Fuse Alliance and Starnet Worldwide Join Forces to Address Key Industry Issues and Challenges

Two of the largest organizations of commercial flooring contractors, Starnet Worldwide Commercial Flooring and Fuse Alliance, announced today that they will form a joint task force to focus on critical issues facing the commercial flooring industry. During a meeting last month in Chicago, both groups’ Board of Directors identified the task force as a collaborative step toward supporting each networks’ members and better serving their manufacturers.

The task force will address long-standing industry concerns such as moisture mitigation—including high-moisture solutions—and labor shortages in estimating and installation. Additionally, the task force will establish guidelines for regulatory practices including the current OSHA Crystalline Silica rules and other labor issues on the service side of the industry. By tapping into each other’s base of knowledge and resources, Starnet and Fuse can tackle a broader range of issues affecting the architecture and design industry, and ultimately craft a better customer experience.

The task force is estimated to launch by year’s end, and will be composed of seasoned members from both groups. Collectively, Fuse Alliance and Starnet Worldwide represent more than 250 of the most influential flooring contractors in the United States.

EGE SERAMIK INTRODUCES “TRI-WOOD.” OFFERING THE TRIVECTA IN PORCELAIN TILE

Ege Seramik has created a cutting-edge contemporary wood-look using modern inkjet technology with its latest introduction of the TRI-WOOD Collection.

This pressed; glazed porcelain tile is paired with a modern color palette of grey or beige – with gentle variation.

TRI-WOOD offers customers a winning TRIFECTA:

  • THE BEAUTY OF NATURAL WOOD
  • THE STRENGTH OF PORCELAIN TILE
  • THE DURABILITY OF A TURKISH PRODUCT

This 6” x 36” plank is suitable for residential to moderate commercial use. Its industrious qualities as a durable, hard-wearing tile… plus the ease of maintenance make TRI-WOOD ideal indoors and out.

BELKNAP WHITE NAMES TONY WHITFIELD VICE PRESIDENT/CERAMIC DIVISION

The Belknap White Group (BWG), one of America’s leading full-service flooring distributors, just announced that Tony Whitfield has accepted the position as Vice President of its Ceramic Division. In this role, he will be responsible for all ceramic-related products, including porcelain tiles and panels, natural stone, associated ceramic supplies…as well as supervision of BWG’s ceramic sales teams. He comes to BWG from Marazzi USA, where he was National Sales Director. Prior to that stint, for 15-plus years, Whitfield was General Manager of Alabama-based Jenkins Brick and Tile.

“As you can see, Tony has spent the majority of his career within the Ceramic Tile industry,” stated Joe O’Keefe, Human Resources Manager at BWG. “We are confident with his knowledge of the industry and positive attitude… he will be a great leader for our ceramic division.”

Whitfield is in the process of relocating to New England, and will be working out of BWG’s national headquarters in Mansfield, Massachusetts. “I’m equally excited and honored to be connected with an organization as successful and professional as is The Belknap White Group!” exclaimed Whitfield. “The firm already does a good job in marketing and providing top ceramic tile products to our customer base. Working with my new colleagues, my focus will be to grow this division even more.”

LATICRETE Hires Spencer Maheu as North America Director, Product Management

Maheu to drive new product innovation activities at LATICRETE

LATICRETE, a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry, has hired Spencer Maheu as the North America Director, Product Management. Maheu will supervise the LATICRETE team of product managers in driving new product innovation across the North American region through the continued development and diversification of the company’s integrated marketing communications.

“Spencer has the background and experience that will push our company’s product innovation further, allowing LATICRETE to continue providing cutting-edge solutions for our customers. I look forward to seeing his contributions to the North American Division as we continue to expand our product offerings,” said Sean Boyle, LATICRETE Vice President, Marketing North America.

Maheu comes to LATICRETE from Osborn International, a division of Jason Industries, where he led the product management, marketing and business development teams. Prior to working at Osborn, Maheu led product development teams at Stanley Black & Decker.

Maheu received a bachelor’s degree in International Business from Western New England University.

RUSSO TRADING CO. DONATES OVER $36,000 IN TOOLS AFTER HURRICNES HARVEY AND IRMA

In a great team effort, Russo Trading has donated over $24,000 worth of products to help rebuild Houston after hurricane.

“Texas has been a great area for us, especially the Houston area. We wanted to make sure our customers who have been great to us had some tools to get back on their feet, hopefully reducing the number of tools that they would need to rebuy.

We selected tools based on issues we predicted these companies would have. Sending grout rakes to be used as squeegees to remove water, scraper tools to remove old thin set and grout that was damaged, and a floor machine to clean floors and sand down concrete floors for new foundation, and even re-grout floors with a grout attachment. Products for everyday use like sponges and tile cutters were sent as well.

In addition to helping their friends in Texas, RTC has compiled another shipment to Florida, that totals over $12,000 worth of tools in relief for another segment of valued customers. This totals more than $36,000 in donations this year between the two natural disasters seen in the South this summer. RTC is honored to provide help in any way possible. “Being in the tool business, we understand the investment that is made over the course of a career and feel this is the most efficient way to help a contractor get back on their feet”.

Bostik Introduces Bosti-FlexTM Plus, a Multi-Purpose Siliconized Acrylic Latex Sealant

Bostik, Inc., a world leader in specialty adhesives and installation systems for building construction, has introduced Bostik Bosti-FlexTM Plus; a high-performance siliconized acrylic latex sealant. Offering exceptional adhesion and flexibility to most building materials and common household surfaces, Bosti-FlexTM Plus complements various Bostik grout colors and may also be easily painted with latex or oil-based coatings. For both interior and exterior applications, Bosti-FlexTM Plus is mold/mildew resistant, provides excellent elasticity for flexible joints, emits zero VOC’s and is easy to apply and clean.

According to Jake Krause, Bostik’s Product Line Specialist for Construction Sealants and Adhesives, “The product has been developed for multi-purpose sealant applications that include windows, door frames, sinks, tubs, shower surrounds, countertops and bonding applications for wood trim, ceramic tile and natural stone. The versatility of Bosti-FlexTM Plus along with its ease of use, should make this a go-to product for multiple applications!”

Bostik Bosti-FlexTM Plus is offered in a handy case consisting of twelve, 10.1-ounce cartridges and currently is available in six colors.

Coverings 2018 Registration Now Open

Coverings has opened online registration for its 2018 show, taking place May 8 – 11 in Atlanta. Taking place in Atlanta for the first time in five years, the 2018 show will feature 1,100 exhibitors representing more than 40 countries and take over 450,000 square feet of exhibition space at the Georgia World Congress Center. Programming for Coverings 2018 will offer sessions for every category of tile and stone professionals, featuring more than 60 CEUs for attendees. Along with networking opportunities, the 2018 show will feature the latest in products, innovations, and live demonstrations.

“Coverings aims to not only highlight the inherent value of tile and stone materials—their adaptability, durability, low environmental impact and beauty—but also foster connections between industry professionals, to grow businesses and build lasting professional relationships,” said Alena Capra, Coverings industry ambassador. “We’re thrilled to make our return to Atlanta in May and to engage with the vibrant community of industry professionals that comprise this market.”

Coverings offers attendees the opportunity to register through their social channels and easily invite their network to participate in the show. Benefits of early registration include notice of key programs and access to conference information, promotions, and other exclusive opportunities, as well as discounted hotel and travel.

For more information, visit www.coverings.com.

Doug Hayes named Vice President of Sales for Florida Tile, Inc.

Florida Tile has named Doug Hayes as Vice President of Sales.  In his new role, Hayes will lead all the Independent, Branch, and Commercial Sales divisions for both the Florida Tile and Cotto d’Este USA Brands.

Prior to accepting this position, Hayes served as Florida Tile’s Director of Business Development and Commercial Sales.  His tenure at the company spans nine years and includes a 2015 induction into the Ceramic Tile Distributor Association’s Hall of Fame.   He currently serves on the CTDA Board of Directors.

“We are fortunate to have someone as experienced, trusted, and highly respected as Doug,” said Luca Setti, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer.  “We are extremely confident in his ability to enhance our long-term strategy and lead the sales organization to a higher level of success.”

“I am honored and excited to lead this team. As we work to develop our long-term growth strategy and improve on the success that Florida Tile has already achieved, my first priority will be to place customer care at the forefront of all decisions we make,” said Hayes. “The investments we have made this past year in our manufacturing center, distribution center, and SAP implantation have placed us in a great position to grow exponentially.”

JOIN THE TILE & STONE INDUSTRY IN ATLANTA: COVERINGS 2018 REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN

Coverings (coverings.com), the largest international tile and stone show in North America, has opened online registration for its 2018 show, taking place in Atlanta, Georgia from May 8 – 11. Coverings provides a stage for the most innovative tile & stone products from around the world and delivers critical information about the industry’s latest trends through the show’s annual CEU-accredited conference program—all free of charge. Attendees can now register and reserve housing.

Taking place in Atlanta for the first time in five years, the 2018 show will feature 1,100 exhibitors representing more than 40 countries and take over 450,000 square feet of exhibition space at the Georgia World Congress Center. Programming for Coverings 2018 will offer sessions for every category of tile and stone professionals featuring more than 60 CEUs for attendees. Coverings gives attendees the tips and resources they need to be leaders in their industries. Along with unparalleled networking opportunities, the 2018 show will feature the latest in products, innovations, and live demonstrations.

“Coverings aims to not only highlight the inherent value of tile & stone materials—their adaptability, durability, low environmental impact and beauty—but also foster connections between industry professionals, to grow businesses and build lasting professional relationships,” said Alena Capra, Coverings Industry Ambassador. “We’re thrilled to make our return to Atlanta in May and to engage with the vibrant community of industry professionals that comprise this market.”

Coverings offers attendees the opportunity to register through their social channels and easily invite their network to participate in the show. Benefits of early registration include notice of key programs and access to conference information, promotions, and other exclusive opportunities, as well as discounted hotel and travel through our hotel, airline, and other partners.

To learn more about the events planned for Coverings 2018, visit coverings.com.

LATICRETE Partners With Youth Development Program at the Presidents Cup Golf Tournament

The First Tee of Essex County’s junior golfers will join LATICRETE in experiencing the most anticipated golf tournament of the year

LATICRETE, a leading manufacturer of globally-proven construction solutions for the building industry, has partnered with The First Tee of Essex County to invite the program’s junior golfers to attend the 2017 Presidents Cup Golf Tournament at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey. The First Tee is a national youth development program that focuses on shaping children’s lives by reinforcing values like integrity, respect and perseverance through the game of golf.

“Part of our culture at LATICRETE is investment in our local communities to help develop a healthy, well-equipped workforce for the future. The First Tee very efficiently, and with limited resources, delivers outstanding services to less-advantaged youth, so we are happy to help them however we can,” said Edward Metcalf, President & COO LATICRETE North America. “Golf can be used as an immensely powerful relationship building tool. It’s wonderful to see kids of all ages and socioeconomic levels exposed to the game and to the mental and physical discipline that can result from learning how to play it.”

The First Tee junior golfers and their parents will experience two tournament practice days at this top-tier international sporting event. Additionally, two lucky First Tee participants chosen based on their commitment to the program, behavior off-course and overall interest in the event will have the opportunity to attend, along with many of the largest LATICRETE distribution partners and end-users, the much-anticipated final day of the tournament.

The First Tee of Essex County chapter is owned and operated by Metropolitan New York First Tee, which includes five other chapters. Through after-school and in-school programs, The First Tee not only aims to develop players who can excel long-term in a golf career, but also in life. This is achieved by providing private school scholarships, SAT tutoring, general school tutoring and more to keep children academically on track. Many players who have entered The First Tee program have left with full-ride golf scholarships to play in college.

“Experiencing a tournament of this magnitude is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our kids and their families,” said Katie Brenny, PGA Professional and Senior Director, Player Development of The First Tee of Essex County. “Without the generosity of companies such as LATICRETE, The First Tee would not be able to operate.”

The 2017 Presidents Cup will take place September 26 to October 1, 2017 at Liberty National Golf Club, situated in New Jersey near the Statue of Liberty and across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan. The tournament will consist of a series of individual and team matches played between some of the world’s top-rated golfers such as Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Hideki Matsuyama, Sergio Garcia and Jason Day.

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