The President of NALFA, (North American Laminate Flooring Association), Bill Dearing, was the Guest of Honour at the EPLF’s Spring Conference in May, hosted by Munskjö Paper in Aalen-Unterkochen (Germany). Against a background of growing co-operation between the EPLF and its counterpart American association, the leader of NALFA and his colleague, David Goch, were not only pleased to accept the EPLF’s invitation but confirmed a readiness for constructive co-operation between the two associations. The further development of laminate flooring products in the world market was clearly recognised to be in the interests of both associations. At the conference, Bill Dearing was able to give an insight into the structure and workings of the NALFA and presented the latest sales statistics from his member companies in the US. The leading American producers of laminate flooring and their suppliers are all represented within NALFA.
In addition to the notable contribution from NALFA’s President, the programme for the EPLF Conference contained numerous other presentations and seminars in Aalen: The international market research organisation, Jaako Pöyry Consulting, based in London, reported on the flooring market in Russia, and clearly identified that country as a strong potential market for laminate flooring; The CE symbol for elastic, textile and laminate flooring was the theme of a presentation by WKI, from Braunschweig (Germany), linked to the planned introduction of EN 14061 in 2005, and the establishment of a CE mark for laminate flooring. The host organisation, Smurfit Munksjö Paper, gave EPLF members a sound insight into the operation of their business and presented on the subject of ‘Dimensional Stability of Printed papers for Flooring’
The formal, constitutional elections to the Board of Management were confirmed at the EPLF gathering in Aalen, and the new Board was unanimously approved and installed. Ludger Schindler, Meister-Leisten Schulte GmbH (Rüthen-Meiste/ Germany) remains as Chairman; and President of the association and Martin Prager, Kronotex (Heilgengrabe/Germany) was confirmed as his deputy. Ralf Eisermann, Akzenta/Classen-Gruppe (Kaisersesch/Germany) was also elected to the Board as Treasurer. Johannes Schulte, Meister-Leisten Schulte (Rüthen-Meiste/Germany) took over the role of Treasurer. The Chairmen of the various committees of the EPLF were also confirmed to remain as: Ralf Eisermann (Akzenta/Classen-Gruppe), Chairman of the Marketing Committee; and Dr.Theo Smet (Unilin, Belgium) Chairman of the Technical Committee.
The next EPLF General Assembly will take place in May 2005.
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The old and the new EPLF Board (l.to.r.): EPLF President Ludger Schindler (Meister-Leisten Schulte), his deputy Martin Prager (Kronotex) and Board Member Ralf Eisermann (Akzenta/Claassen-Gruppe).
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Handshake from President to President: EPLF President, Ludger Schindler (l.), welcomes NALFA President Bill Dearing (r.) to Aalen.
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We are working together – NALFA President Bill Dearing (2nd l.) among EPLF Representatives: (.l.to.r.) Ludger Schindler, EPLF President and Chairman, Ralf Eisermann, Board Member and Marketing Committee Chairman, Dr. Theo Smet, Technical Committee Chairman, Martin Prager, Deputy Chairman of EPLF, and Treasurer Johannes Schulte.