As a 25-year-old young man, Jack Laurie had come to the realization that he had to work for himself; he had the DNA of an entrepreneur. Luckily, Jack Worthman, who owned and operated Worthman Homes in Fort Wayne, Indiana and understood young Jack’s predisposition, struck a deal with him. Jack Worthman would send/sponsor Jack Laurie to attend Armstrong Flooring’s Installation Training School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In return, Jack would need to work for Worthman Homes doing their floors for a two-year period after he finished his schooling.


Jack Laurie Floors opens for business in a small, 250-square foot garage in Ft. Wayne, Indiana


Jake Carpenter becomes the first part-time employee of Jack Laurie Floors


Jack’s first vehicle was an old Chesterfield cigarette truck that he scraped the name from and used as a work vehicle.


The company is successful and buys a 5,000-square-foot building right across from South Side High School in Fort Wayne.


The company expands its product offering, adding carpet, sheet vinyl, rubber floors, and torginol floors. At this time, the company made its focus serving the commercial floor market and consequently changes its name to Jack Laurie Commercial Floors.  


Jack hires two young men (brothers) who lived next door to Jake Carpenter, Joe Orth and Jim Orth. Joe had just graduated from Central Catholic High School and Jim would graduate the following year. These brothers would become the installation engine of the company for the next 40 years. Their craftsmanship, honesty and work ethic strengthened and grew the company’s customer base and employee base.


The company has formed a team of some of the most talented flooring installers in the state. This team is led by Joe Orth, Jim Orth, John Wasson, Ted Neuman, Bryan Oskey, Mike Bruner, Mike O’Hair and Tom Oskey. The company grows and thrives in the Fort Wayne commercial floor market with this team of professionals. The company also purchases a new building on South Anthony Boulevard that is twice the size of their South Calhoun Building. Jack has sleepless nights about how he will ever fill/utilize all the space.


Jack’s son, John Laurie, gets involved in the business and becomes president. With a strong tenured team already in place and the additions of Rick Melton and Cindy Melton (Rick’s sister in-law), the company starts on a path of aggressive growth and expansion.


The company expands the product offering to include all types of hard tile – ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone.


The company enters the floor maintenance and facility cleaning business with the launch of the Jack Laurie Cleaning Services division.


A separate company is formed called United Flooring Incorporated (UFI)  to service the union labor needs of the marketplace in Indiana. It is signatory to the Carpenters’ union and the Bricklayers’ union.


A second commercial location is opened in Indianapolis – Jack Laurie Commercial Floors #2 and Jack Laurie Cleaning Services #2. 


Dave Foellinger is hired as a manager in the Indianapolis market. Dave instantly becomes a leader in the company and later becomes the president of the company in 2014. 


Steve Klinger is hired, becoming a critical component to the company’s growth from an accounting, technology, and administration standpoint. He currently serves as the company’s CFO.


The company celebrates 50 years in business and wins the half-century business award from the governor of Indiana. The company also wins the Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce Large Business of the Year Award.


The company wins Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award after having been nominated the prior two years.


The company hires Jeff Capuano as a project manager in the Indianapolis market. Jeff becomes an outstanding producer for the company. He eventually moves into management and becomes a big driver of the company’s growth. Jeff is now senior vice president of the company and runs a significant part of the company’s operations.


The company also wins the Indiana Growth 100 Award. This prestigious designation is for the state’s top 100 fastest-growing companies.


The company is named for the third straight year to Inc. Magazine’s Inner City 100. This is an award for the fastest-growing companies based in America’s inner cities.


Tony Shepard is hired. Since his hiring, Tony has spearheaded our proactive sales approach to the market which is a strategic pillar for the company. He is currently a vice president in the company and leads our strategic account area.


The company purchases The Carpet Craftsman in Fort Wayne and expands into the residential flooring business – Jack Laurie Home Floor Designs. This business unit serves custom homebuilders, designers and walk-in retail customers.


The company purchases a sports floor company and makes a strategic hire in this new area. This is the beginnings of Jack Laurie Specialty Surfaces. The purchase launches the company into selling and installing sport floors throughout the Midwest. The company also purchases Crown Distributing in Lafayette, Indiana. This acquisition strengthens the company’s commercial flooring market share in the Lafayette, Indiana market.


The company hires Tom Postell. Tom rises through the ranks and soon is leading all of the commercial installation services. His leadership role now encompasses the management and oversight of more than 200 field employees. Tom is a vice president of the company who led the Department of Labor bonafide apprenticeship certification – a huge accomplishment for him and the company.


The company opens a second residential location in the Indiana Design Center in Carmel, Indiana – Jack Laurie Home Floor Designs #2. The company also purchases Charter Place, a boutique higher-end residential flooring covering store in Fort Wayne. This acquisition rolls into Jack Laurie Home Floor Designs in Fort Wayne.


The company is named to Indiana’s Company to Watch in the construction sector. These are the top 100 fastest-growing and most innovative private companies in the state.


The company also hired Brian Collins. Brian brought a tremendous amount of recruiting and sales expertise to the company. This skill set was invaluable as the company was on an aggressive growth initiative and a proactive sales initiative. Brian is now a vice president, leading both of these areas for the company.  


The company purchases a local painting contractor in Fort Wayne and makes several strategic hires in the interior construction business. The combination of these steps leads to the company entering into the interior contracting business, Jack Laurie Interiors Contracting.


The company also joins the world’s largest flooring cooperative, CCA Global. This elite membership ensures the company has outstanding buying power with suppliers and the latest marketing, merchandising and technology offerings.


The company purchases Engineered Flooring Incorporated (EFI) in Indianapolis. This launches Jack Laurie into the epoxy and resinous flooring business. This acquisition rolls into the previous sport floor acquisition. The combination makes  Jack Laurie Specialty Surfaces a significant part of the company.


The company’s Fort Wayne commercial operation moves into the old Falstaff Brewery, an iconic 40,000-square-foot building in Fort Wayne that the company transforms with an efficient, cool and unique urban vibe.


The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recognizes Jack Laurie Group’s field/installation training program as an official Apprenticeship Program certified by the DOL. It is the first time in the history of the DOL that they have bestowed this certification on a private company’s training program.


The company has a great history and foundation to build on in the future. The goal for the future is geographic expansion in Indiana. The company wants to be making MORE spaces better places to work and live throughout Indiana.

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