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CRI Presents Industry Veteran Joe Yarbrough with Joseph J. Smrekar Memorial Award

CRI Presents Industry Veteran Joe Yarbrough with Joseph J. Smrekar Memorial Award

– Industry trade organization honors the CRI past president for his significant contributions to the carpet industry –

2023 Smrekar Award Presented to Joe Yarbrough
Left to right – Russ DeLozier (CRI President), Joe Yarbrough (2023 Smrekar Award Recipient), Jake Smrekar (Son of Dr. Joseph Smrekar / Market Manager, Milliken and Company), Tom Pendley (President and CEO, Mannington)

Dalton, GA. – Nov 15, 2023 – Today The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) awarded Joe Yarbrough, the CRI’s past president, with the Joseph J. Smrekar Memorial Award in recognition of Mr. Yarbrough’s unwavering commitment and contributions to the carpet industry. The award was presented during the CRI Annual Meeting.

“It is a true honor to present this award to Joe Yarbrough, who has dedicated his career to advancing the carpet industry,” said Russ DeLozier, president of the CRI. “This award recognizes Mr. Yarbrough’s legacy and accomplishments for the industry.”

Marking its 25th year, the Joseph J. Smrekar Memorial Award was established in 1998 by Milliken and Company to honor the late Dr. Joseph Smrekar, a longtime industry professional who set the standard for service to the CRI and the carpet industry.

Jake Smrekar (Milliken), son of the late Dr. Joseph Smrekar, presented the award. During the presentation Jake acknowledged the work of Mr. Yarbrough, who has shown dedication and passion to the industry throughout his tenured career. Smrekar stated, “Joe Yarbrough has dedicated countless hours to making the industry, the CRI, and the product we call carpet, better.” He continued, “Mr. Yarbrough’s contributions to Mohawk, to the CRI, and to the carpet industry as a whole are unmatched.”

Also present during the award celebration were Carey Mitchell (retired from Shaw Industries) and Howard Elder (retired from J&J Industries, now Engineered Floors) who received the first two Joseph J. Smrekar Memorial Awards in 1998 and 1999, respectively.

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Joseph J. Smrekar Memorial Award, the CRI commissioned Dalton artist Chris Beck to handcraft a meaningful sculpture from recycled metal from a CRI member facility.

About The Carpet and Rug Institute
CRI is the leading industry source for science-based information and insight on how carpet and rugs create a better environment for living, working, learning, and healing. CRI’s mission is to serve the carpet industry and public by providing facts that help people make informed choices. Its best practices promote a balance between social, economic, and environmental responsibility for the long term. CRI does this for its industry, yet it strives to be a model corporate citizen for all industries.