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NTCA names winners of Tom Ade Scholarship Awards

The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) recently announced its 2020 Tom Ade Scholarship Award winners for academic achievement.

This year’s program features one $5,000 Grand Prize scholarship winner, as well as several $1,000 winners. 

Kimberly Callahan with stepfather Woody Sanders, president of DW Sanders Tile & Stone Contracting in Marietta, Ga. Callahan is NTCA’s $5,000 Grand Prize Tom Ade Scholarship Award winner for 2020. 

The Grand Prize Winner is Kimberly Callahan, daughter of Wei Callahan and stepdaughter of Woody Sanders, president of DW Sanders Tile & Stone Contracting in Marietta, Ga. Kimberly has just completed her first year toward a Master’s degree in Social Work, with an emphasis in Clinical Psychology.

The $1,000 scholarship winners include the following: 

  • Sadee Perez, daughter of Sally Perez, Human Resources, of Visalia Ceramic Tile in Visalia, Calif. She also works at Visalia Ceramic Tile on a part-time basis.
  • Meghan Lowery, daughter of William and Emily Lowery. William Lowery is an NTCA member and owner of Lowery Tile in Alsip, Ill.
  • Hailey Peffer, daughter of Meredith Peffer, general manager of NAC Products, Akron, Ohio.
  • Alera Welch, who is the daughter of Dan and Doreen Welch of Welch Tile & Marble, Kent City, Michigan.
  • Emily Martinho, daughter of Edward Martinho, vice president of Visalia Ceramic Tile.
  • Keaton Boerema, grandson of Gary Battaglia, owner of Michigan Tile, and son of Elizabeth Boerema, who also works at Michigan Tile.

Congratulations from the industry

Bart Bettiga, NTCA Executive Director said of the Grand Prize Winner, “I wish Kim the best of luck and good health as she endeavors to make a difference. This world needs her talent.”

Ron Nash, senior vice president of sales and marketing for LATICRETE, an NTCA member and supporter of the scholarship program, said, “This is fantastic. I couldn’t be happier to be part of an organization that supports our industry and, even more importantly, the people who make our industry great.”

Woody Sanders added, “Kim has such a very special heart for people who need help,” he added, “She has an ability to step into another’s shoes and see their perspective and is driven to help while holding onto her values. She is an inspiration that gives me hope for our future. She is so very special.”

COVID delays

The Tom Ade Scholarship Awards were delayed this year due to complications of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bettiga said, which led to having only one Grand Prize winner. “However,” he explained, “we have decided to choose several $1,000 scholarship award recipients, as the quality of the applicants and their deservedness for financial support was outstanding.

“We all need a little good news right now,” added Bettiga, “so celebrating these young people is coming at the right time.”

Funds for the Tom Ade Scholarship Awards are made possible through the generous donations of NTCA members: total donations determine the number of scholarship recipients each year. Scholarship applications are reviewed by a committee of NTCA’s Board of Directors, as well as members of the NTCA staff.

The Tom Ade ceramic tile scholarship was established by the NTCA to provide educational opportunities for children or grandchildren of NTCA Contractor Members. Tom Ade is a former NTCA regional director and a previous recipient of the organization’s Ring Of Honor and Tile Person of the Year Awards. The scholarship also encompasses a contribution to the educational institution of choice for the applicant.