NEW NTCA PRESIDENT ANNOUNCED AT TOTAL SOLUTIONS PLUS

James newJames Woelfel, Vice President of Artcraft Granite, Marble and Tile of Mesa, Arizona has been elected President by the National Tile Contractors Association’s membership. His election was officially announced at this year’s Total Solutions Plus Conference which was held in San Antonio, Texas, October 25-28, 2014.

Woelfel will serve a two-year term which will run until November 2016. He succeeds outgoing president Dan Welch, President of Welch Tile & Marble in Michigan. With his unique leadership and passion for the tile industry, Welch will become the Chairman of the Board for the NTCA. He is currently on the Board of Directors for the CTEF (Ceramic Tile Education Foundation), on the NTCA Technical Committee and was the 2014 NTCA Tile Person of the Year.

After his election, James Woelfel stated, “I am honored to become the next President of the NTCA. It is humbling for me to become the first son of a former president of our association’s history.  My father, Butch Woelfel, served in this capacity from 1985-1987.  In my tenure, I hope to raise the awareness of our association to even stronger international recognition, as we continue to play a leading role in the development of installation standards for tile & stone installations.  We want to celebrate our past and embrace the future of a global tile industry.”

James Woelfel is the current NTCA Technical Committee Chairman, a member of the TCNA Handbook Committee and the ANSI A108 Committee. In 2011, Woelfel was the recipient of the NTCA Tile Person of the Year award.

The National Tile Contractors Association Board of Directors is elected by members at its Annual Meeting. It is comprised of the Executive Officers of the Association, representatives of twelve geographic regions, and allied members from distribution and tile and installation material manufacturers. Terms for the Board of Directors are for two years.

Executive Officers Include:

  • Bart Bettiga: NTCA Executive Director and Chairman of Convention Planning and Finance Committee..

Bart is also on the Coverings Board of Governors and is the Executive Director of the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation.

  • Jim Olson: Assistant Executive Director: NTCA
  • Dan Welch: Chairman of the Board, NTCA
  • James Woelfel:  President, NTCA
  • Martin Howard: David Allen Company ~ 1st Vice President
  • Chris Walker: David Allen Company ~ 2nd Vice President*
  • Nyle Wadford: Neuse Tile Service ~ Executive Officer and Past President
  • John Cox: Cox Tile ~ Executive Officer and Past President

*New addition to the Executive Committee is Chris Walker of David Allen Company. He will serve as the NTCA’s Second Vice President as well as continue to serve on the ANSI A108 Committee and as the Chairman of the NTCA Methods and Standards Committee.

Board members participate in scheduled meetings and conference calls, and serve on several standing committees.  The NTCA Board of Directors is actively involved in the overall management of the Association, and works closely with the NTCA staff to carry out a clearly defined strategic plan in order to meet its goals and objectives.

State directors work closely with NTCA’s staff to promote membership in their region and to support NTCA local events.

This Executive team is comprised of some of the most successful tile contractors and leaders in our industry” announced Bart Bettiga, NTCA Executive Director. “They represent both commercial and residential contractors, participate in every single important standards committee in our trade… and, they have dedicated many years to the growth of our association. Their support of the direction and efforts of our staff has been instrumental in the incredible growth NTCA has experienced the past several years. Our future is secure under their leadership and guidance.”

NTCA Five Star Contractor participates in 12th Annual Minnesota Tile Festival

The Twelfth Annual Handmade Tile Festival dawned on a sunny September 21 at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. The outdoor event hosted a combination of 30 handmade tile makers/artists and related industry exhibitors from across the country.

With the retirement of longtime festival coordinator Norma Hanlon last year, Handmade Tile Association (HTA) executive director Josh Blanc stepped in to manage the event with the help of Mercedes Austin of Mercury Mosaics and Trebuchet Communications.

Five hundred and forty seven people came to the event, which featured some new concepts: The Installation Booth, where artists could purchase a wall to showcase their installation, and the Tile Boutique, managed by Seattle’s Carol Dean, which displayed work from artists from other parts of the country who couldn’t afford to travel could participate in the show.

Jan_at_handmadetileFive Star NTCA Contractor Jan Hohn of Hohn & Hohn, Inc., and Region 7 NTCA board member had a booth promoting NTCA as well as quality tile installation (CTEF-CTI) for all the handmade tiles that people were buying.

The fashion show was a bigger draw in this, its second year, with many artists and fashion designers collaborating and creating unique tile and fashion garments for the runway. Tiles were attached to the garments, with most custom-made for the garments and accessories, which were professional and consumer-ready. The tile fashion show gives tile artists and fashion designers the ability to transcend their everyday focus and experiment with challenges and new forms. Besides allowing the exploration of new ideas and craftsmanship, the fashion show also helped to bring in a new type of audience to learn about tile.

1-tile-dress“Six clothing designers teamed up with handmade tile makers to create fashions that incorporated tile into the design of the clothing, making tile wearable; the results were wonderful,” Hohn said.  “Most people wouldn’t think of tile sewn into clothing, but the range of designs and the use of tile was quite innovative. The designs ranged from  ‘tile jewelry’ to casual wear to evening dresses and even a walker that incorporated tile.”

The American Swedish Institute’s Karin Krull and staff helped put on and sponsor the event as well as many volunteers including: Layl McDill, Jack Kazrowski, JoAnn Hendricks, Deb George, Elliot McDill and Eric Moe.

Due to a number of factors the Handmade Tile Association is evaluating whether the annual event will continue to be the best way to raise awareness of handmade tile and celebrate tile artists and tile makers.

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“The Tile Festival’s main goal is to introduce and promote handmade tile to the public,” Hohn said.  “Because of the nature of handmade tiles, they are not for everyone, but when a person chooses handmade tiles, the projects can be customized much more than any machine-made tile. It allows a person to put their own stamp of artistic influence on a tile installation.”


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Visit www.handmadetileassociation.org for more information on the association, handmade tile and the tile festival.

TCAA, NTCA historic partnership accomplishes first goal to elevate the tile trade.

The Tile Contractors Association of America (TCAA) and the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), as previously reported in TileLetter, submitted a proposal for language to be included in the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation stressing the importance of considering qualified tile contractors and installers when specifying tile and stone.

Stephanie Samulski, TCNA, announced February 8, 2012 that committee members approved the ballot with a significant affirmative vote. Carole Damon, executive director of TCAA, noted, “We are very pleased and gratified by the ballot outcome. The Handbook has long been an authoritative guide to materials usage and installation techniques. Expanding that guidance to the equally important consideration of contractor qualifications is a watershed moment in our industry.”

Nyle Wadford, NTCA president, added, “It was said concerning this new language that „everyone involved has worked to lay a bedrock foundation in which trust and partnerships can develop and thrive for the good of our industry.‟ I could not agree more and would like to thank everyone involved. It is really exciting to see the important industry relationships that are developing as a result of this venture.”

The approved TCNA Handbook language recommends including installer and contractor specifications, stating, “How good the finished installation looks, how well it performs, and how long it lasts are in [the hands of] installers who have demonstrated their commitment to their craft and take the time to remain current with the latest materials and methods.” The Handbook further stresses, “Requiring a portfolio and references reflecting the installer‟s/contractor‟s experience, along with a bid or estimate, is a good way to ensure work of similar size, scope, and complexity has been completed. [Varied installations] require different skills. Matching installer ability to the project at hand requires close evaluation of their experience, training, state licensing…and certifications/credentials.”

Programs administered by non-profits, associations, and unions serve the tile industry by providing education, hands-on training, and evaluation of the skills and competency of installers and contractors. The Handbook recognizes the following well-established non-profit programs:

Tile Contractors Association of America (TCAA) Trowel of Excellence Program: TCAA is a contractors association for BAC signatory contractors. Its Trowel of Excellence Program recognizes TCAA members who have demonstrated a record of successful installations. To earn the Trowel of Excellence designation, a member must submit letters of reference, submission of a detailed project description and photos, employee participation in educational programs and proof of financial responsibility. See www.tcaainc.org to learn more.

National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) Five Star Contractor Program: The Five Star Program is peer review program recognizing NTCA members who demonstrate a record of successful installations. To earn this coveted designation, a contractor must complete a rigorous evaluation including customers‟ recommendations, supplier references, and participation in continuing education, training, and safety programs. For more information, see www.tile-assn.com.

Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) Certified Tile Installer Program: CTEF tests hands-on installation skills and knowledge. Installers must achieve the minimum required score on both tests to earn the “CTEF Certified Installer” designation. See www.tilecareer.com for more information.

International Masonry Institute (IMI) Contractor College Program: IMI conducts professional and technical courses for union masonry and tile contractors. For more information, see www.imiweb.org.

Journeyman Tile Layer Apprenticeship Programs are recognized by the U. S. Department of Labor and require several years of documented training as apprentices. Qualified Journeyman Tile Setters may be located through union locals, primarily the Bricklayer and Allied Craftworkers (www.bacweb.org) and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC, www.carpenters.org).

NTCA Celebrates 65 Years

Celebrating its 65th year as a leading trade association, the National Tile Contractors Association now has added this beautiful Mercedes Benz customized van to its traveling road show program. Michael Whistler, NTCA trainer who resides in Montana, will be spotted in the van as he travels throughout the United States this year, performing educational programs at over 35 NTCA symposium programs for the trade and the architectural and design community. The logos on the van are proudly displayed as support from our associate members for the NTCA symposium program. NTCA trainer Gerald Sloan, who resides in Birmingham, Alabama, utilizes a Ford F250 pickup truck with an attached trailer with associate member logos displayed as well. Sloan will also be traveling in the U.S. this year, hosting a similar number of programs as Whistler.

The NTCA symposium program is being hosted and sponsored exclusively by Dal-Tile Corporation for 2012. The NTCA Board of Directors voted unanimously to authorize the purchase of the van at its Board of Directors meeting in November. A better gas mileage performance will help offset the costs of the investment over time. Whistler says the van “drives like a dream”. Check out the upcoming schedule of NTCA Symposium programs at www.tile-assn.com/workshops and pencil in your time to attend an event in 2012.

NTCA to Hold Winter Meetings in New Orleans, Louisiana

With an aggressive agenda designed to increase membership and industry outreach, and to develop and revise new standards, the National Tile Contractors Association will hold its winter Board of Directors and Committee Meetings February 28th-March 2nd. Sponsorship opportunities are available for various activities taking place in conjunction with the meetings, which are being held at the beautiful Royal Sonesta hotel in the French Quarter. NTCA will host its Executive and Board of Directors officers, as well as members of the Technical, Standards and Methods, Convention Planning, Membership and Training and Education Committees. In addition, the NTCA Five Star Contractor Program will hold its own meeting for its members, as well as a reception and dinner. Spouses and guests are encouraged to attend. For more information, contact Executive Director Bart Bettiga at [email protected]

Laticrete and Crossville Generously Donate to NTCA and Tile Partners for Humanity

For many years, Nativity Lutheran Church of Brandon, Mississippi has served the local community through social ministry. Volunteers from the church have worked with Habitat For Humanity, victims from Hurricane Katrina, and the Center for Violence and Protection, as well as other community programs. Recently, the leaders of the church were faced with a dilemma. Because of unexpected damage to the structure and interior of their building, the leaders of this small congregation were faced with monetary needs that were beyond their capability. Thanks to the NTCA and its contractor member Kelty Tile and Marble, and especially, to Tile Partners For Humanity, Crossville Ceramics and Laticrete International, the church will have a beautiful new porcelain tile floor by Mid-February. Crossville donated over 3,000 square feet of porcelain tile and Laticrete has supplied the thinset mortar, grout, and leveling materials for the church floor. A full story on this project will be featured in an upcoming TileLetter in the Helping Hands section. The NTCA is indebted to our suppliers and their generosity.

NTCA Year In Review

The NTCA Board of Directors met in Phoenix, Arizona recently while attending Total Solutions Plus. As the meeting came to an end, everyone was standing and clapping, celebrating the success of the Association, its staff and its volunteer officers. The mood quite simply was refreshing and optimistic. Here is why:

Membership

Revenue for NTCA in membership is up for the fifth straight year. Despite increasing challenging economic times, contractors, distributors and manufacturers continued to see the value of belonging to the NTCA. Overall membership remains at approximately 800 companies, and the Member Committee recently added an opportunity for architectural and design firms to join as an associate member.

Coverings

The Installation Design Showcase is back for its third year in a row, with a new program focusing on highlighting key market opportunities, such as exterior living spaces, hotel bedrooms, and custom showers. NTCA contractor members will once again partner with top designers in one of the most popular features at the show.

The newly created Coverings Installation and Design Awards will replace the TileLetter Awards, and will be managed by the show. NTCA publications TileLetter and TADA will sponsor the awards program, which will recognize both the designer and installer of the projects.

Special programs to promote tile contractors and installers will be a new feature at the show this year, and once again the NTCA will manage the installation seminars at the show.

Total Solutions Plus

This leading educational and networking conference, managed by the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association, NTCA and Tile Council of North America, will be back in the fall for the third year in a row. This is a unique opportunity for leaders of the entire industry to unite under one roof. A fall date for 2012 is expected soon.

TADA

The NTCA is proud to announce the production of a new publication, geared specifically to architects and design professionals, for the purpose of providing important information for the successful specification of tile and stone. TADA (Tile and Stone for architects, designers and affiliates) will be unveiled at Coverings in April of 2012, with subsequent issues to be featured at NeoCon, Total Solutions Plus and Surfaces. A new website for the publication will be live in January, 2012.

TileLetter

Over 15,000 industry professionals continue to receive TileLetter on a monthly basis, and advertising revenue increased by 15% in 2011. Keeping in pat with its strategic plan, the Association will continue to niche TileLetter as the vehicle to promote proper installation of tile and stone, while TADA will focus on proper specification of the same products.

Five Star Program

2011 may well go down as the Year of the Five Star Contractor Program at NTCA. The Five Star Program recognizes companies for a proven track record of success. In response to a meeting held at their corporate facilities in Crossville, Tennessee in June of 2011, Crossville recently announced a Five Star volume rebate program as a way of recognizing the Five Star members commitment to training and education. One requirement will be that all Five Star Members need to participate in the Certified Tile Installer Program offered by the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation.

Look for more programs for Five Star Contractors in 2012, and the Association staff is working diligently to create opportunities for its members to be specified on certain projects with this company recognition.

NTCA Symposium Program

With the support of Dal Tile and several independent distributors, NTCA trainers Michael Whistler and Gerald Sloan performed over 75 programs in front of tile industry professionals throughout the country. In fact, one of the programs took place in Hawaii, making it the 50th and final state to be host to a FREE NTCA event. Dal-Tile is back in 2012 as the Exclusive sponsor of over 70 programs around the United States.

Reference Manual and Member Directory

A printed Membership Directory will be produced for the first time in several years, and will be mailed to all members in good standing of the Association. New this year will be a mailing to over 1,000 of the top architectural and design firms, with a letter urging them to consider hiring NTCA Contractor Members and specifying with products from NTCA Associate Partners.

The NTCA Reference Manual, one of the most valuable components of membership in NTCA, will become even more so when it is printed in an easy to use format in 2012. For the past several years, the NTCA Reference Manual has been available only in a CD Rom version. The book will be published every two years.

Conclusion

There are so many things going on at the NTCA, there is not enough room to talk about it in the pages of TileLetter. So check us out on www.tile-assn.com. Better yet, call us at 601-939-2071. Perhaps the most valuable asset of our Association is the wealth of experience we have to offer to our members. We have two technical trainers and consultants available at all times. And our Executive Staff has over 100 years of experience combined in the trade. Simply stated, our staff will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist our members on any subject.

As Executive Director of the NTCA for the past ten years, I invite you to contact us to learn more about what we can do for you as a member of one of the fastest growing tile contractors associations in the world.

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