The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) held its Annual Membership Meeting at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center in Dalton. Outgoing CRI board chairman John Wells offered remarks on the current state of CRI, including the carpet manufacturing trade association's 2012 restructuring process as well as the organization's move into an historic building in downtown Dalton and away from the headquarters building it had occupied since 1971.
The Joseph J. Smrekar Memorial Award was presented to Joe Foye, Mohawk Industries Divisional General Council and long-time CRI volunteer. The Smrekar award was established by Milliken & Company to honor the late Dr. Joe Smrekar who, through Milliken's generosity, served on a number of CRI committees. Dr. Joe "set the standard" for service to CRI and the carpet industry. Dr. Smrekar passed away unexpectedly in 1998 and in that same year, Milliken established the award in order to recognize individuals who show similar exemplary service to the carpet and rug industry. Recipients are chosen by CRI staff members.
Mr. Foye has in prior years been active on the CRI Government Issues Committee and is the current chairman of the EPR/CARE Panel, which works to identify and address Extended Producer Responsibility legislation that could impact CRI members. The EPR/CARE Panel also ensures that industry objectives are in favorable alignment to CARE.
"Joe is articulate and tactful," said CRI President Werner Braun. "He has a common sense approach to problem resolution and an ability to make decisions and be accountable in a fast-paced environment - traits that have certainly benefitted CRI and the carpet industry."
Newly-elected members to the CRI Board of Directors were announced and an outgoing member was recognized. The new board includes: Chairman David Jolly (J&J Industries); Vice Chairman Dan Frierson (Dixie Group); Jeff Lorberbaum (Mohawk Industries); Vance Bell (Shaw Industries); John Wells (Interface Americas); David Moody (Milliken & Co.); David Duncan (Invista Performance Surfaces & Materials); Chip Howalt (Textile Rubber & Chemical); Glen Hussmann (Tandus Flooring); Jack Ganley (Mannington Carpets); Bob Shaw (Engineered Floors); Franco Rossi (Aquafil), and Anthony Minite (Bentley Prince Street). Dan Rogers of Onmova rotated off the board and was replaced by Mr. Minite. Del Land of the Beaulieu Group will continue in his role as treasurer.