Six months after founding Boa-Franc
, Pierre Thabet
watched helplessly as flames tore apart his
"It was Saturday, March 3 , and it was 25 degrees below zero outside," he
"I was on the site at the time and tried to save as much as possible... but then the roof collapsed.
It was 9:45 p.m. that night when I realized nothing was left but ashes."
returned to the location the next day at 4:30 a.m., gathered his
insurance papers and put a plan to rebuild in motion.
"On March 20 we started reconstructing.
We were back in production by May 28, less than three months later," he
Out of the ashes of March 3, a flame was lit that still burns 30 years later.
"You have to look forward, not backwards," Thabet
Growing up in St. Georges, Quebec, Thabet
said many people from the area were instilled with the work ethic that success only comes from perseverance.
Thabet founded Boa-Franc (the Mirage brand name came later) with the belief that quality would be the best weapon to differentiate itself from its competition.
"We have hammered that 'quality' theme for 30 years," he
"Quality is not just a product, it is the quality of service you provide; it's the people you hire and the customers you align yourselves with.
If you want to win the Cup, you must have the best people on the team and deal with the best customers because, without customers, we could not exist."
At next month's North American Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) convention, Thabet
will be honored with the group's Lifetime Achievement Award.
The award recognizes exceptional leadership or outstanding contributions that have led to expanding the vision of the floor covering distribution industry.
Bruce Zwicker, CEO, J.J. Haines, nominated Thabet for the award.
drive for progress and quality has established a culture that is dedicated to doing the best work in all things and at all times," Zwicker wrote in his nomination letter.
explained that while he
is honored to receive the award, "I told Bruce, 'I am not done yet, I have some things still to complete.' Thirty years to me is like last week.
"The team we have put in place here-the brand, the network we have-will continue to grow; this is the legacy we have built," he
said that while the first 30 years have been fun and rewarding, the job is not complete.