October 25, 2013

Werner Braun: Foster presents industry news with honesty, integrity and fairness


— It started out as a “one-time” gig, a chance to host a three-day radio talk show during a Dalton Floorcovering Market convention more than 23 years ago.

It has turned out be one of the industry’s greatest assets: the weekday airing of the Dave Foster FloorRadio talk show, a venue through which all segments of the floorcovering industry supply chain can tune in to learn just what’s making news in flooring and related industries.

“Not in a million years did I imagine it would turn out this way,” says Dave, who collaborated with then local radio manager Calvin Means to arrange the on-site radio show that took place at the trade center all those many years ago.

“I was just anxious at that point to make my client look good and not embarrass myself.”

Dave was in public relations back then, with a company called Foster Communications, and he had already accumulated hundreds of contacts from across the industry and beyond.

He originally proposed this project to Calvin as a means to give his clients some well-deserved attention during the annual trade show. But about one month later, Calvin had a proposal for Dave: a regular talk radio program on Dalton station WBLJ-AM featuring the various players from within the flooring industry. And from those humble beginnings, FloorRadio, and later TalkFloor.com, was born.

First hosting a one-half hour show, and later a one-hour program, Dave sought to interview those involved in all aspects of the flooring industry.

“The show began before the Internet,” says Dave, “and there was a lack of daily news on matters of floorcovering. Here I was, a guy in the industry who was hearing lots of news every day, while many people were only getting industry news about 32 times per year, when the various trade publications came out. The radio show became a great tool for spreading that news across a broader audience.”

On my end, I’ve been impressed both professionally and personally with Dave since I moved to Dalton in April 2000 and began my career with the Carpet and Rug Institute.

As with any organization like ours whose mission is to disseminate reliable information about our industry to the general public, it’s not always easy to get the word out to everyone you want to communicate with.

So it becomes critical to find other avenues through which to extend one’s message. Our website, carpet-rug.org, does a great job of providing a wealth of information about our industry. In addition to that tool, we have a blog and active social media accounts, as well as brochures and other materials that communicate our mission and the good works of our members to interested parties.

But we have long been pleased to be able to extend our message over the airwaves through the competent, reliable and sound reporting of Mr. Dave Foster.

Dave brings both a voice and a vehicle for the CRI message, providing a good source of quality information as it relates to the soft flooring industry.

He understands the industry well. Dave actually came to Dalton in the late 1970s while employed by a trade publication, and he has owned several of his own industry-related businesses since then. In addition to his 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. daily talk show, Dave is an editor for FloorTrends magazine. As such, he is in daily contact with the latest news, innovations and challenges of the floorcovering industry.

“I’ve been very fortunate to know thousands of people in this industry over the years,” he says, “and regularly have the chance to interview analysts, economists, industry experts, CEOs, contractors, distributors, installers, cleaning and maintenance employees ...  just about anyone you can think of.”

It’s that broad base of constituents, so to speak, that makes Dave’s reporting so valuable and reliable. Being in touch with the whole supply chain, he’s able to give us the most in-depth and panoramic view possible.

Perhaps what impresses me most about Dave is that in all the years I’ve known him, I’ve never heard anyone say a disparaging word about him.

And I think that goes to one of his core virtues: his honesty. I’ve had a lot of experience in my day with reporters and media specialists, and I’ve found Dave to be one of the most honest in the business. Add to that his fairness and thoroughness in reporting the news and you have an amazing asset for our industry and the general public as well.



Werner Braun is president of the Dalton-based Carpet and Rug Institute.