The President’s Perspective

Dennis Cook

Dennis Cook

Month’s Ahead

I am very optimistic about the months ahead! The first quarter 2012 business climate was solid. The good weather conditions may have helped, but our customers were more optimistic in this first quarter January – March period than I have seen in the past several years.

The highlight of our first quarter was our “Preparing for Spring” event. This was a great success with plenty of food, awards, and great purchase opportunities for the 100 or so retailers in attendance.

We are poised to further our business with all of our customers throughout our four state coverage area as a result of many product initiatives. We have new suppliers with new products coming our way. We also have product line extensions with new styles and colors.

– Dennis Cook

We hope we can service our customers by bringing to them quality products at great value. Thanks to our customers for the opportunity to serve, and feel free to call Gilford anytime at 1-800-852-5454.


The Purkins’ Point



From my family to yours, I want to wish you and your family a safe and blessed holiday season!

Some of you have received Christmas cards from me in the past when I was out in the field.  The last one you would have received showed me holding my daughter Lara who was 8 weeks old.  My son Jake was just 5.  In the picture I have included here, Jake is now almost 16 and Lara just turned 11.  My how time passes quickly.

What is my point?  Simply that I hope all of you take the time this holiday season to relax and enjoy, to simply REJOICE!!

My wife Sherry asked me the other day what I wanted for Christmas.  My answer was easy.  I told her I wanted peace of mind, I wanted to smile and make others smile.  I wanted to laugh and to just be happy.  I wanted to get away from the demands of everyday life and keep things simple.

I wish those things for all of you.  I hope you can take the time to relax, to have lunch with a friend, to drive in a neighborhood and marvel at the lights and decorations.  I hope you will take the time to be thankful for all of your blessings and I hope if you have anything troubling you that you will find peace.

Happy holidays to you all and best wishes to the start of a brand new year!

– Rob

The Purkins’ Point

Traits to live by?

Misco Shawnee held a Sales Conference back in the mid 1990’s and they had a motivational speaker come in to rally the sales force. And although the seminar was based on successful traits for sales representatives, I believe the content of his presentation can serve everyone well in their everyday life.
I do not remember the speakers name nor do I remember what the title of his presentation was. What I do remember were 3 words that he said every successful person must have: Vision, Character, and Passion. As he went through these one by one it just made complete sense to me that these 3 words when understood and followed could be the great foundation for not only success but happiness.

Do you know where you are going? Do you know what you want? Do you have any idea on how you will get there? Vision is simply these things. Mapping out a course on what you want to achieve and then determining how you are going to do it. This vision can certainly be sales oriented. It can be mapping out a course for progression in your career. It can also be seeing what you want out of your personal life, your family life. What do you want for your children? How can you help them achieve that? Without vision we surely will go through life blindly and probably never get where we want to go.

As a young boy I once had a man tell me that my father was the most honest person in the Insurance business. That statement has stuck with me to this day. You see, all we have to rest on is our character, our honestly, our ability to be humble and to be humbled. Are you the person you want to be? How do you perceive that other people see you? Would you like for your son to be the way you are when he grows up? Character is doing the right things because that is the right thing to do. Character is a good night’s sleep because you conducted yourself in an ethical and moral way during the day. Character is winning but winning the right way. No tricks, no deception, just good hard work. Character is earning respect because you do what you say you are going to do. Character just may be being the most honest person in the insurance business!

The first two traits are really important. But my favorite and I believe the most important of these 3 traits is passion. Maybe it is my sports upbringing or simply my personality but I believe my passion for everything I do is incredibly strong. I simply refuse to lose ( again in an ethical way ). I always felt when I was a sales representative that if there were 10 other reps I would be the number 1 rep. Why? Because someone has to be number 1 so why not me. Passion is doing the best you can do in everything you do. Passion is enthusiasm. Passion is excitement. Passion is facing a challenge and overcoming it. Passion is not seeing problems but creating opportunities. You can always see passion in a person very quickly. Passion endears people to you. Passion is simply the driving force to perform every day. It is strange how some things we encounter in life just stick with us. I remember these 3 words from that seminar and I do believe they can set the foundation for success for anyone both in the business world and in their personal life.

There is one more word that is critical that this speaker did not use and that is ATTITUDE.

More on that in my next issue!


Tech Talk

Leap Forward

Since I began this position nearly 2 years ago, I have tried to make technology and marketing a priority in the company. We have taken strides in this department and I am very proud of my fellow workers to have stepped up and supported this cause.

My “geek” personality began long before high school, growing up with a old monster Packard Bell and a 56k internet connection to Prodigy, it’s always been apart of my life. In high school instead of going out on Friday nights, my friends and I would build computers, configure routers and play LAN(Local Area Network) games.

After school, my attention focused on music, but marketing became very important for me as I was the band manager and handled all of the business duties. Around that time I became a member of Friendster one of the first social media start-ups, long before Facebook or Twitter. It wasn’t a chat room like mIRC or AOL or forum builds like SixDegrees, but more a website with photos and interaction but open and not-exclusive, it became important for me to communicate with friends via the internet. Since then social media has played an important role in my life and today it seems I’m a member of every social media start-up to exist, even though there are so many start-ups it’s harder for companies to stand out. As the video below states; social media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental shift. It’s not a question of will, it’s a question of when.

Technology generally changes every 6 months, as new advances are made, the more people will use these advances. If your not constantly on your toes and in touch with the marketplace, you will be left behind. When accepting the position of I.T. Coordinator and taking on new challenges this never left the back of my mind. Increase proficiency and decrease complexity using 21st century tools. For some it came easy and others it’s still an uphill battle. Nevertheless, I’m proud of what we have accomplished in the past two years;  an exchange server, smartphones, going green, custom flash drives, QR codes, social media and more.

I believe this blog is a big step for Gilford and can only increase our communication and relationships with customers. With “Tech Talk”, I’ll be giving some insight into my daily world of social media, marketing and technology.

Till’ next time


“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end, because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

-Steve Jobs – BusinessWeek, 1998

The President’s Perspective

Dennis Cook

Strong Finish

We concluded our second major customer event last week with about 75 customers and 15 suppliers in attendance. This Harvest Homecoming event was a great success for Gilford and I hope it was fun and enjoyable for all attendees. The mood among the customers in attendance was very positive despite uncertain economic times. Most everyone is busy selling flooring products.

All of us at Gilford are thankful for the blessings bestowed upon us and are thankful for the loyalty and support among our customer base. 2011 remains a good year for our company. We are ahead of 2010 sales and look forward to finishing the year strong. New products and programs are in place that will allow a strong finish to 2011.

Our next “Preparing for Spring” event is set for March 8-9, 2012 and will feature Bruce Bright as our key note speaker…

Take a look at the following video and mark the date on your calendar.

As always, please call 1-800-852-5454 or go to our website at to see the new products introduced at the event last week.


The Purkins’ Point

Smell The Roses

If you know me at all you know that I love sports.  My 2 favorite TV channels are ESPN and the golf channel.  Occasionally, I will watch ESPN classic and come across a Bird vs. Magic dual or a classic 1975 World Series game.  Inevitably when I watch these games it is not long before I realize how quick time passes.  I was just a teenager in the 70’s and a young man in the 80’s.  How did it get to be 2011?

Have you ever noticed how quick a day passes and then that day turns in to a week and suddenly we are eating a piece of birthday cake and celebrating another year in our lives.  There is no doubting it- time passes quickly.

I received a phone call yesterday from a very close friend in the flooring industry.   He shared some terrible news with me that one of his long time sales people and a person that has been in this industry for well over 30 years died of a massive heart attack.  Unfortunately, this was not the only tragedy this company has suffered in the last 3 weeks.  Another employee’s wife passed away of a stroke.  She was just 38 years old.

In May of 2010, my mother became ill suddenly and in 2 short months she was gone.  She also loved sports and I would never be able to sit with her at my children’s games and see the smile on her face.  I am sure mom is still watching the games and rooting Jake and Lara on I just don’t get to see that big wonderful smile.

What is my point?  We all have jobs to do.  We all have constant pressures to provide for our families and be successful.  These pressures are compounded by an economy that is struggling and by the rising costs of living.  I think it is easy to get bogged down by the everyday demands of life.  We can go an entire day and really not take the time to slow things down and be thankful for what we have.

I have coached my son in several sports over the last 11 years.  I am not sure how great of a coach I have been as far as the sports aspect.  However, my goal has always been to make all of these young boys better men someday.  And I always stressed one thing to them- wake up every day with a smile on your face, give it the best you have to give, do the best you can do and win or lose you should be able to look yourself in the mirror and say I had a good day and sleep well.

Oh sure, I am probably one to talk here.  I am so Type A it is crazy and I get bogged down in my work and I forget to be thankful for all I have.  There are so many great things in life to cherish.  I suppose I am sitting here writing this to make myself cognizant of everything good and to be thankful for what I have.

I hope you read this and take a minute to reflect on these thoughts.  I hope that you call a friend and ask them how their day is going.  I hope that you call your mom and ask her to lunch.  Maybe you will even go to a florist and buy that special someone a dozen roses just because.  Oh, and if you do, please be sure to take the time and smell them!!


The Fork In The Road

Jodie DoylePolitics of Politics

I always hesitate getting involved with too much heated political debate. I am actually a registered Independent and have plenty of friends that have leanings on both sides of the aisle. There are many great things about the country we all call home, not the least of which being the ability to have great political discourse and debate without fear of government retribution. With all of that said, I sometimes feel compelled to vent on some of the things I see from our current leadership that boggles the mind.

On Thursday, President Obama made a much-hyped trip to Cincinnati to trumpet his jobs proposal. The backdrop of this speech was the dilapidated Brent Spence Bridge, which has been in need of replacement for years. Of course, the reason he chose this particular setting is the interesting irony in the state’s that this bridge connects. You see, this particular bridge connects Ohio and Kentucky, two states that have two top decision makers in the country in Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Majority Leader John Boehner. These two Republican leaders are making President Obama’s life difficult when it comes to pushing through his jobs proposal, which is why Air Force One made it to Cincinnati.

Here’s the amazing thing to me and the reason many Americans are fed up with the “politics of politics.” He chose that particular location not as much for the example of the need for that project as the political impact it could make. That can be the only reason he chose to go there vs. driving 90 minutes south to Louisville for a situation that is far worse. Two weeks ago, officials from Kentucky and Indiana declared the Sherman Minton Bridge, which connects Kentucky and Indiana via Interstate 64, not usable and immediately closed the bridge to all traffic. By most estimates, over 80,000 vehicles travel over this bridge every day! Those vehicles now have to figure out alternative ways to get back and forth from Louisville and southern Indiana. This bridge closure, which is compounded by the fact that we already need another two bridges built in this community, has made drive-time a nightmare and forced everyone to change the ways they travel.

Yet this complete closure of a major interstate bridge wasn’t as important as making a political point in Ohio. Of course, we all know the reason is that President Obama will have very little chance on carrying Indiana in next year’s election, while Ohio is going to be a very important swing state in his re-election bid. I simply wonder when politicians will choose to do the right thing instead of the right “political” thing. And they wonder why so many Americans are disenchanted with the current climate in Washington!


The Purkins’ Point

Old Dog, New Tricks

Man alive!  The world is certainly changing fast.  I’m not sure I really understand what a blog is other than a forum to express your views and get some feedback.  With that said, I have decided to get into the 21st century and express my thoughts in “The Purkins’ Point” from time to time.

For those of you who have been in the flooring industry for some time you may remember the days of calling into your office and someone would give you your messages that had been handwritten.  Those were the days when “phone from car” was a preferred venue to stop and retrieve these messages.  Voice mail was huge and there were no cell phones, pagers, email, or certainly text.

I remember back in December of 1995 when I borrowed a friend’s pager for a couple of days because my wife was expecting our first child and she wanted to be able to get a hold of me.  There were no cell phones! I didn’t have the pager on for an hour when I received my first ever page.  It of course was Sherry and I called her back.  She said it’s time to get home, we need to get to the hospital.  I happened to be in the middle of a huge presentation on a big Armstrong kick off.  I asked her if I could come home in an hour ( you see our doctor had said that generally when it was time to go the hospital you had a couple of hours to pack and get ready ).  I can not repeat what came from the other end of the phone but needless to say I was quickly on my way home.

My how times have changed!  While I sometimes get irritated by the constant connectivity we have with everyone based on cell phones with email attached and text messages I have embraced this technology to be much more efficient in a normal work day.  The ability to communicate via email and or text on the cell phone makes it incredibly easy to answer requests in the touch of a few keys.  I suppose the only down side to all of these increases in technology is that I fear there will be a generation coming up that will lose their ability to communicate the old fashion way.

As they say “ it is what it is.”  All of us in the business world must adapt to these changes including blogs, Facebook, Twitter and all that the internet and social media bring.  A lot of this I like and some of it, well I may leave some of it to others.

Social media is now a way of life.  I may be an old dog but you can teach me new tricks.  I am still learning how to use some of these tools.  I trust that some of you are still learning too.  Fortunately for me, Gilford has embraced Social media and we will certainly be using these tools to serve you better.

I am not sure I will use the proper terminology here but I hope that you like us on Facebook and become a friend.  Geez, I hope I didn’t just embarrass myself!

More later!


The Fork In The Road

Jodie DoyleSurprise Surprise

This past Saturday, I was invited by a couple of good friends to play a morning round of golf with them. The invitation was a bit unusual, but still a very welcome. You see, we all have kids in the grade school years that are extremely active with football, baseball, golf, swimming, etc., so the only time I seem to ever play golf is when it is work-related. My buddy Matt picked me up at 8:30 a.m. and we were off to the course. When we arrived and stepped inside the Pro Shop to check in and pay for our round, a great surprise awaited me in the faces of many friends and family that came out to surprise me for my 40th birthday, which I officially celebrated on September 13th. My wife Kelly had arranged for everyone to gather ahead of our arrival for a fun day on the links! I wish I had played better, but it was still a fabulous birthday present to spend quality time with everyone.

 After a long day of golf, football watching and fun, I’ve had a chance to reflect back on the first 40 years of my life and what’s ahead in my future. I’m lucky enough to have a wonderful wife of 16+ years and three healthy, happy (most of the time!) children. I’m blessed to have an immense amount of people I truly consider friends in this world, which are worth far more than any money or material possessions I will ever have. I’m so fortunate to work for a strong and steady company that continues to assert a leadership role in our industry, lucky to work with a bunch of people who really care about what we do and taking care of our customers and business partners.

A popular saying I hear now and again is “40 is the new 30.” I would like to think there’s some truth in that statement, but the number 40 is not something that really gives me great cause for concern. When I look back at my first 40 years, there has been a lot more good than bad! I have learned a lot about myself and others, tried to give back more than I received and treated people as we all would like to be treated. As for the future, I move forward confident that every day is a new day, a new opportunity for growth. So if you see me walking a little slower or not remembering quite as well, I have my “old age” to blame! I think this quote sums it up….

“Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Fork In The Road

Jodie Doyle

Favorite Time Of The Year

Well, the football season is once again upon us and things couldn’t be better (unless your my kids or wife Kelly trying to extricate the remote from my hand!) The college season has ended week two and the NFL will complete an unbelievably exciting first weekend with a doubleheader for Monday night. As many folks know, I love the football season! Here’s some random thoughts on what I have observed from the sidelines…

I have been wrong much more than right on players whose talents on the college field would translate to the NFL. However, I did tell anyone that would listen that Randall Cobb would be a fabulous player in the NFL and if his first game is any indication, I may have that one right! The rookie from Kentucky was absolutely electric in a 42-34 Green Bay Packers win over the New Orleans Saints in the Thursday NFL opener. He returned a kickoff for 108 yards, tying the record for the longest kick return in NFL history. That was after he caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers in the first quarter. The kid is going to be a special player and is a perfect example that statistics don’t mean everything. He’s not the tallest or fastest player on the field, but he is a “football player” who has the desire to succeed and will be great in Green Bay!

Cam Newton, the new rookie QB for the Carolina Panthers, didn’t look like a rookie Sunday against the Cardinals. Once he learns how to read defenses better, look out NFL, because he is a freak athlete!

Closer to home, we have the annual battle for the Commonwealth Cup this weekend as Kentucky hosts Louisville on Saturday in Lexington. UK has struggled with Western Kentucky and Central Michigan, while Louisville lost to Florida International at home on Friday! Ugh…do I really have to watch?

Wisconsin is the best team in the Big 10 and with the additional of Russell Wilson at QB, they are going to be tough to beat this year. They have a very legit shot at the national title!

The college landscape has been littered with fabulous games so far. We had Baylor-TCU to open up the season and then the “instant classic” between Michigan and Notre Dame Saturday night. It’s not hard to see why the NFL and college football are so popular in this country today. Great athletes, great storylines, great games….already excited about what we see next weekend!

– Jodie