NEWH - Spring 2014 - 26

Q&A

Meet Philip Byrne
Vice president of events for NEWH,
Inc., and partner at Wool Solutions

How/why did you want to become involved in NEWH?

How is quite interesting. I was an unsuspecting exhibitor at the
Bethesda Regional Tradeshow recognizing how different but
effective the shows were. I expressed my interest in who ran
them, where, and why. Having learnt more about this impressive
organization, I was conscripted 'to assist!' I became director of
tradeshows and then vice president of events. It has had a really
positive effect on my new life in the U.S. I was working with fun
people, experiencing great networking opportunities, whilst at the
same time giving something back to the industry.

What has NEWH done for you personally and professionally?
Having moved to the U.S. from England in 1998 to head up
Axminster Carpets, it provided me not only with outstanding
networking opportunities, but more importantly, a group of
like-minded professional people, many of who have become great
friends.

What do you have planned for 2014?

I have to say as vice president of events it is very much a team
effort across the board. For 2014, we are already into our highly
successful Regional Tradeshow program. We have five shows this
year: Los Angeles, DC, Atlanta, Denver, and Houston. Although it's
not until 2015, a huge amount of work is being undertaken by the
team organizing the Leadership Conference being held in Dallas.
Th is will be a spectacular event.

What is new at Wool Solutions?

Wool Solutions is essentially a manufacturer's representative
organization, with independent sales agents across the U.S. and
Canada. We specialize, as the name suggests, in all wool, or woolrich flooring products, almost exclusively from Europe. We have
recently introduced a number of new manufacturers into our
product portfolio, which we are very excited about.

How is business? What is your outlook for 2014?

I recently returned from exhibitions in Germany and Las Vegas,
both floorcovering related, but supplying product to both the
hospitality and residential sectors. The general consensus was that
business had already significantly improved in 2013 and that there
was a great deal of optimism for this to continue throughout 2014.
26 www.newh.org

What's the biggest challenge today in hospitality? Biggest
opportunity?

One of our biggest challenges is recognizing changes in how
products are researched, selected, and specified, and the role
of technology in today's work environment. In relation to Wool
Solutions, it's to position ourselves correctly so we are in a position
to compete against product manufactured in low cost geographic
areas. Ironically, growth in hospitality in emerging markets is
providing opportunities in the export of product via U.S.-based
specification routes.

Latest travel highlight?

For me, the latest was our LA Regional Tradeshow and its great
success. Historically, hosting a tradeshow in LA has had its
challenges. The chapter did an amazing job of promoting the event
and they nailed it!

What trend/movement are you paying attention to in the
industry?

A concerning trend for us is the movement to use less textile
flooring within a hotel. Th is is something we are responding to by
exposing the virtues of our type of product. From a design/style
perspective, the diversity of the industry makes it challenging to
identify specific trends-you have to be prepared for anything!

When you aren't working or at an NEWH event, where can we
find you?

We have an 11-year-old son, so as all parents know, you are kept
pretty busy with basketball games and practices, cross country,
swimming-but it is all fun. As a family we ski and snowboard in
the winter, although it is becoming more difficult season by season
to keep up. Many hours are taken up with soccer or football, as we
call it (because you play with your feet). Summed up by the quote:
'Football is not a matter of life and death; it is much more serious
than that!' ❙❘❚


http://www.newh.org

NEWH - Spring 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NEWH - Spring 2014

NEWH - Spring 2014
Table of Contents
News
Who's Who
Sustainability
Scholarships
Q&A: Kevin Hancock
Q&A: Philip Byrne
Q&A: Karen Gutowski
Product Know How
Have You Seen?
On the Scene
Project
Save the Date
New Members
Ad Index
Partner Profiles
Chapter Highlights
NEWH - Spring 2014 - NEWH - Spring 2014
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Cover2
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Table of Contents
NEWH - Spring 2014 - News
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 5
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Who's Who
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 7
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 8
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 9
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 10
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 11
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 12
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 13
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Sustainability
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 15
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 16
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 17
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Scholarships
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 19
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 20
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 21
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Q&A: Kevin Hancock
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 23
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 24
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 25
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Q&A: Philip Byrne
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 27
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Q&A: Karen Gutowski
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 29
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 30
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 31
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Product Know How
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 33
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 34
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 35
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Have You Seen?
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 37
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 38
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 39
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 40
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 41
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 42
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 43
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 44
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 45
NEWH - Spring 2014 - On the Scene
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 47
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 48
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 49
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 50
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 51
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 52
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 53
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 54
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 55
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Project
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 57
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 58
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 59
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Save the Date
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 61
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 62
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 63
NEWH - Spring 2014 - New Members
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 65
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Ad Index
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 67
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Partner Profiles
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 69
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Chapter Highlights
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 71
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 72
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 73
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 74
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Cover3
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Cover4
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