November 2012 Presidents Letter

Greetings,

You have probably received this issue of TileLetter after all the rancor of our truly American election process is over. Our future leadership has been determined and by now it is. charged with the task of forging our paths to restoration and prosperity. I am incredibly thankful to live in a country that allows this process to occur and I hope you were a participant in it. Regardless of the outcome, we have elected people who hold great sway over our collective futures, and our best hope is to stay engaged and active as the process unfolds.

John F. Kennedy once said “For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” This has certainly been evident in our nation, our industry and your NTCA. As such we must press on. As we move toward yet uncharted goals, it is my hope that we can do so by embracing the shared goal of “coming together for the greater good” This phrase may not mean much inWashingtonany more, but it is alive and well at the NTCA.

Together we have forged relationships for the betterment of our industry. We have extended olive branches to accomplish goals with partners that were once considered adversaries by some; and we have held firm when needed, remaining steadfast when we thought installation ideals were being compromised. We would hope that our elected leaders will come together as the NTCA and our industry have done and provide leadership, which will allow unparalleled growth in the face of daunting circumstances.

I have no doubt that a visionary future will continue as the benchmark of your NTCA. By the time you are reading this, we will have elected new leadership for our association too. I know our new President, Executive Committee and Board of Directors well and also know the passion they share for our industry. Rest assured that the current and future direction of our association is in good hands. I am sure that their efforts will take us to future heights not deemed possible by past comparison. This almost sounds like I am campaigning, and I am — I’m campaigning for the unbridled ascension of professional tile and stone installation and for making those products the unquestioned leaders of the finishes segment of the construction industry.

There you have it….. one of my last “stump speeches” in this format for our industry. I look forward to what the future holds. As always, I encourage your involvement and ask you to grasp the opportunity to share in the excitement for our industry and our nation by participating in the process.

All the best,

Nyle

President’s Letter – September 2012

Greetings,

Wow, is summer winding down already? I guess it is because the Olympics are over, we’re getting inundated with political ads and information as we get closer to the election and – hallelujah! – football season has started! That’s all part of the passage of time. As time waits for no one, and we can’t control it, we must move forward with our best efforts and the most knowledge we can acquire to make good decisions.

Your NTCA is here to help you do just that. I hope each of you consider the NTCA a resource to assist you in connecting to our industry and, as a result, bettering your business.

I consistently hear “I didn’t know the NTCA was involved in that” or “Thanks for providing that information. It really helped.” These comments are a direct result of the “education” I have received as a member of our association. I am happy and proud to pass this information along to others for the improvement of our industry.

Remember, you get out of your membership what you put into it. So, in order to receive more, you will need to be more involved. As President Rutherford B. Hayes said “As knowledge spreads, wealth spreads. To diffuse knowledge is to diffuse wealth.” Be a part of acquiring the knowledge so that you can attain and attempt to hold onto the wealth.

One way to do that is by attending Total Solutions Plus in Rancho Mirage, California October 27-30. This promises to be an exciting event shared by NTCA, CTDA and TCNA and a great place to attain some of the “education” of which I was speaking. Take time to register today at www.ctdahome.org/tsp/2012/. It will be a venue that presents renowned speakers, educational seminars and displays of the latest materials and equipment. Please check out the preview of this event and features about mosaic tiles and glass products in the pages of this issue.

Being the best you can be is not just a slogan, it’s a mantra; I desire for each of you to achieve the success you seek. That may come in many different forms, as each of you probably define it differently.  Even so, it is my hope that the road to that success is one on which we – as individuals and companies – are able to pursue the prosperity and fortunes we seek as we think they should be acquired, with fewer restrictions from those entities who see their role as shaping the marketplace rather than preparing us to prosper from their efforts.

I hope you think diligently about this in the coming days as you make choices to improve your businesses, our industry and our nation.

All the best,
Nyle

President’s Letter – August 2012

Greetings,

In many of my past letters, I’ve encouraged you to stay the course. To do what is right professionally and search for niches that require your company’s skills. Not everyone can be good at everything, but there are pockets out there that allow you to increase your knowledge base within segments of our industry, while excelling in that area of proficiency. One of those segments is the sustainability of tile and setting materials.

Green is the buzzword today. You see it everywhere, from the clothes we wear to the power we generate. Tile is no exception. Ceramic tiles have a long history of sustainability. To quote from the 2012 TCNA Handbook, “Tile’s inherent durability, and the perpetuity of the natural materials out of which tiles are manufactured, have made ceramic tiles the natural choice for centuries.” This should be cham-pioned by everyone in our industry. It should be used by our membership to create opportunity.

The door is wide open for the tile industry to take advantage of this perfect marriage of need and function that tile allows. By becoming proficient in all things “green” where tile is concerned, you can become, once again, the “go to” company that can fulfill the ravenous appetite for green of the architectural and design community. I urge you to explore how green and sustainability are integral to our industry, are becoming even more so, and how you can benefit. It won’t happen by resting on your laurels. We all must strive daily to improve. This is one terrific — albeit somewhat uncharted — area to explore in an effort to capture market share in the arena.

Consumer demand for sustainable products is at an all-time high and growing. Our industry fits well within this demand. The information is slowly spreading. With rapid saturation on the horizon, it makes sense to be proactive about the emergence of this facet of our market. One great way to do that is by reading this issue of TileLetter. It’s packed with information on tile’s sustainability and can help cut through some of the marketplace confusion on the subject.

As usual, your NTCA has been very involved in the promotion of tile and its green attributes. Several members recently contributed to discussion and passage of the ANSI Green Squared® standard (A138.1):  a “multi-attribute, total-system approach to sustainability.” The standard addresses a range of criteria pertinent to sustainability of tile and setting materials.  Since many manufacturers’ products will be Green Squared-certified by one of three third-party organizations, customers and end users can be assured that they are choosing some of the most sustainable products on the market today.

This is truly great news. I for one, hope that it is one of the factors that heat up the construction markets as we sprint on through the blazing days of summer.

I hope this letter finds you and your businesses doing well. I implore you to remember what was stated by David McNally: “The circumstances of our lives have as much power as we choose to give them.” I pray your circumstances are favorable and you grasp the opportunities found before you in our industry.

All the best,

Nyle

President’s Letter – July 2012

Greetings,

I have had the great pleasure of traveling to and for NTCA-related events over the past few years. These have been tremendously gratifying experiences as I have worked alongside great thinkers to better our industry and have been fortunate to have witnessed the results of our efforts.

Each time I travel has also been a humbling experience for me. Every time I leave the cocoon that is my little tile world in North Carolina, venture to the airport and fly off to the next working venue, I gain a perspective that is really striking. This was evident once again as I had some “observation” time recently in the Atlanta airport while waiting to return home from our recent TCNA Handbook Committee meetings. I watched thousands of travelers and employees walk across beautiful tile floors. Every trip to or through a major city makes me realize that we are all “small fish in a big pond” as my grandmother used to say. The immense melting pot of America causes me to stand amazed at the sheer number of people who populate our great nation and the unique way each of them must impact their immediate worlds. I often wonder if they have any influence beyond that or if they even care to.

Many times I think of the ways all of us, in and out of the tile industry, impact our surroundings. Sure, we influence those we see every day: family, friends, coworkers, etc. But does influence go beyond that? It is certain that our actions affect each other, so it is important to remember the golden rule to “do unto others” as we interact with those around us. Before I get too philosophical here, the point I’m leading to is this: as a NTCA member, you may or may not know that your influence can and should be profound.

You can have impact in your tile sphere of influence that is immediate and lasting. Your professionalism is on display as you interact with those around you and you carry the banner of the NTCA. In doing so, it is imperative that you strive to provide your customers with the best possible installations, service and quality through each of these interactions. Whether you realize it or not, your daily commitment to these efforts does have a power to influence, not only yourself and your business, but those with whom you come in contact.

You also may not be cognizant of it, but those same efforts have a profound national influence as well. By employing the best practices developed through NTCA’s  work in helping to shape our industry globally, you spread the results of those efforts. You are the feet on the ground that make it happen. You shape our industry daily and your efforts do not go unrecognized. Without you there would be no “us”, and we appreciate all that you do.

I hope that you think about this often. You are indeed one of many, but remember what Mac Anderson said, “Sometimes one single choice not only changes the direction of our lives, but that of many, many others.” Thank you for choosing to be a part of the NTCA and, as such, influencing the direction of our industry.

All the best,
Nyle

President’s Letter – June 2012

Greetings,

I hope this letter finds you in good health and spirits as we all work diligently to make professional tile installation the norm in the finishes industry.

This month’s issue reviews the recent Coverings expo in Orlando – and what a great event it was!

It is always interesting to gather at a place where everything in the tile world comes together for a few days. Exhibitors from around the world displayed everything from maintenance products to elegant stone.

Of course your NTCA was right in the thick of it as our staff manned several areas of the show and had an enduring presence throughout the week. NTCA membership and staff were well represented as we gave educational presentations, spoke with new and existing members, recruited new members, participated in an ANSI meeting and hosted, for the first time, Contractor Tours of the show. These tours proved to be a great success along with the Contractor Lounge, and were enjoyed by the contractors and manufacturers alike.

The NTCA and three of our Five Star Contractors were highlighted in the Installation Design Showcase, where tile installation took place over several days right on the show floor. I commend all of the companies for their brilliant efforts as they brought to life the culmination of ideas from top designers and top-line products of sponsoring manufacturers to create simply stunning tile installation artistry. Many thanks to those contractors: Cox Tile, Collins Tile and Stone and David Allen Company, and to the sponsors for all their hard work to make this venue the success it was.

Your NTCA also hosted the first Coverings Installation Design awards which again displayed the artistry of contractors from around the country. These contractors and designers received  awards for their outstanding projects as recognition of their efforts.

That evening culminated in what proved to be the highlight event for me: a tribute to the NTCA for the 65th anniversary milestone it achieved this year. I was honored to narrate a presentation that toured the history of our association, demonstrating our influence, accomplishments and leadership in the industry. In typical eloquent style, NTCA executive director emeritus Joe Tarver then offered a moving speech, recounting many details of our history and helping to chart the future.

Suffice it to say the NTCA was everywhere during Coverings week. We continue to strive to make the contractor’s voice heard throughout the industry. We will do so again this month as our representatives join a strong labor contingent at the TCNA Handbook meetings in Atlanta. Speaking of Atlanta, go ahead and make plans to attend Coverings next year at Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center April 29th through May 2nd, 2013.

I thank each of you and the NTCA for the opportunities presented that allow us to listen and learn from others. It’s how we grow. Come join us as we pursue excellence and take adages to heart like the words of Jerry Rice, who said, “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I will accomplish what others can’t.”

All the best,

Nyle

President’s Letter – June 2012

Greetings,

I hope this letter finds you in good health and spirits as we all work diligently to make professional tile installation the norm in the finishes industry.

This month’s issue reviews the recent Coverings expo in Orlando — and what a great event it was!.

It is always interesting to gather at a place where everything in the tile world comes together for a few days. Exhibitors from around the world displayed everything from maintenance products to elegant stone.

Of course your NTCA was right in the thick of it as our staff manned several areas of the show and had an enduring presence throughout the week. NTCA membership and staff were well represented as we gave educational presentations, spoke with new and existing members, recruited new members, participated in an ANSI meeting and hosted, for the first time, Contractor Tours of the show. These tours proved to be a great success along with the Contractor Lounge, and was enjoyed by the contractors and manufacturers alike.

The NTCA and three of our Five Star contractors were highlighted in the Installation Design Showcase, where tile installation took place over several days right on the show floor. I commend each of the companies for their brilliant efforts as they brought to life the culmination of ideas from top designers and top-line products of sponsoring manufacturers to create simply stunning tile installation artistry. Many thanks to those contractors: Cox Tile, Collins Tile and Stone and David Allen Company, and to the sponsors for all their hard work to make this venue the success it was.

Your NTCA also hosted the first Coverings Installation & Design awards which again displayed the artistry of contractors from around the country. These contractors and designers received  awards for their outstanding projects as recognition of their efforts.

That evening culminated in what proved to be the highlight event for me: a tribute to the NTCA for the 65th anniversary milestone it achieved this year. I was honored to narrate a presentation that toured the history of our association, demonstrating our influence, accomplishments and leadership in the industry. In typical eloquent style, NTCA executive director emeritus Joe Tarver then offered a moving speech, recounting many details of our history and helping to chart the future.

Suffice it to say the NTCA was everywhere during Coverings week. We continue to strive to make the contractor’s voice heard throughout the industry. We will do so again this month as our representatives join a strong labor contingent at the TCNA Handbook meetings in Atlanta. Speaking of Atlanta, go ahead and make plans to attend Coverings next year at Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center April 29th through May 2nd, 2013.

I thank each of you and the NTCA for the opportunities presented that allow us to listen and learn from others. It’s how we grow. Come join us as we pursue excellence and take adages to heart like the words of Jerry Rice who said “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I will accomplish what others can’t.”

All the best,

Nyle

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