Future Focus Awards - February 2012

The Future Focus awards were created to recognize talented young professionals in the floorcovering industry. Modeled after contests conducted in the advertising world and conceptualized in collaboration with Paul Friederichsen, an industry marketing consultant, Future Focus strives to keep young talent motivated by acknowledging their achievements.

Contestants to Future Focus must be under the age of 35 with three years of experience in the flooring industry. This is the first year for this annual contest, which was co-sponsored by 3M and Floor Focus. This year’s winners and honorable mentions will be recognized at a breakfast event at Surfaces 2012, and each will receive a trophy commemorating their accomplishment.

Grand Prize and Category Winner

Scott Appel, CEO, Touch of Color Flooring

Scott, co-founder of Touch of Color Flooring, grew his company from zero to $12 million dollars in sales in only eight years. According to his sponsor, “Scott has a relentless pursuit of success and a track record to prove it. He’s a born leader and a pioneer of the industry.” Scott is a candidate in Penn State’s executive MBA program, with completion expected in June of this year. He also holds a master’s degree in secondary social studies education. Scott lives by the maxim, “I have the opportunity to do something GREAT today.”


Mollie Allen Surratt, director of marketing/Anderson and marketing communication manager/Shaw

Mollie joined Shaw at the age of 23 and earned the title of director of marketing before the age of 30, a goal she set for herself. According to her sponsor, “Mollie is intelligent, creative and an independent thinker. Her professionalism, knowledge and work ethic built Shaw’s public relations platform, and she has earned the respect of her colleagues throughout the organization.”


Ashley Olson, designer, Shaw

Ashley has worked on a number of notable and award-winning flooring collections since starting at Shaw almost four years ago, including The Music Project, which won a Best of NeoCon award. According to her sponsor, “Ashley has a true passion for design, and it shows in everything she does. Everyone looks to her for the most creative and innovative ideas, and Ashley is always willing to share and collaborate.”


Lisa Rodriguez Buice, corporate diversity manager, Shaw

Lisa started as Shaw’s college recruiter six years ago; in that role, she increased the number of new hires by nearly 10%. Today, she is responsible for providing direction for all Shaw’s corporate diversity initiatives and programs. According to her sponsor, “Lisa is creative and thoughtful in bringing new ideas to the table to further Shaw’s Diversity & Inclusion initiatives, able to think outside the box and not afraid to challenge the status quo.”


Erin Dempsey, public relations environment and strategy, Centiva

Erin joined Centiva in 2006 as assistant to the director of sales and was promoted to her current role in 2009, when she also became a LEED Accredited Professional. According to her sponsor, “Erin inspires others to join with her in exceeding Centiva’s sustainability goals and needs. She is continually working on finding new ways of doing even simple tasks that will save time, energy and cut down on waste.”


Wayne Gerber, production manager, Shaw

After Wayne’s first full year as the Dalton extrusion production manager, the plant posted the first positive budgetary variance in four years, turning a declining plant into one of the most efficient in the division. According to his sponsor, “Wayne always makes his employees the most important part of any decision. He is a leader, and those around him react to his leadership abilities by following his example and trusting him.”

Copyright 2012 Floor Focus 

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