Surfaces 2009 will offer its first ever General Session dedicated to addressing issues directly affecting the floor covering industry. Titled “Prevailing Through the Current Crisis – An Industry Wake-Up Call,” the session – consisting of a panel of distinguished industry leaders – will address how floor covering professionals might weather the most volatile economy the nation has faced in decades.

“With all the uncertainty facing floor covering professionals today, it’s important that they know what to expect for the future of their businesses. This is an opportunity to hear from and be heard by influential industry leaders as they share their insights for the future and how to lead the industry through the economic crisis,” says Dana Teague, Surfaces show director. “It’s SURFACES’ responsibility as the leading industry event to address these issues front and center. Attendees won’t find an event like this anywhere else.”

Panelists include: Ralph Boe, president and ceo, Beaulieu of America; Tom Davis, president and ceo, Mannington Mills; Tom Lape, president, Mohawk Residential; Randy Merritt, president, Shaw Industries and Frank J. Ready, executive vp, Armstrong World Industries and ceo, Armstrong North American Floor Products.

CNN's Gerri Willis will serve as moderator

The Surfaces 2009 General Session will be moderated by Gerri Willis, anchor of CNN’s weekend business program, “Open House” and personal finance editor for CNN Business News, the division of CNN Worldwide that produces business news for CNN/U.S., CNN International, Headline News, CNN Airport Network, CNNRadio and the website CNN/ Willis also hosts “Issue #1,” CNN’s special programming focusing on the most important issues according to American voters.

The General Session takes place February 3 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Now through November 17, registration is free of charge. After Nov. 17, the fee to attend the session is $25.

The General Session is sponsored by The Floor Covering Institute and Affluent Insights benefiting the Floor Covering Industry Foundation.

Surfaces is set for Feb. 3-5, 2009 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. For more information, visit or call (800) 547-3477.