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Flooring industry’s biggest awards promises to be best yet

Excitment is building over this year’s CFJ Awards which are due to be held at the Dallas Burston Polo Club in Warwickshire on Friday 6 September. Already, our independent panel of judges are hard at work choosing the finalists, with the names to be revealed on the big day.

Last month we reported that Hal Cruttenden will host the awards. ‘We’re absolutely thrilled to have Hal on board,’ said Kick-Start Publishing ceo, John Heath. ‘He’ll continue the esteemed legacy created in recent years by hosts Rev Richard Coles, Jo Caulfield and Justin Moorhouse, and we’re confident our guests will be thoroughly entertained.’

Hal is one of the top touring stand-up comedians working in the UK and Ireland today, as well as being a highly accomplished writer, presenter and actor.

He has hosted ‘The Rugby’s On,’ on BT Sport with Ugo Monye, and has also made several appearances on ‘Live at the Apollo’, ‘Have I Got News for You’, ‘The Royal Variety Performance’, ‘Would I Lie to You’, and ‘Mock the Week’, among many other well-loved TV shows. He’s also one of the most experienced and in demand hosts for corporate events in the country.

He’s toured extensively in the UK and Ireland over the past 10 years, and has also taken shows to the Montreal, Melbourne, and New Zealand comedy festivals, as well as recording three stand-up specials for Next Up – ‘Tough Luvvie’, ‘Straight Outta Cruttenden’ and ‘Chubster’.

Hal wrote and starred in his own sitcom, ‘Hal’ on Radio 4, as an actor, has appeared in ‘Shackleton’; ‘Eastenders’, ‘Touching Evil’, ‘Bramwell’, ‘Mrs Dalloway‘, ‘Brexit’, ‘Making News’ and ‘Orwell A Celebration’.

We also announced that Tony Mathe, director at Hillside Contracts, has joined the independent judging panel as the fifth judge. He joins Richard Renouf, independent flooring consultant; Fiona Bowman, senior FM consultant; Graeme Dewar, chartered surveyor; and John Butler, founder of JB Contracts – who will between them decide the finalists and winners.

Says Tony: ‘As with a lot of people, I started in the flooring industry at a young age and have never been able to escape! Having left Farnborough Technical College in the early ‘80s and after a brief spell working in a hotel in Fleet, Hampshire, my hometown, I was given the opportunity to learn how to lay floors. It turned out I was okay at it and it took me around the UK as well as Europe.’

After about 15 years of wearing his knees out, he decided to swap his kneepads for a shirt and tie, and joined a flooring contractor in Nottingham as a contracts manager.

‘In early 2001 I was contacted by Leicester-based, Hillside Contracts, which offered me the opportunity to work for them, again as contracts manager. Shortly after I was offered a directorship and have been with them ever since. That’s 23 years in April – where has the time gone, I often wonder?’

During his time at Hillside, he was asked by the then MD, Mary Sillitoe, if he would stand in for her at a Contract Flooring Association meeting. That led to a place on the council, which in turn led to him becoming president for a couple of years. He now lives in North Yorkshire with his wife Ann and his time is spent in the beautiful, if not a little wet, northern England.

The other judges include:
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 Renouf, an independent consultant and 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.

Fiona Bowman MBA FCMI CIWFM. As a facilities management consultant with over 25 years’ experience in the property and facilities management world, Fiona has extensive client-side contract flooring experience both of fit out, refurbishment and construction projects with large corporates, financial institutions, insurance sector, education sector, healthcare sector, local authorities and charities. Understanding the complexities and pressures encountered by flooring contractors and manufacturers, delivering in tight timescales with sometimes difficult access issues into complex workspaces, has given her an excellent background to judge the CFJ Awards.

Graeme Dewar who, following extensive experience working in the public and private sectors for large multi-disciplinary practices, founded GD Surveyors in 2007 with the aim of providing a tailored, friendly and personalised service to clients. Graeme has developed a specialism in the insurance sector working on commercial and residential losses of varying values including fire, flood, subsidence and insurance surge situations. His work involves negotiation with insurers, loss adjustors and loss assessors, specification and project management of the reinstatement work. As well as residential his work has taken him into the education, commercial, retail and automotive sectors. In addition to building surveying, Graeme also undertakes project management work, gaining experience in the Nigerian market following regular work with a Nigerian Investment company.

The voting for Manufacturer and Distributor of the Year at next year’s CFJ Awards, opened in April via SurveyMonkey and closes on Friday 31 May. The winners will be chosen by popular vote.

This is your best chance to vote for those companies you think have excelled as manufacturers or distributors.

Meanwhile, this year we’re introducing a new category entitled: Award for Commitment to Social Responsibility. This will be aimed at those companies which are doing exceptional, charitable things in and out of the flooring industry. As one definition of ‘social responsibility’ states: ‘Social responsibility is an ethical framework in which a person works and cooperates with other people and organisations for the benefit of the community. An organisation can demonstrate social responsibility in several ways, for instance, by donating, encouraging volunteerism, using ethical hiring procedures, and making changes that benefit the environment. Social responsibility is an individual responsibility that involves a balance between the economy and the ecosystem one lives within, and possible trade-offs between economic development, and the welfare of society and the environment. Social responsibility pertains not only to business organisations but also to everyone whose actions impact the environment.’

Unlike other categories, this award will be derived from incidents about good deeds that reach our desks here at CFJ, and will, pending agreement from the company concerned, be progressed to our independent panel of judges. Examples could be volunteering for charities; working out-of-hours to help the less fortunate; and contributing by various other means to making society a better, healthier place.

The winners will be announced at the awards.

Here are the six finalists:
Building Adhesives Limited
Designer Contracts
F Ball and Co
Kidderminster Carpet Manufacturers
Shire Flooring

In addition to all that news, the awards will host a networking event that will run between 10am to 12.30pm, then again between 4-7pm. Each manufacturer listed below will be taking a stand. There will be an opportunity for awards guests to talk to them and get to know more about their company and products as well as to meet key people within each company.

‘Exhibiting at the CFJ Awards, for us at Bona, is a rewarding experience. It’s an opportunity to network with the leaders and true pioneers of the flooring industry. The perfect opportunity to showcase and discuss the latest innovations from Bona, sharing our current advancements in flooring technology and our comprehensive range of products and systems. All highlighting our dedication to cultivating sustainable practices and upholding superior craftsmanship. We look forward to advising on the latest practices for wood and many other floor types in domestic and commercial settings, including tangible samples demonstrating the effectiveness of our wide range of Bona wood floor treatments and the new Bona Resilient System. Mark your calendars, visit us at the Bona exhibition space!’
Leanne Garvie, marketing manager

‘We’re pleased to be sponsoring the CFJ Awards once again and are looking forward to meeting the people behind some of the most exciting projects in the flooring industry. Our stand at the award’s networking events will also offer attendees a chance to find out more about F Ball’s latest innovations in subfloor preparation products and adhesives technology to help reach ever-higher standards of floorcovering installation.’
Lisa Shirley, marketing communications manager

‘Junckers has been delighted to sponsor the CFJ Awards for the past few years. The awards provides perhaps an unrivalled opportunity to network with the best in our industry, as well as providing a great way to recognise our partners and associates for their outstanding contributions during the year. I commend CFJ for continuing to strengthen the annual awards event and the brand promotion opportunities it provides Junckers. I can thoroughly recommend participation by any company involved in our industry and look forward to this year’s gathering.’
David Papworth, general manager

‘Tilemaster Adhesives will be showing its full range of flooring products, including primers, smoothing and levelling compounds, DPMs and flooring adhesives. The company is announcing some exciting new developments this year, and the networking event at the CFJ Awards is the perfect place to showcase them to the industry.’
Karl Beeden, commercial manager

‘As a main sponsor of the CFJ Awards and a key supplier of installation products for all types of flooring, Mapei appreciates the opportunity to be able to showcase our existing and new solutions during the event’s networking sessions, to key guests from the industry.’
Kevin Field, commercial director ceramic and resilient

‘CFJ Awards and events provide the perfect opportunity for us to engage with key players and demonstrate how Mapei and Profilpas can elevate projects to the next level. We’re confident our complete solution will resonate with architects, designers, and contractors alike.’
Richard Caygill, Mapei UK category manager

‘N&C Nicobond is excited to be sponsoring the 2024 CFJ Awards. Sponsorship further enhances the exposure of our brand at the flooring industry’s premier awards event. The opportunity to network with hundreds of others from the flooring industry adds a lot of value, catching up with customers and making new contacts. Nicobond will be exhibiting again this year and will demonstrate some of its market-leading rapid-drying smoothing compounds and DPM products.’
Richard Hill, company director

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