (WFOY) winners. I couldn’t help but feel inspired by all of these amazing people.

The WFOY awards continue to be top recognition for innovative craftsmanship and design in wood flooring installations. Since the program began in 1990, more than 300 awards have been presented to companies worldwide. Click here to see each of this year’s winners highlighted, and I am sure you will be equally as amazed at the artistry and complexity of the winning entries.

The contest is judged by a panel of technical industry leaders, reinforcing that the awards genuinely recognize quality work and craftsmanship. The people judging the entries look for technique, design quality, and creativity. Some do the same type of work as you every day, and others are industry peers who bring a different perspective to the contest, ensuring that the floors rank among the best in the world of flooring.

To determine the Members’ Choice award, NWFA members from around the world voted for their favorite entry through online voting. This process gave each of the NWFA’s 3,000 members a chance to evaluate all of the entries, and vote on their favorite overall submission. It takes a lot of bravery for someone to put their work up for judgment by their peers, so I applaud all our winners and entrants. And it’s never too early to start thinking about entering the contest for next year. A WFOY award is a testament to your skills and a great marketing opportunity. Contact the NWFA to find out how you can enter your wood flooring works of art in the competition, and we may be seeing you on the pages of Hardwood Floors this time next year.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your NWFA Chair. I am humbled and honored to be in this role. Being a part of the NWFA network truly allows everyone to step up their game.

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