4/12/2019
MFMA: How did you get your start in the sports floor industry?
SH: Short answer is, I married into it. The glamorous job of running a sports floor company was never on my radar as a career choice. While I was dating my future husband, Steve, I would help him out in the office because he couldn’t spell filing system much less set one up. I guess I aced the internship because when we got engaged, he asked me to quit my publishing job and work full-time for the company. 
 
MFMA: Who was the biggest influence in your career?
SH: I would have to say that it was not one person who influenced my career but rather several great people I met through networking. As the saying goes, “we stand on the shoulders of giants.” The MFMA and the NWFA were very instrumental in putting Steve and I in front of industry leaders who were kind enough to believe in us and patiently answer our stupid questions. 
 
MFMA: How does your company help the sports flooring industry?
SH: HY Floors helps the sports flooring industry by setting a high bar for providing a quality work product in an ethical manner. We pay our bills on time, our workers well and we make money without cutting corners. Our floors look great and if we make a mistake, we fix it. Plus we buy a whole lot of finish!
 
MFMA: What do you feel are your keys to success?
SH: Despite my good looks and charming personality, I would have to credit hard work, luck, thinking outside the box and being able to pivot as the keys to my success. And having a sense of humor helps as well.
 
MFMA: What one thing has impacted the sports flooring industry the most in your career?
SH: I believe that changing environmental regulations has impacted the sports flooring industry the most in my time. For instance, when I started in this industry floor finish was yellow, smelly and flammable and it killed people. But it was cheap and bullet-proof. Because we’re in California, HY Floors was forced to become early-adapters of water-based finish. I remember an MFMA seminar about water-borne finishes which devolved into the contractors yelling at the manufacturers because the new finishes were so problematic. Good times. Somehow we managed to make it work but every time I have to answer a complaint about cracks or tape-pull I silently curse the regulators.
 
MFMA: Do you have a saying or mantra that helps you stay motivated or motivate others?
SH: Some days it’s “plan for the worst, expect the best” and other days it’s “plan for the best, expect the worst.”
 
MFMA: What is the weirdest thing you have ever seen done to a sports flooring surface?
SH: Well the weirdest thing I’ve seen done to a sports floor has to be how they built the old gym in Maples Pavilion at Stanford University. First, its subfloor was designed by some engineering “genius” and the floor depression was like 2’ high with crisscrossing joists. And then the maple was laid across the short end of the room. The floor was so resilient that if someone jumped, you could feel it on the other side of the gym. Luckily we replaced that floor in 2005 but every so often I meet an alum who fondly remembers it. 
 
MFMA: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
SH: In the next 10 years I hope to see robotic floor sanders and finish applicators because I don’t have a lot of faith in the next generation of laborers. But where I really hope to be in 10 years is sitting on my lanai in Hawaii sipping Mai Tais.  
 
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