Stories

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 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, “W 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 www.womeninflooring.org.”

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: 
https://loom.ly/A94oQVE

 

 

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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfyD_mihHAk

 

 

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.”