Judges prepare to select CFJ/CFA Awards winners

ON Friday 27 March, the independent panel of CFJ/CFA Awards judges will meet in Nottingham to evaluate the finalists in each category.
The awards will be held at Coombe Abbey, Warwickshire on Friday 19 June.

Over the past few months, CFJ has been inundated with entries from across the flooring industry. These have come primarily from contractors and manufacturers, and many of them have been of an outstanding quality. To make the job easier for the judges, we’ve whittled down the finalists in each category to just three.

When the judges meet to decide the winners, they scrutinise various factors including how comprehensively the questions have been answered. Crucial factors include the problems that needed to be overcome in the installation; the number of floorlayers involved; the timescale of the installation; sustainability factors; and end-user comment.

Images also play an important role. Where images have been too low-res to be published or print or uploaded online, the entrant will be at a disadvantage. On the flip-side, those who produce a choice of hi-res jpeg images stand a better chance of succeeding.  

More than 300 out of a potential 500 seats have been sold for the event.

Originally founded in the 12th century, Coombe Abbey was surrendered to King Henry VIII during the dissolution of the monasteries, and the future Queen Elizabeth I even lived here as a child.

The hotel, surrounded by 500 acres of parkland, formal gardens and a peaceful lake, is set in the Warwickshire countryside and is within easy reach of key M1 and M6 motorways and transport links, as well as being just a short distance from Birmingham, Warwick, and Stratford Upon Avon.

English former professional snooker player, John Parrott, will host the event. Parrott was a familiar face on the professional snooker circuit during the late ‘80s and throughout the ‘90s and remained in the top 16 of the world rankings for 14 consecutive seasons.

The judges are:

Fiona Bowman, an inspirational author, liveryman and senior FM consultant who qualified as an MBA in 2000, is a certified member of the British Institute of Facilities Managers and is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. She was made a Freeman of the City of London in 2015 and was clothed as a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals in November 2016. She’s now managing director of her own business, operating as a sought-after FM consultant, with successful terms as interim head of facilities in several London boroughs including Croydon, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest, during the past four years.

John Butler, who entered flooring as a carpet-fitter in 1963 and who was trained by Keith Shenton, today the oldest active floorlayer in the UK, formed his first company, Butler & Machin, in 1967. Later, he formed Contract Floor Installations which ran until 1995. Today, he runs John Butler Contracts, which specialises in several areas of flooring including retail areas in airports.

Richard Catt, the ceo of the Contract Flooring Association. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the flooring industry, originally working within manufacturing. He joined the CFA in 2007 and continues to enjoy the varying demands of the role. He writes a monthly column for CFJ and represents the industry at a range of events and forums. One of his passions is training and he is a director of the Flooring Industry Training Association (FITA).

Richard is married to Michelle and they have a son called Luke with whom he shares a love of motorsport. If he is not working for the CFA, he might be found riding his motorcycle or playing racket ball.

Simon Jackson founded sjjdc, a design consultancy collective undertaking in-depth strategic advice and change management and full interior design services in the office, residential and hospitality sectors. The company is particularly focused on creating unique but efficient and business appropriate solutions, providing benefits to its client's business, people and future organisational strategy. The approach incorporates intellectual research covering behavioural science and colour psychology, a focus on health and wellbeing and sustainability aspects, all aligned to tailored design and implementation methodology.

Richard Renouf, an independent consultant. He’s a consultant member of the CFA, a member of the UK Register of Expert Witnesses and a provisional member of the Expert Witness Institute. He’s also worked as an independent expert witness for furnishings complaints for more than 27 years, writing reports and giving evidence in court claims. He’s also a community first responder, attending 999 calls to save lives in his community – so he knows how to deal with matters of life and death.

In October, CFJ announced that 12 companies have signed up as sponsors for the 2020 CFJ/CFA Awards. The range of flooring embraced by these sponsors is an indication of how all-inclusive the awards are. They are Carpet & Flooring; F Ball & Co; Forbo; Genesis; Hanson Plywood; Interface; Karndean Designflooring; Loughton Contracts; Mapei; Shaw Contract; Spotnails; and Uzin.

Last year saw the reinvention of our traditional awards with categories that celebrated partnerships and installations rather than singular achievements, although we retained categories such as manufacturer, distributor and apprentice of the year.

The new awards proved a resounding success, owing to several factors. First, successful installations are more exciting owing to being partnerships; second, a celebrity speaker – Eddie the Eagle in this case – was involved for the first time; and third, the winners were chosen by an independent judging panel consisting of a facilities consultant (Fiona Bowman); an architect (Simon Jackson); a flooring contractor (John Butler); and an independent flooring consultant (Richard Renouf).

The overall installation of the year went to Medifloor and Forbo Flooring Systems for their work at Deliveroo offices. The judges said: ‘This is an inspired scheme which has used several different products and has come up with an absolutely stunning result for Medifloor, Forbo and Uzin on behalf of clients Deliveroo. The clever application on vertical and horizontal surfaces brings an imaginative twist to what is clearly an excellently executed installation.’

You can read all about last years’ winners in a special supplement which was published with the August 2019 edition. Now it’s onto 2020, and we urge all contractors and manufacturers to enter their installations completed in 2019.