The Carpet and Rug Institute’s 2014 Annual Meeting was Joe Yarbrough’s first as president of the trade association and afterward, he spoke with Kemp Harr of FloorDaily.net about the meeting and some goals CRI has for 2015.
Yarbrough spoke about the different goals of CRI and how one of the main goals is to make sure the consumer is well informed about the benefits of carpet.
“Soft-floor covering is a very viable economical solution [for homes and businesses],” he said. “Our focus is to not have urban myths cause a consumer to select an alternate floor covering.”
The big announcement at this year’s annual meeting was about the new Voluntary Product Stewardship (VPS) program. The VPS program is an initiative to reduce carpet in landfills through market-driven solutions while opposing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation or other forms of regulation.
“We have been working with members of The Carpet and Rug Institute, Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) and the collector-sorter community to develop a program that will be valuable in fostering the collection and reuse of post-consumer carpet,” Yarbrough said.
Other parts of the interview focused on the awards given out at this year’s meeting. The Joseph J. Smrekar Award, which honors a volunteer who has given time and talents to CRI, was awarded to Susan Rich Farris of Shaw Industries. Ms. Farris is the first woman to win the award.
“Susan is a very talented professional,” said Yarbrough. “Her contributions have been very valuable to CRI.”
John Garger, a longtime Tandus Centiva employee and CRI volunteer who passed away earlier this year, was honored with a special Chairman’s Award.
“He was a gentleman and special person,” Yarbrough said. “We felt it was appropriate that John and his memory be recognized with this new Chairman’s Award.”
At the annual meeting, Dixie Group CEO Dan Frierson was announced as the new CRI board chairman and Yarbrough said he looks forward to Frierson’s leadership over the next two years.
“Dan has always been dedicated to the mission of CRI,” Yarbrough said. “He has served as chairman in the past and we’re very pleased to have Dan come into the role once again.”