The recent dedication of a home for United States Army Sergeant First Class (Ret.) Ryan Davis in Savannah, Georgia, marked the NWFA’s 72nd project in collaboration with the Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. program. This event showcased the profound impact that can be achieved when the NWFA community unites for a common cause – providing free, custom-built smart homes to severely wounded veterans and first responders.
It’s the cause that recently brought together numerous NWFA members to generously donate their products, volunteer their time, and share their exceptional skills to provide the floors inside the new home of SFC Davis, who was severely injured in 2019 while on a deployment in Afghanistan.
“I’m 100 percent a product of NWFA education, and I feel like it’s important to give back and pay that forward,” says Mike Somodean of MSCS Inc. “I want to support any effort that the NWFA participates in. I was familiar with the Gary Sinise Foundation and had always wanted to participate, but logistics and location played a role, so it had never worked out previously.”
Somodean, based in Roswell, Georgia, played a pivotal role in quickly organizing a dedicated team of contractors for this unique mission.
“I learned about the opportunity to participate at the most recent NWFA Expo in Milwaukee, and I jumped at the chance to help,” says Somodean. “I gathered a few other wood flooring professionals who were also at the Expo.”
Somodean spearheaded a dedicated team for the project, which included Rob Chewning from Southern Woods Flooring, Lorie Davidson from Davidson Wood Flooring, and other skilled professionals. This group included Allegheny Mountain Hardwood Flooring or hardwood flooring, MAPEI for adhesive, Norton Abrasives for abrasives, and Uzin-Utz/Pallmann for stain and finish. Together, this team and their suppliers ensured the successful completion of this meaningful project.
“Thanks to everyone’s incredible efforts, the project could not have gone better, and we could not have had a better experience,” says Somodean.
To learn how you can get involved with the Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. program contact the NWFA at 800.422.4556, or e-mail email@example.com.
“For this home, we learned that it would be a site-sanded and finished product from Allegheny Mountain Hardwood Flooring, which is one of the highest-end wood flooring manufacturers in the industry, and I was very excited to be able to work with that material,” says Somodean. “We had 2,600 square feet of 4” wide, long length, rift and quartered red oak. I am a big fan of sand and finish work, even more than installation, so I was thrilled to learn that would be our task.”
A notable aspect of this project is that no local contractor was available in the rural part of Georgia where the home was built.
“The location in Savannah, Georgia was a five-hour drive for me; however, I was fortunate enough to own a camper, and I found a campground within 15 minutes of the jobsite,” explains Somodean. “I enjoy camping with my family, so doing it in this situation made sense.”
Somodean says staying in the camper was a chance for these professionals to bond over work and shared meals and conversations, making the experience feel less like work and more like an enjoyable time spent with colleagues.
“Being able to spend lunches, evenings, and dinners with the other guys, talking shop, talking about not just business, but life, was the cherry on top for me,” he says. “It didn’t feel like work.”
“The official timeline for the project was from Monday to Saturday. However, Rob Chewning from Southern Woods Flooring went above and beyond by driving down a week before to kickstart the project, focusing on preparing the subfloor,” explains Somodean. This proactive approach saved them valuable time and contributed to the project’s success.
“It was one of the easiest solid wood glue-down installations I have ever had, thanks to the quality of the material, the preparation of the subfloor, and the high quality of the adhesive courtesy of Mapei. There were no issues. The jobsite also was kept very clean, and the builder was great for us, catering to our needs, and helped keep everyone out of our way while we worked.”
As midweek approached, the team began sanding portions of the floor that had been installed. Derek Swegle, representing Pallmann, actively participated in the sanding and finishing of the floor, applying the new PALL-X 2-KOLORIT system, followed by two coats of the premium PALLMANN PALL-X GOLD finish the next day.
The collective effort and dedication of everyone involved made this project an outstanding success. The Gary Sinise R.I.S.E. program is a powerful reminder of what can be achieved when a community comes together to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who have given so much.
“In the end, the house looks amazing. It was a fantastic group effort,” says Somodean. “No one cut any corners, and everyone involved in the project went above and beyond to ensure the home was perfect and a comfortable space for the Davis family.”