CFJ/CFA Awards 2021: Finalists about to be selected

FINALISTS are about to be selected for the categories in this year's CFJ/CFA Awards to be held at Coombe Abbey in September. This year saw a phenomenal response in terms of entries. A rush of late entries for the CFJ/CFA Awards 2021 have ensured this year’s event will be as competitive as any other, despite the fact the UK has been battling the worst pandemic and resulting lockdown in more than a century.
Even though CFJ extended the deadline to Monday 8 February, most entrants managed to get their entries in by the original deadline of Friday 29 January. Companies from across the flooring industry, in every sector, have engaged with the process this year.
Although nobody knows how the year will progress in terms of social gatherings and events, it seems likely the awards will go ahead as planned at Coombe Abbey on Friday 3 September. Our host will be Rev Richard Coles, formerly of the ‘80s pop group, The Communards.
The awards process wouldn’t carry as much prestige as it does if it wasn’t voted on by a panel of completely independent industry experts. Our four judges are masters in their respective fields – from John Butler, founder of a flooring contractor business, to independent consultant Richard Renouf, facilities management guru, Fiona Bowman, and CFA ceo, Richard Catt.
Fiona Bowman is 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.
Richard Renouf is an independent 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.
Richard Catt is 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’s not working for the CFA, he might be found riding his motorcycle or playing racket ball. 
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.