More than three decades ago, the owner of AB Media Inc. (then Athletic Business Publications), Gretchen Brown, received an intriguing phone call. Her friend Rick Brian, who worked for maple sports flooring manufacturer Robbins, was interested in what was involved in publishing a magazine and needed Brown's advice. He knew Brown as the publisher of Athletic Business, the leading magazine for the athletic industry. He wasn't just personally curious about publishing: He was working closely with the founders of the recently formed National Wood Flooring Association, who felt they needed a magazine to promote wood flooring after the darkest days the industry had seen. "They started asking questions and realized right off the bat that they were not in a position to be doing this themselves," Brown recalls, "so they asked if we would be interested in getting involved." Brown was tentative at first, unsure if the size of the industry at that point was enough to support its own magazine. But after extensive analysis, the association and ABP came to an unusual agreement: ABP would take all the financial risk to start the magazine. "The key idea of this magazine was to push the concept of wood through the entire floor covering industry. It wasn't a magazine just for the members; it had a much bigger marketing concept attached to it," Brown recalls. Today, that same magazine has been rebranded as Wood Floor Business, and the magazine is now independent, but the core mission remains the same: To serve the entire wood flooring industry. To flip through a digital version of the first issue, go to or simply click on the magazine at right.

Kim Wahlgren

Kim M. Wahlgren is the longtime editor of Wood Floor Business. Based in Madison, Wis., she manages the day-to-day operations of the WFB print magazine, website, E-News and social media. She holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin in journalism and Spanish. Away from the office, she’s busy enjoying her family, including two beautiful children, a sassy ex-racehorse, an extraordinarily silly black Labrador mutt and her husband, Brent, whom she met at … yes, wood flooring school.