Chair’s Cut: Get to Know Steve Brattin

Steve Brattin

Steve Brattin, owner of SVB Wood Floors in Kansas City, Missouri, officially began his term as Chairman of the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA)’s Board of Directors during the 2024 Wood Flooring Expo. Throughout his 30-year career, Brattin has served on various NWFA committees and task forces. He also is a recipient of the NWFA Vanguard and Ambassador Service Awards and is a two-time Wood Floor of the Year award winner.

How did you find your path to making wood flooring into a career? I was born and raised in Chicagoland and started working with John Lessick at Apex Wood Floors when I was 17 years old. I had done other things in the construction industry throughout high school, but when I got into flooring, there was a love for it immediately. I had one of the greatest crew leaders who was very artistic and took a ton of time to teach me. Whether working on a standard refinish, installation, or doing something high end, I love that you have the opportunity to stand back and see the art you created and then have the excitement of moving on to the next one.

Is there a piece of business advice you wish you had known early on? Participate in NWFA. After working for John for several years, I decided that I wanted to start my own business. He recommended I get involved with NWFA. I still remember attending my first Expo in Baltimore in 2006. I met some of the best people in the industry and it sparked something in me. I soaked up all the knowledge they had like a sponge. From that moment, my company started growing like crazy and it took the business to another level because of the partnerships, relationships, and mentors that I was able to surround myself with through NWFA.

Photos courtesy of Steve Brattin | SVB Wood Floors

What are you looking forward to about being chair? Helping with the growth of the association and continuing the personal connection with our members – especially with the younger generation. I had that opportunity and I want to be able to do the same for them and be there to give back.

Why is education important for your business and in what ways have you incorporated it? For one, it is a huge morale booster for our team. I’ve always told them you can think you know everything, but even if you sit in a class for a week and you only learn one thing, you gained something. As part of our onboarding process, they take classes on the online NWFA University. Then getting them to schools gives them additional skill sets and expertise. All of our sales associates go through the NWFA Sales Advisor training and sit in on some of the hands-on schools because knowledge is key, and being able to walk the consumer through each step of the process makes a huge difference.

How do you spend your time off the clock? With family and traveling. Every week we have a Sunday dinner with all of our family that is here in Kansas City. During the summer we are all out by the pool together, and we love to travel. My favorite destination is anywhere next to the water and a beach. We’re a big outdoor family.

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