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Our Experts

 

Our Executive Team                                                                                                          

Flooring Expert 

               

Dennis Lauterbach, President/Owner

            

A University of Illinois graduate, Denny had a 30-year career in the elevator and escalator industry before he purchased Floor Covering Brokers in 2004. A Licensed Residential Builder, Denny has been on many local boards, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Old Town Playhouse, The Home Builders Association where he served as President, the YMCA, and The Grand Traverse Pavilion Foundation. He has been an active member of the Traverse City Rotary Club. His most rewarding role has been as Big Brother to his “Little”, Danny, now an Honors Engineering student at Michigan State University. Denny deeply values the talented team at Floor Covering Brokers Carpet One! He and his wife Jo enjoy snow skiing, motorcycling, horseback riding, and especially visiting his 4 daughters and 7 grandchildren, scattered about the country.

           

            Flooring Expert              

               

Mike Watkins, Vice President and General Manager

            

A valuable asset at Floor Covering Brokers since 2002, Mike was promoted to Vice President and General Manager in 2017. Mike has a deep understanding of the floor covering business, having produced excellent results in Sales, Operations and Material Management throughout his 16 year career. He has a mind for detail and customer service and has a terrific eye for design based upon technical training. Contact mwatkins@floorcoveringbrokers.com

           

            Flooring Expert              

               

Jean Luedtke, Controller

            

After attending Northwestern Michigan College, Jean has accumulated over 25 years of accounting experience. Some of her past roles include President and board member for 10+ years of the Benzie County Community Chest, Treasurer of the Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital Auxiliary; member of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers; Christmas “Adopt-A-Family”; Band Boosters for Frankfort-Elberta Area Schools; youth group leader at Trinity Lutheran Church; and treasurer of the Benzie County Ski Boosters for Benzie Central/Frankfort-Elberta co-op ski team. Contact jluedtke@floorcoveringbrokers.com

           

 

Our Sales Team                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Flooring Expert                          

               

Kim Cassady, Sales Manager

            

Kim’s over 25 years of flooring experience shows in her flair with Tile design and “Green” flooring products. “It’s about working with the customer and understanding the concept they’re imagining. Every project is a blank canvas we get to paint.” Contact kcassady@floorcoveringbrokers.com

           

            Flooring Expert              

               

Kristen Finstrom, Sales Associate

            

Kristen has been with us since 2013. Growing up in the flooring industry along with a degree in Communications and Marketing from WMU has given Kristen the tools to become a great sales person. Kristen excels in project management and being involved with every step of the process. She enjoys helping with product selection and design while making it fun for her customers. Contact kfinstrom@floorcoveringbrokers.com

           

            Flooring Expert              

               

Ellen Pellar, Sales Associate

            

Ellen grew up in the restaurant industry, working alongside her father, a restaurant owner. Her extensive background in customer service and front-of-house management gives Ellen the essential skills necessary to manage the needs of her flooring customers. Ellen has two kids and a big mutt named Charlie, is passionate about the environment and recycling, loves the outdoors, and considers herself a “foodie”. Ellen graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Western Michigan University with a degree in Sustainability, and now applies that expertise to anyone looking for sustainable flooring options. Contact epellar@floorcoveringbrokers.com

           

            Flooring Expert              

               

Dan Purkiss, Sales Associate

            

Dan was born and raised in Traverse City and now is raising his own family in this beautiful northern Michigan area. He has a strong background which includes several years of floor covering experience at a major retailer. His focus on customer service, product specifications, and design elements makes him the perfect consultant for your next flooring project. Contact dpurkiss@floorcoveringbrokers.com

           

            Flooring Expert              

               

Matt Stachnik, Sales Associate

            

After graduating from Kingsley High School, Matt earned a degree in Technical education while serving five years in the U.S. Navy. Following his Naval career, Matt gained a wealth of technical knowledge and customer service skills through his 20-plus years in sales and sales management. Matt loves to be outdoors, and can regularly be found biking, hiking, camping, fishing or snowmobiling. But most importantly, Matt enjoys spending time with his family, including his young son Jackson. Contact mstachnick@floorcoveringbrokers.com

           

            Flooring Expert              

               

Charlie Weighman, Sales Associate

            

Charlie earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from Finlandia University in Hancock, MI where she majored in integrated design, focusing on interior design. Having graduated with honors, she’s also super smart! Charlie has been involved in many facets of design, including graphic, product, and surface design and found that her passion lies with Interior Design. She strives to create spaces that enhance her clients’ everyday lives and connects them with nature. Contact cweighman@floorcoveringbrokers.com

           

            Flooring Expert              

               

Jenya Zdybel, Sales Associate

            

Jenya has a degree in Marketing and Advertising from Moscow State Social University and an extensive background in customer service, sales and project management. With an eye for color and design, Jenya can help clients translate their vision into beautiful, one-of-a-kind project. A self-proclaimed foodie who loves to travel, Jenya and her husband Nick also love boating, wine tasting and downhill skiing. Contact jzdybel@floorcoveringbrokers.com

           

 

Our Commercial Team                                                                        

            Flooring Expert              

               

Mike Makowski, Commercial Flooring Manager

            

Mike joined Floor Covering Brokers Carpet One in 1996. After installing for several years, he was our Measuring Specialist, and for the past several years, has managed our warehouse. Mike will now focus on our commercial business, where he will oversee material and labor quoting and installation crews for projects with area businesses, office buildings, schools, churches, hospitals, and more. Contact mmakowski@floorcoveringbrokers.com

           

            Flooring Expert              

               

Larry Stoltz, Commercial Flooring Manager

            

Larry has worked in tile for more than 40 years, learning the trade in Chicago before moving to Traverse City in 1976, and has been involved in projects of all sizes and types. He has established strong partnerships with flooring manufacturers to best manage the needs of our commercial accounts, and is versed in commercial resilient, laminate, carpet, hardwood and porcelain tile floors. For 4 years, Larry has served our community as a member of the Traverse City Area Public Schools Board. Contact Lstoltz@floorcoveringbrokers.com

           

 

Our Office Team                                                                                                                                                                              

            Flooring Expert              

               

Jennifer Bladek, Director of Marketing

            

A Wayne State University graduate, Jennifer advanced her marketing career through Little Caesar Enterprises’ corporate marketing department for 10 years before relocating to Traverse City in 1993. She has extensive experience in traditional advertising and internet marketing, is responsible for media planning and buying, creative development, social media, public relations, all with an attention to detail that’s to be envied. Contact jbladek@floorcoveringbrokers.com

           

            Flooring Expert              

               

Miriam Pico', Celebrity Spokesperson

            

Miriam is a Traverse City native since moving here at the age of four from Puerto Rico, has been singing professionally since the age of eleven. She has released four CD’s and performs locally, frequently alongside David Chown, on keyboard, or with ‘Girls with Guitars’. Miriam is blessed with three amazing children and plans to raise them in beautiful northern Michigan. She is thrilled to be the celebrity spokesperson for Floor Covering Brokers Carpet One. Watch for Miriam in our advertising and marketing!

           

  Carpet One               

               

Emily Cather, Systems Coordinator

            

Originally from Williamston, MI, Emily graduated from Baker College with a Bachelor’s in Management, minor in Marketing. Her and her mother owned a furniture store and design center, working with consumers, designers and real estate agents which created her great skills in interior decorating and retail. Emily enjoys spending time with daughter and family outside, boating, hiking, skiing and bike riding!

            Flooring Expert              

               

Kristi Watkins, Accounting Manager

            

A long-term pro, Kristi joined Floor Covering Brokers in 1991. She first mastered our clerical positions and now is the glue between sales, order entry, and billing.

           

 

Our Warehouse Team                                                                                                                                                                              

            Flooring Expert              

               

Rich Budek, Warehouse Manager

            

Originally from Petoskey MI, and later moving to Traverse City, Rich calls northern Michigan home. Rich joined Floor Covering Brokers Carpet One in 2014 and has filled multiple roles including sales, scheduling and most currently as a vital part of our warehouse staff. His skills and dedication have earned him the promotion to Warehouse Manager. Rich has attended Mohawk University where he acquired a deep knowledge of product selection, measuring, installation, and customer service. Rich has three grown children and four grandchildren. Contact rbudek@floorcoveringbrokers.com

           

            Flooring Expert              

               

Kevin Harvey, Installation Manager

            

Originally from southeast MI, Kevin moved to Traverse City in 2021 and joined the Floor Covering Brokers Carpet One team. After serving as a warehouse worker/delivery driver, Kevin quickly advanced to Installation Manager in January 2022. Prior to work in the Flooring Industry, Kevin was a Police Officer for ten years in the Lansing MI area, Detective for the last three years and SWAT operator for the last six. Kevin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University and MCOLES certified as a licensed Police Officer in the State of Michigan. Kevin and his wife have two dogs and a baby on the way. In his free time, he keeps busy with home renovation projects, exploring trails, mountain biking, playing Euchre or taking road trips with his family. Top it off with being a massive Detroit sports and MSU Spartan fan. Contact kharvey@floorcoveringbrokers.com

           

            Flooring Expert              

               

Johnna (Jo) Rodgers, Warehouse Assistant/Delivery Driver

            

A native of Traverse City, Jo joined the Floor Covering Brokers Carpet One warehouse team in 2021 with over four years of warehouse experience under her toolbelt. From her first days on the job, Jo demonstrated a strong commitment to quality work, teamwork, and efficiency. Jo is a single mother of an eleven-year-old son and along with their Siberian husky, enjoy time outdoors including beach time, kayaking, bonfires, fishing and spending time with family. In the winter, they spend a great amount of time reading books.

           

                          

               

Steve Robinson, Warehouse Assistant

            

'Robbie' is a valuable asset in our warehouse, where he assists with jobsite deliveries, flooring tear-outs, and shipping and receiving of installation materials. With a passion for cooking, Robbie loves to share his chef skills while testing new recipes, and opens his home to an ongoing stream of foreign exchange students.

           

                          Flooring Expert                          

               

Michael Sedgewick, Measuring & Claims Specialist

            

A native of Rapid City, MI, Michael graduated from Ferris State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He has a strong background in flooring installation, warehouse support and carpet cleaning. Michael has received certification in Flooring Design and Flooring Consultation. He says that the best part of his job is helping people select the perfect floor for their unique lifestyle. Michael lives in Kalkaska with his wife Autumn and two young sons. He enjoys being outdoors, especially hunting or fishing. Contact msedgewick@floorcoveringbrokers.com

           

 

Our Installation Team                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

           

Flooring Expert

           

 

               

Christian Campbell, Installation Expert

            

A native of Kalkaska, MI, Christian has been an installer with us for over two years and has a strong background in the flooring industry. Christian now resides in the Traverse City area with his two dogs and enjoys outdoor activities including kayaking, hiking, fishing, and camping.

           

                          

               

Austin Groves, Installation Expert

            

Austin has lived in Traverse City since a young age and currently resides in Kalkaska, MI with his fiancée and two children. With a strong background in landscaping, roofing and tilework, Austin joined our installation team in 2017 and has proven to be a top-quality employee with excellent results on his installation projects. When he’s not hard at work, Austin enjoys taking his kids to scenic lookouts, fishing, and rock hunting along the shores of Lake Michigan.

           

            Flooring Expert              

               

Jim Kirsch, Installation Expert

            

After serving four years as a submariner in the US Navy, Jim started his flooring career as an Installation Expert at the original storefront of Floor Covering Brokers in 1986. He has been a loyal employee ever since, gaining over 35+ years of installation experience and technical knowledge, including both hard surface and soft surface flooring. In 2022, Jim began his new role at the company as a dedicated Measuring Specialist. Born and raised in Traverse City, Jim is married, has 5 adult children and 19 grandchildren. He loves fly fishing, kayaking and outdoor activities.

           

            Flooring Expert              

               

Brian Kohn, Installation Expert

            

Brian Kohn has been installing carpet & hard surface flooring for almost 30 years. Working for Floor Covering Brokers for 10+ years. He is a true craftsman of his trade. He enjoys mentoring new installers by teaching them his craft. You will find him on the golf course in the summertime or working on his classic car.

           

            Flooring Expert              

               

Reno Mercado, Installation Expert

            

With over 20 years of experience in the flooring industry, Reno has been a valuable asset to our installation team for over 7 years. Born and raised in Traverse City, and now in Interlochen, MI, Reno is married with two children and three cats!! When not hard at work, he enjoys skiing, 4 wheeling, camping, hitting the beach and bonfires.

           

            Flooring Expert              

               

Justin Rider, Installation Expert

            

Justin started his career at Floor Covering Brokers in the carpet cleaning division and warehouse, and moved on to become an expert in flooring installation. His attention to detail and meticulous workmanship makes him a valuable asset to our team. Justin is newly married and enjoys outdoor adventures in northern Michigan.

           

            Flooring Expert              

               

Jason Watts, Installation Expert

            

Jason has been a Traverse City resident for most of his life, having moved up from Detroit at a young age. He has worked in the flooring industry “since he could walk”, for over 30 years straight, and we’ve been lucky to have him on our installation team for the past 7 years. Jason is currently engaged to be married, has a pet dog, and likes to play Corn Hole or enjoy water sports in his spare time.