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

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

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.

Strengthening Contractor and Owner Relationships Drives Greater Success in Multi-Site Construction Programs

A new study reveals over 70% of owners and contractors agree that better communication and coordination across complex projects can significantly improve project outcomes

NEW YORK – October 3, 2019 – A new study from Dodge Data & Analytics, conducted in partnership with Sevan Multi-Site Solutions, explores critical success factors for multi-site projects, from the perspectives of both owners and contractors. Multi-site work is an often-overlooked area of the construction industry that represents a significant volume of work, whether through a series of small projects across hundreds of locations, as seen with new signage installed in big box retail stores across the U.S., or through construction programs of new buildings and major renovations. According to the report, titled Challenges and Opportunities in Multi-Site Construction SmartMarket Insight, the most important factor contributing to the success of these programs is the strong relationship developed between building owners and contractors, and the findings take a close look at the opportunities for improving upon that relationship.

“We see clear evidence that established relationships between contractors and owners built on trust and performance produce better results in overall cost and schedule than simply a ‘race to the bottom’ on price alone. When the right contactors are selected for the right reasons, the outcomes are typically better for all stakeholders,” says Steve Kuhn, Executive Vice President of Sevan Multi-Site Solutions.

As part of the research, Dodge and Sevan examined nine major areas that impact the success of multi-site projects: how owners source firms for their programs, managing changes to the scope of work, the impact of technology, dealing with permitting issues, how to convey lessons learned through a large program of work, how to address skilled labor shortages, enhancing safety onsite, managing material and equipment procurement, and how payment terms influence an owner’s ability to attract companies.

For many of these nine areas, critical gaps between the perspectives of contractors and owners emerge. A few top examples include:

  • More than half (56%) of owners are confident that they know what makes their projects attractive to contractors to bid, but only 16% of contractors agree.
  • Nearly all owners (92%) believe that they frequently form and sustain long-term partnerships with contractors, but only 35% of contractors find that to be true.
  • Over half of owners (52%) believe that they are frequently keeping abreast of the changing permit requirements, but few contractors agree (21%).
  • Most owners (76%) report that they frequently communicate their future construction plans to contractors, but only 19% of contractors find that this occurs on a frequent basis. The most common reason that owners offer for not sharing information is uncertainty about program changes, but most contractors think owners are more concerned about confidentiality.

Despite their differing perspectives, though, both owners and contractors value the importance of stronger communication early in the project. Over 70% of owners and contractors agree that making time for program-level scope/schedule coordination early in a multi-site program improves scope clarity, quality, schedule and budget.

“Dodge has done several studies on traditional construction projects that demonstrate that early coordination and collaboration across the project team, including the owner, improves project outcomes,” says Steve Jones, Senior Director of Industry Insights Research at Dodge Data & Analytics, “but the benefits of that approach are magnified by the unique challenges of doing a large program of work.”

The study provides a basis not for correcting either side, but for supporting efforts for clearer communication based on understanding the differing perspectives voiced by each.

“The importance of clear and open communication early in a program cannot be over emphasized,” Kuhn continued. “Taking the time to truly understand the goals of the other side is essential to creating better outcomes and minimizing unmet expectations. It is only through frank and open dialog that both owners and contractors can truly appreciate the goals and challenges faced by each other.”

A complimentary version of the Challenges and Opportunities in Multi-Site Construction SmartMarket Insight is available at:

Two upcoming Dodge-hosted webinars will feature the perspectives of contractors on November 7 at 2 p.m. EST and owners on December 3 at 2 p.m. EST.

Employment gains slow in August; AGC, ENR surveys find differing growth expectations

Nonfarm payroll employment in September increased by 136,000, seasonally adjusted, from August and by 2,147,000 (1.4%) year-over-year (y/y) from September 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported today. The unemployment rate fell to a 50-year low of 3.5%, from 3.7% in the past three months. Construction employment rose by 7,000 for the month and 156,000 (2.1%) y/y to 7,510,000, the highest mark since November 2007. Although construction employment continues to grow faster y/y than overall employment, the industry’s growth rate was the slowest in six years and less than half of the 5.0% rate a year earlier. Average hourly earnings in construction rose 2.2% y/y to $30.81, 9.7% above the average for all private-sector employees ($28.09, a 2.7% y/y increase). The unemployment rate in construction, not seasonally adjusted, decreased from 4.1% in September 2018 to 3.2% and the number of unemployed jobseekers with construction experience declined from 412,000 to 319,000. Both figures were the lowest for September since the series began in 2000. (Not-seasonally-adjusted data varies with normal weather and holiday patterns and thus should not be compared to levels in other months.) The slower hiring may reflect difficulty finding workers rather than a slump in demand; AGC’s recent survey found 72% of respondents expect to expand.

In contrast to the Autodesk-AGC survey, which included responses from 1,935 AGC members, Engineering News Record reported on Wednesday that construction “industry execs increasingly believe that growth will end in 2020. The growing sense that a downturn is in the offing can be seen in the latest results of the ENR Construction Industry Confidence Index survey. The CICI fell seven points to 51 in the third quarter of 2019 from the second quarter of 2019. [A rating above 50 shows a growing market.] Of the 239 executives from large construction and design firms responding to the survey, many believe the market’s growth is beginning to slow and it may begin declining by the end of this year. Most execs surveyed believe we are in the last phases of the growth cycle. Only 7% of survey respondents believe the market has started to decline now, while 12% believe the market will begin declining in three to six months. Just 16% say it will still be growing by the beginning of 2020. On the other hand, 37% believe the market will start to shrink in the next 12 to 18 months, compared to only 13% who believe it will still be in a growth mode in that time frame. The CICI measures executive sentiment about the current market, where it will be in the next three-to-six months and over a 12- to 18-month period. The index is based on responses to surveys sent between Aug. 15 and Sept. 23 to 6,000 U.S. companies on ENR’s lists of leading general contractors, subcontractors and design firms….Among [15] individual market sectors, the only ones showing a strengthening were hospitals and health care, which rose two points to [69], the highest among the sectors measured by ENR, and the water, sewer and wastewater sector, which rose two points to 62. The biggest drops among markets were in the industrial and manufacturing sector, which fell 10 points to a 52 rating, reflecting concerns about the overall economy, and the transportation sector, which also fell 10 points” to 63.

Construction employment, not seasonally adjusted, increased between August 2018 and August 2019 in 252 (70%) of the 358 metro areas (including divisions of larger metros) for which BLS provides construction employment data, fell in 60 (16%) and was unchanged in 46, according to an analysis AGC released on Wednesday. (BLS combines mining and logging with construction in most metros to avoid disclosing data about industries with few employers.) The largest gains occurred in the Dallas-Plano-Irving division (12,400 combined jobs, 8%), followed by Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale (11,000 construction jobs, 9%) and the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale division (9,600 construction jobs, 6%). The largest percentage gain occurred in Auburn-Opelika, Ala. (15%, 400 combined jobs) and Spokane-Spokane Valley, Wash. (15%, 2,400 combined jobs), followed by Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb.-Iowa (14%, 4,300 combined jobs). The largest job losses occurred in Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, N.C.-S.C. (-2,900 combined jobs, -4%), followed by Baton Rouge, La. (-2,600 construction jobs, -5%); Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn. (-1,500 combined jobs, -7%); Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, Md. (-1,400 combined jobs, -5%); Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, Fla. (-1,300 construction jobs, -3%) and Longview, Texas (-1,300 combined jobs, -9%). The largest percentage losses occurred in Fairbanks, Alaska (-9%, -300 construction jobs) and Longview, followed by Houma-Thibodaux, La. (-8%, -400 construction jobs). Construction employment reached a record high for August in 68 metros (dating back in most areas to 1990); three areas set a new August low.

Construction spending totaled $1.287 trillion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in August, 0.1% above the downwardly revised July rate and down 1.9% from August 2018, the Census Bureau reported on Tuesday. The year-to-date total for January-August combined was 2.1% lower than in th
e same months of 2018. Public construction increased 0.4% for the month and 5.7% year-to-date. The three largest public segments all had year-to-date gains: highway and street construction, 11%; education construction, 0.9%; and transportation construction, 9.3%. Private residential spending rose 0.9% in August but declined 8.6% year-to-date. New multifamily construction gained 6.5% year-to-date; new single-family construction fell 8.4%; and residential improvements tumbled 13%. Private nonresidential spending slid 1.0% in August and 0.1% year-to-date. Of the four largest components, power gained 6.2% year-to-date (comprising electric power, up 4.9%, and oil and gas pipelines and field structures, up 11%); commercial, -15% (comprising retail, -26%, and warehouse, -2.6%); manufacturing, 3.7%; and office, 7.7%.


Combining Strengths to Create Blueprint for Future Expansion and Growth

ASI | Architectural Systems, Inc. (Est. 1990) a global provider of branded Wall Surfaces and Flooring products specified across all market segments in the commercial and contract arena is excited to announce the appointment of Spartan Surfaces as an exclusive distributor for their East Coast and Midwest 30 state territory.

Nancy Jackson

“We are pleased to enhance ASI’s unparalleled offering of interior finishes through Spartan Surfaces knowledgeable and formidable sales force. This strategic alliance is a true industry disruptor, enabling the A&D Community to have access to on point surfacing materials with all the benefits of having local representation in their region!” said Nancy Jackson, Chief Creative Officer, ASI | Architectural Systems, Inc.

Kevin Jablon

“We were drawn to Architectural Systems for their innovative products,” states Kevin Jablon, CEO, Spartan Surfaces. “ASI has been a driving force in market place trends. We could not be more excited to partner with them and represent ASI throughout our footprint.”

Ron Jackson

ASI’s Chief Executive Officer, Ron Jacksonreaffirms the synergistic alliance between ASI and Spartan Surfaces. “They are a best in class company and our shared commitment and passion for delivering excellence in a 360 degree branded experience at every touch point through design development to installation will be a win – win for all.”

Beyond developing proprietary products and curating ASI collections for Spartan Surfaces extensive sales team, ASI is collaborating and educating them on our vast network of capabilities that allow for creating customized materials to meet the design intent, budget and project criteria to achieve a successful outcome.


About ASI | Architectural Systems Inc.ASI | Architectural Systems, Inc. is a leading global resource for innovative, distinctive and sustainable interior finishes. Foremost architects and designers, along with a broad base of decision makers across all market segments, collaborate with ASI for their material expertise, project management from start to finish, material take-offs/on-site support, commitment to service, product solutions, custom capabilities, and a robust range of finishes for wall surfaces, flooring and more…ASI curates dimensional wall panels, high-performing hardwoods, luxury vinyl and porcelain plus natural stone and decorative surfacing materials to provide the right aesthetics for your design vision and budget with the added ease of finding it all in one place! Visit: www.archsystems.comfor more information.
About Spartan SurfacesSpartan Surfaces is a specialty flooring distribution company headquartered in Bel Air, MD with showrooms in Washington D.C., New York and Chicago. Its geography encompasses the East Coast market from Florida to New York as well as the Midwest. With more than 100 employees in 30 states, Spartan continues to expand its footprint. The company strives to be a game-changer in every area from product selection to education to customer service. Taking a human-centered approach, Spartan prides itself on great products, great families, great friendships and great happiness.Visit: www.spartansurfaces.comfor more information.
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