(ARLINGTON, VA—March 28, 2019) Coverings (, the largest international tile & stone exhibition and conference in North America, will offer more than 50 educational opportunities to attendees of the 2019 show. Through this robust lineup, leaders in the tile and stone industry will provide daily education and trend insights during the April 9-12 show at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.


Coverings’ in-depth educational offering is designed to keep tile and stone professionals current and provide a competitive edge in today’s fast-paced market. Open to all attendees and exhibitors and free of charge, the 2019 educational program includes 60- and 90- minute CEU-accredited sessions, 20-minute quickfire and “byte-size” presentations as well as live demonstrations dedicated to a wide range of professionals including architects and designers, fabricators, builders, installers, fabricators and more.


Coverings 2019 featured programming will include new content and bring back attendee favorites, with key industry leaders and the following topics:


Tuesday, April 9, 8:30-9:30 AM

“Color in the New Era: Trends, Twists and Tweaks” will forecast color and design trends for 2020. Presented by Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute and the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training, programming will highlight the notion that muted and vibrant tones can co-exist and that a traditional style tweaked with futuristic touches can provide a sense of familiarity with a unique or contemporary perspective.


Tuesday, April 9, 8:30-9:30 AM

Wednesday, April 10, 9:30-10:30 AM

Bart Bettiga, Executive Director of the National Tile Contractors Association, and Jim Hieb, CEO of The Natural Stone Institute will moderate “Town Hall Meeting – Residential: What Homebuilders & Specifiers Are Saying About the Tile & Stone Industry” and “Town Hall Meeting – Commercial: What General Contractors & Specifiers are Saying About the Tile & Stone Industry.” Both meetings will explore industry insights, with the first session examining from a residential perspective and the second from a commercial  perspective. On Tuesday, April 9, tile installers and stone fabricators will gain perspective on what home builders and design professionals expect from their partners on residential projects. On Wednesday, April 10, general contractors and design professionals will share their insights for tile installers and stone fabricators for commercial project success. A roundtable discussion will follow both Town Hall sessions.


Tuesday, April 9, 8:30-9:30 AM

“Trump, Tariffs and Taxes: What’s Next for Your Business” will take a look at trade policies and explore how businesses will be affected over the next few years. Gene Marks, Columnist for The Washington Post and Owner of Marks Group, will take a deep dive into the issues attendees know and those they don’t, including on update on USMCA/NAFTA 2.0, EU negotiations and China tariff negotiations. The session will also highlight potential global trouble spots that may impact the tile & stone industry.


Wednesday, April 10, 8:00-9:00 AM

James Dion, President and Owner of Dionco Inc., will provide insights on how retail is evolving and how companies can continue to thrive amidst consumers’ changing shopping patterns. Dion will discuss new innovations and technology, as well as those that have the potential to become a part of the marketplace in a session titled, “E-Commerce, M-Commerce, Conversation Commerce, Brick & Mortar: Customers’ Many Ways to Get What They Want – How to Deliver On All.”


Wednesday, April 10, 1:30-2:30 PM

“Transparency Trilogy Part I: Transparency in Materials” will be a panel discussion between Bill Griese, Director of Standards Development & Sustainability Initiatives at The Tile Council or North America, and Luciano Galassini, Deputy Director of Confindustria Ceramica, moderated by Kadie Yale, Founder of Designology Co*Operative. The trio will discuss the ingredients from which tiles and related installation materials are most commonly made and their health attributes compared to other flooring materials, as well as why today’s consumers and specifiers are so passionate about material components and how they’re reported.


Wednesday, April 10, 8:30-10:00 AM

Alena Capra, Coverings Industry Ambassador and Owner of Alena Capra Designs, and Ryan Fasan, Design and Technical Consultant for Tile of Spain, join Scott Conwell, FAIA LEED-AP CSI CDT, Director of Industry Development at the International Masonry Institute for “Right Product, Right Usage, Any Place.” This hands-on session will feature discussion to bring attendees up to speed with the latest product offerings and how to utilize them to create the best effect in specifications. The session will explore the myriad of options available today through the lens of health, safety, ROI and ease of ownership for clients.


Thursday, April 11, 2:00-3:00 PM

“Global Tile Trends,” presented by Ryan Fasan; Cristina Faedi, Manager of Promotional Activities at Ceramics of Italy & Cersaie; and Lindsey Waldrep, Vice President of Marketing at Crossville Inc., facilitates a discussion of the latest trends. Taking a look at innovative designs, techniques and materials, the session will analyze how to transform installations. A new Global Tile Trends Tour, led by Alena Capra, will commence following the presentation.

To learn more about educational offerings and create a personalized schedule, visit


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Coverings Social Media


Twitter: @Coverings, #Coverings2019






Coverings 2019 takes place April 9-12 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. For more information, visit or contact Taffy Events, Coverings Show Management, 703-539-5504.

Ironrock Capital Inc. Hires New Senior Vice President, Operations

Daniel Marvin, MAPEI’s former Director of Technical Services, will now lead Ironrock’s Operations


Canton, Ohio – April 1, 2019 – Ironrock Capital Inc. is pleased to announce the hiring of Daniel Marvin as Senior Vice President of Operations.

Dan Marvin

Dan Marvin

In his new position, Marvin will head up the company’s operations to maximize efficiencies, quality and performance. He will also work with senior management to grow the company and expand its leadership position in the quarry tile and thin brick markets. Marvin will also oversee all technical issues, champion new product development efforts and assist with the company’s marketing and green initiatives.

Marvin will continue to serve on industry-related committees including Tile Council of North America, American Society for Testing and Materials, American National Standards Institute, American Ceramic Society, Precast Concrete Institute, and Tilt-Up Concrete Association.

Marvin brings more than 29 years of experience in the ceramic tile industry to his new role. Most recently he has served as Director of Technical Services for MAPEI Corporation where he led a department of 40+ people providing technical services including education and complaint investigation across the US. Previously, he was the Director of Quality and Technical Services for Florida Tile, Inc. where he worked to develop new and innovative product lines and worked with production to address quality issues. He has a Bachelor of Science in Ceramic Engineering from Alfred University.

“I am thrilled to have Daniel join our team,” said Guy Renkert President and CEO of Ironrock. “His knowledge and experience are second to none, and Ironrock is lucky to have him. I look forward to working with Dan and taking Ironrock to the next level.”





Download the Coverings Mobile App

Download the Coverings mobile app and never miss a session, booth visit or event!

If you have already planned your itinerary with the online planner, download and sync the app to your personalized planner by tapping the orange button on the app home screen and your login.

Coverings 2019 Mobile App Features

  • Sync your online planner seamlessly in the app
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Many Ways to Download the App

CLICK: Use this link while on your mobile device to access the app

SCAN: Use your device’s QR code scanner to quickly find the Coverings app

SEARCH: The App Store or Google Play for “Coverings Show”

If you already have the Coverings 2018 app on your device, tap “Exit to show list” from the dashboard. Choose Coverings 2019 then tap download.

Prepare Before You Arrive — Online Planner

Log in with your Coverings registration ID to create your personalized planner on your desktop now by adding your favorite booths, sessions and events.

Then before the show, download the Coverings mobile app and sync your personalized itinerary by tapping the orange button on the app home screen.

Anatolia Tile + Stone again recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies

Toronto, Canada: March 25, 2019 –Anatolia Tile and Stone is honored to be named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for a third time and second year consecutively. Sponsored by Deloitte, CIBC and Canadian Business magazine, this exclusive prize is Canada’s leading business awards program.

Anatolia Tile+ Stone Showroom, Toronto

First recognized by Deloitte in 2008 as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies, Anatolia has been awarded again for its outstanding business performance and sustained growth with the prestigious Canada’s Best Managed Companies designation. The 2019 Best Managed award winners are amongst the best-in-class of Canadian owned and managed companies with revenues over $15 million demonstrating strategy, capability and commitment to achieve sustainable growth.

“Best Managed companies deserve recognition for their entrepreneurial approach to excelling in an uncertain economic climate. They truly bring out the best in Canadian business leadership,” said Lorrie King, Partner, Deloitte and Co-Leader, Canada’s Best Managed Companies program.

Since 1993, Canada’s Best Managed Companies recognizes Canadian-owned and managed companies for innovative, world-class business practices. Every year, hundreds of entrepreneurial companies compete for this designation in a rigorous and independent process that evaluates the caliber of their management abilities and practices.

“Being amongst the best in class requires more than financial performance,” said Peter Brown, Partner, Deloitte and Co-Leader, Canada’s Best Managed Companies program. “Achieving sustained growth and strong overall business performance is the result of the combined efforts and commitment of the entire organization.”

The Best Managed program is sponsored by Deloitte, CIBC, Canadian Business, Smith School of Business, and TMX Group.


Motawi Tileworks Launches Charley Harper “Birch Bark and Birds” 8″ x 8″ tile

Ann Arbor, MI – Motawi Tileworks, an artisan and installation tile producer, announced the newest addition to its Charley Harper Collection, 8×8 Birch Bark & Birds, on March 25th, 2019. This is the latest collaboration between the Charley Harper Art Studio and Motawi Tileworks, who began reimagining Harper’s illustrations as ceramic tiles in 2013. The collection, Charley Harper by Motawi, is one of the Tileworks’ most popular tile series.

Originally painted in 2005, Birch Bark & Birds shows three nuthatches playing amongst birch trees, a common setting for many of Charley Harper’s pieces. The nuthatches provide a touch of color and energy to the forest scene while the birch trees display the simple, geometric beauty that Harper found in all aspects of nature. This 8×8 tile’s playful scene and intricate design make this a must have for all collectors.

Initially, the detail of the original artwork provided challenges during the tile mold-making and glazing processes. However, after months of refinement and trials of different colorways, Motawi produced a dynamic tile that mirrored its inspiration.

Motawi Tileworks was founded in 1992 by Nawal Motawi, who started making tiles in her garage and selling them at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market. Today, Motawi Tileworks now has more than 40 employees working in a 12,900 square foot studio in Ann Arbor; and sells tiles through over 300 stores spread across the United States.

NIOSH Silica Webinar Planned for May 14

Oberlin, OH, March 27, 2019—The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will be hosting a free silica safety webinar on Tuesday, May 14 at 11am PST. Designed for stone countertop fabrication employers, the webinar will describe the dangers of silica exposure, outline employer requirements to comply with OSHA’s Respirable Crystalline Silica Rule, and offer methods employers can use to protect workers.

During the webinar, representatives from OSHA, NIOSH, and the California Department of Public Health will provide information related to silica exposure, including health risks, methods to protect employees from silica dust, and OSHA requirements. Two Natural Stone Institute Accredited members, Jonathan Mitnick (CCS Stone) and David Scott (Slabworks of Montana) will provide practical tips on controlling worker exposure to silica dust and share the steps they took to ensure their shops were OSHA compliant.

Mark Meriaux, Accreditation and Technical Manager for the Natural Stone Institute commented: “It is important for fabricators to comprehend the health risks involved with silicosis, both personally and for employees, and to understand what can be done to minimize the risks. There is currently at least one documented case of silicosis in California tied to a fabrication shop, so now is the time to get this message out to fabricators. We look forward to working with NIOSH to share this message.”

To register for this free webinar, contact [email protected] or visit





Mansfield, Massachusetts. The Belknap White Group (BWG), one of America’s leading full-service flooring distributors, has announced it will be stocking American Olean’s latest porcelain tile Collections — Waterwood™ and Sunset Falls™.

Inspired by nature, these innovative collections will be available via BWG throughout all of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and parts of upstate New York. “Classic styles inspired by stone and wood… are what designers and homeowners are continuing to demand,” stated Dave Godlewski, Belknap White’s Vice President/Ceramic Division. “These ‘looks’ are portrayed at optimal levels by both of these ranges. And, Waterwood™ and Sunset Falls™ offer the strength and integrity only found in porcelain tile. Both series provide versatile choices suited for a wide range of commercial or residential applications.”

Waterwood by American Olean

Sunset Falls by American Olean

Rich graphics and texture come to life through the Waterwood™ collection, which pulls inspiration from the Bricola wood pillars that grace the waterways of Venice, which have been transformed by years of water exposure.  Emulating this unique wood, found in only one place in the world, it delivers a nontraditional oak appearance. Four different colors of porcelain planks in 8×40” or a 1 ½” hexagon mosaic are perfect complements for any forthcoming designs.



The calming effects of sunsets over the water set the tone with the Sunset Falls™ collection. This natural travertine stone-look porcelain series delivers classic style in several sizes, rectangular shapes and a herringbone mosaic. Offering design flexibility, tiles are available in three neutral colors and 12×24”, 6×18”and 4×12” sizes, as well as 9×12” hexagon mosaic sheets. For samples and pricing, please contact The Belknap White Group.



Employment rises in 37 states in February; starts drop; surveys show worker-supply worries


Seasonally adjusted construction employment rose from February 2018 to February 2019 in 37 states and declined in 13 states and the District of Columbia, an AGC analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data released recently showed. Texas added the most construction jobs (22,700 jobs, 3.1%), followed by Florida (22,400, 4.2%), Arizona (16,500, 10.7%) and West Virginia (16,000, 46%). West Virginia again added the highest percentage of construction jobs, followed by Nevada (12%, 10,200 jobs), Alaska (11%, 1,700) and Arizona. Construction employment set record highs in Oregon and Pennsylvania. Louisiana shed the most construction jobs (-5,500, -3.7%), followed by South Carolina (-3,800, -3.6%) and Missouri (-3,000, -2.4%). Maine had the steepest decline (-6.8%, -2,000 jobs), followed by Vermont (-5.8%, -900) and Louisiana. Construction employment rose from January to February in 16 states, fell in 33 states and D.C. and was unchanged in Vermont. (AGC’s rankings are based on seasonally adjusted data, which in D.C., Hawaii and Delaware is available only for construction, mining and logging combined.)

The value of “new construction starts in February dropped 3% from the previous month” at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, Dodge Data & Analytics reported on Thursday. “During the first two months of 2019, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were…down 12% from the same period a year ago…On a 12-month moving total basis, total construction starts for the 12 months ending February 2019 were able to remain essentially even with the corresponding amount for the 12 months ending February 2018,” with residential starts up 2%, nonresidential building starts unchanged and nonbuilding starts down 5%. Chief economist Robert Murray commented, “‘The pace of construction starts has been lackluster in early 2019…The public works sector has retreated, likely affected by harsh winter weather conditions and the fact that fiscal 2019 federal appropriations for several programs were not finalized until mid-February. With funding levels now set, including a 2% increase for the federal-aid highway program, it’s expected that public works will show improvement in coming months. For residential building, single-family housing remains sluggish, as affordability constraints continue to dampen demand even as mortgage rates have settled back, while a more cautious lending stance by banks may now be starting to restrain multifamily development….market fundamentals for warehouses and office buildings remain supportive for construction, and the large amount of funding coming from state bond measures passed in recent years should contribute to healthy levels of construction activity for such institutional project types as school construction.'”

Construction data firm ConstructConnect reported on March 12 that the value of starts in February 2019 declined 14% from February 2018. Nonresidential building starts fell 23% (commercial construction, -42%; institutional, -10%; and industrial, 35%). Residential starts decreased 17% (single-family, -15%, and apartments, -22%) and heavy engineering (civil) gained 14%. The value of starts in the latest 12 months combined slipped 4.5% from the February 2017-February 2018 period, with nonresidential starts down 0.1% and residential starts down 11%.

Construction consultancy FMI reported results on Thursday from “100 responses [collected at the end of 2018] from best-in-class companies that are active in AGC’s Surety Bonding and Construction Risk Management Forum.” Respondents were asked to choose the top three risks out of a list of 10. The largest share (80%) listed “limited supply of skilled/craftworkers,” followed by “limited supply of experienced field supervisors” (44% of respondents), “changes in contract language/insurance (33%) and “tighter project schedules” (30%). Responding firms included general contractors (66%), construction managers (26%) and specialty contractors (8%).

The U.S. Chamber/USG quarterly Commercial Construction Index, released on March 14, “fell three points to the lowest level since the survey began” in the first quarter (Q1) of 2017. “In Q1 2019, all three key drivers of confidence—backlog, confidence in new business and anticipated revenue—declined for the first time in the survey’s history. Confidence in new business suffered the largest drop (five points), but this may be due to concerns about the overall health of the economy and the federal government shutdown. Overall, the sector remains healthy, with more modest drops in backlog (three points) and revenue (two points). In fact, the backlog score…matched or exceeded most quarters in 2017 and the first half of 2018….Market trends for Q1 2019 are widely consistent with those reported last quarter, with steady concerns about finding skilled workers, and increased caution about investing in equipment. However, anxiety about the impact of material cost fluctuations dropped notably, suggesting that these concerns may be easing somewhat.” The online survey was conducted January 10-22 by Dodge, using “a panel of more than 2,700 decision makers that includes general contractors, construction managers, design-builders and trade contractors.”

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) exceeded the breakeven 50 mark for the 25th month in a row in February, with a seasonally adjusted score of 50.3, down from 55.3 in January, the American Institute of Architects reported on Thursday. The ABI measures the percentage of surveyed architecture firms that reported higher billings than a month earlier, less the percentage reporting lower billings; scores over 50, on a 0-100 scale, suggest billings increased overall. Scores (based on three-month moving averages) for three practice specialties have remained above 50 since the second half of 2016: commercial/industrial, 53.9, up from 51.8 in January; residential (mainly multifamily), 51.5, up from 51.1; and institutional, 50.9, down from 51.5.

MAPEI helps welcome wounded hero to new smart home

Deerfield Beach, Florida – Over the past few years, MAPEI has provided assistance to the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence, Supporting Empowerment) program, which builds custom smart homes for wounded veterans. MAPEI’s support was on display March 14 when company representatives helped welcome United States Army Captain (Ret.) Jake Murphy to his new smart home in Flower Mound, Texas.

A West Point graduate, Murphy was deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, as a commissioned infantry officer; he served as the executive officer for his platoon. On July 23, 2011, while on a mission in the Regional Command South area, Murphy stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). The resulting blast cost Murphy both of his legs and caused a brain injury that put him in a month-long coma.

“This new smart house will make life a little easier,″ Murphy said. ″I can’t say enough how great this place is.″

In the kitchen of the Murphys’ new smart home (L to R): MAPEI Business Development Leader Dale Penland, MAPEI Marketing Communications Manager Jennifer Kramer, United States Army Captain (Ret.) Jake Murphy, Jake’s wife Lisa Murphy and MAPEI Central Area Sales Director Kyle Murphy

″It is an honor and a privilege to work with the Gary Sinise Foundation, and to help soldiers like Captain Murphy and his family who have sacrificed so much in order to protect us,″ said Jennifer Kramer, MAPEI Marketing Communications Manager. Kramer attended the welcome-home ceremony with Kyle Murphy (not related), MAPEI Central Area Sales Director, and Dale Penland, MAPEI Business Development Leader.

MAPEI first became involved with the R.I.S.E. program through the National Wood Flooring Association’s (NWFA’s) efforts to ″play it forward″ (growing members’ businesses through service to others) at the 2015 NWFA Wood Flooring Expo. Since then, MAPEI has volunteered to donate installation materials for all of the floors in the program’s smart homes. These materials include surface-preparation products, mortars and grouts for tile and stone, adhesives, and finishes and care and maintenance products for wood, as well as adhesives and installation accessories for carpet and vinyl flooring.

″Due to our wide and varied product lines, we are in an unique position to provide products that will help make our returning vets’ lives more comfortable,″  MAPEI’s Murphy said. ″This opportunity to work with our industry partners, including the NWFA, NTCA [National Tile Contractors Association] and NAHB [National Association of Home Builders], as well as the Gary Sinise Foundation, is a great way to support a worthwhile cause.″









Keene Building Products Welcomes Three New Employees

Cleveland, Ohio—March 22, 2019 – Keene Family of Companies is proud to announce and welcome three new team members in the departments of Manufacturing, Engineering and Information Technology.

Doug Meredith

Doug Meredith joins Keene Building Products as the Director of Manufacturing. As a graduate engineer from Mississippi State University, Meredith will bring extensive experience in industrial processing, optical sorting, and bulk handling. Meredith also possesses a solid background in all areas of plant and facilities engineering, while maintaining a hands on approach as a manager. Meredith is a decisive leader with experience in developing talent, and creating effective trainings programs.





Jason Benzing

Jason Benzing joins Keene Building Products as a Senior Engineer. Benzing graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. Benzing comes to Keene as a dedicated engineer and manager, with over 10 years of experience in fast paced manufacturing settings. With skills in statistical analysis and data management, Benzing will contribute to the improvement of processes and quality at the Keene Plant.







Ryan Hephner

Ryan Hephner started at Keene as an IT Consultant leading the implementation of the company’s ERP system. Keene is excited to have Hephner now on board as a full time employee, who handles all technical concerns and facilitates service improvements. Hephner, an Honors Graduate of the University of Dayton, joins team Keene with an impressive background and education in Information Systems. Hephner’s ability to identify and solve problems makes him an excellent leader in technologies at Keene Family of Companies.



Keene Building Products is an American manufacturer of 3-dimensional products for the building envelope, noise control, and roofing markets.

For further information call 877.514.5336, email at [email protected], or visit website


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