A pioneering retailer and entrepreneur throughout his career, successful in most any he touched, Harold Chapman becomes the 48th inductee into the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) Flooring Industry Hall of Fame this year, the WFCA has announced.
Chapman, former president of Bonitz Flooring Group, Inc., the nation’s largest independent commercial flooring company, will be inducted at a reception and ceremony in conjunction with the WFCA Annual Meeting and Board of Directors meeting in Orlando, Florida on May 17, 2018, according to Scott Humphrey, Chief Executive Officer, WFCA. “Harold epitomizes all that the Hall of Fame stands for,” said Humphrey. “He has achieved this honor for his continual contributions and achievements throughout his career.”
Chapman has spent his entire professional life in the flooring industry. After graduating from Clemson University in South Carolina, his first job was as a salesman for Sears in the commercial division in Anderson, SC. He was promoted to division sales manager for the entire state before he even hit his two-year anniversary with the company!
After getting his feet wet in the field, Chapman’s next notable accomplishment occurred after he joined Bonitz Flooring Group in Greenville, SC. At that time, he was the only flooring sales person in the city. As the sole practitioner, his role included conducting all estimates, sales and project management company wide. His talents and skills had him promoted to manager in less than a year with the company. He became officer of the company within his first five years.
Chapman soon rose to the position of president and chief executive officer at Bonitz Flooring Group, a company he grew to become the nation’s largest independent commercial flooring company. There, he was responsible for providing the corporate vision and for leading the employee-owned company. Besides his skill set for management, sales, sales training and marketing strategies, his associates recognize him for his mentoring and life skills teaching. Chapman retired from Bonitz in 2016.
Chapman serves as chairman emeritus at StarNet Commercial Flooring Cooperative. He is a former chairman of StarNet’s board of directors. He served as chairman for 5 years during the vertical integration days and helped reestablish StarNet as a successful entity for the independent flooring contractor. His dedication and vision still play an important role as StarNet continues to prosper.
At its inaugural Hall of Fame induction in 2000, the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) honored Chapman for his dedication and support of the commercial design community. He is also a former member of the board of directors for Floor Covering Installation Board (FCIB), whose directors came directly from the Floor Covering Installation Contractors Association (FCICA) membership.
Further, he has served on many advisory boards during his 35-year career, including Dupont and BASF, among others. He is a past board member for the Carolina’s Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. His leadership and insight contributed directly to the chapter’s early success.
His involvement with the WFCA began when Bonitz Flooring Group became a member in 1998. He was elected to the WFCA board for the first time in 2002. During his first years as a board member Chapman served on the WFCA Finance and Executive Committees, as well as several others. He was elected again as chairman of the WFCA board in 2012 and has continued to hold board and committee seats with the association.
Chapman lives in Greenville, South Carolina, with his wife Cindy and their two dogs, Shadow and Caroline. The couple has four grandchildren.