CTEF Regional Evaluators Expand Certified Tile Installer (CTI) Hands-on Testing Program

The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) has developed a Regional Evaluators (RE) program to expand the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) Program hands-on testing. The program is led by Regional Evaluator Coordinator Kevin Insalato who reports to Scott Carothers, Director of Training and Education for CTEF.

“It is critical for the future of the tile industry that homeowners, architects, designers and commercial business owners have the option of qualified labor for their tile installation projects so the installations not only look beautiful, but also perform consistently over time,” says Carothers. “The CTI program was developed to provide that level of assurance to those seeking professional tile installers. With the Regional Evaluator program, CTEF can significantly grow the number of CTIs and the level of tile installation competence available across the United States.”

What is the Regional Evaluator Program?

Regional Evaluators are themselves Certified Tile Installers who take additional training to evaluate the hands-on portion of the Certified Tile Installer Program test. They must know how to set up the testing modules, conduct the hands-on test, score the 100-point evaluation, and assist installers in furthering their understanding of the proper installation of ceramic tile.

They are regionally based and able to organize and conduct hands-on testing within their region which greatly expands the reach of the CTI program. This also means that installers no longer need wait until classes reach 10 or more students before they are able to take the hands-on portion of the exam and achieve industry-recognized certification and validation of their skills and knowledge.

Kevin Insalato of California Flooring in the Chicago area, serves as Regional Evaluator Coordinator for the program and has kicked it off with the following sixteen Regional Evaluators:

Joe Kerber, CTI # 217, Kerber Tile Marble & Stone – Shakopee, MN
Robb Roderick, CTI # 727, NTCA Trainer – West Coast USA
Mike Corona, CTI # 923, Corona Marble & Tile, Woodbine, MD
Shon Parker, CTI #999, Hawthorne Tile, Portland, OR
Dave Rogers CTI # 1029, Welch Tile – Kent City, MI
Rafael Lopez, CTI # 1100, California Flooring – Manteno, IL
Mark Heinlein, CTI # 1112, NTCA Trainer – East Coast USA
Tom Cravillion, CTI # 1116, Cravillion Tile & Stone – Plymouth, WI
Matt Newbold, CTI # 1118, Elite Tile Setters – Lehi, UT
Triniti Vigil, CTI # 1144, J&R Tile – San Antonio, TX
Brad Denny, CTI # 1190, Nichols Tile & Terrazzo – Joelton, TN
Dan Hecox, CTI # 1215, Hecox Construction – York, NE
Jason McDaniel, CTI #1273, Stoneman Construction, Stafford, OR
Todd Kozey, CTI # 1285, Complete Contracting Services – Fraser, MI
Ed Siebern, CTI # 1289, Mourelatos Tile Pro, Tucson, AZ
John Mourelatos, CTI # 1290, Mourelatos Tile Pro, Tucson, AZ
“With the Regional Evaluator Program, we can now take the CTI hands-on test to installers, retailers, and tile contractors around the country increasing the number of qualified installers available to the marketplace,” says Insalato. “That’s exciting!”

The program will initially utilize sixteen REs and eventually include a minimum of 50 Regional Evaluators. For more information about the Regional Evaluator program, visit https://www.ceramictilefoundation.org/regional-evaluators

What is the Certified Tile Installer Program?

The CTI designation identifies the professional installer who has reached a level of proficiency to independently and consistently produce a sound tile installation that displays good workmanship. Certification is the validation of the skills and knowledge of the men and women who presently are installing tile successfully in the United States.

To qualify for the CTI Program, installers must have at least two years of experience as the lead installer setting ceramic tile on a full-time basis. This means having full responsibility for substrate prep, layout, coordinating with other trades along with properly installing underlayment, tile, grout and sealant materials.

The CTI test is a two-part examination consisting of:

A written test which is an open-book, 155 question, multiple-choice exam that can be taken online at home or the office as the installer’s schedule allows.
A hands-on test which is monitored and assessed by Regional Evaluators all across the United States. In it, installers must demonstrate their ability to execute a complex layout and proper installation of vapor retarder membrane, backer board, tile (walls and floors), cementitious grout, and flexible sealant (caulk). For each installation material, the applicant is scored on the various aspects of workmanship relevant to producing an installation that will endure use and satisfy the discriminating client.
The CTI Program: Recognized by the Tile Industry

The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) which sponsors the CTI program is supported by all segments of the ceramic tile industry. CTEF is headquartered in Pendleton, South Carolina, near Clemson University and in close proximity to the offices of the Tile Council of North America (TCNA).

The Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) provides education and installer certification for professionals working in the ceramic tile and stone industry. The CTEF Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program is the only third-party assessment of installer skill and knowledge which is recognized by the tile industry.

To register for the CTI tests, please visit https://www.ceramictilefoundation.org/events, select the test date and location of your choice, and make your payment through the secure third-party site. The study materials will be shipped out to your home or office the same day.

sixth annual Daltile Interior Design Scholarship Competition opens for submissions

Daltile and the ASID Foundation partner with Booz Allen Hamilton to award $27,500 in scholarship prizes

The sixth annual Daltile Interior Design Scholarship, presented by the ASID Foundation, is now open for submissions. The competition, which will award $27,500 in scholarships, will challenge students to reimagine the Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Center, located in Washington, D.C. Once again the competition will honor the grand prize winner with a $10,000 scholarship, three runners-up with $2,500 scholarships, and the school or university with the most student submissions with a $10,000 grant.

“For six years the Daltile Interior Design Scholarship has challenged interior design students across the country and awarded the rising stars of the industry for their creative design solutions,” said Kim Albrecht, senior brand marketing manager for Daltile. “This year we are taking the competition to a new level, using an existing space – the Innovation Center – as our canvas and empowering students to transform it using the extensive line of Daltile products.”

For the 2017 competition, students will be asked to evaluate the Innovation Center and identify areas of opportunity. Using Daltile products, students will redesign the space to incorporate Fitwel components, a future-looking building certification focused on occupant and community well-being, creating a stimulating and comfortable space for employees. Additionally, students are required to keep their design within a budget, a challenge that is similar to what they will face once they enter their professional career.

“At ASID, we believe that design impact lives,” said Patrick Schmidt, chair, ASID Foundation. “The ASID headquarters is the first space in the world to be recognized with platinum certification for both LEED (under Leed ID+C) and WELL (under WELL v1), and employee health and wellness in the workplace is at the forefront of our concerns as a Society and of the design industry collectively. This competition challenges students to be thoughtful in their redesign to maximize occupant comfort and well-being. By partnering with Booz Allen Hamilton, we are presenting students with a real-life challenge that they can draw from in their future careers.”

New this year, the winning student will be invited to pitch his or her design to the Innovation Center design team, OTJ Architects, and Booz Allen Hamilton representatives. Based on this pitch, elements of the winning design will be considered for implementation into the existing Innovation Center space.

“We are excited to partner with Daltile and the ASID Foundation to encourage the next generation of designers,” said Brinda Sen Gupta, deputy director of the Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Center. “The Innovation Center is intended to enable great ideas and advance how our employees build value. The Daltile Interior Design Scholarship, much like the Innovation Center, serves as a catalyst to inspire students as they prepare to make their leap into the professional design industry.”

The 2016 competition received more than 120 entries. Kristina Tribell of The Art Institute of Houston was announced as the $10,000 grand prize winner during NeoCon East 2016 in Philadelphia. Tribell’s winning submission redesigned the Hyatt Regency Houston by incorporating biophilic design principles as a part of the 2016 “Design Inspired by Nature” theme.

The 2017 contest will run until September 30, with the final winner being announced at the Daltile Philadelphia Design Studio during NeoCon East 2017 in Philadelphia. For more information about the Daltile Interior Design Scholarship, please visit www.daltiledesign.com.

Emser Tile celebrates new Distribution Center

Emser Tile announced that it has opened its third distribution center in North America. This Suffolk, Virginia, location will service the growing East Coast and Midwest markets, the company said, adding that the distribution center expands the company’s resources to account for a growing product portfolio and increased customer demand.

According to the company, the new 400,000-square-foot distribution center, with the capacity to expand to 850,000 square feet, supports Emser Tile’s long-term expansion plans. The company said that it operates over 20 showrooms and distribution centers throughout the East Coast and Midwest, the majority of which opened in the last five years.

“Our growth in the East Coast and Midwest markets gave us an opportunity to build a state-of-theart distribution center to meet our customers’ needs through even better service,” shared Barbara Haaksma, vice president of marketing for Emser Tile. “Emser Tile remains dedicated to being the design leader for today’s tile and natural stone, and is committed to efficiently providing these products to customers nationwide.”

To celebrate the opening, Emser Tile hosted a ribbon cutting on August 15 with dignitaries in attendance, including Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore, Delegate S. Chris Jones, Senator John Cosgrove and Suffolk Mayor Linda T. Johnson, the company reported. John F. Reinhart, CEO and director of the Virginia Port Authority, also spoke at the opening, the company added.

“We are honored that Emser Tile chose the Commonwealth as its gateway to the East Coast market and the world,” said Governor McAuliffe. “With its close proximity to The Port of Virginia, the City of Suffolk is an ideal base for Emser’s distribution operation, and we are confident the company will benefit from the region’s workforce, infrastructure and competitive business climate as it expands its product portfolio in the U.S. It’s exciting to see the new, 400,000-square-foot service center become a reality, and we thank Emser Tile for being part of our ongoing efforts to diversify and build the new Virginia economy.”

“Emser Tile’s decision to select Virginia for a major East Coast distribution operation further cements the Commonwealth’s reputation as a key state for this booming industry,” said secretary of commerce and trade Todd Haymore. “Virginia is within a day’s drive of more than 40 percent of the U.S., and boasts the third-largest state-maintained transportation network: critical factors that make the Commonwealth an exemplary location for distribution. We look forward to a strong corporate partnership with Emser Tile in the City of Suffolk.”

By basing operations in Suffolk, Emser Tile aims to become a strategic partner within the community, the company said, adding that it plans to hire and train distribution center employees through partnerships with local colleges and the community.

“Emser Tile’s commitment to locate in Suffolk speaks to our business-friendly climate and robust workforce,” Suffolk mayor Linda T. Johnson said. “Suffolk provides a central gateway for Emser Tile, providing them the logistics infrastructure needed to support their growing customer base. We value their investment and share in their vision for future growth.”

The company said that Suffolk also offers unique highway infrastructure and proximity to The Port of Virginia to facilitate high-volume distribution.

“The Port of Virginia is looking forward to handling cargo for the Emser Tile distribution operation in Suffolk and helping the company establish its presence on the East Coast,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “We welcome the opportunity to develop a partnership with this company by serving as its global gateway for trade.”

Emser Tile said it strategically chose to locate the distribution facility at CenterPoint Intermodal Center, Suffolk. The company reported that the 900-acre logistics center features direct access to The Port of Virginia, and is currently home to ACE Hardware, FRÍANT and Peet’s Coffee facilities.

 

Emser Tile’s Eastern Distribution Center in Suffolk is located at 1020 CenterPoint Drive.

Lunada Bay Tile Names Christopher Brown National Sales Director Brown to head up North American sales for the Los Angeles-based tile company

Lunada Bay Tile is pleased to announce that Christopher Brown has been named national sales director. Brown, who will be based out of Lunada Bay Tile’s Harbor City headquarters, joined Lunada Bay Tile in 2011 to manage western region sales and has 18 years of experience in the tile industry. From 1999 to 2010 he worked for the tile and stone company Walker Zanger where he managed sales and held the position of branch manager in Hayward, California.

“A forward-looking thinker with warm energy, Chris understands the evolving needs of the tile marketplace,” said Carl Steadly, president of Lunada Bay Tile. “His leadership skills, diverse sales experience and in-depth knowledge of the builder, retailer and A&D markets will make a significant contribution to the success of our company.”

About Lunada Bay Tile
Lunada Bay Tile creates handcrafted glass, ceramic, pewter, stone, and wood tile with an emphasis on artistic simplicity, texture, and color. Inspired by the aura of Southern California coastal living, Lunada Bay Tile takes a distinct approach to designing products with a philosophy that blends traditional craftsmanship and modern influences. Our artisans use specialized techniques to create unique effects that capture the imagination and reflect the way people want to live. To learn more about Lunada Bay Tile and view the entire product line visit www.lunadabaytile.com, or call 310-257-1300.

Modomo announces the opening of its North American Headquarters

Modomo is proud to announce the opening of its headquarters at 4171, West Hillsboro Blvd, Suite #12, Coconut Creek, Florida. It’s one more step in Modomo’s goal to provide fine Italian tile, designed for the North American market.

“We’re really excited about the new office and feel we have something pretty unique to
offer.” said Managing Partner, Scott Alpert. Alpert’s industry background includes 35-years
experience from agent, contractor, buyer, retail/wholesale distributor, to Italian and
Chinese Trading Companies.

“We’re going to be different”, said Alpert. “As a U.S. based company, only marketing to the U.S. and Canada, we’ll keep a pulse on North American design and cultural trends and quickly gear our product offering to mirror those trends.”

Modomo also plans to go the extra mile. “We’re partnering vertically with our client’s inside and outside salesforce by providing extensive training, but that’s just the first step”, stated Alpert. “We are also going to go out with our clients and visit their dealers, architects and designers, builders and developers. We’ll help them train and educate their clients on the product.”  “We’re with our client partners one-hundred percent of the way and the new headquarters is just the beginning of that commitment.”

Modomo is a U.S. based trading company, run by industry veterans with over 100-years of
collective experience, providing the finest Italian tile to the North American market.
Partnering with one of the most successful Italian Tile Manufacturers, Modomo is committed to providing beautiful collections, superior sales and training support, state-of-the-art merchandising and marketing, as well as, very favorable pricing.

Find out more at modomotiles.com.

SHARE YOUR PASSION AND KNOWLEDGE WITH OUR ATTENDEES. COVERINGS 2018 CALL FOR SPEAKERS IS NOW OPEN

Coverings (www.coverings.com), the largest international tile and stone show in North America, invites conference presenters and industry leaders to submit educational proposals for the show’s 2018 Conference Program. Returning to Atlanta for the first time since 2013, Coverings will be held May 8-11 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Lauded for its dynamic and engaging educational programs, Coverings invites thought-leaders to share fresh and innovative content that focuses on the latest, need-to-know information relating to cross-segment collaboration and best practices; trends in products and design; innovative business and project case studies; installation techniques and evolving industry technologies; economic forecasting; engaging the millennial generation; health, safety and wellness; and more. Proposed programming should focus on how to help professionals grow their businesses and enhance the industry at large and must be submitted for review by 5:00 p.m. PDT on Friday, September 8, 2017. Proposals can be submitted online.

“Coverings offers a comprehensive conference program dedicated to educating and engaging professionals at all stages of their careers across numerous professional segments of the tile & stone industry,” said Michele Nebel Peake, VP, Conference Development at Taffy Events, the management company for Coverings. “We take pride in providing a broad range of educational options and formats which creates an interactive learning experience, generates discussion, and provides our attendees with tools and knowledge that encourage professional success.”

Access to all education is FREE to registered Coverings exhibitors and attendees. Coverings is a registered provider of AIA and NKBA continuing education and applies for CEUs for ASID/IIDA through IDCEC.

The complete Coverings 2018 conference program will be revealed in January 2018 on coverings.com/education.

M-D LAUNCHES NEW CORPORATE WEBSITE

M-D Building Products, Inc. is proud to announce the launch of their new corporate website – www.mdteam.com. The site provides an in depth look at the M-D business as a whole, representing the breadth of their multiple business units and the varying industries they serve. M-D Building Products, Inc. is excited to have a one-stop space showcasing culture, values, history, career opportunities and manufacturing capabilities.

Their goal is to drive awareness for M-D Building Products, Inc. and what they do. The site illustrates the career growth opportunities at M-D and provides customers, vendors, employees and partners with a deeper understanding of the investments they are making today to continue to be the industry leader in their respective categories.

The corporate website will be a valuable source of information for all of stakeholders.
The launch of the site, furthermore, represents the investment M-D is making into the
digital landscape. Throughout this fiscal year, M-D is redesigning and updating all of their
different business units’ websites to provide an even better customer experience.

Stay tuned for each new website’s release; PROVA and M-D PRO websites COMING SOON! Visit  www.mdteam.com and learn about the M-D family!

Bostik Presents Updated Web Distributor Locator Program

Bostik, Inc. (bostik-us.com), a world leader in specialty adhesives and installation systems for building construction, continues its commitment to customers with its upgraded Distributor Locator section on the www.bostik.com/us website.

Not only does this upgrade highlight Bostik’s corporate brand; it enables complete mobile friendly viewing across all devices. The new platform makes it easier for browsers to find distributors nearest to them, no matter where they are located. It also searches by domestic postal codes, tracking all distributors within a 250-mile radius of the user, with the nearest distributors listed first. Additionally, a link to Google maps and location finder views is available adding to the site’s ease of usage.

This upgrade includes another new feature, allowing customers to sort by Wholesaler or Retailer. The distributor database is in real-time, updated daily for optimal results. All Bostik Consumer and Construction products are accessible; visitors can find the exact product, and the closest distributor, by simply filtering via application, product and color. Since Bostik refines the listings on a daily basis, visitors to the Distributor Locator section will always have the most up-to-date product and distribution information at their fingertips.

Direct link to the updated Locator: https://us.distributors.bostik

Scott Banda, Bostik’s Director of Marketing and Business Development stated, “We’re encouraged and excited about offering this helpful online tool. Bostik continues to move ahead to support not only our customers… but, our customers’ customers. Bostik recognizes the need to improve each and every customer’s experience by assisting those people at the front line – our distributors.”

Kent Klaser Joins Ceramic Tile And Stone Consultants (CTaSC)

Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants, Inc. (CTaSC) announces that Kent Klaser has joined Ceramic Tile and Stone Consultants (CTaSC) as a project manager and will work along side founder Donato Pompo.

Kent will also spend time developing new University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS) Online training courses for the tile and stone industry.  Initially, Kent will be developing an online Estimating course, and a Superintendent and Foreman course for tile installation companies.

Kent has been in the tile and stone industry most of his life, having grown up in a family tile and stone installation company, Klaser Tile of San Diego, CA.  Kent started working full time for Klaser Tile in 1996.  He started out working in the field as an installer.  Later he worked as a project foreman for several years, and then worked as a senior project manager for the company.  In 2006 Kent became Vice President of Operations for Klaser Tile up until recently when he started working full time for CTaSC.

Kent brings his extensive tile and stone and management experience to CTaSC from his 20 plus years working in the industry.  At Klaser Tile he did take-offs and bidding, oversaw and managed commercial projects, and managed a labor force that at times had over 100 workers on various projects.

Kent Klaser is a tile and stone expert with over 20 years experience in the tile and stone industry.  He is both a licensed ceramic tile and stone installer and a mason installer, as well as having a Bachelor of Science degree.

At CTaSC Kent will work as a forensic expert, expert witness, and will oversee tile and stone investigations.  Kent will also work on developing new specifications for new construction projects or for projects that are remediating failures.  He will also develop quality control and quality assurance plans to help make sure new tile and stone installations are installed correctly.  He will also develop training programs for tile installation companies through the University of Ceramic Tile and Stone, a division of CTaSC.

In Memory: Phil Halcomb of David Allen Company

Philip E. Halcomb

Phil Halcomb joined the David Allen Company in 1986 with a more than 25-year successful track record in the industry.  Phil operated his own tile company in Santa Cruz, Ca., for nearly 20 years before joining David Allen Company as Vice President and first manager of the Washington, DC Branch.  With exceptional skills at building relationships and a strong commitment to service, he quickly became the dominant tile, marble, and terrazzo contractor in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Phil’s passion was golf, and he was a master at building relationships with customers who valued his emphasis on customer service first.  Those same relationships were valuable when he initiated the annual David Allen Company Invitational Golf Tournament which has generated more than one million dollars over the last 20 years.  The proceeds of these tournaments have been donated to charitable causes.  Although Phil had taken a lesser role in his company responsibilities, this year’s tournament was the most successful David Allen Company Invitational in the series, raising more than $140,000 for Paralyzed American Veterans.

Because of Phil’s driven and focused efforts to always achieve a better result, every day, David Allen Company Vice President Chris Walker said “Few people have I met who lived as full a life as Phil Halcomb did.  His incredible fortitude, love of life, ‘fighting the good fight,’ and being a 110 percent guy, are the lessons from Phil that I value.”

Martin Howard, David Allen Company’s Executive Vice President remembers Phil as a man of principle and charm. Martin says “Phil maintained a positive attitude throughout his life regardless of the challenges, but because of the challenges he faced and how he overcame them, he inspired all who knew him and made a lasting impression on all who met him.”

David Allen Company Chairman Robert Roberson said “Phil has been a valued friend and a very important part of David Allen Company’s success during his 30 years of commitment, and we will miss him.”

Phil Halcomb at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, pursuing his passion for golf.

Halcomb touched many people in the industry and around the country. Ed Metcalf, President North America of LATICRETE International, Inc., said, “Phil Halcomb was beloved by many in the tile industry. Always smiling and joking, he always engaged with everyone else in the room. His generosity and loyalty to friends is legendary. In business and in life he was driven to succeed and to overcome any obstacles he encountered. A passionate golfer, Phil adapted to the loss of both legs and actually became a better player. I will miss Phil greatly, but he will always be an inspirational figure to me and to all who truly knew him.”
A statement from Robert Trent Jones Golf Club said it “extends its heartfelt condolences” and “deepest sympathy”  to the family and friends of Phil Halcomb, who passed away on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 in Manassas, Va.

A Celebration of a Life Well Lived was held Saturday, August 5, 2017,  3p.m. – 5p.m. at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, 1 Turtle Point Drive, in Gainesville, Va.

 

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