The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) Flooring Industry Hall of Fame has named three individuals to receive the honor this year: Sonna Calandrino, Sandy Mishkin and Paul Pumphrey, CFE.

WFCA Hall of Fame inductee, Sonna Calandrino


Sandy Mishkin, CCA Global Partners president

ANAHEIM, CA -- The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) Flooring Industry Hall of Fame has named three individuals to receive the honor this year. The common thread among them is they all have played a significant role in floor covering retailing as teachers, merchandisers and buyers.

The three new inductees include the late Sonna Calandrino, Sandy Mishkin and Paul Pumphrey, CFE. The formal induction will take place on May 3, 2012 in conjunction with the WFCA’s Annual Meeting and Board of Directors Meeting in Boca Raton, FL.

Sonna Calandrino, who passed away in 2010, in her 30-year career was a successful floor covering retailer, consultant, journalist, speaker and visionary. Her retail floor covering store, which ultimately grew to 10 stores in upstate New York, provided her with the background and experience to share her success with others. She was the founder, owner and president of Peachtree Communications, which specialized in helping retailers enhance sales and merchandising.

She also played an integral role in the development of Mohawk Floorscapes during her 10-year tenure as a consultant to that company. Her journalistic efforts for Hearst, not only included regular columns in Floor Covering Weekly, but it also included educational books and newsletters. Her magazine, Fabulous Floors, was a pioneering effort to teach consumers how to transform their homes with beautiful flooring.

“Calandrino did everything with passion, whether leading a seminar, conducting a marketing study or talking shop with retailers,” the WFCA said. Further, “She was also a very caring individual who donated a significant amount of her profits to the Floor Covering Industry Foundation or other charities including Hudson Day Care for Underprivileged Children, Edith Casey Stocking Fund-providing gifts for children during the holidays, and The Humane Society. Sonna has also donated furniture and floor covering to safe houses in two counties for shelters for battered women, and in one case, developed a halfway house that took eight women out of prison, housed them in apartments next to a floor covering store and provided jobs and life-learning experiences.”

Sandy Mishkin began his career in floor covering as a buyer specializing in floor covering and furniture for E.J. Korvette in 1962. In 1970 he joined Trend Mills as Vice President, Merchandising and in 1980 became Vice President, Marketing for Horizon Mills.

Mishkin is currently president of CCA Global Partners. In 1984 along with colleagues Howard Brodsky and Alan Greenberg, they founded Carpet Co-op of America with a unique premise: enable independent carpet retailers to operate profitability in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Carpet One started with 10 “members” – each an equal shareholder in the cooperative – and began to pool purchases together and negotiate directly with the mills.

Many major carpet mills initially refused to sell product to Carpet One. Although the first few months were turbulent, Mishkin persevered and eventually convinced the mills that selling to Carpet One would mean larger sales and future expansion for them. From one unit, Carpet One, the organization has grown to 14 divisions and more than 3,200 retail locations in less than 30 years.

Paul Pumphrey, CFE

A key component of this success is the group’s buying power, and leading that effort has been Sandy Mishkin. He has been responsible for ensuring CCA members have the best products for their stores at competitive prices, are ahead of the curve with innovative product offerings for their customers, and have the support and tools they need to merchandise products in ways that will be attractive to consumers.

Mishkin was instrumental in forging agreements giving Carpet One the exclusive worldwide rights to the Bigelow® brand and creating the revolutionary LEES for Living® line of carpet. He was also the driving force behind the Ultra 25® Stain Technology – with a 25 year warranty, and Armstrong Laminates for LifeTM, and was involved in developing the powerful SelectAFloorTM, merchandising system for Carpet One, among other innovations.

Mishkin’s activities in the industry have also utilized the corporate imprint, including the Carpet One Magic Carpet Time Tour, a traveling literacy program that visited 250,000 children between 2000 and 2002, involvement in the “Carpet One Make A Difference” campaign and supported breast cancer awareness, research and advocacy through the sales of pink ribbon welcome mats through the “Carpet One Welcomes Your Support” program.

Additionally, Mishkin established the Scott G. Mishkin Foundation, in honor of his son, Scott, who passed away in January 2001 after a long battle with desmoplastic small round cell tumor, a rare form of cancer. The foundation is geared to raising money for research and to support organizations whose mission is to assist fighting cancer. Sandy and the foundation are supporters of Camp Sunshine. Each year, 10% of the number of children attending this camp for critically ill children are sponsored from proceeds generated by a golf tournament named for his son. Mishkin is also involved in numerous other charitable and trade associations programs.

Rarely does a single independent floor covering retailer spend 65 years of their career with the same company in a relatively small geographic area and rise to prominence on the national stage, but Paul Pumphrey, CFE, has done exactly that.

Pumphrey began his career at the age of 10 as a helper at his parents On-Location Rug Cleaning Company. In 1941, his parents purchased the Cleaver Carpet Cleaning Company in Colorado Springs, CO, and Paul became a cleaning technician and repairman. Duty called and from 1943-1945, he served in the U.S. Merchant Marines. After the war, he and his brother founded Cleaver Carpet Cleaning and Mothproofing Company in Pueblo, CO. In 1953, the name was changed to Cleaver Carpet Center to reflect their new emphasis on retail floor covering. By 1956, Cleaver Carpet Center had become the dominant carpet outlet in southern Colorado.

“Pumphrey has always taken great interest in learning his craft and spent significant time touring mills in Georgia and taking classes, everything from installation to sales. In 1961 he attended the First Annual Western Floor Covering Association Educational Conference and Convention and shortly thereafter became one of the organization’s first members,” the WFCA added.

Further, he attended the American Carpet Institute’s first Graduate Course in Carpet Retailing at Indiana University in 1963. In 1967, he became one of the Charter Members of the National Association of Floor Covering Installers Board of Directors and also was elected to the Board of Directors of the Western Floor Covering Association. In 1972, he became president of that organization.

In June 1973, Pumphrey was invited to attend a meeting sponsored by the National Home Furnishings Association (NHFA) to determine if NHFA should form a “floor coverings division.” There was strong support for this concept and the NHFA decided to establish the division, which in 1974 became The Retail Floorcovering Institute (RFI), of which he was elected vice president. He was also named to Western Floors Magazine’s Hall of Fame in 1975, and in 1977 was elected president of RFI. Pumphrey, CFE, is the only individual to have served as president of both the Western Floor Covering Association and the Retail Floorcovering Institute (later American Floorcovering Association), the predecessor associations of the now World Floor Covering Association. As president of RFI, Pumphrey urged a meeting of four national organizations – the Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI), The Association of Interior Décor Specialists (AIDS), the National Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD), and the Retail Floorcovering Institute (RFI) to meet to discuss issues impacting the floor covering industry and how they might work in concert. Some positive developments occurred pertaining to care and cleaning and complaint processing, for example. In 1981, having had only two semesters of college at the University of Colorado 35 years earlier, Paul began classes at what is now the Colorado State University-Pueblo. He graduated in May 1983, earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications, magna cum laude. In addition, he was named the Outstanding Student in Journalism, Law and Ethics.

In 1985 Paul’s brother and business partner, Bill, retired from Cleaver Carpet Center. Paul became the sole owner and has operated the company ever since. In 2001, Pumphrey completed and passed the exam to become a charter member Certified Flooring Executive (CFE). He remains active in the WFCA as a past chairman serving on the Past Chairmen’s Council.

“No surprise to anyone who knows him, Paul was an Eagle Scout by age 15 and was active in Boy Scouts after serving in the Merchant Marines,” the WFCA added. Further, “He also served as Board Member of the Pueblo Kiwanis Club and as a Trustee for both the Rosemont Historical Museum and the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center. He also has worked as a volunteer TV camera operator at KTSC-TV, the local PBS affiliate; participated in the Pueblo Downtown Association, serving on their Board of Directors from 1998 to2003, and honored by the association as their 2008 Business Person of the Year; and served on the Pueblo Planning and Zoning Commissions for 13 years as Chairman from 1984 to1985.