Flooring store owner generous in business and faith life

| August 13, 2015 | 0 Comments

When Bill Sonntag isn’t recruiting men to join him on his annual retreat, chairing the parish festival, letting the Knights of Columbus store Tootsie Rolls in his warehouse, getting the St. Paul Jaycees to open its membership to women, interacting with seminarians as a member of St. John Vianney’s Virtuous Business Leaders group, serving as president of the parish council or the parish school association, he takes time to run his business, Suburban Floor Covering in White Bear Lake.

Of course, even there he’ll often cut a good deal in carpeting and flooring for churches.

“Bill has a strong reputation with his customers and vendors for his fairness and honesty,” noted his nominator, David Dinger. As a small business owner for almost 30 years, Sonntag has prospered, Dinger said, “by having the utmost concern for his employees and his customers.”

SonntagBill Sonntag, 66

Company Suburban Floor Covering
Title Owner
Parish St. Pius X, White Bear Lake, and St. Peter, North St. Paul
Spouse Barbara
Children Angie, Mike, Pam, Cindy and Jeff; nine grandchildren
Volunteer activities Virtuous Business Leader at St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul; vocations committee member at St. Pius X; American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life
Education St. Bernard High School; served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam Conflict


How do you apply your faith and Catholic values at work?

I apply my faith values everyday at work. I learned from my father to treat customers the way I would want to be treated.

Please tell a story about a time when applying your faith at work really made a difference.

I’m a softy when it comes to people in need. We waive a lot of charges for moving furniture and give large discounts to people who can’t prepare their homes and need assistance to afford the products they want.

Who or what has been most inspirational to you in bringing your faith to the marketplace?

I have so many people that I have looked up to during my working career. I’ve been blessed to work with people of faith who really care about their job and serving our clients.

What achievement at work are you most proud of?

I’m very proud to be on the national advisory board for Abbey Carpets. I’m one of 14 business owners across the country that serves and represents over 800 other Abbey Carpet owners. And I’m most proud of being a second generation owner. We’ve been in business for 55 years!

In what specific ways have you experienced God’s presence in your workplace?

I’ve been very fortunate to have attended retreats at the Jesuit Retreat House at Demontreville for over 30 years. It has enabled me to enhance my prayer life. When things are pretty stressful at work, nothing works better than a little down time with the Lord. And I pray thankfully every day for the business I’m blessed with, [and] to raise five wonderful children and educate them in the Catholic faith.

What advice do you have for others who want to lead with faith?

My advice to anyone is to let your faith lead you.

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Category: Leading With Faith