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        This is the history

        of FCICA as remembered

        by Fred Acton

            n the 1970s, there was a flooring association formed called
            The National Association of Floor Covering Installers
            (Acton Flooring joined in 1970). I am not totally sure of why
        Ithe origination failed but it lost members and the support
        of industry. There were a few die-hard members of NAFCI that
        moved to an Interior Design and Rug Cleaners association. This
        would have been in the early 80s; there was a huge void in the
        industry between the installers and manufacturers with little to
        no communications between the two.
          In 1982, the president of the Carpet and Rug Institute Ron Van
        Geldren asked a few flooring contractors from across the country
        to meet in Chicago. Members at that meeting included Ron Van
        Geldren and Ned Hopper from CRI, Tor Meberg (New York),   time FCICA was formed it was an organization of commercial
        Dave Merkling (Chicago), Jim Dipelesi (New York), Bill Paterson   and residential contractors. Without the help of Ned Hopper, Ron
        (California), Jim McAbee (North Carolina) Ken Tveter (New   Van Gelderen from CRI and Tor Meberg, there would not be an
        Jersey) and Fred Acton (Alabama). After about a 6-hour meeting   FCICA.
        and a lot of discussion about the organization’s name, we settled   Our first convention was in Newport Beach California; we
        on FCICA and each contractor agreed to contribute $1,000 each to   had a good attendance from both the installation community
        start the process of incorporating. From the flooring contractors’   and the manufacturers. The adhesive industry was also well-
        side of the table Tor Meberg was the driving force in helping put   represented at all of our conventions. There was an agenda set at
        all of the parts together. The board of directors was formed to   that convention to work with industry leaders to form guidelines
        help guide and direct the origination, and with the help of Ron   for installation of carpet that later became known as CRI 104
        and Ned, by-laws were adopted with a mission statement. At the   standards for the installation of commercial carpet. After 18
                                                            months of work, the standards were approved by the industry.
                                                            Then the committee worked on The Standards for Installation of
                                                            Residential Carpet (CRI 105) and after long industry wide debates
                                                            they were accepted. The board also formed a committee for
                                                            membership and education. The education committee held 3 one-
                                                            week training classes a year for several years with Dave Merkling
                                                            as chairman of the educational committee.
                                                              After five years the board of directors, with the encouragement
                                                            of CRI, made the decision to hire a full time Executive Director
                                                            and the first director of FCICA was Rob Woodard.
                                                              Over the past 35 years the association has had it financial
                                                            problems as other associations have, but membership and
                                                            participation from contractor members and associate members
                                                            have kept the association vital to the industry.   
                                                                                          - Fred Acton

   6    The Flooring Contractor Magazine       Special Edition 2020
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