The Floor Covering Industry Foundation’s History

In 1980, the President of the Carpet & Rug Institute had been traveling for business and suffered a debilitating stroke. Leaders in the flooring industry wanted a way to help provide for him and his young bride who were new to Dalton, Georgia and just getting started. From this spark of compassion, the Floor Covering Industry Foundation was knit.

The Floor Covering Industry Foundation was chartered in 1981 in Washington D.C., and the Foundation has found homes in Chicago, Illinois and then Anaheim, California, before making the journey back to the East Coast in 2016 to its current home in the Carpet Capital of the World - Dalton, Georgia. Back in 1981, three of the founding board members were from the major mills: J.B. Maffet from World Carpet which is now part of Mohawk, Harry I. Saul from Queen Carpet - now part of Shaw Industries, and Robert E. Shaw current owner and CEO of Engineered Floors. Larry Nagle, President of N.L. Nagle, Inc. was an original board member and still serves on the board. Nagle, and three other individuals drove the formation of the Foundation: Harry Saul, Walter Guinan, and Al Wahnon.

As you can see, the organization has at its roots the same leadership that ignited the floor covering industry. The motive for the creation of the non-profit? To provide a way for individuals and companies to provide direct financial assistance to individuals in the industry who were experiencing catastrophic illness, injuries, or living with life-altering disabilities. The mission remains the same today.

At the core of any strong organization are committed volunteers who drive impact. Charlie Dilks, CPO at CCA Global Partners, currently services as the Chairman of the Board, and Andrea Blackbourn serves as Executive Director. FCIF is housed at the World Floor Covering Association’s offices, which also provides donated management services and office space. The organization has grown to $1 million in annual revenue, and annually helps more than 100 families battle catastrophic medical conditions. Like the Screen Actor’s Guild Foundation and Major League Baseballs’ BAT (Baseball Assistance Team), FCIF is one of the few organizations that exist for an industry to ‘take care of its own’.