The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) has inducted South Lynn of Universal Floors and Roy Reichow of National Wood Flooring Consultants into its Legacy Scholarship program through the NWFA Education and Research Foundation (NERF). The NERF Legacy Scholarship program honors individuals who made significant contributions throughout their lives to advance the wood flooring industry.
South Lynn started his wood flooring career in 1952 working for Suburban Floors. After just nine months, he started his own company, Universal Floors, in 1953. He broke the race barrier in a segregated Washington, D.C. by hiring and training the first black employees. Universal Floors quickly earned a reputation for high-quality work, installing and finishing floors in the White House during every administration from Eisenhower to the present. In 2001, he received the NWFA Industry Leadership Award.
“South lived a long and full life,” says Michael Martin, president and CEO of NWFA. “At the young age of 17, he joined the U.S. Navy and served as a Seaman First Class during World War II. Following his military service, he attended the University of Maryland – College Park on the GI Bill, earning a Bachelor of Science in Business and Public Administration. It was following his graduation that he found his place in the wood flooring industry, training and employing hundreds of people over the many decades during which he ran Universal Floors, and where he continued to show up for work even at age 94. He’s a shining example of what hard work and dedication can accomplish, and his legacy lives on with his sons, Sprigg and South, Jr., who run Universal today.”
Reichow’s wood flooring career began in 1974 when he founded Reichow Parquet Flooring, which he ran with his wife, Michelle, for more than 40 years before starting National Wood Flooring Consultants in 2000. Through his decades of experience on the job, as well as his life-long quest for knowledge, he became a frequent industry speaker and instructor, giving back in many ways to the industry that he loved. Roy served on the NWFA Certified Professionals Board of Directors, and was a frequent contributor to Hardwood Floors magazine.
“We were honored to have Roy’s wife, Michelle, speak at NWFA’s Wood Flooring Expo earlier this year about Roy’s love and passion for our industry,” says Martin. “She shared some touching moments with our attendees about how Roy could – and often did – talk about wood flooring 24/7. He had a lifelong quest for knowledge, and shared it freely with so many. He touched many lives, and will be missed.”
NERF was established to provide industry research and educate future generations of wood flooring professionals. The NERF Legacy Scholarship program helps the NWFA keep training costs to a minimum for participants. Through NERF, NWFA offers educational opportunities like hands-on training, NWFA University, NWFA Live Edge, and scholarships. Since 2014, NWFA has awarded scholarships totaling more than $80,000.
To learn more about the NERF Legacy Scholarship program and other scholarships the NWFA offers, visit NWFA’s scholarship page at nwfa.org/scholarships.