ICS Magazine

Howard Olansky: 50 Years and Counting

December 8, 2005
Howard Olansky has been deeply involved in all aspects of the floor covering industry since 1955 when he joined Western Floors magazine as managing editor. He later became co-owner, editor and publisher of Specialist Publications - Western Floors and Eastern Floors (now National Floor Trends), Floor Covering Installer and ICS Cleaning Specialist magazines. He was a co-founder of Eastern Floors, Installation Specialist (now Floor Covering Installer) and ICS Cleaning Specialist magazines. When he and his partner, Harold Arkoff, sold the company to Business News Publishing (now BNP Media) in 1997, he became the publications' senior editor.

Long active in industry associations, he was involved in the founding of many national and regional associations. They include the Western Floor Covering Association (now the World Floor Covering Association), the Carpet Manufacturers Association of the West (now part of CRI), the NAFCI (predecessor of the FCICA), the National Association of Floor Covering Distributors and the Floor Installation Association of North America.

He has served on many industry committees and task forces. Among other things, he was instrumental in opening up the installation of wood floors to the floor covering industry, was among those who made it possible for carpet cleaners to use the word "steam" in describing that process of cleaning; established the name "installer" instead of "mechanic" to designate the craft; and during an era of unscrupulous door-to-door salesmen in floor coverings, helped shut them down. He was part of the committee established by the Carpet Manufacturers Association of the West (made up of cleaners, and carpet manufactures, retailers, distributors and fiber producer to develop a consumer fact sheet on carpet cleaning and maintenance that for many years was included in every roll of carpet produced by CMAW members.

Howard was a frequent speaker and panelist at conventions, sales/marketing and educational meetings in every phase of the industry. He took the lead to produce carpet manufacturers and fiber producer panelists and speakers to appear before a wide variety of cleaning, restoration and maintenance associations.

Among his awards: World Floor Covering Association Hall of Fame, Floor Installation Association of North America Lifetime Achievement Award, Disaster Restoration Hall of Fame, the Tri-State Cleaners Association's John Mauceuri Award, the Midwest Association of Cleaning Professionals Pathfinders Award, Carpet Manufacturers Association of the West Distinguished Service Award, WFCA Distinguished Service Award (first recipient, only two others have received it), Dallas Trade Mart Award for Contributions to the Home Furnishings Industry, Southern California Floor Covering Association Silver Trumpet Award for contributions to the floor covering industry, selected to be an Honorary Member of the Floor Covering Installation Contractors Award, and this year's recipient of the Industry Connections Award.