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CRI Changes Guard

The Carpet and Rug Institute installs new leadership and initiatives for the coming year.

CRI Changes Guard The Carpet and Rug Institute installs new leadership and initiatives for the coming year. At its recent annual meeting, the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), Dalton, Ga., said farewell to Ronald E. VanGelderen, its previous president; welcomed Werner Heinz Braun, who has taken over the helm; and introduced the Executive Committee and Directors. In addition, issues, barriers, strategies and budget were discussed in detail.The Board of Directors voted to update the by-laws and appointed an Executive Committee to govern CRI. The Executive Committee for the coming year includes: Bob Axtell, CEO, DuPont Commercial Flooring Systems; Carl Bouckaert, chairman, Beaulieu Group LLC; Daniel K. Frierson, chairman, The Dixie Group Inc.; Jeff Lorberbaum, president, Mohawk Industries Inc.; Robert E. Shaw, chairman, Shaw Industries Inc.; and E.P. (Rusty) Willimon, general manager, MillikenandCompany. John Swift, treasurer, Mohawk Industries Inc., will serve as CRIs treasurer.Directors serving a two-year term expiring in 2001 include: Mike Derderian, president, Royalty Carpet Mills; Walt Hubbard, group president, Fiber Products, BASF; and Julian Saul, president, Shaw Industries Inc. Directors serving a one-year term expiring in 2001 include: Jim McCallum, president, Lees Carpets; and Jeffrey Wolff, vice president and general manager, Solutia Inc. Directors serving a two-year term expiring in 2002 include: Richard Bierie, president, Mannington Commercial Carpets; Jim Jolly, chairman, J and J Industries Inc.; Richard Prinstein, vice president, Carpet Fibers, and general manager, Evergreen Nylon Recycling, Honeywell; and Stuart Thorn, president, Beaulieu Group LLC.Association members include: Certified Floorcoverings Institute; Association of Georgias Textile, Carpet and Consumer Products Manufacturers; Canadian Carpet Institute; SB Latex Council; World Floor Covering Association; Floor Covering Adhesives Manufacturers Committees; National Association of Floor Covering Distributors; Association of Specialists in Cleaning and Restoration International; Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification; American Textile Manufacturers Institute; American Fiber Manufacturers Association; Floor Covering Installation Contractors; Carpet Cushion Council; International Certified Floorcovering Installers Association Inc.; and Dalton-Whitfield Chamber of Commerce. A Fond FarewellVanGelderen served as president and COO of CRI for 20 years. Known in the industry for a distinctive and proactive leadership style, he was a steward, enhancing relationships and implementing board policy to resolve industry issues.As international ambassador for carpet, VanGelderen spearheaded a raising of industry standards in anticipation of consumer expectations. He vigorously pursued cooperation and encouraged communication among all floorcovering industry segments.He gained respect throughout the industry for his leadership style, not only in his efforts toward market expansion, but also because of his compassion, empathy and integrity. He had a reputation for giving credit to others and making friends of adversaries both inside and outside the industry. VanGelderen, in his farewell, said, The floorcovering industry is an industry of people who need each other. Leadership is a humbling experience, and I would like to thank all of you as my good friends, and I love you dearly.VanGelderen led the carpet industry through many issues, including installation guidelines, transportation and shipping method improvement, water effluence and conservation, exporting, hazardous waste compliance and proactive consumer projects. He served as the lead liaison and spokesperson for the carpet industry during the Carpet Policy Dialogue, organized and conducted under the aegis of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and he perceptively addressed consumer indoor air quality questions through education and an industry testing program to reduce indoor air pollution and ensure that carpet, cushion and floorcovering adhesives are environmentally responsible. Changing Of The GuardBraun, VanGelderens successor as president of CRI, previously was senior director, international affairs, of the Chlorine Chemistry Council of the Chemical Manufacturers Association. Prior to that service, he was manager of environmental strategic issues for chemicals and performance products with Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich. His duties during his 30 years with Dow involved public policy advocacy, issues management, regulatory and governmental affairs management, and health and environmental affairs management.His awards include the Forest Chemicals Leadership Award from the National Forest Products Association and the Speakers Award from the American Chemical Society.Braun earned a B.S. degree in chemistry from St. Edwards University and has taken graduate courses at Purdue University. He is a member of the Society of Toxicology, and a charter member of the International Society for Study of Zenobiotics.

January 2001