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.
We are excited 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 establish them as some of today’s brightest stars – before their 40th birthday.
Read on to learn more about them.
1. Jordan Anderson
Regional Sales Manager – Canada
After graduating from the University of British Columbia, Jordan Anderson immediately found himself in the construction industry, working as a project manager for a small renovation company. His skill set progressed, and he later worked in hardwood distribution before starting at Bona in 2013. He spent four years as a Bona territory manager before being promoted to a regional manager position in 2018.
Anderson’s hard work and dedication have grown Bona’s Canadian sales team and the company’s Regional Training Center in Canada. He oversees the Bona Certified Craftsman Program in Canada, which has increased from three companies to nearly 100 members during his tenure.
Over the years, Anderson has been active in coaching youth baseball. He also is involved with the SickKids Foundation in Toronto, donates his time and energy to a feed the homeless program, and supports St. Jude through Bona’s partnership with them.
2. Michael Antonelli
Nickel City Hardwood
Grand Island, NY
In 2002, Michael Antonelli started in the construction business working for a carpenter. He quickly fell in love with flooring installation and hardwood flooring, specifically. This inspired him to start Nickel City Hardwood, a flooring retail store that serves both the commercial and residential markets. Since opening in 2016, the company has grown exponentially.
Most recently, Nickel City Hardwood was voted “Best Floor Covering Store in the 716” for all of Western New York in both 2021 and 2022. Driven by Antonelli’s commitment to customers and detail, Nickel City has become the premier go-to for hard surface flooring in the Buffalo, New York area.
Antonelli is on the Grand Island Growing Readers Committee, coaches and sponsors multiple youth sports teams, and is an organizer of the Grand Island Neighbors Foundation Food Drive.
3. Keven-Derick Auclair Savard
Saint Felicien, QC, Canada
Keven-Derick Auclair Savard comes from a family of lumber and forestry entrepreneurs in Quebec, Canada. Originally working in commercial banking, he later took over the family business, STARRFOREST, which specialized in plywood and lumber distribution. Under his direction, STARRFOREST expanded its offerings to include hardwood lumber and decorative plywood to meet demand year-round.
Auclair Savard created a new company website and launched marketing automation campaigns. He also was instrumental in the development of a glue-laminated scaffolding plank created in collaboration with a local manufacturer. STARR-LAM scaffold planks are now a staple in Quebec’s construction sites. With all the disruptions in the supply chain, he went the extra mile to meet his customers’ materials needs.
For six years now, Auclair Savard has been president of the board of a non-profit, Lis avec moi, whose mission is to promote reading and literacy among children.
4. Amber Brock
Head of Marketing
Artisan Hardwood Floors Corp.
Amber Brock’s journey with Artisan Hardwood Floors began 13 years ago when she was the office manager. Now, she is the head of marketing and has taken the established company and brought its marketing and advertising into modernity. She led a rebranding (including a new website design) and exponentially increased customer engagement on social media with thoughtful and effective strategies and content.
This year, Brock is working to create a cohesive brand narrative for the company’s new Artisan Certified Program (ACP). ACP is an apprenticeship program designed to revive craftsmanship in the flooring industry and create lasting career pathways for Artisan employees and all of Central Texas.
Brock is actively involved in the local design, architectural, and historic preservation communities. She provides support, volunteers time, and contributes to several industry organizations, including the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Texas Society of Architects, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
5. Kevin Brophy
Southeast Sales Manager
Kevin Brophy’s career in wood flooring began with spending eight years at KO Floor Supply. After starting as a driver, he worked his way up to be the repair shop manager. He has been at American Sanders for more than four years now and was part of the design and build team for the company’s new Legend Sander. He has become a sanding equipment expert with a track record of helping contractors, distributors, and service centers fix flooring equipment of all brands.
On social media, he is the creator and moderator of a Facebook group for wood flooring professionals. Additionally, he is the host of Tech Fridays on Facebook, where he engages floor mechanics in the industry to help them troubleshoot their equipment.
Brophy is a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Fraternal Order of the Elks, two organizations that are active in fundraising to support charities for children.
6. Josh Byrd
Footprints Floors of Nashville
Josh Byrd and his wife, Natalia, always dreamed of owning their own business. While he had been an engineer for General Electric for nearly a decade, he finally decided to take the leap in April 2020. The couple excitedly jumped into the world of flooring with a passion for learning the industry, and became the owners of Footprints Floors of Nashville.
Byrd set revenue goals for the first six months, 12 months, and 24 months. He says at each checkpoint, they have far exceeded those goals and found themselves barely able to keep up with demand. He attributes this success to their commitment to quality and to their employees, who share the same passion for excellent craftsmanship.
Byrd recalls during their first job estimate, the client took notice of the professionalism, responsiveness, and commitment to maintaining industry standards. It has paid off. Footprints Floors of Nashville now has more than 150 five-star online reviews and counting.
7. Yessenia Cabrera
National Office Manager
Since joining RIVA Spain in 2018, Yessenia Cabrera has played a vital role in the company’s arrival in the U.S. Her decade of experience in the wood flooring industry was on display as she worked with the sales team, customers, and logistics throughout that time. As national office manager, she has a strategic business vision and continues to be a fundamental member of the organization as RIVA expands.
Cabrera helped in the transition to a bigger warehouse and also in opening new territories and accounts. Within her community, RIVA is something Cabrera is very passionate about. She shares her knowledge with professionals, friends, and family who are considering a modern approach to renovating their homes or workspaces.
Colleagues say she can always be counted on to lend a helping hand in the community. Besides volunteering at her daughter’s school, Cabrera and her family help at a local soup kitchen to serve those in need.
8. Elizabeth Capobianco
Coming from a multi-generational flooring industry family, Liz Capobianco joined Loba-Wakol North America in 2017 under the customer service umbrella. She quickly became a valuable asset for her willingness to learn, ability to nurture relationships, and attention to detail. Those attributes allowed her to climb the ladder to logistics coordinator.
Now, Capobianco is involved with both the Loba and Wakol supply chains, including inbound freight oversight, customer order chain, outbound freight oversight, and order lifecycle. She continually aids in the training of new employees within her department
Those who nominated Capobianco say she has attended more community events than can be listed. Even though she is a fifth-generation floorcovering professional, it still surprised her that she ended up in the flooring industry. She says she had wanted to pave her own way, but the flooring industry truly is in her blood. Luckily, she loves it here.
9. Martha Chavez
Townsend Flooring Inc.
Since starting on the manufacturing line at Townsend Flooring in 2013, Martha Chavez has excelled at every job or task she has been given. Some of the jobs she performed while working her way up in the company include nesting, grading, end-matcher operator, shipping, quality control lead, and more. Even though she is now the HR manager, if she’s done with all her work, or just needs a break, you will catch her down in the mill helping out with these jobs with a big smile.
A few of Chavez’s accomplishments during the past decade include implementing employee recognition and appreciation, recruiting new employees, conducting training programs, and assisting with the safety program. Colleagues say she is a positive influence on everyone around her.
When she is not at work, Chavez regularly helps with events at her church, and can be found attending her children’s events at school or tending to her flowers at home.
10. Banks Church
Appalachian Lumber Co.
Banks Church started at Appalachian Lumber as a production employee in 2007. Working hard and excelling in many different jobs led him to become vice president of the company, acting as operations manager.
As the son of the owner of Appalachian Lumber, Church has spent his life learning the business and how the production side works. He takes pride in the company and the products they make, continually learning new and more efficient ways to produce quality products and keep costs down. Colleagues say he embodies all of the company’s values.
Church has been a pivotal member of Appalachian Lumber’s Caring Craftsman program, which provides support for employees, customers, and the community. He is an active member of his church and community, with outreach missions like the H.O.P.E. Ministry, which helps the less fortunate and people going through tough times. Banks is a husband, father to two daughters, an avid outdoorsman, and a good steward of the land.
11. Joseph Cochran
Wood Pro Inc.
Working in inside sales for Wood Pro Inc., Joseph Cochran has developed outstanding relationships with his customer base. He takes pride in providing high-end customer care, and making sure customers know he is there to help their business and offer product knowledge.
Cochran started with Wood Pro Inc. as a driver/warehouse worker. He was promoted to warehouse manager, then to a logistics position before moving into his current inside sales position. In this role, he inquires about upcoming projects and the products his customers need, sourcing out quality materials. Well-respected by his colleagues, he plans to continue building his branch’s customer base and growing dealer-based business.
Cochran has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, where he has installed floors and hung and sanded drywall to assist in the renovations of homes for families in need.
12. Jon Colpron
Colpron Custom Floors LLC
Fresh out of basic training, Jon Colpron began working in the hardwood flooring industry. He later began his own company, Colpron Custom Floors, and is in the process of opening a showroom.
This year, Colpron won an NWFA Wood Floor of the Year award for Best Parquetry. This project entailed a 5” western maple basketweave with Brazilian cherry squares that was installed in a formal dining room. He has a passion for highly skilled custom projects, including medallions, inlays, patterns, and anything hand-cut to create a true work of art. He also is an NWFA Certified Sand & Finish Professional.
Colpron was a U.S. Army Reservist as a combat engineer. For the last three years, Colpron has proudly supported Conflicted MC, which is a clean and sober motorcycle club. His company’s sponsorship is used to help with youth community outreach programs, such as providing kids in need with backpacks and other school supplies.
13. Brandi Copeland
Marketing Manager & Senior Color Analyst
Peachey Wood Products
For more than six years, Brandi Copeland has led all of Peachey Wood Products’ marketing efforts. She has been responsible for creating concepts, art direction, and the execution of the national brand strategy. Copeland also led the execution of print, digital, and website development, production, and distribution.
She has leveraged her creative talent into superior color-matching skills in the company’s growing prefinishing operation. Copeland has led the development of a faster, more-accurate color-matching program that has reduced time spent on custom colors by more than 50 percent and has improved customer satisfaction tremendously. Colleagues say she has demonstrated skill, leadership, creative ability, and flexibility to help move the company forward time and time again.
Copeland is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a degree in advertising. She serves on the Hardwood Floors Magazine Advisory Committee. She also volunteers her time helping local small businesses with marketing efforts, including photography, social media, website design, and SEO.
14. Ryan DeGrange
DeGrange Hardwood Floors
Ryan DeGrange was a certified welder before going to work for his friend’s father’s hardwood flooring company. After learning the tricks of the trade, he says his wife encouraged him to expand his horizons and signed him up for numerous wood flooring classes and trainings. He opened DeGrange Hardwood Floors in 2015 and has grown the company into a full-time operation with multiple employees, who he considers part of his family. He is described as being dedicated to hardwood and has won awards for quality, including Best of Houzz.
DeGrange is an active member of his church, has volunteered with the Salvation Army soup kitchen, donated to Christmas toy drives, and participated in Rake Up Boise. He also has donated hours and materials to refinish a floor for a member of his church who had experienced water damage. He calls himself a “gearhead,” and says he is always willing to help others when there are problems with their vehicles.
15. Jayme Delany
Manager of Accounting & Administration
Palo Duro Hardwoods
In the six years Jayme Delaney has been at Palo Duro Hardwoods, her intelligence, determination, and adaptability have entrenched her in the inner workings of the entire company. Through transitions in products and structure, Delaney has risen through the ranks, starting out as the receptionist for Lägler North America and growing into the manager of accounting and administration.
While her primary responsibility is managing finances and human resources, she goes above and beyond her role by contributing to company strategies, vision, growth, and sales for both Palo Duro Hardwoods and Lägler North America.
In addition to helping the wheels of Palo Duro turn, Delaney is a strong member of her community. She supports and participates in her two sons’ various sports activities and school functions and spearheaded a GoFundMe campaign on behalf of Palo Duro and Lägler North America that raised more than $1,000 for families who lost their homes in the December 2021 Marshall wildfires.
16. William Derr
Derr Flooring Company
Willow Grove, PA
Derr Flooring Co., a flooring distributor with locations across four states, began its story more than 100 years ago. William Derr is part of the fifth generation of the family working for the company today. Starting as a forklift operator in 2020, he was promoted to a sales position in the New York City market the following year. In addition to sales, Derr is the co-admin of all the company’s social media marketing.
Derr has completed the NWFA three-day Basic Installation Course and is an NWFA Certified Sales Advisor.
Derr received a Bachelor of Arts degree in international business and culture from Arcadia University, and is still involved with his alma mater. He volunteers at basketball camps hosted by the Arcadia men’s basketball team. He also recently volunteered at a 5K event hosted by the Ocean City police.
17. Justin Dier
Dier Wood Floors
Martha’s Vineyard, MA
At the age of 21, Justin Dier started his own flooring business. In the five years since, Dier has positioned himself as one of the leading flooring contractors on Martha’s Vineyard by showcasing his skills on many high-end residential projects.
One of the things he loves most about being a wood flooring professional is that every week is different. Dier notes that one day he can be installing, sanding and finishing a modern gray floor in a new home, and the next week he might be working on antique pine in a home from the 1800s and blending in new 18” pine to match the existing wood.
In between servicing the high-profile and affluent clientele of Martha’s Vineyard, Dier gives back by providing affordable (and sometimes free) services to churches, seniors, or others in need. He also regularly runs 5Ks for various causes in his community.
18. Jeff Do Carmo
Brown Oaks Flooring
Mount Juliet, TN
Flooring is a craft Jeff Do Carmo has been involved with his entire life. He began going to work with his father when he was just six years old. With that, Do Carmo has developed an eye for detail and the drive for perfection with any floor he touches. While his father started Brown Oaks Flooring in 1984, Do Carmo purchased the business from him nearly 20 years ago to continue the family business. Today, he runs the company with his wife, Ashley, as a dynamic team that has a passion for making clients’ dream floors a reality.
Away from work, Do Carmo is devoted to helping others and constantly gives back to the community. He provides Christmas presents and school supplies for kids in the foster care system. He always is available to teach anyone willing to learn about flooring, and he continually attends training to keep himself learning, networking, and mastering the craft.
19. Nick Elmore
Howell Hardwood Flooring
Since joining the sales team at Howell Hardwood Flooring eight years ago, Nick Elmore’s hard work and dedication have contributed to a nearly 50 percent increase in sales volume for the company. Colleagues say what really sets him apart is his approach to building relationships and caring for his customers, not just professionally, but also personally.
Aside from working at Howell, Elmore is co-owner of a local CrossFit Gym. He has contributed to fundraising events and special competitions for multiple CrossFit gyms to raise money for medical assistance for families in need. He has served in various roles at his church, and recently participated in a mission trip to Uganda. He also has coached soccer for both of his children.
Elmore is a member of the Krewe of Kolosse Mardi Gras Society, which serves the community through a variety of philanthropic events. This includes Habitat for Humanity, where Howell has been able to donate flooring and help with installations.
20. Ernesto Gonzalez
Lead Sand & Finisher
Ernesto Gonzalez has been with Barnum Floors for 12 years, climbing the ladder of excellence in every aspect possible along the way. He installed for five years before becoming a sand and finisher, where he has remained for the past seven years. He has completed all NWFA University courses, the Bona Certified Craftsman course, Rubio Monocoat training, NWFA Basic Sand & Finish, and NWFA Intermediate Sand & Finish.
Gonzalez loves working on hardwood flooring because he believes it’s not just a job; it’s an art. He enjoys transforming floors that are not looking their best into a beautiful, finished product.
Colleagues say Gonzalez always is the first to lend a helping hand to fellow neighbors within his community, whether it’s donating his time to help the homeless, his church, or mentoring kids on the soccer field. He enjoys spending time with his family, including going fishing and doing other outdoor activities.
21. Brandon Howe
Monterey Bay Hardwood Floors
More than a decade ago, Brandon Howe was given the opportunity to work for a family-run flooring company on the Monterey Peninsula. Since his early days of learning about the beauty that can be brought out of wood floors, Howe has been described as a true wood flooring professional who thinks about wood flooring most hours of the day.
Howe recently traveled to Germany for the Lägler Fly and Sand event, and he will join the Bona Certified Craftsman program in 2023. He enjoys his work and any troubleshooting challenges that come his way. His favorite projects are those in old Victorian houses from
When Howe isn’t working, he enjoys hiking in the mountains and exploring the California coast with his wife and two kids. He has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and has refinished church floors in his community.
22. Anton Korotchuk
Anton Korotchuk’s family came to America in the mid-90s from Ukraine with $600 in their pocket. Korotchuk graduated high school with honors, then went straight to work and earned journeyman status as a flooring installer. While working to provide for his young family, he completed a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.
When the recession hit in 2008, Korotchuk started his own company. His dedication to quality and customer service makes him stand out among local companies with more than 150 five-star Google reviews and numerous Angi Super Service Awards.
Anton’s Floorcovering has partnered with Hope Kids and Robert Thomas Homes in donating labor to build the House that Hope Built. They also have partnered with Hopewell Children’s Home in Belize and Hope for Orphans. The company actively is supporting orphaned children of Ukraine who are in Poland and have supported Ukrainian refugees fleeing war in their homeland. He also sponsors local youth hockey programs.
23. Chadd Lafond
National Sales Manager, Floor Sanding
Chadd Lafond has transitioned from Norton industrial technical sales serving key accounts in the aerospace, automotive, steel, foundry, and energy markets to a variety of roles on the construction side of the business. Always up for a good challenge, Lafond took on the role of national sales manager for floor sanding earlier this year.
The appeal of the similarities between the two channels – construction and floor sanding with the distribution network, Norton salespeople who service those locations, and the end-use customers are what attracted Lafond to the floor sanding market. Looking toward the future, Lafond’s primary objective is to help provide innovative solutions while providing a comprehensive offering of the best floor sanding products.
Lafond loves the game of hockey and played it his entire life through college. He contributes to local learn-to-skate programs in his hometown in Western Massachusetts and also coached 12, 14, and 16U AAA travel hockey teams while he lived in Dallas, Texas.
24. Forrest Lewis
Lewis Lumber & Milling
While earning his degree in business management and entrepreneurship at Samford University, Forrest Lewis worked at his family’s sawmill in between semesters of college. Lewis continued his education at the National Hardwood Lumber Association Inspection Training School and completed classes at the Weinig-Holz-Her Education & Training Center.
Lewis Lumber and Milling’s engineered flooring department was installed by Lewis from the ground up while he learned how to operate new machines and manage a full team of employees. He was an exponential part of the installation of the new solid flooring line, as well as the company’s growth and expansion. He was promoted to plant manager in 2021. Colleagues say he leads with confidence and accountability, while holding a clear vision of his next steps and the future of Lewis Lumber and Milling.
Lewis, his wife, and their two sons are active members of their church and community. He is passionate about the outdoors and enjoys time with his family.
25. Justin Loutfy
Cherokee Wood Products
Upon graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Justin Loutfy went on to become a Special Warfare Officer overseeing operations spread across Iraq, Kuwait, and Syria. While there, he cut spending for the Air Force and partnered with Lockheed Martin to spearhead a $2B research and development project.
After leaving the military, he oversaw operations at Amazon’s inbound cross dock in southern California. Then, Cherokee Wood Products hired him as chief operating officer. He created a program that allowed the mill and warehouse to plan a week forward, giving better insight into day-to-day staffing needs and a more-accurate ETA for customers on remanufactured products. He also instituted a popular four-day workweek in the mill.
No stranger to service, Loutfy coordinated Cherokee’s adoption of a portion of the Pacific Electric Bike Trail to keep it free of trash and debris. He also cultivated partnerships to donate any extra product or cutoffs to local schools for use by their theater and wood shop programs.
26. Adam Mosteller
Intermountain Wood Flooring
Adam Mosteller entered the wood flooring industry as a delivery driver for a distributor back in 2007. After delivering wood floors for years and being acquainted with the installers and the floors, he ended up in inside sales. Ultimately, he landed at Intermountain Wood Flooring in 2018, where he handles outside sales.
In this role, Mosteller provides service to installers in Portland and the surrounding area. He has won three revenue achievement awards in the last three years, and has contributed significant growth in the Portland branch’s contractor accounts.
During the last decade, Mosteller has coached baseball and volunteered at the local little league with trash pick-up days and field maintenance. He was even named volunteer of the year. Coaching baseball at the little league level has been a big part of his life on and off the field, having learned that it isn’t just about coaching baseball. It’s about mentoring the kids, too.
27. Laura Mullins
Graf Custom Hardwood
Laura Mullins has worked in the hardwood industry for more than 10 years. Growing up working in the lumber mill and flooring plant, she always thought she would join the family business. She just wasn’t sure when.
The opportunity came while she was working in television sales after college. Her father was looking to expand the business in the southern states where she lived. Since that time, Mullins has provided marketing, web design, inventory management, and many more aspects to the Graf Custom Hardwood business. She has had the opportunity to build the company’s marketing from the ground up.
This family business has been around for more than 34 years, with three generations contributing. Mullins is a founding member of the NWFA’s Emerging Leaders Council, which oversees the strategy and activities of the Emerging Leaders Network.
28. Josh Myers
Hardwood Flooring Installer
A second-generation hardwood flooring installer, Josh Myers was introduced to the trade at a very young age. His father was a trim carpenter and hardwood flooring installer. By the time he was 16 years old, Myers was capable of installing hardwood in rooms and areas of higher-end homes. He learned the trade well and taught several other successful installers and industry specialists throughout the years.
Today, Myers is an NWFA Certified Installation Professional, and plans to further his education with NWFA to become a Certified Wood Flooring Inspector. Those who nominated him say that if a client is looking into herringbone, borders, or inserts, Myers is the person to call in southwest Ontario.
Off the clock, Myers enjoys spending time with his wife, young daughter, and son. His son loves hockey, so Myers coaches and helps out. He also is active in sponsoring teams in the southwestern Ontario region and supports charity events in the area.
29. Luis Perez
Gym Floor Artisan
Hero Flooring LLC
With Hero Flooring, Luis Perez has strived to develop a brand and artistic culture for his company that will inspire the younger generation to enter the flooring industry. By discovering and pursuing his true passion of being a custom basketball court designer, Perez is growing a successful business, creating meaningful artwork, and generating excitement and newfound pride for communities across the country.
Perez has developed strategic partnerships with community organizations such as Project Backboard to donate his artistic skills, going to communities in need and working with local youth to restore their basketball courts. In fact, he first discovered his passion while partnering with Project Backboard and artist Carlos Rolon on a project to replicate one of Rolon’s paintings on a basketball court at a Boys and Girls Club in the east side of Chicago. Perez says bringing new life to a building and pride to the neighborhood is a reward that he
cannot put a price on.
30. Dan Reddy
Reddy’s Hardwood Flooring Inc.
Dan Reddy’s career began in 2003 under the tutelage of Michael Dittmer. In spite of having no previous wood flooring experience, Reddy quickly acquired the skills that allowed him to make the transition to crew leader with another large company in the Chicago metro area. Thirteen years later, he made the decision to start Reddy’s Hardwood Flooring Inc.
Reddy’s dedication to craftsmanship has brought him around the globe, where he has assisted on projects in Singapore and Spain. He is an NWFA Certified Installation Professional and Certified Sand and Finish Professional. He has spent numerous hours mentoring the next generation of wood flooring professionals.
From coaching to donating funds, Reddy has been involved in his four children’s athletic endeavors since they were old enough to participate. Additionally, he recently donated his time and labor to a project for the family of an ALS patient in his community.
31. Rob Ricco
Footprints Floors of Durham, Winston-Salem, & Concord
Rob Ricco began installing floors with his father’s flooring company on the weekends as a teenager and went on to take a full-time position with him after graduating high school. In October 2019, he purchased a Footprints Floors franchise in North Carolina – serving the Durham, Winston-Salem, and Concord areas. It is a family operation, with his wife, Sara, running the financial operations.
In 2021, Ricco had the top-earning franchise in Footprints Floors and received Franchise of the Year recognition. He has been awarded the Super Service Award from Angi, as well as the Best of 2020 Porch award. He is committed to furthering his wood flooring knowledge and expertise, as he is working toward becoming an NWFA Certified Professional.
In his free time, Ricco enjoys spending time with his wife and their two children. They donate to charities that are meaningful to them, as well as to the preschool their children attend.
32. Julio Santiago
Santi Hardwood Floors LLC
When starting his company in 2009, Julio Santiago faced the obstacle of starting a flooring business as a first-generation immigrant to the United States. Since then, he has been featured in HGTV Magazine and opened his own showroom. In this showroom, he creates different stain colors on the floors to give customers a better way of looking at the available flooring and color options. Though Santiago started the business on his own, he now has more than 15 employees, and he has been able to bring family members into the business as well.
Santiago donates annually to a fundraiser that provides school supplies for local children. He is involved with World Relief, helping immigrants with legal services. During the last two years, he has motivated more than 50 people to become runners and participate in marathons.
33. Brad Scott
Territory Manager – Western Canada
As a territory manager for Bona, Brad Scott covers British Columbia through Manitoba. In this role, he has continued to grow Bona’s relationships with contractors in Western Canada. He often is found onsite with contractors or at distribution events, and he has fostered strong retail relationships and grown professional business, especially with Bona Adhesives.
Scott started in the hardwood flooring business in 2002 with Nucasa Milling Company
(The Finishing Touch). He then worked in sales and retail management for Windsor Plywood
before working for Bona. He also assists with NWFA schools when they are in his territory.
Scott is the vice president of the British Columbia Floor Covering Association. In this role, he has worked closely with the other board of director members and staff to develop and coordinate several expos/learning events (both online and in-person). He has a strong passion for education and making the flooring business better wherever he can.
34. Felicia Seiler
Leibering Dimension Inc.
In her five years with Leibering Dimension Inc., Felicia Seiler has created and developed a complete line of prefinished hardwood flooring. As a partner and company manager, Seiler is described as a force for the industry with incomparable energy and drive to share her passion with landowners, customers, and the community. She is a 2017 Purdue University graduate with a B.A. in marketing and management.
Seiler is the second vice president of the Indiana Hardwood Lumberman’s Association (IHLA), where she has volunteered on the board for four years as the chairperson of the membership and promotions committee. Having won the IHLA scholarship back in 2015, she now leads that scholarship committee to continue helping young people succeed.
Last year, Seiler organized the company’s participation in the Dale Fall Fest Parade. The float represented the industry with logs and raw lumber and won the People’s Choice Award. She also is the assistant volunteer coordinator for Stir-N-Up Hope, a therapeutic equine riding facility.
35. Kristen Stensby
Kristen Stensby has been a part of the flooring industry since 1988, when her father opened his flooring store, specializing in sand and finish work. Growing up surrounded by this business gave her the building blocks for not just acquiring flooring knowledge, but also meeting the challenges that many business owners in this industry face, including pricing and updating a flooring showroom.
Stensby held industry positions in marketing, estimating, and sales, before co-founding Showroom Pricing in 2020. Showroom Pricing is an industry-specific software system that combines B2B technology along with custom QR codes to automatically update flooring prices in real time. She also was a 2012 graduate of the NWFA Wood Floor Inspector School.
As for community service, Stensby has volunteered with Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri since 2017. She also is a supporter of her local Backstoppers, which provides support to families of fallen police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs.
36. Ben Totta
Kansas City, MO
Ben Totta joined Totta Hardwoods shortly after his brother, Mike, started the company. Having always been good with his hands, Totta became passionate about the hardwood flooring trade and has established the company’s standards for craftsmanship.
Totta’s craftsmanship and expertise have afforded him the opportunity to become an NWFA Regional Instructor, and he is often used as a resource by other hardwood flooring companies, even local competitors. Those who nominated him say his knowledge of the trade and heart for teaching make him one of the industry’s leaders. He also is an NWFA Certified Installation Professional and Certified Sand & Finish Professional, has participated in live demonstrations during NWFA Expo, and is an NWFA Vanguard Award recipient. The Tottas value education so much that they require the NWFA University as part of their onboarding process with new employees.
Totta is actively involved in his church community, with everything from helping with the children’s ministry to hosting small groups. He also helps coach his kids’ sports teams.
37. Mike Totta
Kansas City, MO
Mike Totta established Totta Hardwoods in 2006. What began as a way to support his family quickly turned into a passion for woodworking and craftsmanship. Now, with a team of more than a dozen employees, Totta Hardwoods is one of the top hardwood flooring companies in the Kansas City area.
Totta has built a company focused on genuine care for both customers and employees, as well as providing high-quality craftsmanship. The company has been recognized by Thinking Bigger Business Media’s local awards program for Kansas City companies with fewer than 25 employees. He is an NWFA Certified Sales Advisor.
Totta always has been highly involved in his local church through music, teaching Sunday school, and leading community small groups both at church and other organizations. He participates in different business organizations that help him grow professionally. You also might catch him and his family walking their neighborhood selling the family sausage brand door to door.
38. Caleb Unruh
Director of Marketing
RW Supply + Design
West Plains, MO
When Caleb Unruh started working in RW Supply + Design’s warehouse, he was simply waiting to begin his teaching job in the fall. That was 14 years ago. He has been with the company ever since and now serves as director of marketing.
In 2022, Unruh and his team were responsible for launching Portercraft Flooring, an entirely new flooring brand designed exclusively for the independent retailer. The launch includes many innovative marketing tools. One of those tools is Portercraft University, an online educational platform in collaboration with the NWFA.
Unruh is a father of five, certified pilot, marathoner, church leader, and Kansas City Chiefs fan. Earlier this year, he helped organize and lead a company trip to Central America with Filters of Hope that focused on providing clean drinking water to families. The trip was so successful it has inspired a follow-up trip for more employees this fall.
39. Ernie Wetzel
Flooring Production Supervisor
Hull Forest Products Inc.
Pomfret Center, CT
Ernie Wetzel supervises flooring production and lumber surfacing for Hull Forest Products. A military veteran with 12 years of service (eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps and four years with the U.S. Air Force), Wetzel also served in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012. He brings military-style leadership, experience, and efficiency to the workplace, creating a mission-oriented environment and cohesive team among the employees under his direction.
In his first year with Hull Forest Products, Wetzel has made an outstanding impact – increasing production, decreasing lumber waste, increasing team morale, and manufacturing a year’s worth of wood flooring with a quality control rate of
100 percent satisfaction.
Wetzel is active in his community and has helped raise more than $100,000 for cancer awareness and research through his involvement with the Pan-Mass bike challenge and the Pink Angels basketball tournament. In addition, he is active with the Toys for Tots campaign, volunteering and/or donating for the past 14 years straight.
40. Aaron Wing
Aaron’s Hardwood Floor Sanding and Installation
Originally learning the trade from his uncle, Aaron Wing started his own business in 2019. Wing operates in the southern Minnesota metro area and now has more than 30 five-star Google reviews. Those who nominated Wing say his exceptional craftsmanship, passion for woodworking, and hardwood flooring knowledge have led to his success.
From commercial to residential, new installs to recycled wide plank floors, custom colors to natural finishes, Wing is said to handle it with precision, style, and professional quality. Throughout his time in the industry, he has traveled the Midwest installing and refinishing unique hardwood floors. This craftsman enjoys spending time with his wife and two children when he is not working.
Wing provides a discount to active military members, veterans, and law enforcement as a way to honor their sacrifices and let them know they are appreciated.
To view past 40 Under 40 classes, follow the links below:
- The 2021 Hardwood Floors Magazine 40 Under 40
- The 2020 Hardwood Floors Magazine 40 Under 40
- The 2019 Hardwood Floors Magazine 40 Under 40
- The 2018 Hardwood Floors Magazine 40 Under 40
- The 2017 Hardwood Floors Magazine 40 Under 40