MAPEI Group’s President Passes Away

Dr. Giorgio Squinzi

Deerfield Beach, Florida – It is with great sadness that the MAPEI Group announces the passing of its President, Giorgio Squinzi, who died in Milan on the evening of October 2.

Born in 1943, with a degree in industrial chemistry, Giorgio Squinzi (a second-generation businessman) became the Sole Administrator of MAPEI in 1984 after the death of his father, Rodolfo, who founded the company in Milan in 1937. Under Giorgio Squinzi’s leadership, the company grew over the years to become one of the world’s leading players in chemical products for the building industry and currently operates in 56 countries through 89 subsidiaries. The MAPEI Group, which employs over 10,500 staff, manufactures across five continents through 83 plants in 36 countries. This internationalization process began long ago; the Group’s first foreign offices opened in Canada back in 1978.

Not only did Giorgio Squinzi devote his life to his family and company, his innovative vision and social work made an important contribution to business associations, the world of sport, and the wider community in his home city and the rest of the world.

In 1996 he was awarded the “Ambrogino d’oro” (one of the city’s highest awards) by the Mayor of Milan for his contribution to the city in the realms of both business and sport, and in 1998 he was knighted for his services to industry. In 2013 the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, bestowed upon him the title of Grand Officer of the “Order of Merit of the Italian People.”

Giorgio Squinzi held important posts in both Italian and international business associations. He was President of the Italian Federation of Chemical Industries from 1997-2003 and then again from 2005-2011. He was also the leader of CEFIC, the European Council of Chemical Industries, which represents 29,000 companies in this sector, for a two-year period (2010-2012).

He was the President of the Italian Industrial Federation from May 2012 to May 2016.

Giorgio Squinzi’s motto was “Never stop pedaling,” epitomizing his approach to work and life. The expression actually comes from cycling, a passion that he inherited from his father, Rodolfo. This love of cycling led Giorgio Squinzi to sponsor the MAPEI professional cycling team that won a total of 654 races from 1993-2002, reaching the very top of every international ranking. MAPEI’s links to cycling go way back and still continue today through its partnership with the UCI (International Cycling Union): MAPEI is the Main Sponsor of the Road World Championships.

Giorgio Squinzi’s love of sport also extended to soccer. He took over Sassuolo Calcio in 2002. In just a few years, the club was promoted from Serie C2 to Serie A and is now firmly established among the leading clubs in Italy’s top division.

Opera was another of  great passions. He always attended the first night at La Scala in Milan and was a great opera fan. He was a member of the Opera House’s Board of Directors from 2016, and MAPEI has been a Permanent Founding Member since 2008.

His expertise, precision and passion will now be taken up by his children, Veronica and Marco, who were appointed as Chief Executive Officers in July 2019. They will lead the MAPEI Group along the path first trodden with such far-sighted vision by Rodolfo and then Giorgio Squinzi.

Polycor Launches New Hardscapes & Masonry Product Line

Global leader in architectural and commercial natural stone building products now offers sustainable and durable stone hardscapes products


Quebec City, October 16, 2019 – Polycor, the world’s largest natural stone quarrier is expanding into an entirely new market segment with the launch of its new Hardscapes & Masonry (H&M) product line this week at the Hardscape North America trade show in Louisville, Kentucky. The new product line was formed via mergers with Swenson Granite Works and Indiana Limestone Company, and most recently Elliott Stone. Leveraging these companies’ combined centuries of experience, Polycor is bringing unmatched expertise in the production of natural stone to landscape and masonry products, positioning Polycor Hardscapes & Masonry as the provider of choice for landscape architects and contractors across North America.

The new product line brings the aesthetics and durability of natural stone to the hardscapes market with easy-to-install products including pavers, pool coping, steps and treads, veneers, walls and caps, edging, accents, posts and ornamentals. Polycor Hardscapes & Masonry products are 100% natural stone that has been sourced responsibly and manufactured in the U.S.

“From the curb to the backyard, using natural stone truly pays for itself,” said John Machunis, Vice-President, Polycor H&M Sales. “We are confident and feel very strongly that our natural stone products will answer the market’s demand for organic materials with very low VOC emissions and impact on the environment. Not only is natural stone sustainable, it also meets the aesthetic and performance needs of modern design and in many cases easy to install.”

Polycor natural stone hardscapes and masonry products are well-suited for landscaping and outdoor applications that withstand freeze-thaw cycle in northern climates and the scorching heat of southern summers. Natural stone products also resist cracking, flaking and discoloration, maintaining their natural and unique appearance throughout their lifespan.

In addition, natural stone products are inherently more sustainable than some alternatives, potentially contributing to green building codes and standards.

The Polycor family of companies now includes 1,200 employees, more than 50 quarries and 18 factories across North America and Europe, plus 9 retail stores and 11 offices worldwide.

For more information, including product information, inspirations galleries and how-to guides, visit

The Alpha® Wet Blade Cutting Kit 9”

Alpha Professional Tools® is excited to introduce the newest addition to their Wet Blade Cutting Kit line-up. The WBC9KIT is designed for the easy conversion of large grinders into a wet cutting tool with a water feed system. The Alpha® WBC9KIT fits on most 7” and 9” high-speed angle grinders. It allows you to save money, by converting your existing dry angle grinder into a wet tool, without the expense of a second tool. You can keep the dust down while you are cutting, grinding and profiling any surfacing materials with water. This is a simple way to be in compliance with the OSHA silica rules with a minimal investment.

The Alpha® WBC9KIT comes with multiple connectors, for most popular grinders* on the market today, Safety Guard, Loc-Line Assembly, Plastic Tie, Water Hose Assembly (15 feet/4.5m), Memory Wrap (3 feet/1m), Quick Connect Adapter, GFCI Plug and Hook & Loop Ties. **Assembly is required. For more information, visit our website at or contact us at 800-648-7229.

*Bosch, Dewalt, Hitachi, Fein, Flex, Makita, Metabo, Milwaukee

FILA Solutions offers Specification Writing Solutions

FILA Solutions offers its customers the added value of actually writing specifications for sealing and protecting natural stone and ceramic tile installations when using its product line.

FILA Representatives will be available first hand at Total Solutions Plus in Nashville, TN during the Conferences Table Top Exhibits, Monday, October 28th from 4:30-7:30pm.

“We want to help our customers, whether they’re tile manufacturers, contractors, distributors or installers…by providing them with a service that ensures their every installation will perform as specified,” stated Mario Parra, Regional Sales Manager at FILA. “Our customers’ customers are happy when their product performs as expected. With FILA Products clearly specified, the material will function at optimal level.”

FILA offers detailed descriptions of what products must be used as well as the installation instructions. They may include:

  • General provisions and requirements surrounding codes and standards
  • Required products based on performance and structural and/or environmental stipulations
  • Execution procedures on how to do the install and measure its effectiveness.

“These ‘prescriptive specs’ put the burden on FILA as opposed to the general contractor (or other) to ensure a proper installation,” continued Parra. “We want to help prevent errors and miscommunications by all of those involved in a project. A well-written spec is about clarity. The more information you have going into a project, the more clarity you give everyone involved. The difference between success and failure begins at the specification level. That is what we provide with our products and our spec- writing service…success.”

LATICRETE Promotes Ron Nash and Sean Boyle to Enrich Customer Experience

LATICRETE Promotes Ron Nash to Vice President of Sales and Marketing; Sean Boyle to Vice President of Market Intelligence and Channel Management

Newly formed positions will realign the structure of the sales team and enrich customer experience


October 15, 2019, Bethany, Conn. — LATICRETE, a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry, has promoted Ron Nash to the newly formed position of Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Sean Boyle to the newly formed position of Vice President of Market Intelligence and Channel Management. The promotions are an integral part of the company’s multi-year restructuring to realign the sales teams to focus on specialized business segments that enrich the customer experience.

Ron Nash

Ron Nash

“The markets and clients we serve evolve rapidly. We must continually assess our approach to ensure all human and material assets are optimally allocated to anticipate and satisfy our customers’ increasingly complex needs,” said Edward Metcalf, LATICRETE North America President and Chief Operating Officer. “Ron and Sean are proven, effective and energetic leaders. Both have made major contributions in keeping LATICRETE and our clients relevant and competitive. These important organizational enhancements reflect ongoing improvements across many functions including product innovation, technology and marketing strategy. We are excited about the future and look forward to the immediate positive impact these leadership changes will bring to our innovation efforts.”

Nash’s responsibilities will directly encompass the Sales, Marketing and Technical Services departments. His new role will optimize and align all outwardly directed activities and increase the focus on anticipating and meeting current and future customer needs.

Sean Boyle

Sean Boyle

Boyle will lead all corporate activities regarding the collection, interpretation and dissemination of market intelligence. He will work with LATICRETE teams to identify the most effective approach for each sales channel, provide mentorship and guidance to the Innovation team and offer insights into future marketing and sales planning.

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LATICRETE is a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry. LATICRETE offers a broad range of products and systems covering tile & stone installation and care, masonry installation and care, resinous and decorative floor finishes, concrete construction chemicals, and concrete restoration and care including the SUPERCAP® System. For over 60 years, LATICRETE has been committed to research and development of innovative installation products, building a reputation for superior quality, performance and customer service. LATICRETE methods, materials, and technology have been field and laboratory proven by Architects, Engineers, Contractors and Owners. Offering an array of low VOC and sustainable products, LATICRETE® products contribute to LEED certification, exceed commercial/residential VOC building requirements, and are backed by the most comprehensive warranties in the industry. For more information, visit

Coverings 2020, New Orleans, Opens Registration and Hotel Reservations

Largest Tile and Stone Event in North America Offers Early Registration Benefits to Attendees

October 8, 2019 – ARLINGTON, Va. – Coverings , the largest international tile and stone exhibition and conference in North America, today announced that prospective attendees can now register for Coverings 2020 and reserve hotel rooms starting this week. Coverings 2020 will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, for the first time in more than 20 years, and take place April 20-23, 2020, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The event will include more than 1,100 exhibitors from 40 countries and feature the latest tile and stone products, innovations, trends, and educational opportunities.

Beginning Oct. 8, 2019, interested attendees can register for Coverings 2020 by visiting Attendees who register in advance will receive benefits to include preliminary notices of key programs, access to breaking conference information, special promotions, and other opportunities only available with early registration.

Coverings 2020 will highlight premiere tile and stone products from around the world, and provide showgoers exclusive access to an array of industry product displays, exhibitors and networking events.

Attendees of Coverings 2020 will have the chance to attend complimentary educational opportunities, many of which will include Continuing Education Units (CEUs). From demonstrations and sessions to one-on-one experiences, Coverings’ robust educational offerings span all industry segments. Event programming and activations will include focuses on installation and fabrication; workforce and profits; and materials and trends. Attendees can experience many kinds of learning experiences, including a live demonstration stage, Quickfire and Engage sessions, and a new Business Building Lab.

Coverings 2020 falls right before the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, also known as Jazz Fest, the popular annual celebration of New Orleans’ music and culture. Those who attend Coverings 2020 will be able to extend their time in “The Big Easy” to enjoy the much-anticipated music event and the city’s rich history of European traditions and Caribbean influences.

“Coverings is excited to be in New Orleans after so many years,” said Jen Hoff, president, Taffy Event Strategies, LLC, which is the show’s management company. “New Orleans is an exciting, culturally rich haven, a sensory overload, much like Coverings.”

Attendees can reserve blocks of rooms in 20 official hotels located within a short walk or complimentary shuttle ride to and from the convention center. Blocks of rooms with Coverings 2020 partnered hotel properties can be secured beginning Oct. 8 by visiting the Coverings Hotel Search page online. Because Jazz Fest opens the last day of Coverings 2020, it is recommended that attendees and exhibitors book their hotels early.

The official hotel options offer a range of rates and a variety of room and accommodation types. Guests can choose from quaint, historic hotels to newer or modern lodging, and selections among Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best Hotels.” Hospitality from hotel partners will comprise special raffles, impeccable service and vibrant environments.

Those who stay in official Coverings hotels not within walking distance to Coverings 2020 will be provided the benefit of complimentary shuttle service to and from the convention center.

For more information about attending Coverings 2020, visit


Coverings Social Media:

Twitter: @Coverings, #Coverings2020
LinkedIn: RequestGroupInvite

About Coverings: Coverings is the largest and most-significant ceramic tile and natural stone trade fair and exposition in the United States and North America. It features exhibitors from more than 40 countries and is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world.

The exposition and conference serve as a valuable and complimentary continuing education resource for all segments of the industry, with more than 50 educational opportunities throughout the show. Coverings attracts thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors, specifies, architectural and design professionals, builders, real estate developers, as well as journalists, reporters and bloggers who cover the vital tile and stone industry.

Sponsors of the show are Ceramics of Italy/Confindustria Ceramica, Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association of Spain (ASCER), Tile Council of North America (TCNA), National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), and Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA).

The show is managed by Taffy Event Strategies, LLC.

Coverings 2020 takes place April 20-23, 2020, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.

For more information about attending, sponsoring or exhibiting at Coverings 2020, contact Taffy Event Strategies at 571-313-5801 or [email protected].

For press registration, content and interviews, contact Eberly & Collard Public Relations at 404-574-2900 or the email addresses at the top of this release.

James Woelfel to Receive NTCA Ring of Honor Award

The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) has chosen James Woelfel, president of Artcraft Granite Marble and Tile Company in Mesa, Ariz., as its 2019 recipient of the NTCA Ring of Honor.

The NTCA Ring of Honor is a lifetime achievement award that recognizes NTCA contractors and associate members whose efforts have helped grow the association and assisted in achieving its objectives. Recipients are chosen by NTCA executive officers.

James Woelfel


Bart Bettiga, Executive Director of the NTCA and last year’s NTCA Ring of Honor recipient, said Woelfel was chosen because of his dedication to the association and the tile installation trade. “James has provided leadership and passion to our association. He has been a constant advocate for the professional tile contractor in the development of standards and methods and is a staunch proponent of qualified labor. He has served on the executive committee for many years and is most deserving of this prestigious recognition.”

Woelfel has been the chairman of the NTCA Technical Committee since 2007 and is a voting member of the TCNA Handbook and ANSI A108, 118, and 137.1 Committees. He served as president of the NTCA from 2015-2017 and was the 2011 recipient of the NTCA Tile Person of the Year Award. Woelfel is also an NTCA Recognized Consultant and a highly-rated speaker at industry shows such as Coverings, The International Surface Event (TISE), and Total Solutions Plus.

“Receiving the Ring of Honor shows that James’ peers have recognized the years of meaningful work he has done for the NTCA,” said Bettiga. “There is nothing more honorable and laudable than what this award represents.”

Woelfel’s father, Butch Woelfel, was the 2007 NTCA Ring of Honor recipient recognized for his career contributions to the association. The Woelfels are the only father and son to both receive the NTCA Ring of Honor recognition.

Woelfel will receive the award on October 29th, 2019 during the Awards Luncheon at the Total Solution Plus conference in Nashville, Tenn.

Polycor Announces Acquisition of Elliott Stone Company Inc.

Acquisition now reinforces Polycor’s leading position as the global natural stone quarrier and further strengthens its portfolio of hardscapes and masonry products

Quebec City, October 1, 2019 – Polycor Inc., the largest quarrier of natural stone in the world, continues its strong growth with the acquisition of Elliott Stone Company Inc., a leading quarrier and fabricator of Indiana limestone based in Bedford, Indiana. The acquisition expands Polycor’s ability to deliver the most comprehensive offering of natural stone building products for the hardscapes and masonry industry.

“We are excited to bring Elliott Stone’s technologies, processes and industry know-how into the Polycor family,” says Matt Howard, President of Polycor West. “This is truly an exciting time for Polycor as our business continues to grow, not only from a product offering standpoint, but from an innovation and experience perspective as well.”

Beginning immediately, Polycor will execute the planned integration of the two companies’ facilities, customers and employees to ensure a smooth transition that will deliver immediate value for all partners and stakeholders.

Brian Elliott of Elliott Stone says the acquisition represents a new and exciting chapter for the small family-owned business. “Elliott Stone has a long and proud heritage that we take great pride in, so as part of this transition we wanted to find someone who shared our same principles and values,” said Elliott. “Polycor has an unmatched reputation in the industry and I’m confident our synergies will contribute to the overall success of the business.”

Founded in 1957, Elliott Stone Company has a long history as one of the most forward-thinking companies in the stone industry. In fact, the company is unique among limestone quarriers as the bulk of their material comes from an underground quarry. This allows for continuous operation even in inclement or winter weather, allowing the company to meet customer demand for quality limestone on schedule all year.

Bostik Pro Rewards™ Contractor Loyalty Program Ramps up for the Holiday Season

Bostik, Inc., a world leader in specialty adhesives and installation systems for building construction, has announced new opportunities for contractors to earn triple points when purchasing specific products, just in time for the holidays! Bostik Pro Rewards Program, specifically tailored for installation professionals, offers the opportunity to earn reward points which ultimately may be redeemed for thousands of brand name items, travel rewards and much more… all while these contractors are growing their respective businesses.

According to Chris Eichman, Bostik’s Marketing Communications Manager, “Beginning October 1, 2019, all approved BostikPro Rewards™ contractor participants can earn triple the points on a select number of products through November 30th.

“Not only can they earn 3x the points, continued Eichman, “We are offering 50% off on ALL Electronics Rewards Products! Just in time for holiday gift-giving.”

To join Bostik Pro Rewards™, all one has to do is visit: Online prompts will take visitors through this simple registration process. Ultimately, once registered, all subsequent purchases will automatically be deposited into the member’s individual account, from which awards may be redeemed just as easily. Invoices for qualifying products must be submitted through the Bostik Pro Rewards™ Contractor Loyalty Program site by December 30, 2019 to receive triple points.

Electronics prizes must be redeemed by December 30, 2019. Points must be redeemed within this time period to qualify for the discounted rate.

Scott Banda, Bostik’s Director of Marketing and Business Development, summed it all up by stating, “It’s easy to earn points for the things our contractors already buy — including hardwood adhesive, grout, mortar, sealants and surface preparation products. Now they can turn those everyday purchases into reward points.”

For more information on Bostik’s Holiday Season Electronics Promotion and qualifying products, visit

MARSHALLTOWN Acquires Bullet Tools, Strengthening Flooring and Tiling Line

MARSHALLTOWN, IA (September 23, 2019): MARSHALLTOWN, an industry-leading manufacturer of construction tools and equipment, today announced it has acquired Bullet Tools, a company specializing in state-of-the-art flooring shears and other tools. The purchase further solidifies MARSHALLTOWN’s position as a leader in the flooring and tiling trades with the additional benefit of offering quality products to the siding and insulation industries.

The acquisition fits into MARSHALLTOWN’s strategy of providing professionals with the best, most innovative products. By purchasing Bullet Tools, MARSHALLTOWN expands its product offerings and reinforces its already strong position in the industry.

“Our purchase of Bullet Tools complements everything we’ve built here at MARSHALLTOWN,” said Joe Carter, President and CEO. “Their brand recognition, customer loyalty, innovation, and above all, quality products, made them a natural fit. We plan to grow that reputation and provide our dealers, distributors, and customers with an even stronger line of flooring and tiling products.”

MARSHALLTOWN plans to keep the Bullet Tools name and brand but add its products to the company’s catalog. The company will continue to maintain Bullet Tools’ quality and innovative spirit.

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