LEGACY SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
The Legacy Scholarship Program honors individuals who made significant contributions throughout their lives to advance the wood flooring industry.
The scholarship started with the desire of one NWFA board member to honor an industry peer and friend, and to recognize those who have worked to advance the industry throughout the years.
The NWFA lost a great supporter and Board member, Bob Haggard, of Hassell & Hughes Lumber Company, in 2013. Among other contributions, Bob was instrumental, as chairman of NOFMA, in blending NOFMA and NWFA in 2008. Tommy Maxwell, owner of Maxwell Hardwood Flooring and NWFA Treasurer, suggested the NWFA create a way to honor Bob, and other past industry leaders.
Tommy and the NWFA leadership developed the Legacy Scholarship Program, based on seed funding from Maxwell Hardwood Flooring, to recognize Bob Haggard and the following individuals:
Bob Anderson – Anderson/Shaw
Bob Anderson was one of the pioneers of the engineered hardwood business in America. He started working in the business with his father in 1950. In 1978, he founded the Anderson Hardwood Floors brand. He developed one of the leading companies in the industry before his death in 2002. Many of the industry’s leaders started their careers at Anderson under his leadership. Bob was also one of the founding members of NWFA.
Slim Andries – Floor Service Supply Co.
Anthony Richard (Slim) Andries started his own flooring installation company in 1932 in San Jose, CA. Over time, he built the business, Floor Service Supply Company, into one of the premier distributors in northern California. In 2008, after 76 years in business, Floor Service Company was purchased by Galleher Corporation, which to this day continues Slim’s tradition of providing excellent customer service and selling quality flooring products in the Bay area.
Joe Boone, Jr. – Boone’s Flooring – America’s Wood Flooring People, Inc.
Joe Boone, Jr. grew up in his family’s wood flooring business before setting out on his own, and served the NWFA in a number of capacities. He served on several committees, including Hardwood Floors Magazine, Marketing & Public Relations, Expo, Internet Technology, and Membership. Joe also held NWFA Craftsman, Master Craftsman, Advanced Master Craftsman, Ambassador and Vanguard degrees, and was a frequent instructor at NWFA hands-on training events.
Rick Brian – Robbins Inc.
Rick Brian started his career in the wood flooring industry as Robbins Inc.’s vice president of marketing and was in charge of Robbins Hardwood Flooring Division. He was part of the team that grew the company to the second-largest wood flooring manufacturer in the US. In 1997, Rick started his own consulting business. Rick was instrumental in the establishment of Hardwood Floors magazine, the official magazine of the NWFA.
Elizabeth Swift Brown – French-Brown Floors
Elizabeth Brown cofounded French-Brown Floors with her husband, F.E. (Von) Brown, in 1952. Over the years, she served as a founding member of the International Furnishings and Design Association, and president of the Greater Dallas Floor Covering Association. Brown also was inducted into the Western Floors Magazine Hall of Fame, and received the NWFA’s Industry Leadership award in 2002.
Tim Cates – Southern Hardwood & Floor Supply
Tim Cates founded founded Southern Hardwood & Floor Supply in 2007 in Richmond, Virginia with a singular focus on putting the hardwood flooring professional first. During his 37-plus years in the industry, Tim built Southern Hardwood to be the region’s premiere family-owned, full-service distribution business. Always an innovator, Tim established the first “Wood Thru” in Virginia, offering customers the convenience of drive-through wood pick-up service.
Dick Coates – Golden State Flooring
Dick Coates and his brother Jack, are largely responsible for the success that Golden State Flooring enjoyed for decades. Dick was a fixture at Golden State Flooring for more than 50 years. His energy, wit, wisdom, determination and passion for the hardwood flooring industry had a significant impact on hundreds of customers and business owners, helping them to improve their own businesses.
Jack Coates – Golden State Flooring
Jack Coates was an NWFA founding father who started his career at age 13 unloading flooring from rail cars. After his military service, he worked in the warehouse at Golden State Flooring, eventually joining the office staff, establishing them as a provider of upgraded, high-quality products. He was a strong proponent of industry education, served on numerous NWFA committees, and also served on the NWFA Board of Directors. He was inducted into the NWFA Hall of Fame in 1994.
Chester Derr – Derr Flooring Co.
Chester Derr began his career in the wood flooring industry working alongside his father, John, and brother, Robert, in the 1930s. In 1979, Chester established and oversaw the growth of Derr Flooring Company from a single location in Philadelphia, PA, with 25 employees to its current six locations with more than 130 employees.
Chet Derr – Derr Flooring Co.
Chester (Chet) Derr, Jr. joined Derr Flooring Co. in 1965, following his grandfather, father, and uncle into the family business. After learning the business from them, he became President in 1994, and CEO in 2000, growing Derr Flooring into one of the largest wood flooring distributors in the nation. He was a pioneer of the “Pro Show,” bringing suppliers in to educate and train customers. The active involvement in the company of his children and grandchildren is his lasting legacy.
Albert Duke – Peace Flooring Co.
Albert Duke started working for Peace Flooring Co. in 1950, becoming its owner in 1976 until he retired in 1989. Albert was one of the original founders of the NWFA and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004.
Bob Haggard – Hassell & Hughes Lumber Co.
Bob Haggard was vice president of Hassell and Hughes Lumber Company Inc. in Collinwood, TN. Bob served the wood flooring industry as a board director for both the NWFA and NOFMA. Bob was the president of NOFMA during its merger with the NWFA.
Ed Hamar – Horner Flooring Co.
Ed Hamar was the vice president of Horner Flooring Co., in Dollar Bay, MI. Horner Flooring Co. has been in the Hamar family since 1960. In addition to producing floors for high-profile events, including NBA games, Ed was active in the Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association.
John Hamar – Horner Flooring Co.
John Hamar was the owner of Horner Flooring and in the hardwood industry for over 50 years. John led the MFMA as the President of its board of directors from 1970-1975 and was inducted into the MFMA Hall of Fame in 2008. John was also one of the members of the founding board of directors of the National Wood Flooring Association.
Allen Harris, Jr. – Harris Wood Floors
Allen Harris, Jr. is the third-generation to lead the family business founded by his grandfather in 1902. Harris led the company’s merger with Tarkett International in 1983, expanding their product line to include engineered wood. He was inducted into the MFMA Hall of Fame in 2003, and was the first inductee into the NWFA Hall of Fame in 1989. Harris also received numerous recognitions for his civic contributions.
Sykes Harris – Sykes Flooring Co.
William Sykes Harris started his career in the industry at Sam Dixon Hardwood Flooring Company in 1949. In 1958 he co-founded Wilson Oak Flooring, which would become Sykes Flooring Company in 1960. He served as president of the American Parquet Association for 17 years.
Virgil Hendricks – Lockwood Flooring/Mid-West Flooring Company
Virgil Hendricks was the founding father of the NWFA and served as its first president. He was inducted into the NWFA Hall of Fame in 1990. Virgil was also the owner of Lockwood Flooring and president and owner of Mid-West Floor Company in St. Louis, MO.
Roland Holder – Gentry & Holder Flooring
Roland Holder started his wood flooring career at age 15 working part-time while still in school. In 1958, he founded his own contracting business, Gentry & Holder Floors. During his long career, he served as an inaugural instructor for the NWFA/NOFMA schools, where he was one of its most influential and memorable instructors. He was inducted into the NWFA Hall of Fame in 1994, and is one of the NWFA’s founding fathers.
Keijo Hyvonen – Kelly-Goodwin Flooring Company
Keijo Hyvonen was one of the original NWFA board members and longtime employee of Kelly-Goodwin Company in Seattle, WA. Keijo served as Kelly-Goodwin’s CEO from the late 1980s until health issues forced his retirement in 2011. He also served NWFA as chairman of the Convention and Membership committees.
David Lynn, Jr. – Cherokee Wholesalers, Inc.
David Lynn cofounded Universal Floors, with his brother, South Lynn, in 1954. In just 12 years, the Lynn brothers grew the business to be the largest retail flooring dealership in the Baltimore/Washington, DC area. In 1965, David left Universal to create Cherokee Wholesalers, eventually becoming one of the largest flooring distributors on the East Coast. He serves as Cherokee’s current President and CEO.
Tommy Maxwell – Maxwell Hardwood Flooring
Tommy Maxwell established Maxwell Hardwood Flooring in 1992. At the beginning, the company had 33 employees and one production line, but today has expanded to 200 employees and three production lines. With over 35 years of wood flooring experience, Maxwell remains committed to safety, quality, production, service, and development. Tommy served as chairman of NOFMA and was instrumental in the merger between NOFMA and NWFA. He also served as NWFA’s chairman of the board from 2016-2017.
Bill “Mac” McLaughlin – Powernail
Bill “Mac” McLaughlin worked for Powernail for 34 years, covering a sales territory that ran from South Carolina to Delaware. He was also a fixture for years and an instructor at industry training events including the NOFMA School in Memphis and the various NWFA regional and national training schools. McLaughlin passed away in 1997. His son, Richard, also a sales representative for Powernail, accepted the NWFA Hall of Fame award on his father’s behalf in 2000. When McLaughlin retired in December 1995, he said: “All the friends and people I call on are like family to me. I have more than 500 stops and there’s not one guy I don’t know on a first-name basis. But it’s time to move on.”
Gina (Guajardo) Mitchell – Professional Coatings Incorporated
Gina (Guajardo) Mitchell graduated from the University of Arkansas with her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. She was a true entrepreneur as Vice President of Professional Coatings Incorporated for over 26 years.
Dona Musolf – Lon Musolf Distributing
Dona Musolf cofounded Lon Musolf Distributing with her husband, Lon Musolf, in 1953. She served as both the company’s secretary and treasurer until her retirement in 1996, and is credited with much of the company’s long-term success. Dona and Lon were involved with the NWFA since its inception, and were instrumental in the growth and direction of the association in its earliest days.
Bill Price, Sr. – Price Floor Company
Bill Price, Sr. started his wood flooring career at age 12 and later became owner and president of his own company. Bill was an original NWFA Board member, the original Convention Program Committee Chairman, and taught at numerous industry training events. He held NWFA Craftsman, Master Craftsman, Vanguard and Honorary Vanguard degrees. Bill had expertise in everything from contracting to manufacturing, which made him a wealth of knowledge that he shared willingly.
Harold Reid – Trinity Hardwood
Harold Reid helped establish the NWFA in 1985 and led installation firm Trinity Floor Company in Dallas, TX. Harold was actively involved in multiple flooring associations and founded the North Texas Flooring Association. He was inducted into the NWFA Hall of Fame in 1994.
Gary Reynolds – BonaKemi USA (now Bona US) and UFloor Systems Inc.
Gary Reynolds was one of the founding fathers of the NWFA. He started the U.S. subsidiary of BonaKemi, which is now known as Bona. He also worked with DuraSeal, Galleher, and UFloor. He served on the NWFA Board of Directors from 1986-1990 and was the first Membership committee chairman.
Jim Stoehr – Robbins Inc./Stoehr Flooring
Jim Stoehr, a Korean War veteran, was the chairman emeritus of Robbins Inc., where he grew the company by developing the Robbins hardwood flooring division, which still produces wood flooring in White Lake, WI. He served the industry as president of NOFMA and the Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association. He also served on the board of directors of the NWFA.
Larry Witt – Bruce Lumber Company/Robbins Flooring Company
Larry Witt began his career with Bruce Lumber Company in Laurel, MS, where he worked for 42 years. He ascended through the ranks to company vice president. He was noted for his development of a “Bible” on how to run a sawmill efficiently. He was recruited by Robbins Flooring Company and helped expand their operations. He retired in 1997, but continued to serve on their board and consult until 2002.
Each Legacy Scholarship is established with a minimum of $5,000, which allows the fund to be named after the benefactor. Scholarships are awarded based on investment earnings of the total funds. Scholarship recipients will receive a letter summarizing that individual’s contributions to the industry.
Scholarships help the NWFA keep training costs to a minimum for participants. They are designed to help provide opportunities for people who are new to the industry, and for those who want to advance their professional skills and knowledge.
While there is a $5,000 minimum to create a new Legacy Scholarship, all are welcome to contribute to the Industry Advocates Fund. For as little as $25, you can help fund the future of the wood flooring industry.
To contribute to the Legacy Scholarship Program, click here. Please indicate the donation is for a Legacy Nominee and include the nominee’s name, unless you are donating to all nominees.