Thursday, June 28, 2012

Water Reclamation the J&J Industries Way: Aquafinity

Water Reclamation the J&J Industries Way: Aquafinity
In his May 25, 2012 column titled "J&J reclaims water in an innovative way" in the Dalton Daily-Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun celebrates a major accomplishment from CRI-member manufacturer J&J Industries, a Dalton-based manufacturer of commercial carpet:

J&J is saving water through its newly-implemented Aquafinity water reclamation process.

According to J&J, the Aquafinity System is capable of removing dye and chemical additives from industrial wastewater by using a blend of filters and reverse osmosis. Over the past several months, J&J has devoted a great deal of time and resources into fine-tuning the automatic control systems so the overall system could be brought up to full production capacity.

The company expects the system will:

• Recover 80 to 90 percent of J&J’s dye house wastewater each year.
• Save an estimated 30 to 35 million gallons of water each year
• Save an estimated 5 billion BTUs of energy annually
• Protect the Conasauga River Watershed and its 76 species of fish

Recently, company officials announced that the Aquafinity System has reclaimed and reused more than one million gallons of water from its Dalton campus since the system went live in March.
The monetary savings that will result from reclaiming 80 to 90 percent of their dye house wastewater each year should enable the Aquafinity system to basically pay for itself in just over three years, officials say.”

A family-owned business for three generations, J&J Industries is a strong supporter of issues related to sustainability. But what’s really impressive about this company’s philosophy is that they’re not just thinking about the benefits to J&J. They want to invite associates, customers, regional officers and even competitors to their facility to see this innovative filtration system in action.

 Again, that fits into their philosophy that a sustainable industry is better than a sustainable company.”

Thank you, Werner.

~ Bethany

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Carpet Professional Stories: Compendium

Carpet Professional Stories: Compendium from CRI LinkedIn Group

Stories from the Field – Insights, Innovation and Inanity from Carpet Professionals
Story #2: Didja hear the one about…

I recently asked the carpet installers, inspectors and cleaners on the CRI LinkedIn group to share stories of their most unusual or outlandish customer requests, and I thought I’d share some of their funny responses here on the CRI Blog. This week I put together the following compendium of comments that reads like a series of one-liners at a joke fest. Here’s a sampling:

From a retailer in Ireland: “Customer asked did she have to settle on a colour before carpet was installed ...”

From an inspector in Florida: “Got one last week from a lawyer I did expert witness work for. He asked me, ‘What type of kind of carpet should I get when I own a dog?’

From Cary Woodfield, a specifier, inspector, cleaner, and carpet services entrepreneur: “Flew to Tonga to re-dye a spot that someone used a mixture of rust remover and citrus solvent as a spot cleaner.”

From the manager of a carpet cleaning business in Georgia: “I had a lady once ask me if I could spray the walls with my pre-spray........I respectfully declined

How about this from a 25-year veteran carpet cleaner from Chicago? Sound familiar to anyone? “Where do I begin? How about the Lady who asks you to move a heavy piece of furniture from the 2nd floor to the basement, ‘so it will be easier for you to clean the room?’ With a straight face, like she thinks she is doing you a favor!”

And this one, from an inspector in Las Vegas, breaks carpet’s cardinal rule:  “I can no longer use carpet’s oldest one-line joke - "just put it fuzzy side up" - since I was asked to inspect a needle punch, indoor/outdoor carpet glued directly to a balcony upside down.”

I hope you enjoy these – next time, the topic will be “Carpet Cleaning is a Whiz!” or “Urine Luck!” -  a who-done-it thriller (of sorts).

Until then, send me you stories -


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Reminder: CRI Moving to 100 S. Hamilton St., Dalton, GA

Reminder! CRI is moving this week to new offices located at 100 S Hamilton Street, Dalton GA, 30720.

It's very exciting!

The only downside is that we have limited communication services this week.

That means that you will need to call our cell phone numbers if you need to contact a CRI staffer during the move.

Please update your records to reflect this new address.

We can't wait to update you and communicate with you when we are fully back in action next week!

~ Bethany

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

CRI is Moving to Downtown Dalton!

If you haven't yet gotten word, FYI... the Carpet and Rug Institute [aka CRI] is moving this week to 100 S Hamilton Street in Dalton, GA to the Historic Post Office Building.

Given the move, communications will be limited from June 18th through June 22nd, 2012.

If you need to contact a CRI staffer during the week, we recommend that you use his/her cell phone number.

Thank you for understanding. We can't wait to tell you more once we're settled.

~ Bethany

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Werner Braun’s 12-Year Anniversary at CRI

Werner Braun’s 12-Year Anniversary at CRI
In his May 18, 2012 column titled "Twelve years and counting" in the Dalton’s Daily-Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun looks back on his first dozen years as president of the carpet manufacturing trade association.

“I remember getting a call a number of years ago from a contact in town, who asked if I would be interested in a leadership position at CRI.

I was delighted to make a move to this area, both for personal and professional reasons. My children were very young at the time, and Dalton’s a wonderful place to raise a family.

And then there’s the business itself. Carpet is a great American industry. On so many levels, the carpet industry works hard at doing the right thing. It’s fun to be part of an industry like this one.
[At CRI] Our main product is information. We use surveys and research to develop science-based information for industry, the public and any audience relevant to the carpet industry.”

Mr. Braun continued, saying the information CRI collected - specifically on what consumers liked about carpet, as well as areas where they would like to see changes to how they used or enjoyed their carpets – led to programs like CRI’s Seal of Approval testing and certification program for carpet cleaning equipment and products and the Green Label Plus Indoor Air Quality program for carpet, carpet cushion, and adhesives

“And then there’s CARE, the Carpet America Recovery Effort,  a nonprofit volunteer organization that’s gotten a lot of press lately. CARE is dedicated to increasing landfill diversion by reusing and recycling waste carpet. This helps not only the economy but also the environment. I’m very pleased that CRI has been such a big supporter of this program.

It’s been a great 12 years. I’m eager to see what the next 12 will bring.

Thank you, Werner.

~ Bethany

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

CRI's Lobbyist Road Warrior: Listen, Learn, Network, Educate

Danny Glover
I saw an interesting posting on Facebook recently. It was a poster with a big headline at the top that said, LOBBYIST. 

Underneath the heading were a series of photos and captions. The first image depicted a handful of cash, with the caption, “what the public thinks I do”. The second showed a photo with a young woman in a group of congressional representatives with the caption, “what my parents think I do’. Next image showed a photo of a baby seal being clubbed right above a caption reading, “what the far left thinks I do”, and finally, a picture of conference attendees sitting in a room listening to a presentation with the caption “what I actually do”.  It was a very apt description of my role and my perception of how I and others in my profession are viewed. But aside from the hyperbole and stereotypes, the true job of a government relations professional is to listen, to learn, to network and to educate.  That is what I do …all over the country. In short, I am a road warrior.

Road Warrior - a term used among state government relations (SGR) professionals to describe those of us who lobby in multiple states.  Since that is what I do, I quality for the moniker.

Over the course of my career with the Carpet and Rug Institute, I have visited all 50 states (I crossed that item off my bucket list just last year) and I do so with a rather high degree of frequency.  I travel to testify at hearings, I travel to participate in legislative work sessions, I travel to meetings, I travel to conferences (and there are plenty of those).  As the state legislative sessions wind down, every state legislative group holds conferences during the spring and summer months.  These conferences offer me and my fellow lobbyists the opportunity to meet, mingle and bring our industries’ issues to the attention of public policymakers through presentations on the conference’s formal agenda or through more-or-less guerilla-tactic “elevator speeches”.

CRI participates at a very visible level in a number of these groups, including the following:
There may not always be topics on the agenda that are particularly critical to our industry (which was the case at the recent meetings I have attended).  However, in the past, we have had the opportunity to offer agenda topics and provide speakers.  The important thing is to be there - to be visible, to attend sessions that may not be critical to our interests, but offer networking opportunities - and never miss a reception! 

I enjoy my job -- all aspects of it!  I love educating folks in both the public and private sectors.  There are allies everywhere!   Being a road warrior has provided me with a wide array of opportunities, the chance to travel, and the chance to form lasting friendships with both legislators and my SGR colleagues, or as we like to call one another, our road family.

See you out there!

~ Jenn Mendez

Image credit: Danny Glover's Pinterest Board "What People Think I Do"

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Finding Seal of Approval Vacuums

Finding Seal of Approval Vacuums
In his April 19, 2012 column titled Finding Seal of Approval vacuums in the Dalton’s Daily-Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun talks about vacuum cleaners, and refers readers to the list of Seal of Approval vacuums that have passed the testing requirements set by the Carpet and Rug Institute.

The article describes how, in addition to the carpet industry, the modern vacuum cleaner industry was led by an inventive woman from Georgia. The article describes how Corrine Dufour from Savannah invented the first electric-powered vacuum cleaner around 1900. Referred to as the Electric Sweeper and Dust Gatherer,   the device consisted of two rotating brushes, suction and a damp sponge to collect the dirt.

“While the machine was not a raging success, Corrine’s efforts, like those of numerous other pioneers since, have indirectly contributed to the efficiency of today’s powerful vacuuming machines.

Yet while most people I know consider a vacuum an essential housecleaning tool, many still get frustrated when trying to figure out how to choose a quality vacuum that will do more than just remove dirt, soil, dust and dust mites from our floorcovering.

It’s important to use a vacuum cleaner that sucks up the dust, locks it into the machine, and keeps it out of the air. Selecting a quality product is not easy, but CRI’s Seal of Approval program takes much of the guesswork out of choosing the right vacuum cleaner for your home. By following CRI’s suggestions, your carpet will not only look good, but your indoor air quality will improve.

Our SOA/Green Label vacuum program helps identify the best performing vacuum cleaners. Under the Seal of Approval/Green Label program, manufacturers must meet the highest performance standards and are rewarded with Gold, Silver and Bronze ratings.

In order to be certified, vacuums must pass several independent laboratory tests, tests that evaluate soil removal, dust containment and surface appearance change.

It’s no simple feat to earn the CRI Seal of Approval/Green Label certification, so you can feel pretty confident about the choice you’ve made when you buy a machine that’s earned that distinction. To find out more about Seal of Approval vacuums, you can always go to the CRI website.”  

Thanks, Werner.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Carpet Professional Stories: Installer Seams to Vanish

Carpet Professional Stories: Installer Seams to Vanish

Stories from the Field – Insights, Innovation and Inanity from Carpet Professionals - Story #1: Installer Seams to Vanish

I recently asked the carpet installers, inspectors and cleaners on the CRI LinkedIn group to share stories of their most unusual or outlandish customer requests, and I thought I’d share some of their funny responses here on the CRI Blog. The first story comes from Don Barrett, a professional sales trainer and communicator with long-standing ties to the carpet industry. He shares this story from his early years as a carpet installer working for his father.

A lot of years ago when the earth was still cooling, I was a right good installer for a young fellow.

My dad used to handpick the install crews and match them with the customers. I usually got the fussy customers and the fancy custom stair installs, but Dad never seemed to think it was worth paying me extra…he only said something about building character and paying him back for teaching me those skills.

This particular morning, we would be working for a notoriously cranky university professor’s wife who had brought two sales people to tears before the order was ever written.

When we arrived, she read us the riot act and warned us about her expectations for exact seam placements. She told us not to touch her things, use her bathroom – oh, and why wasn’t a more experienced crew sent? She warned us that she would be watching our every move all day except for an errand she would be running between 11-11:30 am.

I had always been taught that, “A soft word turns away anger,” so on this morning I was all smiles and “yes ma’am and no ma’am” to her. The first thing she did was tell us to install the carpet in the wrong direction for the lighting. I didn’t argue – just called the store to cover my butt and then we did as she asked.

I told my crew to follow my lead and be very quiet. We rough-cut everything and were ready to run the seams at about 10 am, but I tinkered and stalled until she announced that she was leaving and would return in 30 minutes.

When the car door slammed at 10:59 we jumped into high gear and ran one of the best seams we’d ever done. As an afterthought, I moved over about three feet from the real seam and, using a screwdriver, traced a light straight line in the carpet nap exactly parallel to the seam. Then we lit into high gear to get the seamed half of the room trimmed, stretched & tucked so she couldn’t see the ends of the seam. All done in great time before she came back.

As predictable as rain in spring, she hit the floor looking for the seam like a bloodhound on a trail. Pretty soon she started pacing up and down that traced line in the carpet and swearing she was going to cause the end of time unless we could do better. I stepped over to her and asked what her concern was. Indignant, she retorted that I must be blind if I couldn’t see that horrible, glaring seam line. That’s when I reached down and brushed the line away with my hand. She was speechless for half a minute before demanding to know where the real seam was. I smiled and said, “If you can’t find it, I’m sure not going to show it to you,” and went back to work.

Thanks, Don! Sound familiar, anyone? If you have a story to share, send it to me at or post it on the CRI LinkedIn group.

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