David Borhi of London, Ontario-based Deacon Flooring Inc., started in wood floors at nine years old, helping his dad during the summer and on weekends:

My dad is definitely a man of few words, but he has always led by example through his work ethic, teaching me that even when your back is against the wall, you do everything for your family and work even harder. He had me installing full rooms of hardwood by the time I was 12, and that was a rush for me at such a young age—being given that much responsibility and being able to contribute. He taught me how to take pride every day at work, always give 100 percent and do everything it takes to make sure your customers are more than impressed with your work. We would work long hours on most jobs installing hardwood, sometimes even later than 10 at night, and my dad never seemed to get tired. I think that's what he taught me the most: how to work hard every day and to come back the next just as hungry. Even at his age now, 55, he has not lost a step, and I don't see him slowing. I'm thankful for everything he taught me about being a perfectionist and striving to be the best, as well as my passion for installing hardwood.