ABC Calls on Congress to Support Expansion of Construction Apprenticeship Programs

Michael Bennett, vice president of the Cianbro Cos., Pittsfield, Maine, today told Congress that industry-driven training programs should play a bigger role in government efforts to close the workforce/skills gap that has left 500,000 construction jobs unfilled in the United States today. Bennett testified on behalf of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) before the U.S. House Committee on Education and Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development to call for support for President Trump’s recent executive order expanding apprenticeships, which would help ensure job seekers get exactly the training required for success in today’s job market.

“At Associated Builders and Contractors, as with Cianbro, we support all workforce programs that develop people and help them reach their potential, whether they’re government-defined, like apprenticeships, or industry-driven,” said Bennett.  “As we look at the holistic picture of workforce development, successful models combine technical knowledge and proficiency through hands-on application and on-the-job experience. When you employ the earn-while-you-learn model and support individuals with lifelong learning and mentoring, the opportunities are endless.”

Bennett called for flexibility in designing apprenticeship and other types of training programs in an “all-of-the-above” approach to workforce development that aligns with the needs of the educational system and businesses, including:

• Creating multiple pathways to excellence for apprentices;

• Establishing reciprocity across federal and state apprenticeship councils;

• Allowing nationally recognized, portable, industry-recognized credentialing programs with third-party oversight, including targeted programs for high-demand skills; and

• Ensuring that such programs are industry- and market-driven, competency-based and flexible in structure, scheduling and duration to address industry needs.

“Industry-recognized programs come in all shapes and sizes, and that is the beauty of them: they provide for the highest level of flexibility that benefits the worker, their company and their client,” Bennett said. “Industry-recognized programs give students, veterans, second-chance seekers and the entire American public an opportunity to learn a skill, develop themselves and build their careers. They are the best tools available right now.”

For more information on careers in construction, visit

LATICRETE Acquires International Licensees, Accelerating Growth in Regional Market Shares

Acquisitions to increase product availability in Scandinavian, European and Central American regions


LATICRETE, a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry, has acquired global licensees LATICRETE Costa Rica, LATICRETE Norway and LATICRETE Italia to further accelerate growth in the Scandinavian, European and Central American regions.

“Our global reach allows us to be a local company in every community we serve,” said President and COO of the LATICRETE International Division, Erno Di Brujin. “These acquisitions are part of our long-term strategic plans for continued international expansion through the introduction of new products and business support.”

A licensee since 1989, LATICRETE Costa Rica has established a strong market share in the Central American region and will be renamed LATICRETE Centro America to better reflect its active presence within all Central American countries. LATICRETE Centro America will oversee the regional offices, a training center and a plant in San José, Puerto Rico, the sales office and warehouse in Panama City, Panama, and the plant and sales office in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

LATICRETE Italia has been a licensee in Italy since 2003 and will be integrated into the existing subsidiary in Italy: LATICRETE Europe. LATICRETE Norway, a licensee for the past 25 years, will receive increased support and alignment of processes and procedures.

Moving forward into 2018, the LATICRETE International division will seek additional acquisitions across the globe.

The International Surface Event 2018 Dates Announced

The International Surface Event dates have shifted to a new day format in 2018: Tuesday through Thursday, January 30-February 1, with the education program occurring Monday through Thursday, January 29-February 1. Plan to join your industry peers at TISE 2018 to kick start your year! Get contacted when registration opens.

The International Surface Event (TISE) is the largest North American event serving the floorcovering, stone & tile industries. Comprised of three world-class tradeshows SURFACES | StonExpo/Marmomac | TileExpo, The International Surface Event is THE place to find your competitive edge in 2018, featuring four impressive days of the newest products, hands-on demos, inspiring trends, key manufacturers, industry suppliers, along with unmatched education and networking. Held annually each year in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, TISE is THE industry marketplace that brings together distributors, retailers, architects, designers, installers, fabricators, contractors and home builders, and many other industry professionals from all over the world with the manufacturers and suppliers needed to do business.

TISE 2017 was a banner event for the industry – an incredible 34,000 square foot increase in exhibits and over 800 presenting brands – drawing an attendance growth from the industry of 7% over the already very successful 2016 event. Attendees experienced technical installation demonstrations in the Installation Showcase, viewed product demonstrations and award winning technology from Best of Product & Event Winners, discovered trends in the Speed Trending Breakfast and the Trends Hub, heard first-hand techniques and knowledge from over 100 industry experts and influencers in the IGNITE Education program and across the event floor, and were even honored with a presentation from the acclaimed architect, Art Gensler Jr., founder of Gensler.

One industry retailer at TISE 2017 led the example of why The International Surface Event: SURFACES I StonExpo/Marmomac I TileExpo exists as the leading industry resource for products, resources, networking, training and education. Anthony Maye, General Manager, Sparx Flooring and Lubbock Carpet World, from Lubbock Texas, closed his three retail locations completely for several days to bring his entire staff of 23 to The International Surface Event 2017. Investing in the full IGNITE Education program at TISE for each of his staff members and scheduling their sessions daily around show floor experiences and meetings, Maye used the event to team build, train his staff, and position his business for the year.


“I have been to SURFACES twice: for Mohawk and for MARAZZI as a rep. Now as a retail Manager, I have always thought it would be great for an entire team to experience all the new year’s looks, and designs in flooring. We are taking full advantage of the IGNITE TRAINING.”

~ Anthony Maye, General Manager, Sparx Flooring and Lubbock Carpet World



“The TISE 2017 was a great event. It showcases the up and coming products and is a very good way of getting deals on products.”

“SURFACES is, by far, the best flooring trade show in the United States! The variety of products exhibited is staggering!”

“Each year I find more and more to keep me excited and enthused about the industry. Thanks for a great show.”

“TISE allows you, the buyer, the power to compare the diverse sea of products and equipment under one roof.”

“This was my first time attending, and I had a great experience throughout my entire time. There was so much information, both visual and in communicating with reps. It was a great experience and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to see what is available out there.”



“SURFACES is definitely one of the highlights of our year. We introduce all our new products at the show, and it creates an energy both internally at Mannington and with our customers that lasts for months to come.” ~ Mannington Mills

“This event generated a lot of leads for our company.” ~ Cal Tile Center

“Great show with impressive traffic of quality prospective buyers, some of which were existing customers or those we had been communicating with prior to the show that are turning into new customers.” ~ Old Wood, LLC

“TISE 2017 was a huge success for Wickham Hardwood Flooring. We were able to introduce new products and were able to identify a significant amount of quality leads!” ~ Wickham Hardwood Flooring



Save the date for The International Surface Event 2018 scheduled to be held January 30 – February 1, 2018, education January 29-February 1, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The exposition will feature the latest industry products, materials, equipment and services, including a wide variety of hardwood and laminate flooring, carpet, tools and equipment, natural stone and machinery, all types of tile, and much more.




 The International Surface Event (TISE): SURFACES | StonExpo/Marmomac | TileExpo, in conjunction with our Marmomac partners, has rebranded the StonExpo/Marmomac portion of the event. If you have a previous version of the TISE combined logo or the individual StonExpo/Marmomac logo, please visit the event website logo page for an updated version. TISE is asking the community to update the brand where they have it posted. Please note when mentioning the event in text, the appropriate naming convention is now: The International Surface Event: SURFACES | StonExpo/Marmomac | TileExpo. We thank you in advance for assisting the event in this brand update.

The International Surface Event, comprised of SURFACES | StonExpo/Marmomac | TileExpo, was formed in 2014, creating an unparalleled opportunity for industry professionals from all sides of the flooring, stone and tile spectrum to meet, interface and collaborate in one place.

SURFACES is the largest North American event serving the floor covering industry, bringing together buyers and sellers from all over the world to see the latest floor covering products, tools, services and technologies.  The official sponsor of SURFACES is the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), the industry’s largest advocacy organization representing floorcovering retailers, contractors and allied service providers throughout North America.

StonExpo/Marmomac is THE event for stone industry professional and is home of the MIA annual meeting.  The official sponsors are the Marble Institute of America (MIA) and Natural Stone Council (NSC). The Marble Institute of America (MIA) and the Building Stone Institute (BSI) serve more than 1900 members in 55 countries who represent every aspect of natural stone industry, offering them a wide array of technical and training resources, professional development, regulatory advocacy, and networking events.   Natural Stone Council (NSC), home of the Genuine Stone® brand, is the leader in the stone industry that represents major associations committed to promotion and education of the industry and general public of the value and benefits of natural stone.

For more information on The International Surface Event: SURFACES | StoneExpo/Marmomac | TileExpo, or their sponsors and partners, please visit

Dal-Tile Renews “Exclusive Tile Provider” Agreement with Nation’s Largest Home Builder

Dal-Tile Corporation was recently renewed as the “Exclusive Tile Provider” for America’s largest home builder by volume, D.R. Horton.  In addition, Dal-Tile was also selected as this leading home builder’s “Preferred Countertop Provider”.  Dal-Tile is the largest manufacturer and marketer of ceramic tile, natural stone, and countertop products used in residential and commercial spaces across North America.  The company manufactures and owns top tile brands, including Daltile, American Olean, and Marazzi.

“In this relationship, America’s largest home builder and America’s largest tile manufacturer become a formidable force to bring the highest levels of design, quality, and value to homes across the nation,” said Dan Butterfield, general manager of the builder channel for Dal-Tile Corporation.  “D.R. Horton is committed to excellence in construction, consistently delivering top-quality new homes to homebuyers.  Dal-Tile is the ideal partner for such a builder.”

“When builders partner with Dal-Tile, our specialized builder team becomes an exceptional resource for each builder’s corporate, regional, and local needs, including customized program development,” said Butterfield.  “Dal-Tile puts three of the world’s top tile brands (Daltile, American Olean, and Marazzi) at a builder’s disposal to create programs that easily meet all product and style needs.”

“Dal-Tile’s national footprint and superior logistics are unmatched in the industry,” added Butterfield.  “We have a stellar reputation with the builder segment as the brands, service, and support on which they can always rely.  Our brands’ fashion-forward designs, dependable quality, cutting-edge technology, and strong price/value propositions equip builders for success in all of their projects.”

For more information, visit,, and

LATICRETE Promotes Janet Brunwin to Senior Vice President of Finance

LATICRETE, a leading manufacturer of globally-proven construction solutions for the building industry, has promoted Janet Brunwin to Senior Vice President of Finance. In her new position, Brunwin will oversee financial reporting, compliance, treasury, tax, risk management and information technology for the family-owned global enterprise.
“Janet has been a member of our community for more than a decade, and her contributions have been invaluable in strengthening our company,” said David Rothberg, Chairman and CEO of LATICRETE.

Brunwin joined Laticrete in 2002 as Controller and was later promoted to Director of Finance in 2008, and Senior Director of Finance and Human Resources in 2011. In 2014, she was named Vice President – Finance.

Brunwin graduated with a bachelor’s degree in financial accounting and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of New Haven in New Haven, CT. She is a member of the Connecticut Society of CPAs, the American Institute of CPAs and the Financial Executives Institute. Active in her community, she was named Bethany Citizen of the Year in 2014.

ARDEX Americas Announces Expansion of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania Manufacturing Facility

ARDEX Americas recently announced a major expansion of their Aliquippa, Pennsylvania manufacturing facility, effectively doubling its size. This is the third such expansion for the company this year. In February ARDEX released news of an extension for the Dallas, Georgia plant and is also currently working to expand the manufacturing footprint in Stockton, California. The Aliquippa addition, which is the site of the Americas headquarters, includes significant increases in warehouse and production capabilities to better facilitate ARDEX’s growth strategy.

Pictured (from left) are:
Doug Marple, Engineering and Maintenance Manager; Jesse David, President, Americas; Lori Angelo, Chief Financial Officer and VP Shared Services; Jim Masterson, Director of Operations and Ron Juncal, Plant Manager.

ARDEX Americas President, Jesse David explained, “We continue to experience strong growth throughout the Americas and across all business segments. This expansion is a direct result of our growth and allows ARDEX to continue to provide innovative products to our existing customer base as well as meet the future needs of an expanding market. We are committed to investing capital into our plants and infrastructure to provide the very highest levels of service and support that our customers demand.”

The expansion includes the addition of a new production operation and additional capacity to support future growth. ARDEX Director of Operations Jim Masterson added, “We wanted to enhance the capabilities of our operation group and increase efficiencies in the long term. This will help both production and storage and position us well for the future.” The Aliquippa expansion project will continue in phases for the rest of 2017 and into 2018 but will have no effect on how customers are serviced.

For more information on ARDEX Americas, please visit or call 1-888-512-7339 to find a distributor near you.

American Olean Hosts Distributor Road Shows & New Facility Tours

This summer, American Olean took customer service to new heights with a series of distributor road shows in Nashville, TN.  Held throughout the month of June, these meetings let participants preview the latest tile collections from American Olean and tour the most recent Dal-Tile production facility in Dickson, TN.  A key ingredient to these successful annual meetings is always the ongoing, special relationship between American Olean and its distributors.

American Olean Team Members Enjoying Time With Distributor Partners During June Road Shows.

“Distributors attending our American Olean road shows experienced energy, innovation and camaraderie,” said Hector Narvaez, vice president of distributor sales, American Olean.  “This is an exciting time for the brand and we had a lot to share with our distributors in attendance.”

Special Relationships

“One of the hallmarks of American Olean is the strength of the long-standing relationships with some of the industry’s best distributors — and it shows,” said Narvaez.  “Together American Olean and our distributor partners bring not only superior products to our customers, but unmatched customer service.  Our distributors are always excited about American Olean and the more we showed them during the recent meetings, the more enthused they became, ready to take their new knowledge and our latest products back to their customers!  There is also a trust and a shared-sense-of-purpose that has formed between American Olean and our distributors over the years.  This unique bond was palpable during the road shows and really lent itself to productive meetings — and we had a little fun as well!”

L To R: Mike Lewandowski (American Olean), Jeff Wells (American Olean), Mike Hamer (Travis Tile), Jamie Tyler (Travis Tile).

“Each of these annual meetings raises our synergy and level of partnership to the next level,” added Narvaez.  “The legacy of the American Olean brand is 94 years strong.  And, here’s to another 94 years!  Our goal during this meeting was to further equip our distributors for success with the American Olean brand.  We are not only sending them out with a trusted brand name, but trend-forward products that give our distributors everything they need to excel at servicing their customers, especially their A & D audiences.”

The Meetings

The two-day events kicked off in Nashville with participants viewing the latest product offerings from American Olean. On the second day participants were taken to tour the Dickson plant, which opened in 2016 and is the most advanced tile manufacturing facility of its kind in North America. During the tour, distributors learned more about the technology and cutting-edge innovation behind the American Olean product line.

American Olean Distributors During June Road Show Meetings

To learn about American Olean and its latest product launches, please visit

American Olean Team Members & Distributor Partners At The Dickson Production Facility During June Road Shows.

Bostik Video Chronicles 2017 Design ‘N Gather Mosaic Mural Campaign

Grand Prize Winning Mosaic “Champagne Wishes”

“Design ‘N Gather 2017” (DNG), the international mosaic design competition co-sponsored by Bostik ( and Artaic Innovative Mosaic (, has been beautifully showcased via a state-of-the-art video just released. Click on this link to see it:

Mosaic enthusiasts worldwide submitted spectacular mosaic mural design concepts for the world’s “most highly photographed and wildly publicized Selfie Studio.” The grand prize winner ultimately was Lisa Darroh-Pouls of Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Pouls Hospitality Design. Her masterpiece, “Champaign Wishes” was unveiled in front of 600+ hospitality architects & designers as a backlit, mosaic mural permanently installed at Hyde Bellagio, overlooking the iconic Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas.

According to Chris Eichman, Bostik’s Marketing Communications Manager, “The submissions this year nearly doubled from our premiere campaign in 2016. The judges had to narrow down to the top ten finalists(which were prominently displayed during HDExpo), and finally selected the top design, which, truly captured the essence of Las Vegas. Our latest video captures the excitement of this one-of-a kind marketing program, which was another integral part of our global thrust to build Bostik brand recognition.”

“Together with Artaic, we want to give back to the design community,” stated Scott Banda, Bostik’s Director of Marketing and Business Development. “Everyone loves mosaic design, but its popularity has decreased over the years due to cost of labor and long turnaround time, forcing Americans to go offshore to procure these designs. To remedy this, Artaic invented a computerized process where mosaic designs are assembled by robots. This regimen is hundreds of times faster than the archaic, time-consuming process of putting little mosaic squares into place by hand.”

Inventor and scientist, Artaic’s Dr. Ted Acworth added, “Our relationship with Bostik began when we started using Dimension® RapidCure™ Grout, their unique formulation which contains 60% recycled glass content. The product is easy to apply, highly durable and most of all, actually adds more luminosity to mosaic productions. For example, if a project contains glass mosaics, imagine another light source being incorporated: that’s what Dimension® RapidCure™ offers.”

All of the above and more can be visualized/experienced by seeing the new high-quality video production.


LATICRETE sponsors the No.10 Legend car for teenage racer, Joey Ternullo, who recently beat out 20 other cars placing first at the Waterford Speedbowl. The Legend car is produced by U.S. Legend Cars, and are internationally sanctioned by INEX to provide a fun and affordable racing opportunity in which anyone can compete. Joey has ranked in the top five in every race he has participated in this season!


World’s Largest Tile Show (CERSAIE) Returns to Bologna, Italy

The 35th edition of Cersaie—the most important international exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings—will take place at the Bologna Exhibition Center in Bologna, Italy from September 25-29, 2017. The show is attracts over 800 exhibitors from around the world including architects, interior designers, tile installers, distributors, and media. Cersaie is organized by Edi.Cer SpA and promoted by Confindustria Ceramica in collaboration with Bologna Fiere.

With over 800 companies unveiling their latest products to the world (from porcelain tiles ranging from 3-30mm thick to solar roof tiles and antibacterial ceramics) as well as inspiring vignettes, and a robust conference program featuring Pritzker Prize winning architects, Cersaie is a must-attend event for tile professionals and design trade.


Cersaie’s annual conference and seminar series Building, Dwelling, Thinking will include notable figures from the international architecture and design community. Award-winning Chilean architect Sebastián Irarrázaval will be a guest speaker, alongside the talented Elisa Valero Ramos from Spain. Most recognizable today for his Caterpillar House, Irarrázaval has represented Chile three times at the Venice Biennale and is a winner of numerous awards including aoa (asociación de oficinas de arquitectura de chile) award in 1999 as best young architect. Ramos specializes in bio-climatic and energy saving design, as well as educational architecture.

The winners of the Ceramics of Italy Journalism Award and next year’s Beautiful Ideas contest winner will be announced during the International Press Conference, which will take place on Monday, September 25 at the beautiful Palazzo Ducale in Sassuolo.

Cer-Sail – Italian Style Concept—a 1,500 sq meter collective exhibition curated by Angelo Dall’Aglio and Davide Vercelli—will explore the vision of an ideal port inspired by classic Greek and Latin examples, as places of trade and cultural exchange.

Inspired by the popular 70s Italian show from which it gets its name, Milleluci, will be an exhibition and event space for the public to engage in a multisensory journey of different theatrical atmospheres.

The 6th edition of Cersaie designs your home will be held on Thursday & Friday, September 28-29, where leading Italian interior design magazine professionals offer a consulting service to consumers on their personal design projects.

For more information visit

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