DALTON, Ga. — For many people, induction into a hall of fame comes years after their career has ended.
But on the evening of his induction into the Junior Achievement of Northwest Georgia Business Hall of Fame, Robert E. "Bob" Shaw, founder and chairman of Engineered Floors and co-founder and longtime head of Shaw Industries, was was eager to talk about the future — for himself, for Engineered Floors and for the Dalton area.
"2018 is going to be a very good year for (Engineered Floors), and I think it's going to be a good year for the carpet industry," he said Thursday night before the Junior Achievement banquet at the Dalton Convention Center.
Engineered Floors is opening its fourth facility, a 500,000-square-foot carpet tile facility on Old Dixie Highway in southern Whitfield County this year. Engineered Floors bought Beaulieu Group last year, and Shaw said integrating the two companies is still underway and "is going well."
He said he's also looking forward to the Anna Shaw Children’s Institute, funded by the Anna Sue and Bob Shaw Foundation, which will provide services to children with autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and other learning and developmental disorders. It is scheduled to open in 2019.
"We are going to be bringing in a lot of doctors, maybe 15 or 20 doctors will be moving to our area," he said.
And when asked what his personal plans for the future are, Shaw had a one word answer: "Work."
Junior Achievement of Northwest Georgia Director Anna Adamson, who is Shaw's granddaughter, said she isn't surprised that Shaw is so focused on the future.
"That's what makes him 86 years young," she said. "Engineered Floors is his passion, and it keeps him moving forward."
Junior Achievement of Northwest Georgia provides programs in financial literacy and entrepreneurship to more than 6,000 students across northwest Georgia.
Adamson said that Shaw's example inspires those students.
"He would be the first to tell you that the most successful people are not necessarily the A students," she said. "They are the hard workers who have a real passion for what they do."
Dalton City Council member Gary Crews said Shaw is not only a great business leader but a "model citizen."
"He has given back to this area in so many ways, and he has mentored so many people," he said. "He certainly deserves to be in this hall of fame."
Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia President David Aft said few people have had the impact on Dalton that Shaw has.
"His impact is felt not only in the carpet industry, but in the charitable area. His philanthropy has extended to United Way, the hospital, the Community Foundation and countless other charities," he said. "We wouldn't be where we are without his charity and his challenge. He has always been generous, but just as important, he has always held charitable organizations to the highest standards."
Carpet and Rug Institute President Joe Yarbrough said he has "admired Bob Shaw for about five decades."
"He's always looking to the future," said Yarbrough, himself a member of the JA Business Hall of Fame. "He is always striving to make his company better and his community better."
The Junior Achievement of Northwest Georgia Business Hall of Fame honors individuals and groups that have had a major impact on industry and the community. The first members were inducted in 2006, and the hall of fame has grown to about 40 members.