Association of Rug Care Specialists, ARCS had a very successful 3-day meeting in Portland, Oregon from Wednesday April 30th, to Friday May, 2nd, 2014. There were variety of visits and rug talks and rug professionals gathered from all over the country (and Canada) for this professional, once in a year event.
We all first met in the lobby of the Benson Hotel in the morning of Wednesday April 30th and checked in to the event and received our name tags from Armen Dohanian of Oriental Rug Cleaners of Dallas, TX. Armen was the out-going ARCS president. A bus then took us to one of the finest rug cleaning facilities on the west side of the country, the Renaissance Rug Cleaning, where Mr. and Mrs. Hyde were waiting to greet us.
Randy Hyde demonstrated how he cleans rugs and answered the technical questions. He is one of the best in the industry with a good knowledge of rug ID which is a big deal in rug cleaning.
Atiyeh Bros. rug cleaning facility was our second stop. Brian Marantette and his staff showed how they professionally clean rugs.
At Atiyeh Bros. cleaning plant, they also showed us how they took care of pet urine and rug blocking.
On Thursday morning, we visited Atiyeh Bros. retail showroom which was big, neat, and well organized. Besides hand knotted Oriental rugs, they sell Karastan machine made and wall to wall carpets. There, Leslie Atiyeh delivered a good talk on the state of rug making in Iran, India, and China. In her power point, she showed many pictures of these productions.
In the afternoon, we visited the Pittock Mansion, one of the oldest homes in Portland and I spotted a very old Atiyeh inscribed Yazd carpet produced in south east Iran after the World War I.
After this, four visits to four rug galleries were planned and we visited all these four stores on foot as they were in the Portland down town area. They were Christianne Millinger's gallery, where we had lunch, Lapci, Tufenkian, and Santos. A game of treasure hunting was also planned for the group and we were given one picture of a rug to be found in each rug store. The winner, Meg Walker received a small Indian Gabbeh from Leslie and Tom Atiyeh's Happy Camel's collection.
Our third and final day of the event started in the Crystal Ballroom of the Benson Hotel with breakfast and ARCS annual meeting. Attendees acknowledged the great work of outgoing board members including the president, Armen Dohanian. The new president Ms. Tevi Cockburn-Cory was introduced by Bill Fould, the head of election committee. Tevi has been with Robert Mann's rug cleaning in Denver, Colorado for 17 years and works there as the Chief Executive Officer.
Lunch was served at noon and we then had several speakers. Sarah Friend talked about employees benefits. Gary Benton had two talks on how men and women are different and managing conflict. Peter Pap, a prominent rug collector and frequent speaker of many high level rug events delivered a very fine lecture on antique and collectible rural, village and tribal rugs. This was one of my favorite talks and I enjoyed it a lot. Dan Buganto was the last speaker who delivered a talk on online marketing 101 and almost covered all important aspects of online/Internet marketing. I liked his presentation. This was followed by a panel discussion. The panel members were Buz Dohanian, Randy Hyde, Bob Carr, and Robert Mann who talked about pricing, competition, technical stuff, and covered many more topics. Bryan OHaleck was the moderator. Many members asked questions which were addressed by the panel members. This part was also one of my favorite parts of this great 3-day professional rug event. The meeting finished at 5:00 pm on Friday, May 2nd 2014.
This event was well worth attending. It was fun, educational and informative. I also had the pleasure of seeing many good friends and meeting new ones from around the country.
Dr. Khosrow Sobhe (Dr. Kay)
Certified Rug Specialist (CRS)