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Best New Product Award 2014 QEP launched its newest Pro Tile Saw at Surfaces 2014, January 28-30 in Las Vegas, NV. The 900XT 61900Q 10” Pro Tile Saw was showcased in the New Product Marketplace located at the entrance of the Surfaces 2014 show. Within The New Product Marketplace attendees were asked to text their vote from their mobile phone to pick their favorite Best New Product of 2014 over the course of the show.

Th Best New Product Award was hosted by BNP Media which produces trade publications Floor Trends, Floor Covering Installer, Stone World, Tile Magazine and Stone & Tile Design. Wednesday evening, Matthew Spieler, Editor of Floor Trends Magazine presented Jamie and Len with the award for Surfaces 2014 Best New Product. “QEP is proud of this honor. It validates our commitment to the end user, who this saw was designed for”, said Len Gould.

Above left picture, left to right: Len Gould, Q.E.P. Co., Inc. President, Matthew Spieler, Floor Trends Editor, Hanley Wood’s Christy Lizarraga and far right; Jamie Clingan, Q.E.P. Co., Inc. Senior Vice President Marketing. Above right picture: Surfaces 2014 Best New Product Award featured at Q.E.P. Co., Inc. corporate office in Boca Raton.

In the Field...1-2 Social Media….10

CEO’s Message….3 The Q-munity…4-7 President Message 11 In the Field 12-15

In the Field…8-9 In the Spotlight…16-17

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In the Field And the Award Goes To…. And the winner for Most Innovative Product is….QEP! We received the award of the Most Innovative Product Vendor Excellence Award 2013 by Floor & Décor. Introducing over 30 SKU’s, launching new packaging and the most recent updated Brutus packaging all played a part.

In addition this award, we received the 2013 Contractor Support Appreciation Award from Floor & Décor for attending all contractor events throughout the 2013 calendar year.

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From the desk of Lewis Gould Dear Fellow Associates: I would like to update you on the “State of the Company” as a fellow stakeholder! The company’s yearend was February 28. It was historic for us on that day as we purchased the Faus-U.S.A. operations, located in Calhoun, Georgia, and added 400,000 feet of space to the company’s real estate. We will grow the new business, a “premier” laminate flooring manufacturer that will fit nicely into our Harris Wood Division. This makes us a much more complete supplier, showing customers we are on the premier side of life and we only sell the best products available. This will be a new initiative for our company in North America. In addition, we recruited a new Sr. Vice President of Sales, Jamann Stepp, who will be headquartered in the Calhoun, Georgia facility. He will be responsible for our sales efforts in the U.S. and Canada, except for Home Depot. Financially the company will issue its report about mid-April of where we are. Roughly, since we do not have the exact numbers, the company’s gross sales increased to about $335 million, an increase of about $20 million year after year. That is the good news. The other news is that our profits stayed “flat” for the year. In fact, they are probably slightly down from the prior year. We are having increased pressure from our major customers on a constant basis asking for better pricing, etc. We also have been impact by cost increases that some are weather related. The weather affects the people who “log wood.” They will probably have more difficulty supplying it, as the ground will be “soft” due to heavy snow resulting in limited supply. However, the company has never been stronger financially, as our banking relationships are excellent and we continue our process of acquiring other companies to bring them into the Q.E.P. Co., Inc. family. Here, briefly, are some of the outstanding things that happened this year. The company purchased Faus-U.S.A., as mentioned above. We also purchased Homelux, a wonderful company in the United Kingdom. They make trims that will soon be proliferating into the U.S. We also did a lot of work with Imperial Industries in Florida, moving in new equipment and making it a more formidable manufacturer of powders, both for swimming pools and roof mortars for barrel type roofs. We also purchased a smaller company in the United Kingdom called Plasplugs, which was once quite famous in the U.S. We are in the process of reviving that company. Each of our Divisions has shown resilience and has moved forward. As I write this, however, we did receive some bad news. The company has lost the tile tool business with Lowe’s as of next year. They felt that the value we supplied was not satisfactory and they are moving to another source. Notwithstanding that, we continue to hit major homeruns as we open new accounts, introduce new lines of products and add to our internal management staff. As in life, unexpected things happen, such as the devastating fire we had in Australia. With the help of the phenomenal management and great team, we are now up and running just the way we were or perhaps even better! There will be other major highlights. Keep watching for the newsletter for updates. We look forward to a fantastic 2014 year!

Lewis Gould Chief Executive Officer

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The Q-munity Making Strides Against Breast Cancer October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Q.E.P. Co., Inc. participated in the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Mizner Park Boca Raton. Shown to the left are employees, friends and family of Team QEP for the Girls in Boca Raton, FL. Throughout the month of October, there were various fund raising activities held and Team QEP for the Girls came together and raised over $1,300.

One of Boca Raton’s activities included QEP’s Pink Friday! Everyone supported Breast Cancer Awareness Month by wearing something pink! Gathered in the front lobby at headquarters to the right, left to right; Back Row: Chris Lincoln, Wayne Penny, Betty La France, Agnes Prosniak, Jayne Rollason, Yolanda Cuevas, Leslie Del Pozo, Laydelin Mestre, Christina Barna, Meagan Gallagher, Jennifer Stuber, Emily Clark, Tom Laakso, Madelyn Rivera, Jennie Johnson. Front Row: Arianna Gaspar, Andrea Diskin, Felix Muniz, Justin Lincoln and Jenny Marin.

Johnson City employees, friends and family participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. Through a culmination of fund raising activities over the month, $1,500 was raised for breast cancer awareness and research.

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The Q-munity Giving Back to the Community During a vacation to the United States in October, employee Winston Hall Sr., Purchasing Officer in Australia, visited the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. While visiting the Thomas A. Edison laboratory, which is a two story high building, Winston noticed the staircase was in need of replacement and many repairs; several stairs were missing the nosing altogether. The rubber stair nosing is similar to what is sold in Australia called the Standard Stair nosing x 2.7m. After a bit of research, he found that through donations the volunteers do the majority of the work to up-keep the museum. Winston took a leap of faith and reached out to Len Gould, President of Q.E.P. Co., Inc. after Len’s recent visit to Australia, to see if we could arrange to donate the QEP stair nosing. Winston Hall and Robin Fraser-Hall pictured above

“One of QEP’s core values is giving back to the community so this project really fit nicely,” said Len Gould. QEP has since reached out to the office at the Henry Ford Museum and they have notified us they do not take product donations, but offered that we could send a check requesting where we would like the money allocated for the repairs.

Team USA Congratulations to Jenny Marin on her recent United States Citizenship. America is a wonderful country, and our quest for continued freedom has not wavered. This is a very proud moment in Jenny’s life and we are honored that she shared it with her QEP family, Congratulations Jenny! Everyone in Boca surprised Jenny by wearing red, white or blue in celebration of this important milestone, Jenny even wore red without knowing!

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The Q-munity

Newest Additions to the QEP Family Congratulations to Eloise Hamilton, New Product Development Assistant in Australia, on her new baby girl Olivia Poppy Craig. Olivia was born December 5, 2013 at 5am weighing 7lbs. Best wishes on your beautiful healthy baby girl!

Congratulations to Christin Boyd, Graphic Designer in Boca Raton, FL and her husband Gene Boyd on their first baby, a boy named Maddox Odell Boyd. Maddox was born December 13, 2013, 21 inches long and 7lbs 2oz. Congratulations from everyone at QEP Worldwide and best wishes on your new healthy baby boy!

Richard Webb, AFS Customer Service Representative and wife Svet, are proud new grandparents! Their daughter Alicia and husband Norm brought in their first grandson Mason to the world on December 17, 2013 at 4:30pm. Mason is a healthy 8lb 10 oz and both him and mom are doing well. Congratulations to first time grandparents!

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The Q-munity Holidays in Boca Raton Happy Halloween! Corporate always goes all out for Halloween, this year we had a great turnout with our Costume Contest! Best Costume went to Jim Wilbur dressed as Alex from Clockwork Orange. This year was the annual Pumpkin Design Contest. 5 teams were formed, given one pumpkin and a week to create and design a pumpkin around any theme. The teams came up with great themes; Jerry the Minion, Mad Scientist Experiment Gone Wrong, QEP Mummy, Owl-ing at the Moon and Bipity Bopity Boo! Jerry the Minion won Best Pumpkin created by Tina Logan, Jennifer Stuber and Farida Waquad.

Q.E.P. Co., Inc.’s Corporate Holiday Party 2013 at Maggiano’s Little Italy

Pictured left to right: Mark Deutsch, Michiel Marrink, Arianna Gaspar, Meagan Gallagher, Jennie Johnson, Andrea Diskin and Laurent Barbudaux at the Maggiano’s Little Italy in Boca Raton for the 2013 Holiday Party.

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In the Field Australia Site Cleared It has taken a few months to clear the site where the old warehouse and office used to be in Australia but it is finally completely cleared. Just an empty wasteland lot now, the landlord intends on rebuilding the complex within the next 12 months.

Christmas Down Under Being that festive time of the year there is no better way to get everyone together and celebrate the success, challenges and memories of that year. With what we’ve all been through this year it was great to just enjoy the night with nice food, a few drinks and fanastic company. Thanks to all those who attended and all the best in 2014.

Pictured left to right: Bruce & Sue Maclaren and Ivan Pannone

Picture left to right: Rhonda, Tulay, Ryan, Jessie and Davin

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In the Field Gilford Aligned Partners Dealer Show The annual Gilford Aligned Partners dealer show was held March 6th & 7th at the Hyatt Regency in Cincinnati, OH. The event includes the top 150 retail dealers and approximately 20 vendor partners to celebrate this years theme, Celebrate Champions (You are#1). The sports theme event featured various games and a Tiger Woods impersonator. Our very own Chip Hamilton, Harris Wood Sales Representative got a picture with Tiger! Key Vendor partners were presented and recognized with an engraved Louisville Slugger baseball bat which will be showcased in Boca Raton, FL

Pennsylvania Bowhunters Festival This is a letter received from the founder, Dick Holcombe Sr., of the Pennsylvania Bowhunters Festival

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Social Media

--Jennie Johnson, Marketing Communications Specialist

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From the desk of Leonard Gould QEP by the Numbers Numbers are everywhere. We use them constantly to guide the business on any number of levels. They also help us to define success and plan where we want to get. Earlier in this issue, Lewis mentioned that we ‘lost’ the Lowes tile tool business. While we do not ever like to lose any business, the reality is that we lost somewhere around 1% of our sales. So yes, it is a hit to the customer list, but not necessarily meaningful in the bigger picture. With that said, I have a lot more numbers for you. In fact, did you know?: 

We manufactured almost 12,000,000 square feet of Hardwood Flooring last year? This is up significantly from the previous year’s 10,000,000 square feet.

When it comes to our best selling Premium Underlayment, Airguard, we will manufacture more than 50,000,000 square feet this year! Each week over 700,000 square feet are sold through the register in the USA and Canada

Our NUPLA division makes a series of “Best in Class” Brass hammers. These hammers come in three different sizes and are sold to true professionals under many different names. Last year we made and sold over 40,000 of these hammers!

Our Clinton, Massachusetts molding facility makes many different items, but they are ‘known’ for their economy trowel output. Last year that number was close to 2.5 Million trowels!

I could go on and on. Telling you about the 8,000,000 sponges, we manufacture each year, or about the millions of gallons of adhesive, we manufacture in three locations. I could even tell you about the close to 1,000,000,000 (yes that is a billion) tile spacers we made last year. I could talk about the LASH spacer that has been ‘sold out’ for the last four months and the millions of those we make (and will be making). Some other number you may be wondering about in light of the recent FAUS acquisition:  

We now have 792 global employees We now have 39 global locations

And still counting  Best Regards,

Len Gould Len Gould President

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In the Field PRCI at Mr. BRICOLAGE PRCI was in LEROY MERLIN and in Mr. BRICOLAGE trade fair in Lille and Paris, France in September, where new products were presented to department and area managers. These innovative products were well received by the customers. PRCI has also noted relevant comments from customers, with a continual program to improve customer service.

The PRCI booth exhibiting at Mr. BRICOLAGE

New Product Launches around the Globe The new design from PRCI is 730mm Tile Cutter that is launching at Leroy Merlin in March of 2014.

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In the Field New Product Launches around the Globe Homelux UK has launched a new range of metal tile trims, inkjet tile trims, and inkjet borders into their customer, Topps Tiles (350 stores). Some of the new metal finishes include; brushed gold effect – match to beige and nice color spectrum of tile, and gunmetal grey – to match to the gray color palette of tile.

Homelux has been looking at some new merchandising concepts for its major UK customer, Homebase (300 stores). Homebase recently launched its ‘store of the future’ concept in 2 trial stores, and wants QEP to come up with some new ‘wow’ designs for the accessories. The ‘store of the future’ concept is shown to the right.

Homelux UK launched innovative inkjet borders, where design patterns are “impregnated” directly into the raw alluminum trims. Three designs were launched in the stocked range, and a further seven are available as special order SKUs. In conjunction with this, a new POP (Point of Purhcase) was installed, and an innovative digital frame, showing marketing messages for all the new SKUs, particularly reinforcing the special order message to consumers.

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In the Field New Product Launches around the Globe The Homelux Tiling Accessories product line offers a wide range of products to complete any tiling project for the professional or DIY user. Products range from D-Lux Crack and moisture barrier, waterproofing wall and floor systems to decorative tile trims to add a beautiful and stylish look to your room. The new US website can be accessed at www.homeluxusa.com.

Homelux has recently launched a great add on to the tile project basket, a self-adhesive mosaic mesh backer. The product is designed for use with a small depth of tile, i.e. mosaics, and will build up the tile by a few mm, to bring it flush with the other tile it is being used with. It also has the added benefit of making the mosaic sheet more rigid and therefore easier to install.

Vitrex recenly launched several DIY tool project kits for essential tiling projects – for floor tile, wall tile and mosaic tile. Packed into a neat box, they easily stack onto a freestanding display unit, or are a great promo line for any channel.

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In the Field New Product Launches around the Globe The newest Vitrex safety equipment is ideal for working in cold, dark conditions during the freezing winter months. The Thermal Hat & Gloves Set is a fleece lined beanie hat and gloves with padded knuckles; ideal for various outdoor projects and handling rough materials. The Fingerless Gloves & Hat Set is a thermal beanie hat and gloves with the first two fingers and thumb removed, ideal for hands-on detail work for mechanics, builders and other tradesmen. The Vitrex headlight is a high performance, lightweight, hands-free, ultra bright 7 LED light with 4 settings focus control, full beam, half beam and flashing functions. It is shock and rain resistant and is ideal for a wide range of outdoor activities, indoor uses and building projects.

The Toilet Flange Tile Guide makes tiling a bathroom floor faster and easier since the installer does not need to cut the tile around the round toilet flange. It’s made of durable polypropylene and fits over the round toilet flange so tiles can be installed right up against the tile and without the nipping or cutting usually required when installing a toilet. The label is used as a shield preventing debris associated with all new bathroom installations from falling into the pipe causing clogging of the toilet after it is installed. It fits all standard toilet flanges, comes with removable dog ears that work with some toilet foot prints. To be used with 1/4” and 3/8” tiles and also can be stacked for thicker tiles.

Roberts new 10-162 16” Seaming Iron Case is a portable black steel tool box with full-length piano hinge, latch and powder-coat paint finish for superior scratch and chemical resistance. It’s easy to carry and durable, designed to hold 2 irons and a roll of standard seaming tape. Dimensions : 16”W x 9.5”D x 9.5”H

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In the Spotlight

Anniversaries Their efforts within the organization have not gone unnoticed. We greatly appreciate the long hours, nights and weekends, the hard work and experiences that they have offered us! We want to thank you for being part of QEP and hope for many more years to come!                        

Robert Doda Dana Yother Leonard Gould Enos Brown Mark Deutsch Nicole Mangalie Jennifer Stuber Chris Lincoln Mindy Haft Vanessa Mangold Robert Page Erick Sala Jana Dawn Neal Janie Wilkey Diego Alvarez Ezekiel Glenn Tommy Hawkins Thomas Gazaway Jesse Teague Kristin Sills Kenneth Sage Darren Coons Christine Brown Michael Rehak

30 years 30 years 20 years 10 years 10 years 10 years 10 years 5 years 5 years 5 years 5 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years

       

Frank Allen Bumpus Mark Presley Reginald King Daniel Nelson William Potter Sean Andrew Ledford Clark Butler Patsy Reece

2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years

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In the Spotlight

Welcome Aboard! QEP would like to extend a warm welcome to the associates who have recently joined our team this quarter!                   

Julio Alvarez, Assembly in Sun Valley Danilo Santamaria, Mechanical Engineer in Sun Valley Justin Ruster, Production Supervisor in Pompano Beach Mark Yost, VP National Accounts in Boca Raton Maria Gutierrez, Senior Accountant in Boca Raton Tracy Muller, Product Marketing Manager in Boca Raton Kayla Gray, Converter I in Dalton Bryan Welch, Packager I in Dalton Eric Pelfrey, Truck Driver in Dalton Richard Holcombe Jr., Truck Driver in Dalton Jigarkumar Patel, Chemist in Dalton Robert Rentz, Packager I in Dalton Steven Ritchie, Package I in Dalton Jonathan Roach, Shipping Processor I in Dalton Jerry Williams, Packager I in Dalton Andrew Hess, Assembly Operator in Montpelier Nathan Hicks, Assembly Operator in Montpelier Robert Huff, Operator in Johnson City Danny Buckingham, Drafter in Johnson City

Employee of the Quarter Congratulations to Niel Byroe, Network Engineer in Boca Raton for Employee of the Quarter! Niel is a true example of a ‘Silent Hero’. He is literally one of the quietest employees, but always ready with a smile. As is typical with IT, the work that gets done in the background to ensure the highest possible systems uptime often goes unappreciated; in this case we are showing our appreciation for the constant above and beyond. Niel, your efforts are appreciated, so keep up the great work!

© Copyright 2014 Q.E.P. Co., Inc.

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Fall Newsletter