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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.