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November 16, 2022

James Counihan is the Fall '22 Face of MFMA!

The "Face of MFMA" is a quarterly initiative where we interview our members and ask them to share some perspective on their job, organization, daily life, and how they are making an impact on the sports flooring industry.

We are pleased to announce our Fall '22 Face of MFMA, James Counihan, and share his insights in the interview below.

MFMA:  How did you get started in the sports floor industry? 

James Counihan: I grew up in this industry. As a young man, I always knew what I was going to do like it was preordained. Weekends and holidays were spent learning the trade. I worked in the warehouse, then in the field for years learning everything I could. At some point, I moved into the office and sales. All those years in the field culminated into becoming my best sales tool. Now as president of our family business, that my father Jim Counihan started (MFMA HALL OF FAMER), I find myself still learning.

MFMA:  Who was the biggest influence in your career? 

JC: By far and away my father. This man started with nothing and left home (in Ireland) with the clothes on his back. His only plan was not to fail. There is no quit in him.

MFMA:  How does your company help the sports flooring industry? 

JC: We are determined to constantly improve, and we guarantee that our floor will perform to maximum expectations. We can tell clients which systems will provide the best athletic performance and environmental stability, and we can tell them why.

MFMA:  What do you feel are keys to success? 

JC: Knowing every part of this business and being surrounded by professionals, such as Dave Fields with Action whom I have dealt with for 30 years.

MFMA:  What one thing has impacted the sports flooring industry the most in your career? 

JC: The development of true sports floors, which my father was a big part of. When I first started in this industry in 1979 there was no mention of safety or performance. Today you hardly ever see specifications without some sort of safety rating. A lot of people and companies had their hand in this, and it definitely improved our industry.

MFMA:  Do you have a saying or mantra that helps you stay motivated or motivate others?  

JC: Adversity defines a person or business.

MFMA:  What is the weirdest thing you have ever seen done to a sports flooring surface?

JC: A certain NBA team poured their slab 8” too deep. Instead of filling it, they built it up with 2x4s and then installed a high-end sports floor…

MFMA:  How has the sport flooring industry changed since you started in the industry? 

JC: In the early 80’s when I arrived in this industry, sport floors were designed for facility owners, and little or no thought was given to the player. Then the early 90's that all changed, and the player was the only focus. Today we have moderated and seem to be developing systems that are good for the facility owners and the players.

James Counihan
Southern Flooring Inc.

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