We provide readers in both the residential and commercial sectors with an
indepth perspective on the latest trends and issues in the marketplace and offer
insight on what impact that could have on their business. Our goal is to both
educate and entertain our readers with information they need to achieve greater
success and profitability in their business. We recognize that the task of
providing insightful and interesting articles, interview and reports can only be
accomplished by getting as close as we can to the marketplace, through our own
research and face to face contact.
We target key decision makers in the retail, contract dealer, architect and
design, facility management, builder and distributor segments of the buying
Meet Our Team
Kemp is the publisher and owner of Floor Focus Magazine and Floordaily.net.
Prior to publishing, Kemp spent over 20 years in marketing—initially with two
consumer products companies (Lego toys and Shakespeare Fishing Tackle) and then
he moved over to B2B marketing as Vice President of Marketing for SI
Corporation—an Industrial textile company whose largest product line was
carpet backing. After Shaw Industries bought SI, Kemp decided to leave the
corporate world and pursue his entrepreneurial itch. At age 45, he decided to
listen to Theodore Roosevelt and avoid becoming one of “those poor spirits who
neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows
not victory nor defeat.”
Kemp holds a BS in Communications from the University of Tennessee and has
completed several advanced marketing courses at the University of
Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
Kemp, his wife Anne, and their two teenagers live on Missionary Ridge in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Helm, Executive Editor
Darius Helm has been an editor with Floor Focus since 1999. He lives in
Connecticut with his wife, Tracey Robinson, a painter and printmaker, along with
a handful of assorted animals. Prior to Floor Focus, Darius was first a contributing
editor, then editor-in-chief, for Travel World News—where he worked with Floor
Focus production manager, Karen Rochette. He received his BA from Yale
University in 1988, attended high school in northern England, and grew up in
Iran and Portugal. He speaks five languages, all terribly, as well as English,
which is improving.
Calista Sprague, Senior Editor
Calista Sprague, senior editor at Floor Focus, came to journalism through a circuitous route. After a four-year stint as a music professor, she turned her avocation into her vocation, working as an editor at Columbus and the Valley and Valley Parent magazines in Columbus, Georgia for nine years. Calista earned vocal performance degrees from Middle Tennessee State University and a Doctor of Arts degree in vocal pedagogy from the University of Mississippi. She is thrilled to be back home in the Tennessee mountains.
Capets Chevalier, Features Editor
Jessica Capets Chevalier grew up in western Pennsylvania and attended Geneva College (BA writing; BA English) and Penn State University (MFA, writing). Previously, she taught rhetoric and composition, creative writing, and humanities at Penn State and the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. In 2003, Jessica founded Alchemy Spice Company, an artisan food manufacturer, and oversaw operation of the business until its sale in 2009. She lives in Chattanooga with husband Christian, son Arlo, daughter River Alise, and three old dogs.
Brian Hamilton, Editor, has been a newspaper
reporter, editor and publisher for most of his 30-year career. Most recently he
was an award-winning writer in Michigan for Ann Arbor Business Review, where he
covered technology, biotechnology and venture capital. He earned a bachelor’s
degree in journalism from Georgia State University “way too long ago.”
Rochette, Production Manager
Karen’s journey began with books and manuals in the Army using hot wax and
camera ready mechanicals. The real world catapulted her into modern times when
she moved on to work in service bureaus where it was necessary to learn any and
all software and computer platform in order to meet customer requirements. It
was an easy shift to Production Manager from there and Karen worked at two
different travel magazines prior to settling in at Floor Focus in March of 1999.
The journey didn’t stop there though. Karen hung up her snow shovel and headed
for warmer climates to join the new Chattanooga headquarters of Floor Focus in
March of 2007. Floor Focus—it’s not just a job, it’s an adventure.
Harr, Art Director
After growing up in the big city of Russellville, KY, Anne attended Hollins
University where she graduated with a degree in Art and Art History. Yearning
for true big city life she moved to NY City and worked for numerous fashion
designers. She was probably the best dressed bag lady on the entire island of
Manhattan. After eight years of city life, Anne returned to her southern roots
where she met her husband, the future publisher of Floor Focus Magazine. As they
say, the rest is history.
Torcivia, Research Partner
Santo is the magazine’s primary resource for statistical data that helps make
Floor Focus the leading authority for market based intelligence. Santo is the
author of the annual US FLOOReport, a detail forecast and analysis of the US
flooring industry by product, channel, and major player. His firm, Market
Insights also produces the County Penetration Report, a county based historical
and forecast of flooring sales by product type to consumers, builders, and
commercial accounts by county, metro area, and state, including an estimate of
the number of retail and contract outlets selling flooring by type in each
designated geography. Prior to starting Market Insights in 1997, Santo was
employed for 16 years by Mannington Mills as Vice-President for Business
Analysis & Planning.
A graduate of Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, where he majored in
economics, Santo makes his home in Reading, PA and is the proud father of three
Kayla Stewart Murrell, Sales Manager
Kayla is new to the floorcovering business but is a seasoned media sales professional. Prior to joining Floor Focus she sold advertising for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Chatter, Get Out and Edge Magazines. Prior to that, Kayla was in medical sales. Kayla is a great fit at Floor Focus because she is competitive and loves to think out of the box. She understands that people buy from people they know, like and trust. Kayla came to Chattanooga initially because she was offered a full athletic scholarship at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and she continues to play competitive golf in tournaments. When she’s not playing golf or working out, she is spending time with her husband and two dogs hiking and mountain biking. If Kayla ever asks you to play golf, be careful because she likes to gamble.