Congratulations to all of this year’s “40 Under 40” honorees! Each year, the December/January edition of Hardwood Floors magazine recognizes a group of impressive individuals who are impacting both the wood flooring industry and the communities in which they live. Reading about their efforts is inspiring and shows us that it is possible to do more when it comes to family, the causes we care about, and this industry which we all love.
I was able to spend time with the NWFA’s Emerging Leaders Council (ELC) this fall when they joined us for the Board of Directors meeting. Getting to know them and hearing their ideas for addressing the industry’s issues was refreshing. This group also expressed the desire to have more mentorship opportunities. So, we are reviving efforts to pair up members of the ELC with a mentor from the board, bridging the present to the future.
My journey in the wood flooring industry began with Bill Price, Sr. He was a born teacher and learner, who shared his knowledge and understanding with joy. I believe the relationship that I have with colleagues and younger staff is a direct influence of Bill’s mentorship.
Within this same issue of the magazine, you also can read about two incredible careers in the wood flooring industry that recently came to a close. René Rocheleau retired after completing more than 2,100 inspections and shares key learnings from the jobsite. Janet Sullivan, a trailblazer for women in wood flooring, retired earlier this year after nearly 40 years with Lenmar.
Regardless of where we are in our careers, I believe it is our responsibility to share what we know with the people around us. While you may think the only way to learn is from someone with more experience than you, that is not always the case. Many times we learn from someone who just has different experience from us.
The NWFA hands-on training events are a perfect example of this. NWFA Regional Instructors are highly skilled and ready to share their wisdom with others. It doesn’t stop with them, though. In these classes, your fellow students bring their own expertise to the table. It can be a place to find a mentor or new friends to bounce ideas off of down the road.
You might also consider joining an NWFA committee or building connections on the association’s social media channels. However, one of the biggest ways to open yourself up is by attending the NWFA Wood Flooring Expo, April 16-18, 2024. With the event taking place in New Orleans, Louisiana, it is sure to be filled with fun ways to network and make lasting connections.
To learn more about attending the Expo, joining the NWFA, or how to be more involved in the association, visit nwfa.org or call 800.422.4556.