Environmental Flooring Group
Teresa Golden launched Environmental Flooring Group 10 years ago.
Local clients include Hoover Parks & Recreation, Massillon Christian School, the University of Mount Union, SARTA, the Canton Cultural Center for the Arts, as well as a number of regional companies and organizations.
Golden’s North Canton-based commercial flooring business is an outgrowth of her former career as a Canton City Schools psychologist, when she was asked to serve on the design committee for Compton School.
“I’ve always had an interest in design,” she said. “And I’ve always wanted to have a small business.”
During the Compton project,
Golden met her husband, Kent
McClelland, a floor manufacturer.
“Being a curious person, I’d go on calls with him,” she said.
As a female- and minority-owned business, Environmental Flooring Group is designated as an “E.D.G.E.” business: Encouraging Diversity, Growth and Equality.
“These certifications are to help us get more business in the government sector,” she explained.
Golden says the company does between 15 and 18 installation projects a year. One of the most recent ones was at the Hercules Apartments in downtown Canton.
Golden has her own construction team and installers.
“We installed 40,000 square feet of luxury vinyl and ceramic tile,” she said. “It turned out to be a really nice project.”
Golden is a member of the Stark County Minority Business Association, which she said is working closely with the Pro Football Hall of Fame to ensure minority participation in the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame
Prior to launching the business, Golden said she enrolled in a 10-month mentoring program designed to foster more minority-owned businesses, co-sponsored by Kent State University and Turner Construction, an international contractor.
“I’m grateful to have had mentors,” she said. “It was an awesome opportunity to learn about contracting, how to do bids. I made a lot of contacts, and through the class, I was able to do some jobs at the Kent (main) campus.”
Asked to share some advice for other aspiring business owners, Golden said, “Look for people who can help give you good information and provide support.”
“Learn how to use credit wisely,” she added. “One thing I’m proud of is that over these 10 years, I can say I have a large line of credit.
“Make sure you have money to pay your employees.”
Running a business has its inevitable challenges, Golden said.
“We are a nonunion company that pays prevailing wage,” she said. “It’s difficult as a nonunion company to compete with unions.”
There also can be miles of red tape, particularly when dealing with government agencies.
“The bidding process can be challenging,” she added. “Often in the government sector, it’s about the lowest and most responsible bid. But the lowest isn’t always the best.”
But Golden said having her own business is worth it when a project turns out well.
“I love the flexibility,” she said. “I love when I do a project for a client, and they rave about it.”