Recently I attended the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) Expo in Orlando which marks the beginning of me officially joining the family business. I was looking over the different classes being offered, deciding which I was going to attend, and I noticed a lot of names of the instructors that come up in dinner conversations (work conversations within a family business are a pretty common topic at family gatherings). I asked Dad if the one guy was the same that came to the house for a week a few years ago to help us when we started doing the hand scrapped flooring. It was and he was teaching the “Ask the Experts” class. Later that evening at the opening party everyone coming up to us all had the fancy ribbons on their name tags stating that they were on the board of directors, partners in education, etc. Then when they announced the Floor of the Year winners it was a guy that regularly drives to Emlenton to pick flooring. Wow, I realized, my dad hangs out with all the hot shots in the industry. Allegheny Mountain Hardwood Flooring is the flooring of choice for the best installers across the country. I guess it’s time I admit my old man must know what he’s talking about.
My brother, Jake, and I are now 4th generation working for the business. Our Great Grandpa, Harry Hickman, started the sawmill back in the 30s. My Grandpa, Larry Hickman continued after him. I asked Pop if he ever wanted to do anything other than work in the sawmill, and he said he remembered saying as a kid he wanted to be a “tree cutter downer”. Pop grew the sawmill and has always really focused a lot on the proper management of the forests. Dad realized he wasn’t going to be a professional baseball player and started selling lumber in the 1980s and in 2000 he started Allegheny Mountain Hardwood Flooring. My brother, like my grandpa & dad, graduated from NHLA inspector training school and is now working at the sawmill. I’ll be working in marketing and sales. Over the summer I’m going to be spending a lot of time in the woods with the foresters, at the sawmill, and flooring plant getting to totally understand the whole process. As I’m learning I’ll post blogs of the process and when you’re ready for your dream hardwood floors you’ll know the whole story behind you’re floor. It’ll be something you’re proud of. We sure are!