TISE provided many opportunities for women in the floorcovering industry to network, grow, learn, gather, have fun and be recognized for their leadership and impact.
First, the Women’s Leadership Conference on Monday, January 23 kicked off the show with a half-day of programs designed to build networks, and expand knowledge and connections. Shannon Vogel of Reach Social emceed the conference, which included sessions on networking, failure, self-awareness and growth, unleashing your inner disruptor, and a panel discussion on leveling up.
Next, Women of the Flooring Business (WoFB) held a meetup on Wednesday morning to sign a (wo)manifesto that declares how women empower themselves and each other in business and in personal life, and to help orient women who were visiting the show for the first time. Located near the CFI booth, it was also intended to cheer on Crystal Sims of Preferred Flooring MI, LLC, who was the first woman to compete in the Installer of the Year Competition.
Inspired by an experience Sims had last year, WoFB handed out squeaky rubber chickens at the meetup. “Sims … found a rubber chicken in a taxi that she then carried through the show, and it kind of became a symbol for being true to who you are,” said WoFB’s Michelle Winters.
Founder Cameron Metheny recently launched Tampa-based Cameo Studio that combines the world of tile with LED lighting. She had a space at the StartUp Station at the show, and also did a presentation on how she is revolutionizing tile lighting by integrating LED lighting into tile artistry.
On Thursday, Mohawk hosted a morning mimosa breakfast for the powerhouse group Women in the Floorcovering Industry (WIFI), as WIFI kicked off a year of growth and success and outlined its plans for 2024.
Later that day, Women in Stone held its annual Amazing Race tour of the Natural Stone pavilion. This event offered fun challenges at each booth for teams of women that makes learning about natural stone and networking with other women fun! And the winning Pink Team all received a swag bag full of fun and useful prizes.
Thursday was also Women’s Day at WFCA on Thursday. Events featured a talk by Stacy Eickhoff of Risk Strategies on moving forward in a complex world, and a discussion led by WoFB’s Michelle Winters, Rachel Berlin, and Lisbeth Calandrino about women in leadership. Other events included honoring impactful women in the industry : Kathy Young, USFloors and Coretec, received the WFCA Luminary Award; Emily Finkell of WIFI and Michelle Winters of WoFB were recognized for their leadership in the industry. A panel discussion moderated by Amy Rush-Imber of Floor Covering Weekly featured Young, Finkell and Winters talking about creating success as a female in the flooring industry.
Women’s events on tap at Coverings
Stay tuned and mark your calendars: Come April, Coverings is planning a Galvanize Women’s Lounge during the show in room B206 of the Georgia World Congress Center. The purpose is to help women connect, celebrate, and be inspired by like-minded industry peers. Both personal and professional development opportunities will be available, and many of the leading industry women’s groups will be coming together to collaborate, build community, and elevate one another and their respective crafts. Overlooking the exhibit hall floor, the lounge will be open Monday April 22 – Thursday, April 25 to all who wish to connect. Visit www.coverings.com for details.
NTCA’s Women In Tile group is spearheading a breakfast at Coverings in Atlanta, Ga., on April 24 at the Galvanize Lounge, with support from NSI’s Women in Stone group and Kathy Case of Quantify NA. The invitation-only breakfast will feature speaker Demi Clark, founder of She Built This City. Want to attend? Contact Women In Tile Chair Elizabeth Lambert at [email protected]. The breakfast will be followed by the Women Talking industry panel, moderated by TileLetter editor Lesley Goddin.
Editorial Director and Senior Writer for TileLetter and TileLetter ARTISAN
Lesley Goddin has been writing and journaling since her first diary at age 11. Her journey has taken her through a career in publishing and publicity, landing her the editor position of TileLetter and its special publications in 2006. Her goal is to educate, inspire, recognize and encourage those in the tile industry -- especially the tile and stone contractor.