Wallcoverings Association Holds Annual Meeting in Florida

The Wallcoverings Association (WA) held its 2020 Annual Meeting in Clearwater Beach, Fla., on Jan. 25 – 28. The Annual Meeting drew more than 150 wallcoverings manufacturers, distributors and suppliers to the Sandpearl Resort, where attendees experienced two and a half days of educational sessions and networking.

The main stage at the Annual Meeting offered a lineup of industry experts, including Lauren Saidel-Baker, economist, ITR Economics; Ned Monroe, president and CEO, Vinyl Institute; Robert Cooper, Ph.D, Cooper Strategic; Jason Cammorata, vice president, MDC Partners; and Pam McNally, VP digital, Interior Design magazine brands. Attendees were provided insights about the economy, marketing strategies and what’s ahead for digital integration; all to better the future of the wallcoverings industry.  

“Our mission for 2020 is to expand our reach,” says Matthew Jones, WA executive director. “This year, we plan to grow the WA by expanding our product knowledge and expertise and developing understanding of all facets of the industry from equipment and substrates, to design and marketing. The outlook for the future of our industry is continued growth in many sectors.”

Meeting attendees had several opportunities to connect throughout the event with networking events and individual supplier meetings, followed by an awards dinner.

At the awards dinner WA presented the Allman Award, its highest honor, to Larry Bixler, chairman and CEO of National Solutions. This award is named for WA’s founder and is presented each year to a leader who has made a long-lasting, positive contribution to the wallcovering industry. 

Bixler began his career in product coatings with PPG Industries in 1960 in Oklahoma and moved his family to Arkansas in 2017 to open a new store location for the company, which also sold commercial wallcovering. He created his first private brand, BIXFAB, in 1981. National Wallcoverings was established shortly after and became a distributor of various leading commercial wallcovering brands and has grown from a two-person, two-state operation to 100 employees operating in 32 states. Bixler and his team continue to be leaders in the industry and one of the first to adopt the industry NSF 342 Sustainability Standard. NSF 342 helps architects, designers, retailers and consumers identify environmentally preferable wallcoverings.

The Wallcoverings Association is a nonprofit trade association representing wallcoverings manufacturers, distributors and suppliers. The WA educates consumers, designers and specifiers about the beauty and use of wallcoverings. The association keeps the industry at the forefront of sustainability with specifier tools such as NSF 342 and Environmental Product Declarations. Learn more about wallcoverings and obtain an industry Sample Book.

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