Class of 2008

James Counihan, Sr.
MFMA is pleased to induct James Counihan, Sr. into the MFMA Hall of Fame.
 
Jim was born in Annascaul, County Kerry, Ireland on January 26, 1934. His parents were moderate – not too much time or means – money was always tight. His father owned a farm and he had three brothers and one sister. However, they lived near the ocean and Jim developed a deep interest in fishing and hunting.  His schooling was the school of hard knocks – a one room school house in Annascaul, which he left at the age of 15 to move to London.  His first job, in 1952, was with the gas company where he worked hard physical labor. He had to earn his own keep as he was in a different country with no one to help him.  He worked and saved what he could.
 
Jim’s first flooring job was with Granwood Flooring in London, 1954.  He learned how to install Granwood and after nine months they had him running his own crew.  In 1955 Granwood requested he immigrate to Canada and then transferred him to the U.S.  After several years, he decided to open his own company in the States. 
 
He opened Southern Flooring in 1972.  The office in our home, and his first major job was the Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC. Early sales at Southern were houses, then later gymnasiums where he became one of Connor’s leading dealers with an estimated 15 – 20 million square feet installed. 
 
The biggest decision for Jim was to go into business by himself - he had no backers and no help. But, his biggest achievement was making Southern Flooring a very competitive company with an excellent reputation. He invented 12 patents in the flooring field. 
 
Jim is most proud of how his children turned out. Five total - Catherine, James, Helen, Eileen and Maureen and he has 18 grandchildren and two step grandchildren. Jim married Pamela on May 3, 1958 in London, who he is driving “crazy” in his retirement, but still manages to go the office nearly every day.
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