CFI Sponsors International Installation Competitio

Anaheim, CA, June 12, 2006--At the World Floor Covering Association’s facility in Anaheim, CA, the second Japanese-American installation competition was held. This is a very friendly event with both countries providing the most knowledgeable experts in their field. It is very difficult to establish winners when each contestant is one of the finest craftsman in his trade. Everyone prefers to view the friendly competition as an opportunity to share new ideas with each other. Jon Namba, director of technical services for WFCA and Hiroshi Tsujio, president of Banzai Trading Company spent many months organizing the event. Namba said, "This type of event would be impossible without the support of our manufacturing community who graciously donated an abundance of prizes, products and tools for the two teams. The sponsors were the World Floor Covering Association, the International Certified Floorcovering Installers Association, the Japan Interior Finishing Installers Association, Armstrong, FCI Magazine, National Floor Trends Magazine AAT, Ardex/Henry, Behr Tools, Beno J. Gundlach Inc., Bostik/Findley, Bullet Tools, Capitol, Dap/Durabond, Halex, JW Tools, KoolGlide, Laser Square, Mapei, Mohawk, Orcon, Pro Knee, Roberts, Seam Master, SeamerDown, Taylor Tools, Shaw and Wagner Industries.” Hiroshi Tsujio and the Japanese group leader, Isamu Iijima of the Interior Decorators Association were responsible for coordinating the trip and visiting locations in the states. This is a massive undertaking. During the first competition in Kansas City, Missouri, it was discovered that even though we do not all speak the same language, as Jim Walker says, “We speak carpet. We speak vinyl. We speak flooring.” This is so true. This type of competition is beneficial for everyone to learn new techniques and admire the qualities of craftsmanship that are evident in both countries. The installation competition involved both resilient and carpet. The Japanese resilient installers were Fujio Takasaki, Toshiaki Tashiro, Yasumasa Kawamura, Tsutomu Yachiguchi and Hideyuki Takahashi. The instructor for the group was Hisatomo Suezaki.. The CFI Installers were Michael Suffia (WA), Curtis Wood (NV), Kelly Huddleston (CO) and Mark Nemeth (CA). Tim Provence of Armstrong Flooring Products was the judge. In the eyes of all participants, Michael Suffia was judged to be the winner. He has also placed first in the Surfaces ”Best of the Best” Competition several times. The Japanese Installers always place high in the European competition and their skills reflect this. They were surprised to see the numerous new and effective tools that are used by the Americans. The metal miters were new to the Japanese installers. Perhaps, this is because American installers are almost “addicted” to new tools. They enjoy working with new and innovative ideas. They also have the opportunity of working with the manufacturers to make the new market entries even better. Armstrong donated the sheet goods, Mohawk and Shaw donated the carpet and the cushion was supplied by Sponge Cushion Inc., a division of Leggett and Platt. The competition modules were constructed by Jon and Suzy Namba, Jason Namba, Kelly Huddleston, Bobby Schurman, Leon Harrison, Ed Braile, John McHale and Jim Walker. Modules were built for the individual installers to create their presentations which followed the specifications guidelines. Representing Japan in the carpet division were Kiyokazu Sakai, Koji Yamamoto, Masanari Iwata, Minoru Fukada and Nobuyuki Nagata. The instructor for the group was Seishi Kanda. The CFI installers were Leon Harrison (AZ), Ed Braile (MO), Jason Namba (UT), Roland Thompson (MD), Bobby Schurman (CO) and Henry Garcia (CA). All CFI installers were responsible for their individual travel expenses.

Related Topics:Bostik, Armstrong Flooring, Mohawk Industries, Shaw Industries Group, Inc.