Behind every grant, is a story of a real person who is fighting one of the hardest battles of their life and another person, who is fighting to save them.

Meet the FCIF Grantees, Board Members, and Staff.


Meet Dougdoug 512

Doug Jackson, Board Member
President, Cali Floors

As president of CALI Floors, Jackson is responsible for steering the company’s unique omni-channel platform, authentic brand experience, and highly specialized teams to drive growth. With over 25 years of flooring industry experience, Jackson is known for his visionary leadership and strength in fostering strategic relationships.

How are you involved in FCIF?

"I'm honored to join a board of colleagues who prioritize the greater good and keep us focused on what matters most."

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

"Anyone who has been in this business as long as I have will tell you that underneath the focus on revenue and margins, our industry has a ton of heart. The most successful players know we're only as strong as our team, and the FCIF is one of the best vehicles to put that philosophy into action."



Meet Michele

Michele 512

Michele, Grant Recipient

“The Floor Covering Industry Foundation has made my life a lot easier,” shared Michele, a recent recipient of a grant from the FCIF. Michele, a single mother with two daughters, has worked on the clerical side of the flooring industry for 9 years.

Recently, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and was out of work during her treatment. During that time, a social worker at her local cancer treatment center connected Michele with the Floor Covering Industry Foundation, which was able to help Michele get caught up on outstanding bills. The grant she received also gave her a peace of mind knowing that she would have funds from FCIF to help pay for the cost of her medical care that insurance did not cover.

Michele shared, “I would like to thank the Floor Covering Industry Foundation for helping people that have unseen medical issues and are not able to work.”





Meet James

jamesm 512

James, Grant Recipient

Overnight, James accumulated $13,000 in medical bills, even with a discount from the hospital. At age 48, James, a single father of two teenage girls, had a severe heart attack that left him in the hospital for days and scrambling to make ends meet.

James is a veteran of the flooring industry, where he has dedicated 26 years of service. He was thankful that the owner of the company he worked for told him about the Floor Covering Industry Foundation. He received a medical grant that helped him over this unexpected obstacle.

“The grant has truly taken the burden off my financial situation. I can afford to get health insurance and pay off medical bills. I am so grateful.” Now he is back doing the work he loves and providing for his daughters.





Meet Amy

amy 512

Amy Rush-Imber, Board Member
Editor in Chief, Floor Covering Weekly

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Amy Rush-Imber, editor in chief of Floor Covering Weekly (FCW) magazine, has spent her career in publishing in the home interior space. For more than a decade, she has directed FCW's content and helped develop FCW's custom content services, launch its video platform FCWLive, as well as create the book’s popular Retail Road Trip series, now in its fourth year, and the education library of Floor Covering 101 Guides, among other unique programs.

How are you involved in FCIF?

“I am honored to be a part of the FCIF board and to have the opportunity to help the foundation continue to serve the industry in a way that no other organization does or can."

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

“Having written about FCIF for more than a decade, I look forward to being more intimately involved.”

Interesting Facts

Amy has a degree in English Writing with minors in Rhetoric & Communication and Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to Floor Covering Weekly, Amy owned a creative consulting firm for several years contracting with home furnishings companies for communications and public relations.

Meet JW 

JW 512

JW and Brenda, Grant Recipients

“My biggest fear is getting behind on our mortgage and losing our home.” Not the kind of worry that anyone wants to face, especially while battling cancer.

Meet J.W. and his wife, Brenda. J.W. is fighting the hardest battle of his life. While still working 3rd shift as a tufting machine mechanic in Georgia, J.W. is receiving chemo treatments for stage 4 small cell lung cancer. He has worked in the floor covering industry for 15 years and is still going strong. His wife shared that the expenses from traveling several days a week for treatments, prescriptions, and medical bills has caused them to live day to day financially.

“Even with health insurance, the cost of J.W.’s treatment under the care of six different doctors is more than we can afford. Thankfully, the Floor Covering Industry Foundation is here to help. The grant we received has reduced our financial stress and provided hope that we can make it through this obstacle. I don’t know where would be without this assistance, quite possibly homeless.”




Meet David

David 512


David, Grant Recipient

At 17-years-old, David began his career in the floor covering industry as an installer. He fell in love with the work and eventually launched his own sales and installation business. It wasn’t long before his name became synonymous with quality craftsmanship. Unfortunately, in February of 2017 he was diagnosed with tongue cancer. He didn’t want to stop working, even when his doctors told him he needed to focus on fighting cancer.

Through friends in the industry, David was connected with the Floor Covering Industry Foundation (FCIF). Through the non-profit, David received a grant that helped pay for housing, food, and medical expenses, so he could focus on his recovery. He also received funding to buy a hearing aid.

"With six kids, the best way to keep in touch is by phone, and now because of the funding I received to buy a hearing aid I can call my kids and grandkids and hear what they are telling me! I am so thankful for the help!” David gave his life to his career in the floor covering industry, and The Foundation is happy to give back to him.


Meet Robert

Robert 512

Robert, Grant Recipient

Meet Rene and Robert! Rene worked in the industry for 10 years as a sales consultant, store manager and a sales manager. Her husband of 14 years Robert, who also worked for the same company for a few years was diagnosed with lung cancer and a brain tumor — the shocking diagnosis left him with decreased mobility and unable to work.

“Our lives were transforming every day,” Rene, who was now the sole financial provider. “I could no longer work 60 hours a week and lead my team, I was spending more time at the doctors’ and at the chemo and radiation therapy sessions with Robert.”

Less working hours and medical treatment and doctor visit bills were a challenge. A decision was also made to move closer to their family. “Moving to a smaller house became a need instead of a want,” Rene said.

Rene recalled reading about the Floor Covering Industry Foundation in FCW. Rene and Robert turned to FCIF—and the foundation was there to help.

“The Foundation gave us assistance beyond our expectations,” she offered, adding that FCIF helped the family with paying for treatment and even affording house payments. “They assisted with medical, everyday bills and food. Everyone we worked with at The Foundation was so compassionate, understanding and communicated with us on a regular basis.”

Rene added, “If anyone is going through hard times and needs a hand, I highly recommend that they reach out to the Floor covering foundation for assistance. There is no reason to suffer in silence. We lost a lot because of cancer, we gained a loving livable lifestyle from the help of the Floor Covering Industry Foundation.”

Meet Dawn

Dawn 512

Dawn, Grant Recipient

Dawn, Grant Recipient The Floor Covering Industry Foundation helped Dawn take the first steps to getting her life back on track after undergoing chemotherapy to treat ovarian cancer.

The grant from FCIF helped to alleviate the financial burden she faced while undergoing chemotherapy. “I am so grateful,” shared Dawn. “You have no idea. The grant has allowed me to sleep again at night. I can pay my bills again on time.” Dawn, who has enjoyed working in the flooring industry for 20 years, learned about FCIF and its benefits from the owners of her company. After completing her final chemotherapy treatment, Dawn says coming home to her first check from FCIF felt like a dream come true.

“This grant is the most amazing gift I could have received,” she said. “I’m so overwhelmed with gratitude. I still feel like I’m dreaming.” With cancer and treatments behind her, Dawn can get back to doing the things she loves, like selling flooring, spending time with her loving family, traveling and doing craft projects.



Meet Ararat

Ararat 512

Ararat, Grant Recipient

Ararat and his wife immigrated to the United States in the early 1990s when an earthquake destroyed their home in Armenia. They were able to rebuild their lives in California and started planning for a large family. Ararat spent the last 20 years building a career in the floor covering industry. The past sixteen years he has been self-employed as an installer, removing and installing hardwood and laminate flooring. “Our life was good. We had just bought our own home and had our second baby. Then I got sick.” Ararat was diagnosed with leukemia in 2009.

The hardest part was learning that he and his wife couldn’t have more children after his transplant. In 2015, Ararat faced another devastating diagnosis, oral cancer. But perhaps the most difficult news came later that year when his 13-year-old daughter, Anabell, was diagnosed with leukemia. With medical bills pouring in, Ararat was under a lot of financial stress, afraid he wouldn’t be able to take care of his family. “I kept getting calls from creditors. I felt like a failure. I was supposed to take care of my family.”

He was behind on his mortgage and worried he would lose his house, but thanks to the Floor Covering Industry Foundation, that did not happen. “When I got my grant, I was emotional. I felt a huge weight off my chest. I felt secure. I knew I had our home for my family.”

Pictured is Ararat, a flooring installer from California, and his family while traveling to Greece. The trip to Greece was their daughter Anabell's Make a Wish grant due to her love for Greek mythology. The Floor Covering Industry Foundation helped the family be able to keep their home while Aararat Torabyan recovered from leukemia and oral cancer and his daughter, Anabell fought leukemia.

Meet Arnold

Arnold 512

Arnold, Grant Recipient

Arnold, Grant Recipient Arnold's love of restoring vintage cars translated into a career working as a mechanic in the floor covering industry repairing truck engines and performing maintenance to the fleet at a Chatsworth, Georgia finishing plant. Arnold worked 60-65 hours per week to try to make ends meet for more than 30 years.

A few years ago, his life was turned upside down. He had a head injury while trying to repair a dock door and was taken out of work per recommendation by his doctor. Following his injury, he was diagnosed with grade 5 prostate cancer, which spread to part of his bladder and other surrounding areas. He has had multiple surgeries to remove his prostate and repair the damage to his bladder.

His wife, Carolyn, worked for many years at a local restaurant but retired due to being unable to work with her hands because of rheumatoid arthritis. Arnold experiences a lot of weakness from the cancer and sometimes must use a wheelchair to move around.

“Because of the Floor Covering Industry Foundation, we are able to buy groceries and always have food to eat. FCIF also purchased supplies for a handicap ramp and worked with a local church to have the ramp installed. In addition, FCIF helped us with repairs to our ceilings. We really appreciate the funding from FCIF."

The Floor Covering Industry Foundation also helped with their mortgage payments and cancer treatments. Carolyn said the grant gave them, “A sense of peace through this storm.”

Meet Bob

bob 512

Bob Weiss, Board Member
CEO All Tile & Carpet Cushions and Supplies

Hometown: Highland Park, IL

How are you involved in FCIF?

"I have been an active board member with FCIF over the past few years.
Hopefully, my involvement has opened the door for more distributors to become active in FCIF."

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

"The FCIF allows me to pay forward the many opportunities that I have received from the industry. There are many people that have had bumps in the road that we can all help with…The FCIF allows for just that."

Interesting Facts

"I enjoy hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities with my family.
We are also active in Feeding The Homeless programs in our community."


Meet Steve

Steve 512

When he was younger, Steve enjoyed playing bass guitar and singing in bands. He eventually followed in his father’s footsteps and became a flooring salesman for a retail store and a carpet installer in Bloomington, Illinois.

He dedicated many years to the floor covering industry until he suffered a stroke in 2019. The stroke caused weakness in the right side of his body including difficulty speaking and trouble swallowing. The devastating effects put a hold on Steve's career, as he now requires 24/7 assistance. Thankfully he has his wife, Jana.

The aftermath also caused financial stress on the couple since his wife was unable to work due being his primary caregiver. The couple was directed to the Floor Covering Industry Foundation by Steve's employer. The Floor Covering Industry Foundation was able to assist the family by providing a grant for medical care and household expenses such as mortgage, food, utilities, and transportation costs.

Steve's wife shared, “This grant has enabled Steve and I to continue to lead our lives as normally as possible, with the hope for improvement so I can get back to work.”

Meet Teresa

teresa 512

For the past seven years, Teresa worked in a recycling facility that turned plastic bottles into carpet fiber. At the age of 52, she was not expecting to be planning chemotherapy treatments and then looking at 33 days of radiation therapy.

Struggling to make ends while Teresa was out of work for treatments, she wondered how she would survive financially. Even with health insurance and short-term disability insurance, she could not cover the costs of housing, food, and medical bills.

Teresa shared, "The grant from FCIF has reduced my stress and the financial burden has been lifted. I am happy to have a team of supporters cheering for me!" Thanks to the Floor Covering Industry, her battle with breast cancer is a little easier.






Meet Frank & Nancy

Frank and Nancy, Grant Recipients

“Our life is blessed thanks to the Floor Covering Industry Foundation.” shared Nancy, a recent grant recipient. Nancy and Frank have been married for 50 years, and together they have raised three sons.

Frank has always had a strong work ethic, and he was employed at a flooring manufacturer as a machine operator and mechanic for over 33 years. He is now retired and was recently diagnosed with end-stage Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which is a disease of the lungs. He has been in hospice care since April 2017 and must use an oxygen tank 24/7.

Soon after Frank's diagnosis, Nancy found out she has squamous cell cancer, which is a type of skin cancer. With both out of work and increasing medical bills, they were plunged into financial despair. Nancy states, “We do without simple pleasures and luxuries just to be able to handle the bills. We do the best we can.” Unfortunately, it proved to be more than they could handle with their limited income. The grant provided by the Floor Covering Industry Foundation helped them afford basic living expenses, health insurance premiums, and hospice care each month. “The Foundation has taken away a lot of our worries.” Nancy noted, “We are grateful.”

Meet Scott

Scott 512

Scott Humphrey, Board Member
CEO, World Floor Covering Association

How are you involved in FCIF?

"I serve as the vice chair on the Executive Committee of FCIF and oversee the management of FCIF and its employees."

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

"I often say the FCIF is the “feel good” portion of my job. As someone who grew up in the industry, my involvement in FCIF allows me to give back to the industry and the people that molded me into the person I am. FCIF allows us all the opportunity to give back to those that make our industry and employment possible."

Interesting Facts

"I am the father of 4 children – triplet girls and a son, and am a vocal performance major."





Meet Jane

Jane 512Jane, Grant Recipient

Jane was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer in May 2017, and since then her life has changed drastically. A 30-year veteran of the floor covering industry, Jane worked the last 13 years with a flooring manufacturer. Before she was diagnosed with cancer, she had plans to retire in a couple of years.

She and her husband, Steve, now have mounds of medical bills and they weren’t sure they would be able to make it financially. Soon after she was diagnosed with brain cancer, Steve broke his leg and they struggled even more. With both out of work, life has been difficult.

Steve shared, “Everyone kept telling me I should get help, but I thought we could handle it on our own. After spending all our savings on medical bills, we were drained. Luckily, we were connected to the Floor Covering Industry Foundation and were awarded a grant to help with medical care and housing expenses. I couldn’t believe something like that existed, and we are extremely grateful for it”. Because of the Floor Covering Foundation, Jane and Steve can enjoy the time they have together.

Meet Brittany

Brittany 512

Brittany Almon, Outreach Manager
Floor Covering Industry Foundation

How are you involved in FCIF?

"I work directly with our clients guiding them through the application process as well as providing support after they have been approved for grant assistance."

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

"FCIF is here to help meet the needs of individuals going through a difficult time both medically and financially; knowing I play a role in being able to get them the assistance they need and back on their feet is not only life changing for them but rewarding for me as I enjoy helping others. FCIF is making a difference in the lives of many flooring industry workers."

Interesting Facts

"Helping others has been my passion for 17 years as I have worked with non-profit organizations. I am a part of a group that makes “Heartfelt Earrings” in which the proceeds pay for our special grief “Rainbow Bags” that are full of supportive items and personalized gifts so women and their families can feel affection during their time of loss of a baby/child or infertility."


Meet Kathy

Kathy 512

Kathy, Grant Recipient

When Kathy of Rome, Georgia was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer and stage 4 liver cancer, financial circumstances changed for her and her husband, Johnny. They did not know how they would pay for their household expenses in addition to Kathy’s medical bills that were starting to accumulate.

Kathy has worked in the flooring industry for 17 years as a warper operator, creeler, and material handler. She was attracted to the flooring industry because of the steady income and set schedule, which would allow her to have time with her two small children. Kathy has always enjoyed spending time with her family, which now includes seven grandchildren.

Kathy is currently in remission; however, she receives an immunotherapy drug every six weeks to help keep the cancer at bay. She learned of the Floor Covering Industry Foundation from a non-profit cancer support organization. FCIF was able to help Kathy and her husband Johnny with their mortgage and medical care during her treatment. Kathy shared, “This grant has blessed my life beyond measure. It kept me from losing my home and to be able to pay medical bills. I cannot thank FCIF enough.”


Meet Michael

Michael 512

Michael, Grant Recipient

After eight years of service to the floor covering industry, Michael was forced to stop working his normal 70-90 hours a week due to stage 4 brain cancer. Michael lives with his wife and eleven-year-old son in Glasgow, Virginia, where he has worked as shift leader and line clerk.

Michael’s hard work and dedication stemmed from wanting to give his family a better life than what he experienced growing up in a single parent household where he spent much of his time taking care of his siblings. Unfortunately, his life changed drastically due to cancer. In October 2017, he had surgery to remove a malignant brain tumor, six weeks of daily chemotherapy and radiation, followed by seven more cycles of chemotherapy. He was hospitalized in November 2018 due to severe headaches. An MRI revealed another tumor, this time inoperable. Michael is currently undergoing chemotherapy every two weeks and receiving electric fields therapy, which stops the growth of new cancer cells.

With the family just relying on his wife’s income, they are behind on the household expenses and medical bills. The financial stress was more than the family could bear. With the grant from the Floor Covering Industry Foundation, Michael was able to save their home from foreclosure, catch-up on utility bills and afford medical treatments.


Meet Andrea

Andrea B 512

Andrea Blackbourn
Executive Director, Floor Covering Industry Foundation

Hometown: Rocky Face, GA

How are you involved in FCIF?

“I joined the Floor Covering Industry Foundation in 2016. As Executive Director I oversee grant programs, donor engagement, fund development, marketing, and board relations.”

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

“Growing up in the Carpet Capitol of the World, I have seen firsthand the hard work that employees give to the flooring industry, and also the generosity that leaders in our industry have to ensuring quality of life in communities and for individual families who need a hand up. In addition, the FCIF board members, donors, and staff are a joy to work with! As someone who has picked up the phone and heard the big “C” word from their doctor, I know how scary it can be to face unexpected medical battles both emotionally and financially.”

Interesting Facts

"I have worked in philanthropy for 17 years, and previously oversaw fundraising and marketing for our local United Way. I hold a B.S. in Marketing Systems from Dalton State College and an MBA from Kennesaw State University. I have volunteered with several organizations including: Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Kennesaw State’s OWL Women’s Initiative, Lakeshore Community Garden, and currently serve on the board of WIFI – Women in Flooring Industry. My husband Forrest and I have two daughters, one at the University of Georgia and the other is in preschool. If you have any questions about FCIF, please reach out to me at!"

Meet Ashley

Ashley 512

Ashley Welch, Accounting Coordinator, World Floor Covering Association

Hometown: Chatsworth, GA

How are you involved in FCIF?

“I split my time in between WFCA with FCIF and handle their accounts payable and receivables.”

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

“My grandmother received assistance from FCIF to help pay for a nurse to assist my family while she was very ill. She was an amputee, and it was a two person job to help with her daily needs. I personally give to FCIF and feel very proud to be part of the organization.”

Interesting Facts

“I enjoy hanging out with my family and friends. In my spare time, I enjoy planning themed parties, and renovating is a joy of mine. We recently started spending a lot of our time and money at the ballfields with our youngest. Our oldest will soon be keeping us busy visiting colleges. But what I enjoy the most is spending time with my two children and husband by a fire with some good music.”


Meet Ed

Ed 512Ed Perrin, Board Member
President and Group CEO, Karndean Designflooring USA

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How are you involved in FCIF?

“I became a board member in January 2020 and joined my fellow colleagues in an effort to make a difference in the flooring industry.”

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

“As someone who has been involved with many local charities and felt the joy of giving back to those in my community, it only made sense to join an organization that gives back to those in the flooring industry, which I have worked in since 1999.”

Interesting Facts

"I began my career at Karndean in the UK as part of a graduate recruitment program and took the opportunity to move to the USA in 1999 when Karndean USA was a startup. A UK native, I hold a Master’s degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of Southampton. My wife, Katy and I moved to Pittsburgh in 2007 from San Francisco and have two children, Xander and Lucia."

Meet Andrea

Andrea GR 512Andrea, Grant Recipient

Andrea, a 20-year veteran of the floor covering industry, began working for a flooring manufacturer as a cone sorter at the age of 15. Several years later, she expanded her skill set and earned an Associate of Business Administration degree from Floyd College in Rome, GA. She had several positions over the years in various accounting and payroll departments. Her last position was in waste management and cost accounting.

Unfortunately, in December of 2016, Andrea was diagnosed with multiple illnesses including an immune disorder that left her susceptible to infections and Postherpetic Neuralgia, which affects nerve fibers and causes pain and numbness. Her health obstacles became more than she could overcome and rendered her disabled and unable to work.

Because of her loss of income, medical bills and everyday expenses started to pile up. This caused her financial stress, but luckily a home healthcare nurse connected her with the Floor Covering Industry Foundation. The Foundation was able to help with her medical bills and rent payments. Andrea shared, “The grant has been an answered prayer. It helped me buy my prescriptions, make my trips to the doctor, and have my infusions every two weeks.”

Meet Brian

Brian CaressBrian Caress, Board Member
CEO, Redi Carpet

Hometown: Houston, Texas

How are you involved in FCIF?

“I’m a first term FCIF board member and just recently joined the Fund Development Committee.”

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

“Several years ago, my best friend, Dave Gheesling, let me know he had joined the FCIF Board. At the time, I wasn’t familiar with the organization or its mission. He shared FCIF’s vision with me, and I appreciated it’s focus on helping people in our industry and included a donation in my annual giving. Shortly after Dave passed away, I was asked if I had an interest in joining the board. Serving is a way to both honor Dave and give back to an industry that has done so much for my family and me.”

Interesting Facts

“I’ve now spent almost 35 years in the flooring industry. That’s definitely not what I envisioned growing up, but it has provided me with many great opportunities, and more importantly, many special friendships. It also has provided me with the freedom to now spend time giving back to my company, my industry, and my community. In addition to FCIF, I serve as the Treasurer of the Houston Holocaust Museum and am on the board of two additional companies. In my spare time, I collect meteorites … yes, rocks from space … and love to travel, especially with my family and friends!”

Meet Alan

Alan Alan, Grant Recipient

Alan has been a fighter his entire life. Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 18 months old, Alan lives with impaired muscle coordination caused by damage to the brain that occurred at birth. Then in December of 2015, he was diagnosed with Hypertriglyceridemia, with elevated triglycerides which increases the risk of stroke, heart disease, and heart attack.

His doctor recommended a medical bicycle to help strengthen his muscles and keep his triglyceride levels down. That’s where the Floor Covering Industry came in; FCIF was able to cover the entire cost of the medical bicycle. His mom, Catalina, who works in a flooring manufacturer in Georgia, shared that the grant “made me have a more positive outlook because I know that there are people who will help.”

Alan is now able to go to the park with his mom and enjoy bicycle rides.






Meet Sam

Sam 512Sam O’Krent, Board Member
CEO, O'Krent Floors

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas

How are you involved in FCIF?

“I have been a Board Member since 2016 and currently serve as the Marketing Committee Chair. From a young age I was always taught how important it is to give back, so when I was approached in 2016 to consider joining the Board of the FCIF, I was not only flattered to be one of the few, if not only, retailer, but I jumped at the opportunity.”

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

“In 2006 I was serving as the Secretary of the Floor Covering Consumer Credit Association when the decision was made to close the organization. The remaining funds from the organization were donated to FCIF, an organization at the time that I did not know anything about. Ten years later I was asked to serve on the board. Over the years, the more I’ve learned about FCIF, the more pride I have in being part of such an amazing organization. Knowing that only three industries: Major League Baseball, The Screen Actors Guild, and the floor covering industry, have foundations to “take care of their own”, I am truly honored to be a part of helping people through an incredibly difficult time in their lives.”

Interesting Facts

“I am the fourth generation to lead our 107-year-old retail floor covering store. Fortunately, my wife Margie and I have built an incredible team, including our nephew, Jason O’Krent, to help run the day-to-day operation of our business, which allows me to volunteer my time to our industry and many local non-profits as well.”

Meet Kay

Kay 512Kay, Grant Recipient

“Happy go lucky,” is how recent Floor Covering Industry Foundation (FCIF) grant recipient Kay described her life.

Kay is a veteran of the floor covering industry, having worked as a lead at a manufacturing facility for 23 years. It was not until diagnosed with cancer for the third time that things started to change. Kay became worried about how she was going to pay her doctor, hospital, and pharmacy bills.

Thanks to a social worker at her local cancer treatment center, she was informed about FCIF. “It was like God opened another door for me during a difficult time,” she shared. With the grant from FCIF, Kay was able to have a weight lifted and get the financial help she needed.

Thanks to FCIF, Kay is starting to make a turn back to the happy go lucky life she once knew. Kay wants everyone to know how thankful she is and that the Floor Covering Industry Foundation can help individuals like her in a time of need.


Meet Charlie

Charlie 512Charlie Dilks, Board Chair
Chief Product Officer, CCA Global Partners

Hometown: Burlington, Ontario, Canada

How are you involved in FCIF?

“I initially became involved though helping to organize CCA’s golf tournament to benefit the FCIF. That led to a seat on the FCIF board and ultimately being nominated as the FCIF Chair.”

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

“Alan Greenberg and Howard Brodsky, CCA’s founders as well as Larry Nagle, one of the FCIF’s founders, created my passion for the FCIF and the work that the FCIF does to help those in need in our industry. Raising money and awareness is always a challenge, but it is inspiring to see how our industry responds with the financial help that it collectively provides.”

Interesting Facts

“I began my flooring career in Canada and permanently moved to the US eight years ago. I also serve on the board of the Tunnels to Towers Foundation that builds homes for severely injured servicemen that have served our country.”

Meet Jeffery

Jeffery 512Jeffery, Grant Recipient

Spending his time outdoors hunting and fishing is how Jeffery liked to spend his days. However, in December of 1987 Jeffery’s life took a drastic turn due to a car accident that left him quadriplegic and wheelchair bound. Jeffery is now paralyzed from the chest down and relies on his parents to care for him. As his parents have aged, they are unable to provide some of the strenuous care that is needed, such as dressing, bathing, and lifting.

Jeffery was connected to the Floor Covering Industry Foundation by his father who worked in the flooring industry for 28 years as a customer service manager. Jeffery knew that he needed to give his parents a break as it was becoming harder for them to care for him. FCIF was able to provide a grant to assist with caregivers helping with daily living activities. Jeffery shared, “receiving the grant from the Foundation has changed my life as well as my parents' lives, because it has eased the burden of them having care for me 24 hours a day."

"I am so thankful I found out about FCIF’s grant program which has allowed me to be more independent."


Meet Kennedy

Kennedy 512Kennedy Frierson, Board Member
COO, The Dixie Group

Hometown: Chattanooga, TN

How are you involved in FCIF?

“I have served on the Board of the FCIF for the past seven years and have served on the Nominating Committee and currently serve on the Finance Committee.”

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

“My favorite part of serving on the Board of the FCIF is that we are provided many of the stories of the people who are helped by the organization. I am excited to be a part of an organization that helps others within the same industry that I am fortunate enough to earn my living. The most rewarding part is to learn about the stories of the people who were unfortunate to undergo a major illness or other misfortune but were able to overcome challenging circumstances because of the assistance that they received from the FCIF.”

Interesting Facts

“I am fortunate to be married to a wonderful wife and have two amazing teenage daughters, currently 15 and 16 years old. I work for a company that has a family atmosphere and have been there for almost 30 years. Obviously, family is very important to me, and serving the FCIF reinforces this value with the help that the FCIF provides to families in our industry who are most in need.”

Meet Megan

Megan 512Megan, Grant Recipient

“For the last 18 years we have fought battles with my daughter that you would not believe,” shared Tammy, Megan’s mom. When Megan was 11 months old, she was given only two hours to live. Her parents were told she would more than likely need a heart transplant. The family lives in Northwest Georgia, but Megan had to be air lifted to Atlanta Children's Hospital.

Tammy shared, “She went into cardiac arrest several times and died on us numerous times, three days before receiving her heart transplant.” During the last 18 years, Tammy has not been able to work due to caring for her daughter who has special needs and several medical conditions.

Megan’s father is a Dye Weigher at a flooring manufacturing facility, where he has worked for 32 years. Tammy stated, “It has been a battle that our only source of income is my husband's.”

The Floor Covering Industry Foundation was able to provide a grant to help with caregivers coming into the home, medication, transportation to appointments, food, as well as making the bathroom in their home handicap accessible. Tammy shared, “If not for FCIF, I honestly don't know what we would have done. There are no words to thank them for what they have done for us. I pray God just blesses them a hundredfold for what they do for other people.”


Meet Mark

Mark 512

Mark Clayton, Board Member
President, Phenix Flooring

Hometown: Woodstock, GA

How are you involved in FCIF?

“I’ve served on the board for FCIF for several years and also serve on the Marketing Committee.”

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

“The FCIF does great work and is unique in that it provides an avenue for our entire industry to come together to support those within our industry who need assistance. The FCIF is committed to assuring that the funds raised are poured back into the lives of those who need it most. The team who works and serves within the FCIF are passionate about helping those who have contributed to making our industry what it is today.”

Interesting Facts

“I joined Phenix Flooring in 2012 and have had the pleasure of serving within the flooring industry for 35 years. I have served in community roles as chairman of the board of trustees for a private school, board positions with the American Heart Association, the Carpet and Rug Institute, as well as stewardship committee and leadership roles at my church and multiple years working in youth sports and youth church ministries. My wife and I have two children and two grandchildren. During my time spent away from the office, I enjoy the outdoors, including boating, water sports, hiking, and exercising.”

Meet Charles

Charles 512

“Spending time with family means everything to Charles and his wife, Connie. Charles learned the importance of a strong work ethic from his father.

For 18 years, Charles has worked in floor covering manufacturing to provide for his family. He has now passed those same values to his children and grandchildren. In 2019, Charles was diagnosed with lung cancer for which he underwent surgery and proceeded to have chemotherapy treatments. In 2020, he became anemic and started having pain and decreased motion and had additional treatments. Later that year, his wife Connie was diagnosed with kidney cancer.

As medical and household bills were starting to add up, a social worker connected the family to the Floor Covering Industry Foundation, which was able to provide a six-month grant to the family to help with medical care and household expenses.

Charles shared, “We are on a very limited budget. Between my wife and me, we see 12 different doctors. It seems like that is all we do. Receiving this grant has helped tremendously to pay for everyday living expenses and medical bills.”


Meet Carrie

Carrie 512Carrie Edwards Isaac, Board Member
VP Hospitality, Shaw Industries Group

Hometown: Cartersville, GA

How are you involved in FCIF?

“I am privileged to be a member of the FCIF Board and a member of the Marketing Committee for the Foundation.”

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

“The flooring industry is known to feel like family. It’s an industry built on lasting friendships, partnerships, business partners and in many cases, family. Giving back to those who are a part of this special industry is one of the main reasons I have enjoyed being part of FCIF. Through FCIF we are helping impact lives for the better.”

Interesting Facts

“I am almost 30 years with Shaw Industries and have worked across our organization in commercial and residential with the pleasure of seeing our products and the work of our industry in spaces all over the world. In each setting, I am proud to be part of Shaw and this industry.”


Meet Roger

Roger 512Roger, Grant Recipient

“Growing up, we didn’t have a lot, but we had happiness,” shared Roger, a recent FCIF grant recipient.

Roger grew up living with his family in a cotton mill village and started working in the mill when he was 16 years old. After marrying his wife, Barbara, and starting a family, Roger worked in flooring manufacturing to help provide for his family.

Now in his later years, Roger shared, “I miss getting to work.” Due to Roger battling Stage 4 Parkinson’s Disease and heart failure, and his wife suffering from memory loss, they moved into an assisted living facility where they learned of the Floor Covering Industry Foundation.

Luckily FCIF was able to provide them with a grant to help with meeting their basic needs including housing and daily living assistance. Roger also shared “I am thankful for the help we received from FCIF!”



Meet Dana

Dana 512

Dana Teague, Board Member
Senior Vice President, Strategic Markets, Informa/ TISE The International Surface Event

Hometown: Dallas, Texas

How are you involved in FCIF?

“I feel privileged to have served on the FCIF Board of Directors for over 10 years, serving on the Executive Committee and the Fund Development Committee. My support and involvement are small ways to give back to the industry.”

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

“When you hear the stories of the difference FCIF is making in the lives of those are facing challenging times, you feel a sense of pride to be part of an industry that truly cares for its own. The contributions – whether big or small – can make a lasting impact on these families.”

Interesting Facts

“I am obsessed with shows like Project Runway and Next in Fashion. I always watch them and think “I can design my own clothes” so I recently bought a sewing machine. Who knows…next time you see me, I may be wearing clothes that I’ve designed and sewn.”

Meet Claude

Claude 512Claude, who grew up in Northwest Georgia has worked as a forklift driver and a heat set packer. He is now a 32-year veteran of the floor covering industry.

Claude was diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer in May 2021 and had to retire from the career he enjoyed. He was worried about how he would provide for his wife, Diane, and how they would pay for his incoming medical bills.

During this time, a friend connected them to the Floor Covering Industry Foundation, which was able to provide a six-month grant to the family to help with medical care and household expenses.

Claude shared, “We really appreciate everything FCIF has done. We were able to pay our monthly bills, and by receiving the grant, it took the worry I had off my mind.”



Meet Emily

Emily 512

Emily Morrow Finkell, Board Member
Interior & Product Designer, @EF Floors & Design, Emily Morrow Home

Hometown: Dalton, Georgia

How are you involved in FCIF?

“For the past almost seven years, I've served on the board of FCIF, and absolutely believe in every facet of the mission of FCIF. Having grown up in Dalton Georgia, and worked in our industry, I've seen and heard from the individuals who have been touched by the helping hands (and funds) of FCIF.”

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

“If you've never had a medical or health crisis, it would be difficult to explain how it feels, but I can speak from first hand experience. Although I was blessed with a supportive family network, I was diagnosed with breast cancer while simultaneously becoming a single mother of two young children. Thankfully my family and my employer (new at the time) provided the love, encouragement and benefits but even with all of that, there are always unforeseen expenses that simply aren't covered or can be financially debilitating, all while fighting for my own life. FCIF can be a lifeline.”

Interesting Facts

“As I said, I was born in Dalton, Georgia and feel so blessed to be surrounded with the most generous community of professionals, our floor covering industry. My kids are now grown adults, Mary 25 and William 29, and I've since married a wonderful man, Don Finkell. I enjoy working in our industry with incredibly talented professionals whom I also consider great friends. My latest passion is helping our newest organization WOMEN IN THE FLOOR COVERING INDUSTRY, aka WIFI grow. Started in 2021 on International Women's Day, we launched WIFI with the full intention of lifting up, encouraging and networking with other women in our industry. Check us out. at”

Meet Barbara

Barbara 512

“The Floor Covering Industry Foundation took away my financial worry and stress, which helped me get on my feet faster,” shared Barbara, a recent grant recipient of FCIF. A widow who lives in Georgia, Barbara has worked as a spinner and creeler in the flooring industry for 10 years.

Recently, she was diagnosed with left-sided radiculopathy, which affected the nerve root in her the spine, and was unexpectedly out of work. During that time, Barbara visited a local housing counselor with concerns about getting behind on her mortgage payment. They connected her with the Floor Covering Industry Foundation, which was able to help Barbara get caught up on her outstanding bills.

The grant she received from FCIF allowed her to undergo the medical treatment she needed without the burden of worrying about losing her home. Barbara shared, “I would like to thank the Floor Covering Industry Foundation for having grants in place for people like me who have been a part of the flooring industry and need help.”   


Meet Raymond

Stories Ray 512


Raymond Mancini Jr., FCIF Board Member
CEO, The Belknap White Group
Hometown: Cranston, RI

How are you involved in FCIF?

"I am currently a board member of FCIF. This is my first year on the board, and I am learning much about FCIF’s vision, mission and values."

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

"I am really passionate about FCIF. I have been involved in the floor covering industry for close to 30 years, and it has been good. It is nice to see us help floor covering people who are in need be helped. It is a good cause, and it feels right."

Interesting Facts

"The floor covering industry is very time-consuming but in my free time I enjoy cooking (part-time), golf and board games. Right now I have been perfecting my pancakes but when I ordered some from one of my favorite breakfast places I learned how imperfect mine are."

Meet Sandra

Sandra 512

Sandra, Grant Recipient

“The Floor Covering Industry Foundation saved my life, literally,” shared Sandra who had worked for eight years for a flooring manufacturer, when she became ill.

Her jobs included working as a spinner, winder, and doffer creeler. She has always enjoyed working and helping others.

When she was diagnosed with liver cancer in October of 2020, she had to stop working to undergo treatment. At this time, she did not know how she would pay her bills and thought she would lose her home and her two cats that she adores.

Sandra stated, “I was on the verge of suicide when FCIF reached out to me regarding the grant.”

The Foundation was able to assist Sandra by providing funds to help with medical care and household expenses, such as rent and utility payments.

Sandra also said, “The grant funding relieved a huge amount of stress, and it brought me to life again. Thank you so very much FCIF for helping me live.”

Meet Lisa

Lisa 512Lisa Browning, FCIF Board Member
Executive Director, National Floorcovering Alliance

Hometown: Sarasota, Florida

How are you involved in FCIF?

"I serve on the Board of Directors and on the Fund Development Committee."

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

"No one in our industry expects to have tragedy hit them; it is comforting to know there is a charity that supports the people in need."

Interesting Facts

"I grew up in the flooring industry. I have been involved with flooring my entire career with Interloom, Carpets of Dalton, ColorTile, Carpet One, Abbey and the last 16 years with National Floorcovering Alliance. I have a son and daughter-in-law that are both in the medical field. My greatest hobby is spending time with my grandson Parker who is 8 years old."



Meet Keith

Keith 512Keith Campbell, FCIF Board Member
Chairman of the Board, Mannington Floors

Hometown: Salem, NJ

How are you involved in FCIF?

"I have been a board member of the FCIF for the past 20 years. It has been rewarding to see the foundation grow to expand its services."

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

"Many of us have been blessed to be engaged in a strong and vibrant floor covering industry whether it be in manufacturing, distribution, retail contracting, or installation. There are those industry veterans who now find themselves facing catastrophic medical diagnoses, that prohibit them from being able to work and provide for themselves and their families. The FCIF provides financial assistance to assist them during this critical time of need."

Interesting Facts

"I am a fourth generation member of a family-owned floor covering manufacturing company founded by my great grandfather in 1915. Flooring has been in my blood since a child. In addition to a loving wife, three grown children, and seven grandchildren, I have volunteered on numerous nonprofit Boards in South Jersey, and nationally. Our family has been blessed to be in the flooring industry, and are proud to participate in the FCIF."

Meet Max

Max 512

Max Holland, FCIF Board Member
COO, FEI Group

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

How are you involved in FCIF?

"Upon joining the FEI Group leadership team, I was honored to take the seat of our late CEO, Dave Gheesling, who was genuinely passionate about philanthropy and, specifically, the mission and vison of FCIF."

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

"I’ve always admired and respected FCIF and its mission. There are very few industries that have a non-profit organization dedicated to giving back to workers who have been critically injured or have suffered some other hardship."

Interesting Facts

"After over 30 years in our industry, I feel blessed to have had so many developments and growth opportunities under the leadership and guidance of some great companies (i.e., Mohawk, Tarkett and Mannington). My wife, Tammy, and I have a real passion for giving back, with a specific focus on the victims of sex trafficking. This has become part of Tammy’s full-time calling as a professional counselor with Zoe Ministries, where she directly works alongside teenage victims and where I have had the privilege of volunteering on their board. In addition, I have enjoyed serving on the board of Hal Brady Ministries in Atlanta, GA."

Meet James

James 512

“I still love life,” shared James, a recent grant recipient of the Floor Covering Industry Foundation and a 40-year veteran of the flooring industry who worked as an installer in Chino, California. Unfortunately, due to medical obstacles in February 2021 he had a below the knee leg amputation. James now uses a knee immobilizer, and his mobility is very limited. The aftermath of having his leg amputated started to cause financial hardship as he could no longer work as an installer, which he loved doing. FCIF was able to provide James a grant to assist with medical care, household expenses, and transportation costs. James shared, “Without FCIF, I would not have been able to make it. The grant helped my family with household bills, plus gas to and from my doctor appointments, which was 35 miles round trip. I can’t thank FCIF enough for the help they have provided me.”





Meet Will

Will 512

Will Young, Board Member
Engineered Floors, Director of National Accounts

Hometown: Dalton, GA

How are you involved in FCIF?

"I am currently on the Fund Development Committee and do what I can to raise awareness of FCIF in our industry with both customers and coworkers at Engineered Floors."

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

"That’s an easy one. The floor covering industry has blessed my family and friends for decades. We owe everything to the fine folks that have worked in and supported our industry over the years."

Interesting Facts

"My wife and I welcomed Leighton Young, the newest member of our family, in April. Our entire family has now settled back in Dalton, GA within a 9 iron shot from one another. That includes my family, my brother’s family, my sister’s family, my parents and my granddad…it is quite the social experiment, but we love it so far!"


Meet Oralia 

Oralia 512

Oralia has been battling stage 4 invasive duct cancer of her breast which has spread to her bones. She’s a fighter though. To help provide for her family, she is still working on the plant floor when she is not traveling out of town for her chemotherapy treatments and taking time off to get her strength back. She has worked for 19 years in the floor coving industry in Dalton, GA, most recently as a Creeler. Even with health insurance, she still has large medical bills since some of her treatments are out of network. She is very thankful that industry leaders organized the Floor Covering Industry Foundation, which provided a grant that is bridging her financial gap. The Foundation helped cover the cost of her medical care, prescriptions, transportation, and housing. Oralia shared, “It has helped me to pay off my medical bills and chemotherapy. Thank you!”

Hear Oralia Tell Her Story:



Tanja 512

Meet Tanja Kern, Board Member

Tanja Kern, Board Member
Associate Publisher, Floor Trends

Hometown: Chicago, IL

How are you involved in FCIF?
"I’m a board member and volunteer my time helping to get the word out about this amazing organization!"

Why are you passionate about FCIF?
"The Flooring Industry has become an extension of my family, and family looks out for one another. Financial stress and health issues don’t mix well— I want to help people in our industry who have medical issues get the funds they need so that they can focus on their health and get back to living. "

Interesting Facts
"I love interior design and have spent more than 20 years reporting on design and remodeling old homes to make them livable, beautiful spaces."



Meet Shelbie Amos, Donor

Shelbie 512

Manager of Finance & Benefits, World Flooring Association

Hometown: Chatsworth, GA

How are you involved in FCIF?

"The WFCA provides administrative services to FCIF, including accounting duties. My main responsibilities are helping manage the general ledger and preparing financial reporting for the non-profit. I also personally donate monthly to the foundation."

Why are you passionate about FCIF?

"When I was first hired at WFCA and learned about FCIF, I was blown away by the potential of the organization. I’ve seen the foundation grow into this incredible, philanthropic association that continues to help industry families in their toughest times. If reading grant recipient testimonials has taught me anything, it’s that tragedy can happen when you least expect it, but there are people and organizations like FCIF who are there to help. I am lucky enough to be able to help this foundation make a difference in people’s lives."

Interesting Facts

"I have a Master’s Degree in Data Analytics and two spoiled cats that I love to annoy. In my free time, you can find me watching films with my boyfriend, doing a crossword puzzle, or performing in community theater. I also make really good breakfast burritos."


Meet Melissa, FCIF Grant Recipient


Melissa 512

After her diagnosis of breast cancer in 2017, Melissa Taylor quickly realized the financial burden of this disease. “You never think to budget for cancer.” Her rare and rapidly growing cancer required frequent, aggressive treatments, so she had to take time off from work. A 23-year veteran of the floor covering industry, Melissa has worked the past 13 years in claims and customer communications at a manufacturing facility. She said she did not want to turn to her sons for financial help. “Parents are not supposed to rely on their kids. It should be the other way around. You want your kids to depend on you.” After a year of rigorous treatments and doctor visits, Melissa is now in remission. She has returned to work and learned not to take life for granted. “This grant saved my home, lowered my stress level, and gave me peace of mind. I stopped worrying so much about medical bills. My grandkids, God, and the Floor Covering Industry Foundation gave me the strength to push through this difficult time.”

Hear Melissa tell her story:



Meet Howard Brodsky, FCIF Board Member

Howard 512

Chairman of the Board/Co-CEO at CCA Global Partners

Hometown: Manchester, NH

How are you involved in FCIF? I’ve been in the flooring industry for most of my life, and Chairman of the Board for FCIF for over 15 years.

Why are you passionate about FCIF? I’ve seen amazing work that FCIF has done in bringing financial support to people in need at the most critical time in their life, usually when no other resources were available for basic needs like rent, car payments and caregivers. This support makes all the difference in people’s lives. Like the Actors Guild Foundation, FCIF is made up of people caring for one another, that work with each other in all sectors of the floor covering industry.

Interesting Facts – Besides being Chairman/CEO of CCA Global Partners, I am also a justice of the peace and ordained minister, and I have performed over 30 weddings with 0 divorces.



Meet Earl, Grant Recipient


Earl 512

A 40-year veteran to the floor covering industry, Earl worked at Custom Mills and then at Brown Industries, located in Dalton, GA, where he was a paper cutter for carpet sample books. A few years ago, Earl was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and spinal stenosis. Earl said, “My walking has been affected the most. I cannot walk long distances and find it very difficult to do more than shuffle my feet.” He was struggling to navigate his home while coping with his limited physical abilities. Luckily, Earl was connected to the Floor Covering Industry Foundation that provided a grant to help make his house more accessible, including bathroom modifications, smooth non-slip flooring and transitions, smart lighting and a mechanical lift chair. These accommodations have enabled Earl to continue to live independently. He said, “I would like to thank the Floor Covering Industry Foundation for this grant and all of the safety improvements it has allowed me to do to my home. The kindness you have extended to me will never be forgotten.”