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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sonna Calandrino: Passion for Flooring Fashion

Sonna CalandrinoSonna Calandrino represented the ultimate Woman in Flooring. She combined an intense passion for flooring and fashion with endless enthusiasm and creativity.

For example, her vision led to Designer's Walk about how to coordinate walls, carpet, furniture & More using a color palette for Fabulous Floors Magazine, a project I worked on with Sonna. The article is timeless as is everything that Sonna touched.

I had hoped to share with you some of her wisdom. Instead, I share with you the very sad news of her death on Sunday, May 23rd, 2010.

From TalkFloor.com News: Sonna Calandrino Passes Away Unexpectedly
Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Albany, NY, May 26, 2010--Sonna Calandrino, a fixture in the flooring industry for more than 30 years, has passed away unexpectedly following a long illness.

She was most recently founder and publisher of FABULOUS FLOORS Magazine, the first consumer publication devoted to flooring as a key interior design element, and president of Peachtree Communications, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in advertising, PR, merchandising and training solely for the flooring industry. She continued to work right up to a few days prior to her hospitalization.

Though struggling for many months, Sonna rebounded after the New Year and took the helm of the Spring issue of FABULOUS FLOORS; her influence and contributions in this issue are obvious. In retrospect, her partners and staff believe Sonna knew this would be her farewell issue.

Sonna’s client list is a who’s who of the industry. Among other achievements, Sonna was the initial architect of Mohawk University’s course structure and later spent nearly a decade creating and launching Mohawk Floorscapes on behalf of that corporation.

Sonna was a fixture at industry events, keynoting conventions and seminars, crisscrossing the country with her upbeat, positive messages of education, profitability and the excitement of the fashion presented by flooring of all kinds. Often, when it became obvious that her messages, research and materials had been used or imitated by others, Sonna was always philosophical, stating that the important thing was the message and moving the industry along to a new level.

She was open about her love for the flooring business, the people, the products, the challenges of being able to have a positive impact on an industry that was moving from commodity and price to one of fashion and margin. She often said privately that she was proud to have helped it along.

Sonna Calandrino passed away Sunday, May 23, due to complications brought on by breast and bone cancer, both of which had gone painfully undiagnosed for years. She was with her husband. Sonna and her family, friends and colleagues fully expected as recently as seven days ago that treatments would continue to favor her recovery.

Despite her high profile, Sonna was a very private person. At her request, there will be no funeral or other arrangements. Though she loved flowers and the growth and beauty they represented, it is requested that donations in her name, and in keeping with her policy of meaningful charitable and community contributions, be given to:

The Floor Covering Industry Foundation
2211 E Howell Avenue
Anaheim CA 92806

Her gardens will be reborn and maintained at the 200-year-old family farm she restored in Upstate New York.

Sonna is survived by her business partner of more than 13 years and husband of nearly two years, Richard Howland. She is also survived by a sister, Lisbeth Calandrino.

An open house for family, friends and business associates will be held at her home from 6 to 9pm Friday June 4. Please contact her longtime associate and friend, Margo Locust at Peachtree Communications 518 828 3200.

I recommend that you listen to Kemp Harr's FloorDaily.com interview with Lis Calandrino which pays tribute to Sonna and the amazing Calandrinos.

The Flooring Industry will miss you, Sonna.


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