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Who is Howard Olansky, and Why Should I Care?

December 8, 2005
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If you have been in the carpet cleaning industry for only a few short years, you may not know Howard Olansky, had the good fortune to hear him speak or read his editorials in this magazine, or have the pleasure to know him personally.

But if you have been in any aspect of the floor covering business - cleaning, restoration, installation, retail, distribution or manufacturing - for even a day, your business has been made better by him.

Five decades ago a young man from Iowa came to the floor covering industry and became editor of Western Floors magazine, a publication that filled a void of information for floor covering professionals in the western U.S. A few years later he co-founded Installation Specialist, the first magazine providing valuable information to and serving the needs of installers.

In the early 1970s, as on-location carpet cleaning was coming on the scene and the first truckmounts were being invented, Howard and partner Harold Arkoff had the vision to once again serve a needy audience. Installation Specialist became Installation & Cleaning Specialist magazine, the predecessor to ICS Cleaning Specialist. Over the next several decades Howard was instrumental in the development of emerging trade associations, working closely with carpet mills, fiber producers and retailers to bring respectability to the carpet cleaning, floor care and restoration industries.

I came to Installation & Cleaning Specialist and Western Floors magazines as an ad salesman in 1987. I had the unique opportunity to be close enough to Howard's office to hear many of his phone calls, both incoming and outgoing, with all of the most influential people in the industry. I quickly realized that Howard had his finger on the pulse of the industry like nobody else; he was known, and held in the highest respect, by virtually everyone I was calling on. The great appreciation they had for him, and his work for the industry, certainly helped sell ads.

Howard was a great teacher; indeed, he is the greatest mentor that I have ever had. He passed to me his passion for this great industry, and nothing pleases me or motivates me more than to carry the mantle of publisher of the magazine Howard created to serve this trade.

Howard has remained active as an editor for National Floor Trends/I> and Floor Covering Installer magazines and, infrequently, for I>ICS, since selling to BNP Media in 1997. He continues to keep the pulse of the industry, and he still truly cares about you and your success in this business. In celebration of his 50 years in the flooring industry, we dedicate our December issue to Howard Olansky.

And now you know.

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