Who’s next?

Have you heard the old saying, “The best way to miss a target is to not have one”? The success of the NTCA has always been a planned activity. The volunteers and management of the NTCA have been working toward hitting the target of planned strategic goals for the benefit of our membership for many years. I have identified a couple of things high on the list of priorities intended to continue to grow and strengthen the NTCA.

First, however, I would like to start this letter by thanking the previous presidents, Board and Committee members, advisors, volunteers, and especially the NTCA staff for their efforts. Their vision and hard work has ensured the NTCA’s success for more than 70 years. The quality of their leadership is evidenced by the fact that your association has continued to develop its value and reputation throughout its history. The NTCA is now recognized internationally as perhaps the most successful organization by and for the tile installation professional. 

Following is a list of just a few of NTCA strategic initiatives we will be focusing on this year:

Leadership from within 

The point of titling my first president’s letter “Who’s next?” may seem unusual. The point is that no matter how you came to be reading TileLetter, you need to remember that leadership in the NTCA depends on volunteers. Anyone who is interested in participating in the programs and committees is welcomed to the table. Perhaps you are part of the “NEXT” group of leaders. It’s important that the NTCA represents the craft professionals in the field today. The face of the installation community is changing and the NTCA needs to change with it. We truly want to find people who want to be a part of that!

As the NTCA continues to grow, we will find new ways to highlight the contributions and activities of our NTCA Ambassadors, Directors and other volunteers. That is likely the “NEXT” group of association leaders. If participating in the committees and task forces interests you, please get involved. 

We are continually evaluating how to provide and enhance benefits for our members. If there is something you think we are missing, let us know.

Developing qualified labor

The NTCA is reaching out to trade school and high school candidates as well as other associations that recruit people interested in the construction trades and desire training, while working at a competitive wage. NTCA University has completed the Finishers Apprenticeship modules and is preparing the Mechanics modules. This is a high-quality program that will likely become the centerpiece of the NTCA training of new tile professionals and a terrific way to elevate the skill of tile professionals already in the industry.

Professional development 

The industry is quickly evolving. Specialty mortars, large modules, gauged porcelain panels are commonplace. To install these materials, you need education to understand the unique requirements of the installation of specialty tile materials. NTCA membership provides online and in-person training on publications like the TCNA Handbook, ANSI A-108 Installation Standards and the NTCA Reference Manual with your membership. In 2019, we will present over 130 training sessions at sponsor locations throughout the U.S. These offer hands-on education and instruction. The NTCA also provides multiple opportunities for you to collaborate with your peers and suppliers at national events like Surfaces/TISE West, Coverings, the Five-Star Summit, and Total Solutions Plus. 

Getting started

I am honored to be associated with the very fine people who manage and volunteer with the NTCA. I am continually impressed by the commitment of the people connected to this terrific association. With the assistance of our other Board members, NTCA management and staff, we aim to continue the traditions of leadership shown by all of the previous respected industry professionals who have made the association what it is today. 

I look forward to serving you and our tile community for the next few years. Thank you in advance for the opportunity to do so.

Chris Walker
NTCA President
Vice President, David Allen Company
Chairman, ANSI A-108
Chairman, US TAG ISO T-189
Board of Directors ABC-VA
Voting Member TCNA Handbook
Voting Member NTCA Reference Manual
[email protected]

Chris Walker

Chris Walker is the 2019-2020 President of the National Tile Contractors Association. Walker, Vice President – Northeast Region for operations at the David Allen Company, has more than 31 years as a professional manager and installer in the tile Industry and is associated with the successful installation of millions of feet of commercial projects. Walker is regarded as an industry expert also serving the industry as Chairman of the American National Standards Institute A-108 Committee, Chairman of the US TAG ISO T-189, 1st Vice President of the National Tile Contractors Association, Board of Directors – Associated Builders & Contractor (ABC) Virginia, as well as a voting member of the NTCA and TCNA Handbook and Technical Committees.