LATICRETE Employee Recognized for Exemplary Research and Development Efforts

January 16, 2018, Bethany, Conn. — LATICRETE, a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry, has awarded company scientist Lindsey Lempicki with the Dr. Henry M. Rothberg R&D Innovation Award. Named after company founder and former chemical engineer, this award recognizes an exceptional member of the research and development team who has significantly impacted business performance and sales through innovative new technologies.

“The long-term success of LATICRETE is determined by our ability to harness the power of innovation in every area of our business. Lindsey’s remarkable results stem not only from her technical skill set, but also from her ability to understand and then translate customers’ needs into product innovation. By continuing to add highly productive scientists like Lindsey to our team, we have greatly expanded our product portfolio while continuing to improve our core products,” said Edward Metcalf, LATICRETE North America President and Chief Operating Officer.

Dr. Eerik Maandi, Vice President R&D with Scientist Lindsey Lempicki

Throughout the past year, Lindsey was the lead scientist in developing 4-XLT, TRI-LITE™, and 257 TITANIUM™.  She has been a valued member of the team since joining LATICRETE in 2007 after obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Forensic Science from the University of New Haven.

With approximately 1,600 team members worldwide, LATICRETE operates in 100 countries and continuously sets benchmarks for quality and innovation by easing the work of the installer, improving the durability of buildings, creating lasting customer relationships and treating customers, employees and partners like family.

Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC) Announces Research Initiative Addressing Leading Industry Issue, the Installation Crisis

January 16, 2018  — The Floor Covering Leadership Council announced today the
commissioning of a strategic research initiative to lead the industry through the next
phase of resolving the flooring installation crisis.

Installation has prevailed as the top industry concern for several years, and while a
number of initiatives have been undertaken to combat the problem, it is not clear that
there is wide-spread agreement on the root cause of the problem, or the best path to its
long-term solution according to the Council leadership team. A flooring industry
coalition led by FCLC is commissioning the new research project.

Research from the National Association of Home Builders points out that more than 8
out of 10 single-family builders identified the cost/availability of labor as the most
significant issue they face. The current scarcity of labor is all the more concerning given
projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that the construction industry will add
around 790,000 new jobs in the decade leading up to 2024. This data further
emphasizes the point that the flooring industry will be competing for scarce labor
resources and must be strategically organized to do so.

In September, members of FCLC worked with an industry consultant to develop a
Request for Proposal (RFP) for the research project. Four research firms were selected
and made proposals for the program. In December, coalition members within FCLC met
with the contenders and decided to move forward with Chicago-based firm, The
Blackstone Group.

The Blackstone Group brings 30 years of expertise in delivering custom marketing
research and consulting solutions. According to Council members, Blackstone stood out
from the other firms as they offer a full-spectrum of resources for multi-dimensional,
multi-phase research engagements, and they employ advanced analysis tools and out-of-
the-box approaches. FCLC members concluded that The Blackstone Group will
provide crucial insight and expertise as the flooring industry continues its resolution of
installation challenges.

The decision to organize the new initiative was driven by existing research, which
shows that installation issues continue to be the industry’s biggest challenge. The FCLC
decided unanimously that an extensive research initiative focused on uncovering the
underlying causes of the crisis was of paramount importance.

The research initiative includes reaching out to a broad range of stakeholders in all
facets of the industry. This will ensure that all issues and probable solutions are
strategically identified from many perspectives. The Council believes that once the
study is completed its results will serve as the industry knowledge platform for the
pursuit of a long-term resolution process.

Key research objectives of the FCLC-commissioned study include an examination of the
evidence for gaps between the supply of and demand for floor covering installers,
including an estimation of the size of this gap now and over the next 5-10 years. The
study also will seek to quantify the financial consequences of the installation crisis on
industry participants and lay out a stakeholder-driven determination of barriers and
potential solutions.

The coalition is now working to gain industry support to fund the approximate $150,000
required for the research project. Floor Covering Leadership Council members
committed approximately $50,000 to kick off the funding. Research sponsorships are
available as follows: Platinum $20,000+; Gold $10,000+; Silver $5000+ and Bronze
$2500+. To discuss participation, please contact FCLC member Phil Zolan by email at
[email protected] or call at 229-220-4974.

# # #
The Floor Covering Leadership Council (FCLC) is currently made up of 13 associations
– all dedicated to flooring. Its purpose is to identify issues and develop solutions that
lead to the success of the floor covering industry and its professionals. The
membership includes American Floorcovering Alliance (AFA); International Certified
Flooring Installers Association (CFI); Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA);
Floor Covering Installation Contractors Association (FCICA); Marble Institute of America
(MIA); North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD); Multilayer
Flooring Association (MFA); North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA);
National Institute of Certified Floorcovering Inspectors (NICFI); National Tile Contractors
Association (NTCA); National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA); Resilient Floor
Covering Institute (RFCI); and World Floor Covering Association (WFCA). For more
information or to discuss membership guidelines, contact Robert Blochinger
at 954-830-4426 or [email protected]


MANSFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS – The Belknap White Group (BWG), one of America’s leading full-service flooring distributors, has announced that Jane Twombly has joined its team as Director of Specifications. In this position, she will be developing and maintaining the firm’s strategic architectural and design focus, which is concentrated on increasing specifications of BWG’s extensive product portfolio.

Jane Twombly

Twombly will be actively assisting the A&D Sales team in securing specifications of BWG product lines in commercially-focused projects such as higher education, K-12, multi-unit residential, hospitality and similar.  She will also be working closely with key suppliers as it pertains to the product lines they are promoting to the A&D Community.

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to work at the Belknap White Group and its sales team here,” beamed Twombly.  “I am ready for the challenge, and look forward to a very successful 2018!”

According to Bill Prescott, BWG’s Executive Vice President of Sales, “We’re confident Jane’s experience will help greatly increase our market share within the North American specification channels.”

Jane Twombly, has been in the industry for over 20 years, with extensive experience in architecture, interior design and specification, as well as flooring products specifically.  Twombly earned her bachelor’s degree in Architecture and her graduate degree in Marketing. In addition, she is a LEED Green Associate.

Natural Stone Institute Expands International Outreach to Turkey’s Marble Fair

Oberlin, OH and Chestertown, NY, January 16, 2018The Natural Stone Institute has entered into an agreement in Turkey with Marble 24: The International Natural Stone and Technology Fair, commonly referred to as the IZMIR Fair. The association will send a delegation of industry leaders to exhibit and provide educational seminars during the show.

David Castellucci, Gökalp Soygül, Caner Özkan, and Bruce Knaphus at Marmomac.

Natural Stone Institute board member Bruce Knaphus (KEPCO+) commented: “Turkey represents approximately 33% of the world’s marble supply with more than 120 colors available. The IZMIR Fair attracts an attendance that is among the top three international trade shows. This is another opportunity for the Natural Stone Institute to further expand its international outreach regarding technical and educational resources.”

Marble 24’s Caner Özkan added: “Having the Natural Stone Institute participate in our Fair to provide education about the Dimension Stone Design Manual and Natural Stone Supplier-to-Buyer Manual will benefit stone companies in Turkey, as well as those around the globe.”

The 24th edition of the Fair will occur March 28-31, 2018.





CHICAGO – January 15, 2018 – USG Corporation’s Tile and Flooring Solutions group is reorganizing and expanding its team to better support its customers and its expanding portfolio of innovative products and solutions. Steve Bjorklund was appointed general manager, USG Tile and Flooring Solutions; Phil Ciesiulka, director, Sales; and, Scott Crandall, director, National Account Sales and Product Management. The group is adding considerable field sales support to give contractors and distributors easier access to products and training. These positions include distributor sales representatives, waterproofing technical sales representatives, and performance flooring technical sales representatives across North America.

For more information, visit




PROFILITEC, Italian producer of state-of-the-art floor profiles and related installation solutions, which has been in the states just a short while, is planning a focused, total launch of its comprehensive product line throughout the United States during 2018. “We have listened to the marketplace, in particular to our growing distribution network, and thoroughly believe our products offer high-performance solutions, longevity… and total value,” stated Greg Gelston, longtime construction industry executive and President of PROFILITEC USA.

Greg Gelston, Profilitec

In particular, the company manufactures tile installation systems including floor, wall, movement, step tread and baseboard profiles, tile pedestal, anti-lippage, shower and uncoupling systems. Additionally, a complete line of profiles for LVT, laminate, hardwood, engineered wood and carpet. For four decades, PROFILITEC has delivered these innovative products to the global marketplace… and while doing so, has developed mutually beneficial relationships with customers worldwide. PROFILITEC prides itself on “doing business the right way.”


“Doing business the right way is our mantra,” commented Gelston. “We’re not looking for new customers offering us instant gratification. Rather, we are focusing exclusively on distributors who are ready to enter into a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship. We offer not only solutions in so many areas of construction with our profile systems. We also offer highly technical educational solutions… based on keeping our customer base updated on the very best methods in which to install our quality products. And, blatantly speaking, we offer profit solutions that clearly explain how members of our distribution network will prosper. I know these are ambitious statements,” continued Gelston, “And frankly, we are going to back them up 100%.”

Gelston added that a strong number of the nation’s top distributors have already signed on with PROFILITEC. “Stay tuned for more announcements about our firm,” he declared. “We have a well-planned, strategically defined road-map to success. You’ll be hearing more and more about us as time elapses. Stay tuned!”


PROFILITEC’s extensive product portfolio can be easily seen by logging onto

D.C. Circuit Court Upholds Silica Standard

As reported by Sherman & Howard ( attorneys Pat Miller, Rod Smith, Chuck Newcom, Matt Morrison and Alyssa Levy, on December 22, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a long-awaited opinion in a case involving numerous challenges to OSHA’s silica in construction standard. The opinion deals a blow to industry challenges and largely upholds the standard. Industry challenges focused on issues such as whether there was substantial evidence to support the rule’s finding that the new exposure limits will reduce health risks, whether there was substantial evidence to find that compliance with the standard is technologically and economically feasible, and whether OSHA violated the Administrative Procedure Act in promulgating the standard. There were also challenges to specific parts of the standard such as confidentiality of medical examinations and the prohibition against dry cleaning methods. The court rejected all of these challenges in a lengthy and detailed opinion.

Union groups also challenged certain aspects of the standard, such as the requirement to only provide for medical examinations in cases where employees are required to wear a respirator for 30 days or more per year and the absence of medical removal protections. The court rejected the challenge to the 30-day trigger for examinations. However, it did conclude that OSHA did not adequately explain why it omitted medical removal protections from the standard. More specifically, the court ruled that OSHA acted arbitrarily in declining to require medical removal for some period in cases where a doctor recommends permanent removal, when a doctor recommends temporary removal due to COPD symptoms, and when a doctor recommends removal pending a specialist’s determination. The court remanded the matter to OSHA to reconsider or further explain these issues.

This decision means that pending an additional requirement for medical removal, OSHA’s silica in construction standard will remain in effect as written. Employers are again encouraged to make sure that they are in compliance with the rule, which is now in effect. Sherman & Howard will continue to monitor new developments with the standard.

DuPont™ Zodiaq® Re-named Corian® Quartz & Becomes Part of the Corian® Design Master Brand

WILMINGTON, Del., Jan. 9, 2018 – DuPont™ Zodiaq® is becoming part of the Corian® Design family of branded products, services and design solutions. While the popular quartz product continues to be owned by DuPont, the product will be re-branded as Corian® Quartz as part of the new global design brand, Corian® Design which was introduced earlier this year.

“The move from DuPont™ Zodiaq® to Corian® Quartz will better align the product to the brand’s design principles and allow Corian® Design to more efficiently and effectively communicate the product offering to the market,” said Julie Eaton, global business director for Corian® Design.

Along with the name change comes bolder designs, textures and aesthetics for Corian® Quartz which will be previewed this week at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Orlando. Customers can expect to start seeing Corian® Quartz in the market effective immediately, kicking off the Corian® Design – Make Your Space™ Campaign launching today.

All product warranties, properties and quality of levels of service customers previously experienced with DuPont™ Zodiaq® remain unchanged with Corian® Quartz. The line currently boasts 52 colors and patterns for use in residential and commercial in a variety of uses including kitchens, bathrooms, hotels, hospitals and restaurants. Corian® Design will now offer a range of materials, including Corian® Quartz all with the goal of helping customers make a statement or make a space “uniquely you.”

For more information, please visit


Designer Selects Crossville Gauged Porcelain Tile Panels for Vignette in Perlick Booth at Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, Orlando – Jan 9 – 11

Perlick booth

Interior Designer Arianne Bellizaire.

CROSSVILLE, Tennessee — Crossville’s gauged porcelain tile panels are featured in a cutting-edge vignette design in the Perlick Corp. booth (W247) at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Orlando on Jan. 9 – 11.

Interior designer Arianne Bellizaire specified Crossville’s porcelain tile panels for the vignette in the Perlick booth because they are an innovative material that she could incorporate in a truly unique, customized way.

“I used Crossville’s porcelain tile panels in three colors to create a color blocking effect,” explains Bellizaire. “I wanted to tell the story of design trends that work beautifully in the kitchen and beyond. I knew the Crossville tile panels would be a great way to help capture the look I was going for.”

The vignette may be seen at the Perlick booth through the duration of the KBIS show. Find photos of the space by clicking here.

About Crossville, Inc.
Founded in 1986 and celebrating 30 years in 2016, Crossville Inc. is a U.S.-owned and operated manufacturer of award-winning tile collections for residential and contract applications. Its headquarters and manufacturing facilities are located in Crossville, Tennessee. Crossville, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Curran Group, a private holding company renowned for its core values of family, respect, partnership, integrity, and improvement.

An industry innovator, Crossville is the first U.S. tile manufacturer to achieve the following:
– produce large format tile on site,
– manufacture tile with certified recycled content,
– develop the Tile Take-Back® Program for recycling fired porcelain tile,
– achieve certification of its waste recycling programs,
– achieve TCNA’s Green Squared certification for all of its U.S.-produced tile lines,
– distribute a complete line of gauged porcelain tile panels, and
– become a net consumer of waste.

For more information, visit Crossville’s website by clicking here.

iQ Power Tools Appoints Jim Mackall as Vice President of Sales

iQ Power Tools, manufacturer of premium power tools with integrated dust-collection technology, has announced that Jim Mackall has been appointed to the firm’s newly-
created position of Vice President of Sales. Mackall will be responsible for the company’s
nationwide sales team, new business development and expansion of existing markets.

Jim Mackall, iQ Power Tools

iQ Power Tools President Joel Guth said, “We are excited to welcome Jim Mackall to iQ. He will be responsible for expansion and continued growth as we look to further diversify and grow our business. Jim’s leadership and extensive sales experience in previous roles at US LBM Holdings, Steeler, BlueLinx and Hitachi Power Tools have given him a strong foundation within the construction industry sector.

“Jim brings a wealth of knowledge to all areas of our business,” continued Guth, “including contract negotiations, market research, distribution, integrated supply programs and project management.”

“The iQ story is an impressive one,” Mackall said. “Their superior products come from a proven commitment to create and market the most safe and effective tools to the industry. I am very excited about my opportunity to continue to build and lead this sales team in
delivering their message to the marketplace.”

Mackall has over 15 years experience in sales and regional development and has led nationwide expansions with over $100M in sales and P&L.

# # #

About iQ Power Tools
iQ Power Tools manufactures a comprehensive range of premium power tools with integrated dust collection systems for the concrete, masonry, hardscape and tile sectors. The company was founded by third-generation masons Joel and Paul Guth, who have logged over 30 years each in the masonry industry. Decades of experience taught them about dust problems; their company started out creating tools to solve their own problems only to realize these same issues affected all contractors… mess, money and a threat to the health and safety of the industry. iQ Power Tools envisions a future where their innovation helps create a 100% dust-free environment: jobsites are safer, work practices are healthier… and, the construction industry becomes even more sustainable.

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