Crossville Announces Shelby Ferriter as Common Thread for the Cure Scarf Design Contest Winner

Scarves In Production Now, Proceeds from Sales to Support Common Thread for the Cure

Crossville, Tennessee – Crossville Inc. has announced Shelby Ferriter as creator of the winning design for the company’s biennial Common Thread for the Cure Scarf Design Contest. Ferriter’s scarf concept, one of five designs that made it to the final round of online voting, garnered the most votes to earn the honored recognition. Her original pattern is being used to produce scarves that will be made available for purchase later this year, with proceeds going to fund Helping Hands grants through Common Thread for the Cure Foundation.

Ferriter is a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Architecture and will soon begin her career at Looney Ricks Kiss, an architecture and interior design firm in Memphis, Tennessee. In addition to seeing her design produced on this year’s scarf, she will receive a Crossville prize pack valued at $200, and a $3,500 tax deductible donation to Common Thread for the Cure foundation will be made in her name.

In describing the inspiration behind her scarf design, Ferriter explains that she focused on empowering individuals battling breast cancer. Each element in her original pattern supports the idea of empowerment.

“The mountains are not only part of Crossville’s logo, but also a symbol of the climb that individuals with breast cancer are going to face. With each step, with each day, with each dollar raised, we get closer to the top of the mountain and closer to finding a cure,” Ferriter shares. “The mountains are wrapped in a pink ribbon, which is an international symbol for breast cancer awareness. My hope is that when those battling cancer wear this scarf they are reminded of the strength they hold and are encouraged to keep fighting, everyday, because slowly but surely, we will climb to a cure.”

“We’re excited for Shelby and for the chance to see her winning design come to life on this year’s scarves,” says Lindsey Waldrep, Crossville’s vice president of marketing. “As she launches her professional career in interior design, we hope she shares the message of Common Thread for the Cure with her colleagues and leads the next generation of designers to join in supporting this worthwhile cause.”

In addition to the biennial scarf contest and annual programs to raise awareness during October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Crossville contributes a portion of the proceeds from the sale of select glass mosaic collections to support Common Thread for the Cure’s Helping Hands grants. For more information, visit


USG Corporation announced that it has reached an agreement with Alcorp Marketing through which Alcorp employees will join USG as full-time USG sales representatives as of July 1, 2018.

USG and Alcorp have worked as strategic partners since the release of Levelrock, and together they have grown the business into a leader in the performance flooring market. The decision to bring Alcorp employees to USG full-time underscores USG’s commitment to the Performance Flooring market and its belief in the future potential of the business. USG fully expects that all of the employees currently with Alcorp will transition seamlessly to USG and continue to support our customers.

Now Trending: Notable Looks from Tile of Spain Manufacturers at Coverings 2018

This year, tens of thousands of attendees from every facet of the design community happened upon the Spain Pavilion at Coverings 2018, where the term eye candy took on a whole new meaning.

Tile of Spain, the international brand representing 125 ceramic tile manufacturers belonging to the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association (ASCER), exhibited a wide variety of new product innovations and trends from 85 Spanish tile manufacturers. Architects, designers and contractors alike emerged from Coverings equipped with a fresh take on what’s new in ceramics. As in years past, new tile trends emerged while others maintain their position in the arena.
Notable trends by Tile of Spain manufactures include:
Geometric Shapes. From hexagons to herringbone, geometric shapes are still going strong. Fading, by Harmony, is a comprehensive 20x20cm collection with interplay between overlapping patterns and finishes.
Intriguing geometric patterns awaken the senses with Oset’s Andorra Collection. This stone-inspired fish scale pattern design is frost resistant and ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.
Mosaics are still a highly sought after format. The Allure Collection by Onix is a prime example of how combining sophisticated palettes with refined finishes creates design perfection.
One of the more prominent trends on the heels of Coverings is marble. Museum’snew Santana Collection exhibits a strong veined pattern on a restful background that lends surfaces a bold personality. Similarly, Inalco’s Azalai Collection emulates fine marble whose powerful intensity exudes elegance.
Natural looks are in abundance. Fanal’s Fusta series mimics the look of pressed wood chips; bringing a raw and natural look to floors and walls. The polished glazed porcelain is available in a 45x118cm format.
Maintaining its position in the arena is the wood look. Fine examples of trending wood looks can be seen in the Ceiba Collection from Cicogres as well as the Sonoma Collection from Pamesa. The beauty of wood reflected in ceramic tiles has a timeless prevalence.
The D’Anticatto Collection by Natucer brings a modern twist to old world charm. The warmth and comfort of each piece adds value to the highest standards of quality and its distinguished, enduring aesthetic. The rustic and slightly aged look gives depth and character to any space.
Finally, the Resort Collection by Vives solidifies that the cement look is here to stay. A perfect combination of industrial and refined, cement tiles have evolved to create more sophisticated visuals in both indoor and outdoor settings.
For press information and high-resolution images visit:
The 2018 Spanish Pavilion wass organized and sponsored by ASCER, the Professional Association of Ceramic Tile Manufacturers from Spain, and ICEX Spain Trade and Investment. For more information, contact [email protected] or visit
Connect with Tile of Spain on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram at TileofSpainUSA; and on Twitter and Pinterest at TileofSpain.


Arley Wholesale, Inc., the family-owned, third generation wholesale supplier of ceramic tile, natural stone, glass mosaics and sundry materials, is once again primed to host its 16th Annual Golf Classic and Tile & Stone Expo on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel in Scranton, Pennsylvania. This will conclude the annual three day celebration, which includes the highly popular Arley Golf Classic on Monday, June 11th.

“Our event is really the only show of its type on the East Coast,” stated Arley’s President, Scott Levy. “Its main focus is designed around the needs of the retailer. We have over 30 major suppliers in our exhibit hall all three days, offering attendees a personal opportunity to meet with each of them firsthand. This way, they can see the actual displays and samples they will be able to sell from, talk to the factory representatives on a personal level and discuss real-time solutions while getting excited about all the new products.”

This event will entertain and educate over 250 guests. Arley will be bringing in not only new and innovative products, but will focus on existing value-added products and marketing opportunities they offer.  “We want to be their partner in business, helping them to grow and profit. We even offer website creation for all of our retail partners who are competing against the big box stores.” Levy commented. “Buyers are young and digitally connected. If you are not online, you are not going to get these people into your showroom. Our customers need to stay relevant in the digital age. Our website program offers a ‘click and tile’ program, which lets one design room scenes with a desired Arley product, and customize bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms… and, commercial office spaces, by combining products and thus, achieving a realistic room design.”

Arley will be discussing its private labeling program, Qualis Ceramica, which protects their retail partners against price competition from internet retailers.  They will also show how their B2B solution allows customers to see real time inventory and place orders directly with Arley. Arley representatives will demonstrate how the Arley App is constantly updated and can offer innovative selling solutions to help close sales more quickly and more profitably.  

Levy concluded, “Every year, the Arley event grows… just as our company grows. We are bringing in new manufacturers, and we’ve expanded our warehouses to accommodate intensive inventory. We can successfully provide for the commercial markets as well as for the residential sector. We invite our customers and prospects to attend on June 12th and see the “Arley Advantage” for themselves.

Family-owned for three generations, Arley Wholesale remains the tile and stone supplier of choice by providing exceptional customer service, selection and stability to its customers. Arley Wholesale, Inc. 700 North South Road, Scranton, PA 18504. Call: 800.233.4107.

Construction employment rises in most states through April; reports on starts diverge 

Seasonally adjusted construction employment rose in 38 states and the District of Columbia year-over-year (y/y) from April 2017 to April 2018, declined in 11 states and was unchanged in Montana, an AGC analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released on Friday showed. The largest percentage gains again were in West Virginia (12%, 3,500 jobs) and Nevada (9.8%, 8,200), followed by Arizona (8.2%, 11,700), Utah (8.1%, 7,700) and Idaho (7.9%, 3,500). As in March, the most jobs were added in California (59,500, 7.4%), Texas (40,600, 5.7%) and Florida (34,900, 7.0%). The steepest percentage losses again occurred in North Dakota (-17%, -4,900), followed by South Dakota (-3.3%, -800), Iowa (-3.2%, -2,500 jobs) and Nebraska (-2.1%, -1,100). North Dakota lost the most construction jobs, followed by Iowa, Missouri (-1,500, -1.2%), South Carolina (-1,400, -1.4%) and Nebraska. For the month, employment rose in 29 states, fell in 19, and was flat in Mississippi, Montana and D.C. Texas was the only state to set a new record for construction employment. (AGC’s rankings are based on seasonally adjusted data, which in D.C, Nebraska, South Dakota and four other states is available only for construction, mining and logging combined.)

Two firms that track construction starts reported divergent results for April last week. The value of new construction starts in April tumbled 13% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, reversing an 11% jump in March, Dodge Data & Analytics reported on Thursday. “Nonbuilding construction (public works and electric utilities/gas plants) plunged 22% after its 74% hike in March that featured the start of the $3.5 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline expansion in West Virginia and Virginia, as well as several large highway projects. Nonresidential building retreated 12% due to a slower pace by its institutional and manufacturing segments. Residential building dropped 9% with reduced activity for both single-family and multifamily housing. During the first four months of 2018, total [year-to-date] construction starts on an unadjusted basis were…down 7% from the same period of 2017 (which included very strong amounts for airport terminals and natural gas pipelines).” Residential building starts increased 4% year-to-date, nonresidential building starts plunged 18%, and nonbuilding starts fell 10%. On a 12-month moving total basis, total construction starts for the 12 months ending April 2018 matched the dollar amount that was reported for the 12 months ending April 2017.” ConstructConnect reported on Tuesday that year-to-date starts in January-April 2018 combined were down 15% from the same months of 2017, with residential building starts down 15% (single-family, +4%; multifamily -42%); nonresidential building starts down 27% (commercial, -33%; institutional, -13%; and industrial (manufacturing), -60%); and heavy engineering (civil) starts up 9%. The 12-month average through April 2018 was flat (residential, +4%; nonresidential building, -9%; civil, +13%).

Housing starts in April decreased 3.7% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate from the March rate and 13% from the April 2017 rate, the Census Bureau reported on Wednesday. Single-family starts inched up 0.1% for the month and 7.2% y/y. Multifamily starts (in buildings with five or more units), which are often volatile, slid 13% for the month, following a 15% leap in March, and jumped 19% y/y. Starts increased 9.1% year-to-date (8.3% for single-family and 10% for multifamily). Building permits, a fairly reliable indicator of near-term starts, declined 1.8% for the month but rose 7.7% y/y. Single-family permits gained 0.9% and 7.9%, respectively. Multifamily permits fell 7.4% for the month but increased 6.4% y/y. Permits increased 8.8% year-to-date (single-family, 8.6%; multifamily, 8.1%).

Inflation-adjusted gross domestic product (real GDP) increased in 47 states and D.C. in the fourth quarter of 2017, decreased in North and South Dakota and was flat in New York, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported on May 4. “Mining and construction were the leading contributors to the increase in real GDP in Texas, the fastest-growing state.” Construction contributed 0.77 percentage points of the 5.2% increase in Texas’s state GDP. “Construction increased 8.4% nationally and contributed to growth in 49 states and [D.C.]. In addition to Texas, this industry also made a notable contribution to the increase in real GDP in Florida” (0.59 percentage points of a 3.7% growth in state GDP). Nationally, construction contributed 0.35 points out of GDP growth of 2.7%. The largest construction contributions were in Colorado (0.88 points of 3.2% growth in state GDP) and West Virginia (0.81 points of 1.0% growth in state GDP). Construction shrank only in North Dakota (-0.33 points out of a 1.3% decline in state GDP).

BLS issued a report on characteristics of the foreign-born workforce in 2017 on Thursday. Foreign-born workers were more likely than native-born workers to be employed in construction and extraction occupations (9.3% of foreign-born workers vs. 4.4% of native-born workers). The employment disparity was especially great for men: 15.6% of foreign-born men vs. 8.2% of native-born men were employed in construction and extraction occupations.

The Census Bureau sent letters on May 1 with instructions for online response to the Economic Census (Census of Construction for construction firms). Companies who receive the census are required by law to respond. Due date is June 12.

Trend-setting tiles, award-winning projects & more from Ceramics of Italy at Coverings + ICFF

Ceramics of Italy just wrapped up another successful edition of Coverings (May 8-11 in Atlanta) with a dynamic, tile-clad exhibit designed by e+i studio and hundreds of new tile and setting products from over 120 brands.
In case you missed the action, here are a few highlights:

If you have ICFF on your calendar this week, make sure to stop by the Ceramics of Italy Pavilion (booths 2219-2319) where 15 brands will showcase the latest trends in tile – from porcelain emulating terrazzo, marble and eucalyptus wood to new designer collections and outdoor tile.


Members of the Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC) united on April 13, 2018, in Tampa, Florida, to hear preliminary results of the FCLC installation labor force research initiative currently being conducted by The Blackstone Group Inc., a Chicago-based research firm.  The initiative will provide an in-depth look at the current and future state of the flooring covering installation labor force. 

The FCLC initiative has three primary objectives:

  1. Estimating the size of the gaps between the supply of and the demand for floor covering installers, now and in five and ten years.
  2. Quantifying the financial impact of the installer shortage up the supply chain.
  3. Identifying the key drivers of the installer shortage as well as potential solutions.

Work is complete on the initiative’s first three tasks: resource identification, preliminary analysis of labor force issues, and in-depth telephone interviews with industry stakeholders.

The preliminary analysis of installer labor issues delivered a profile of the floor covering installation labor force; an examination of the gaps between supply and demand; estimates of the size of the gaps now and in five and ten years; and approaches to analyzing the financial impacts of installer shortages on the supply chain.

In-depth telephone interviews targeted qualified stakeholders from key segments of the industry, including floor covering installers, builders, unions, retailers, distributors, and manufacturers. These interviews gathered insights on the drivers of shortages, the importance of training and certification, barriers to recruiting installers, the upstream financial impacts of installer shortages, and potential solutions to the shortages. Participants were asked to comment on the impacts that immigration, globalization, automation, regulatory changes, labor unions, product mix changes, and competition have had on flooring installation in the past five to ten years. 

The fourth phase of the research is an online assessment being sent to a pool of industry stakeholders compiled by the members of the FCLC. The assessment has launched and will conclude by June. All who receive invitations to the assessment are strongly encouraged to respond.

The next meeting of the FCLC Communications Committee is scheduled for July 20, 2018, in Chicago.  Final results of the floor covering installation labor force research are scheduled to be delivered to the FCLC membership on August 15, 2018, in Orlando, Florida.


The Belknap White Group (BWG), one of America’s leading full-service flooring distributors, recently hosted its Annual Spring Showcase Convention in Uncasville, Connecticut​ at the Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort. More than 50 key BWG suppliers were there to showcase their latest products and sales offerings to over 250 of BWG’s customers. 

BWG’s President, Paul Castagliuolo had this to say about the Spring Showcase, “This was one of our best events we’ve ever staged. We have not hosted this in a few years​,​ and we were thrilled with the result of bringing it back. We tweaked the format to allow more time for the reps, dealers and guests to spend together​… ​​and,​ it really paid off. The enthusiasm was incredible,​ and​ throughout its entirety,​ the show had a really positive vibe to it.”

“We were excited to re-introduce our annual Spring Showcase,” said BWG’s Executive Vice President of ​Sales​,​ Bill Prescott.  “The event was well received by all of our customers and we want to thank our vendor partners for their support. Frankly speaking, without them, this event would not have been a success. Plans are already in the works for 2019 to make it​ even​ bigger and better.”

TCNA’s Bill Griese Receives ASTM International’s Top Honor

Tile Council of North America (TCNA) is pleased to announce that Bill Griese, TCNA’s director of standards development and sustainability initiatives, has been honored with ASTM International’s prestigious Award of Merit in recognition of his outstanding leadership and contributions to the development of standards for the Committee C21 on Ceramic Whitewares.
The Award of Merit was established in 1949 by the ASTM International Board of Directors and is the highest society award granted to an individual member for distinguished service and outstanding participation in ASTM International committee activities. This includes general advancement of the interests of ASTM committees and the society as a whole.
Along with the award Mr. Griese is now a Fellow of the ASTM Society.
“It is truly an honor to receive this recognition from an organization I admire so deeply,” remarked Mr. Griese. “ASTM’s standards development process is unlike that of any other. The level of staff involvement and the broad range of countless volunteers and experts who collaborate to develop some of the most trustworthy technical specifications in the world is impressive, to say the least. I am humbled and honored to be able to interact regularly with such high-caliber professionals, and I would be remiss to talk about the successes of the committees in which I’m involved without recognizing the hard work, expertise, and contributions of so many others.”
Mr. Griese will be presented with the Award of Merit at the NTCA Awards Ceremony on Thurs., May 10th from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at Coverings 2018 (
Mr. Griese joined ASTM in 2007. Beginning in 2008 he served three consecutive terms as chairman of Committee C21 on Ceramic Whitewares and Related Products. He currently serves as C21 vice-chairman and chairman of Subcommittee C21.06 on Ceramic Tile. He also served two terms (one as chairman) as an appointed member of ASTM’s regulatory Committee on Technical Committee Operations (COTCO), and this year he began a three-year term on ASTM’s Board of Directors. Additionally, Mr. Griese is a member of ASTM Committee E60 on Sustainability and ASTM Committee C15 on Manufactured Masonry Units.
With Mr. Griese’s contributions, especially to C21, new specifications have been created and dormant ones revitalized. On several occasions he has authored and coauthored ASTM International standards, and he has reduced the cycle time of standardization efforts through outreach, stakeholder engagement, and increased committee correspondence. Through his consensus building aptitude, he has led committees through contentious subjects, and he has suggested compromises by which standards on the brink of expiration could be passed.
Mr. Griese has given countless hours of his time, energy, and service to the operations of ASTM and has been recognized by the Society on several other occasions. In 2013 he was selected by then ASTM President James A. Thomas as a recipient of the ASTM International President’s Leadership Award. He is also the recipient of Service Awards in 2014 and 2017 for his contributions as a member and chairman of COTCO.
In addition to his recognition by ASTM, Bill is well-known throughout the tile industry as a leader. As the chief visionary behind TCNA’s environmental efforts, Mr. Griese manages TCNA’s Green Initiative Committee, which is comprised of more than 80 members representing more than 50 organizations. Some of his most important projects include the development of Green Squared®-the first and only standard and certification program for sustainable tiles and tile installation materials-and industry-wide Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for North American-made ceramic tile, tile mortar, and tile grout.
Mr. Griese serves on numerous standards committees outside of ASTM. He is a U.S. delegate internationally in groups such as ISO TC 189 (Ceramic Tile), ISO TC59/SC17 (Sustainability in Buildings and Construction), and ISO PC 277 (Sustainable Procurement). He is a member of the tile industry’s ANSI ASC A108 committee where he spearheaded the development of Green Squared®.
Mr. Griese is a contributor to the development of TCNA’s Handbook for Ceramic, Stone and Glass Tile Installation. He served as an International Code Council working group member in the original drafting of the International Green Construction Code. He was also appointed to the U.S. EPA’s Governance Committee Flooring Panel, which helped develop federal guidelines on sustainability standards and certification labels.
Mr. Griese is an active participant in the World Ceramic Tiles Forum. He also speaks regularly at events in the U.S. and abroad and is an author, columnist, and contributor to several industry publications. In 2016 Coverings (the largest tile and stone exhibition in North America) honored him as a “Coverings Rock Star,” a group of young professionals recognized for having distinguished themselves as industry leaders.
Mr. Griese is a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) with a specialty in building design and construction. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Ceramic and Materials Engineering from Clemson University in Clemson, SC.

Iconic American Tool Brands Pony, Jorgensen & Goldblatt to be Relaunched to the North American Market Under the Leadership of Arrow Fastener

As part of Hangzhou GreatStar Industrial Company, Arrow Fastener proudly announces the relaunch of the Pony and Jorgensen adjustable clamping brands and Goldblatt tile, drywall, concrete and masonry tools to the North American marketplace in mid-2018.

GreatStar, based in Hangzhou, China, is one of the largest hand tool manufacturers in Asia, specializing in designing and manufacturing high-quality products for DIY, professional and industrial markets globally.  Arrow Fastener, based in Saddle Brook, N.J., is the leading manufacturer of staple guns and heavy duty staples in North America.

Arrow’s sales, marketing and distribution teams have a proven track record in the hardware industry which will be harnessed to support and grow these three widely-known brands.  Arrow’s strategically located New Jersey facility will become a primary distribution center for Pony, Jorgensen and Goldblatt products, in addition to Arrow’s own expansive current product line.

“As a respected American tool brand, Arrow products are ‘must-have’ items for many retailers in North America and elsewhere.  Given Arrow’s sales and marketing capabilities, combined with GreatStar’s manufacturing expertise and innovation pipeline,  we are well positioned to deliver high-quality, innovative products under all these iconic American brands: Arrow, Pony, Jorgensen and Goldblatt,” said Arrow President Gary DuBoff.

Case-in-point: Over the past 18 months, GreatStar has been recreating the Pony and Jorgensen products at their state-of-the-art manufacturing centers in China. Of the original 500 skus, GreatStar is recreating the 200 top sellers. These are the products which will support the reintroduction of the brands.

“GreatStar has taken great care to recreate the tools as faithfully to the originals as possible and has executed on a firm commitment to make the new tools at least as good, but preferably better, than the original U.S. made product,” said DuBoff.

Arrow is currently in the process of stocking the Saddle Brook, N.J. warehouse with Pony, Jorgensen and Goldblatt inventory to feed the growing business. The company expects the warehouse to be fully stocked and operational by July 2018.


Arrow Fastener Co., LLC

Arrow Fastener Company, LLC is a U.S. based manufacturer of staple guns, glue guns, and rivet tools located in Saddle Brook, N.J. Since 1929, Arrow has been a leader in fastening solutions in the big box home improvement and traditional hardware retail channels. For more than five decades, the T50® staple gun has been the industry standard, as the world’s best-selling staple gun. Today, Arrow Fastener is a trusted supplier of reliable, innovative and affordable products for the building trade professional and do-it-yourselfer. In July, 2017 Arrow was acquired by Hangzhou GreatStar Industrial Company, a $2.2B Chinese manufacturer of forklifts, hand and power tools, robotics systems, and laser measuring devices. Arrow now serves as GreatStar’s U.S. headquarters for sales, marketing, and distribution of GreatStar’s branded tool product portfolio. For more information, visit

Pony and Jorgensen

Since 1903, both the Pony and Jorgensen brands have been well known US clamp brands owned and managed by the Adjustable Clamp Company in Chicago. The products are used by a wide array of woodworkers, cabinet makers, carpenters, and serious DIY enthusiasts. Some items, such as the Jorgensen handscrews and the Pony pipe clamps are iconic hand tools with wide recognition. A standard pipe clamp, for example, is commonly referred to as a “Pony Clamp” among woodworkers and tradesmen regardless of what brand is on the product. In May, 2016, the Adjustable Clamp Company ceased operations and all business assets were acquired by GreatStar.


Started by Henry Goldblatt in Kansas City in 1885, Goldblatt was at one time a strong and vibrant US based hand tool brand best known for its line of US made masonry trowels and concrete floats. As America grew through the first half of the twentieth century, the company grew with it, expanding its product line to include drywall tools, tile installation tools and painting tools. A series of ownership changes beginning in the 1960s took the company away from family ownership. The business then changed hands through several private equity owners before being purchased by GreatStar in 2010.

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