Joe Rocco has worked in the hardwood flooring industry for nearly 30 years, putting himself through college at the University of Colorado while finishing wood floors. In 2006, he and his wife, Joni, started their own hardwood floor contracting company, Artistic Floors by Design. Based in Parker, Colorado, their business has grown to three crews with lead technicians certified through the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA). Artistic Floors by Design
has been recognized with NWFA Wood Floor of the Year awards, and Rocco is an NWFA Certified Installation Professional, Certified Sand and Finish Professional, and Certified Sales Advisor.
Rocco 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 am the oldest of five children and I put myself through college, debt-free, finishing hardwood floors in Colorado Springs.
How did you get started in the industry? The Catholic church we attended had a monthly bingo night and my mom used to manage the bingo hall. One of her bingo buddies hired me to be a hardwood finisher. All I knew was that I liked to work with my hands and I had enjoyed working with wood doing various projects in
the past. I had no idea my career would span 30 years.
Who has influenced your career the most and why? It’s not specific to the hardwood trade, but my Uncle Jay was a very wise man. He once told me, “You can learn something from everyone you meet – what to do and what NOT to do.” I think about that and try to learn from everyone I meet, both in my work and in play.
What is your favorite wood floor project that you’ve participated in? My favorite wood floor projects are the ones I complete for my family because they appreciate it the most.
What energizes you to stay in the wood flooring industry? It is energizing to observe our employees as they grow in soft skills, communication, business acumen, and carpentry skills. We knew the technical skills would come to them over time, but watching their interactions with our clients and training each other keeps me going.
Do you have a morning routine that sets you up for success? My morning routine is all about prayer and coffee: one to calm me down and the other to hype me up!
What are you reading right now? I just finished a book about the Bill of Rights. It is amazing how little I knew about them and the assumptions I have adhered to over the years
without any studying.
What keeps you busy outside of work? When Joni gives me a break from home projects, I love to spend time outdoors with her, our family, and our friends doing activities such as fishing, backpacking, water sports, camping, mountain biking, and hiking.
You can listen to a technical-focused discussion between Joe Rocco and NWFA’s Brett Miller, as well as other hardwood flooring experts by visiting hardwoodfloorsmag.com/nwfa-wood-talk-podcast.