Meet Our Consultants
Jim Gould is president and founder of the Floor Covering Institute. A 48-year veteran of the floor covering industry, Mr. Gould owned, operated and founded multiple national and international floor covering enterprises. In 2004 he became the first Chief Product Officer for CCA Global, America’s largest flooring buying group and in 2007 he founded the Floor Covering Institute to share his expertise with the industry.
Companies he owned include Misco Shawnee, a full-line Midwest flooring distributor once ranked 8th in the nation and Distribution Services, Inc., provider of logistics and administrative services to international flooring companies. He also used DSI to bring new products and companies to the US, most notably Pergo, then Quickstep. He founded the ceramic line, Casa Italia, and used it to launch a network of ceramic distributors. In the late 1990s Mr. Gould purchased the intellectual assets of Color Tile, Inc. from bankruptcy and formed a new buying group, Color Tile LLC, which he later sold. He formed the Floor Covering Institute in 2007. He has been recognized as “one of the Industry’s 20 Most Influential Men”
His clients include manufacturers, distributors, associations and buying groups. He consults with investors, Wall Street and provides expert witness testimony in litigation. He is known for his research and writing on subjects such as the impact of the Lacey Act, challenges of the distribution segment and challenges opportunities in the Chinese floor covering market. He co-authorized a comprehensive study on the Luxury Vinyl Tile Market: An Analysis of Growth, Opportunities and Threats.
Mitchell Dancik is President of Dancik International, Ltd., the leading provider of software to the floor covering, ceramic tile, and natural stone industries. Mitch has spent 25 years working with more than 130 leading flooring companies, specializing in systems that work seamlessly for the entire supply chain. Today, more than half of all the hard-surface flooring sold in North America is processed by Dancik software at some point on its journey from the plant to the home.
As a consultant with the Floor Covering Institute, Mitch contributes his expertise in streamlining operations and connecting customers, distributors, and suppliers through technology. Mitch’s company, Dancik International, is active in many industry organizations, including the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD), the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA), the Tile Council of North America (TNCA), the Floor Covering Business to Business Association (fcB2B) and the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA).
Stuart Hirschhorn is the founder of Catalina Research, Inc. which provides in-depth analysis of construction materials and the building equipment markets including floor covering. Stuart’s experience as a research analyst began in 1969. He has continued in this genre for over 40 years becoming one of the country's most prominent resources for the flooring and the
greater home construction industries.
The Catalina Report is a core industry resource that incorporates U.S. government and proprietary business statistics and includes analysis and forecasting for shipments, imports, exports, pricing trends, end-use markets, channels and more.
Stuart works closely with leading flooring manufacturers and distributors to analyze sales trends, import/export opportunities, distribution channel strategies and plant cost structure. Stuart has been a speaker at leading trade shows including the annual Surfaces show in Las Vegas, Nevada and was a featured speaker at the 2007 China Wood Flooring Export Import Conference in Hangzhou, China.
Lew Migliore is President of LGM and Associates, a technical consulting firm specializing in all aspects of product and installation performance and education. Mr. Migliore is a 39-year industry veteran, considered to be one of the floor covering industry's most respected and competent independent analysts of flooring complaints, problems, and performance issues. He provides consulting services for all types of flooring problems related to manufacturing, specifications, installation, performance, use, and maintenance.
Mr. Migliore is the author of "The Claims File," a column published by Floor Covering News. He also publishes "The Commercial Flooring Report," a national publication focused on the state of the commercial flooring industry. He is a keynote speaker, author, and educator on his topics of expertise.
Donato Pompo has over 35 years of experience in the ceramic tile and natural stone industry. He is president of Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants (CTaSC), a consultancy comprised of accomplished ceramic tile and stone installers, construction scientists, and other industry specialists located throughout the US. He has experience as an installer, as a tile distributor and importer, as a manufacturer of installation products for ceramic tile and stone, and for the last 8+ years, as a forensic investigator, expert witness, quality control consultant and trainer.
Donato is the past chairman and current member for the Ceramic Tile Institute of America (CTIOA) Technical Committee, a member of the Marble Institute of America (MIA) and Building Stone Institute (BSI). He participates in the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) Committee, and sits on the ASTM C18 Stone Committee as well as the ANSI A 108 and ISO TC-189 Committees. He is a member of the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) Technical Committee.
Donato is a Certified Microbial Remediator (CMR), a Certified Document Technologist (CDT) through the CSI architectural organization, and a Ceramic Tile Consultant through CTIOA. He also carries the California C54 Tile Contractor’s License: #1043005. He has a biochemistry education with MBA degree.
Christopher P. Ramey
Ramey is the most quoted independent authority in the luxury segment. He is considered one of America’s foremost authorities on marketing and selling to the affluent.
The Home Trust International is a platform for high net worth families where they find the world’s finest products and services for their homes. Members of The Home Trust know it as an aggressive technology-driven marketing services firm hyper-focused on helping them penetrate the affluent market.
Ramey is a professional speaker and consultant who works closely with companies across all market positions and industries. Ramey keynotes for industry associations, manufacturers, distributors and retailers covering branding, loyalty, marketing, luxury, affluent consumers, market-changes and selling skills with take-aways their attendees can implement their first day back.
As a consultant, Ramey provides pragmatic insights and guidance to retailers, distributors and manufacturers gained by his expertise across many categories and many dozens of clients.
Macy’s recruited Ramey to enter their highly regarded ‘Executive Management Training Program’ where he was placed as an assistant buyer in the floor coverings department. It began his lifelong love for the floor covering industry that has never abated.
Through the course of time Ramey has been carpet representative, opened his own successful floor covering retail showroom, and was SVP at CCA Global Partners. He sat on the Executive Committee for American Floor Covering Association and World Floor Covering Association.
Ramey’s background includes president of The Luxury Marketing Council Miami and The Luxury Marketing Council Palm Beach, President and Founder of Savvi Formalwear, and President of International Design Guild.
Ramey is a member of National Speakers Association, a columnist for Hearst Business Publications’ Floor Covering Weekly, and he has earned the ‘Top 5% appellation’ from Gerson-Lehrman for his work with private equity firms investing in home and luxury segments. Ramey also sits on the Retail Wire BrainTrust panel and is a Director for Domestic Estate Management Association Palm Beach.
Ramey and his wife reside in Palm Beach County, Florida and they have two grown children. Ramey is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Christine Whittemore is Chief Simplifier of Simple Marketing Now – a marketing expert with 20 years experience in the floor covering, home furnishings and apparel industries.
Whether it's developing and implementing an inbound marketing strategy, or refocusing website content to be more SEO friendly, or even working alongside clients to consistently publish online blog content, Whittemore’s mission is to ensure her clients’ content and branding connects with customers.
Retailers, manufacturers and associations inside and outside of the industry use her to simplify their approach to marketing and improve their use of social marketing strategies. She is author of the state of social media marketing in the floor covering industry and publishes regularly on social media wisdom.
Past experiences in the industry include Director of In Store Innovation for Wear Dated carpet fiber. She is a prolific writer and speaker heard by thousands in the industry as she shares her wisdom on topics such as marketing to women, improving the retail experience and brand building.
Ruud Steenvoorden is president of Newthings b.v. a wood flooring company doing business in Europe, Russia, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Africa. He is an expert in engineered and hardwood floors and international wood markets with 30 years experience.
Ruud is past corporate director of purchasing at Fetim b.v. , an international company that buys, markets and distributes wood and laminate flooring and other construction materials across Europe. He is past vice president of the European Federation of Parquet Importers (EFPI), a Brussels based association of European importers of engineered and solid wood flooring. As president of his own consultancy he located in South Africa for several years but has returned to his home in The Netherlands where he runs New Things, b.v.