NTCA Trainer/Presenter Robb Roderick heading to first 2018 NTCA Workshop in Anaheim

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – NTCA Trainer/Presenter Robb Roderick drove through Albuquerque, NM today on his way to the association’s first 2018 western swing workshop, located at Bedrosian’s in Anaheim, Calif., set for Wednesday night, January 17. He was able to connect with TileLetter editor Lesley Goddin, based here,  for a quick lunch at Albuquerque’s famed Owl Café, before continuing his journey across New Mexico, Arizona and into California for the workshop.

NTCA Trainer/Presenter Robb Roderick with TileLetter editor Lesley Goddin in Albuquerque, NM. Roderick drove through Albuquerque from his Missouri home on his way to present the first NTCA Workshop of 2018 at Bedrosians in Anaheim, Calif., on Wednesday, January 17.

The NTCA Workshop program has a new theme for 2018: Tile Matters: Best Practices for Pros. The three-hour program – most often held from 5 pm – 8 pm – includes an hour of networking and catered meal followed by two hours of all new educational presentations and interactive opportunities.

Each workshop will address:

  • OSHA silica dust regulations
  • Standards review
  • Showers/waterproofing
  • Sealants
  • Mortar coverage

This year, not only will participants to the free workshops benefit from the presentations and product/method demos by NTCA Trainer/Presenters, but there will be more opportunities for attendees to have real hands-on experience with the products and methods being discussed.

The following workshops are being held this week:

January 17  


1515 Winston Road

Ahaheim, Calif.




January 18


1725 Hacienda Drive

Vista, Calif.




In addition to Robb Roderick, workshops are being presented by NTCA Training Director/Trainer/Presenter Mark Heinlein and NTCA Trainer/Director Luis Bautista. CTEF’s Scott Carothers is presenting CTEF Educational Workshops as well, and kicked the year off with one at Floor & Decor in Buford, Ga., on January 4th.

For more information about workshops and new members-only Regional Training Programs coming to a location near you, visit http://www.tile-assn.com/events/event_list.asp?show=&group=&start=11%2F4%2F2014&end=&view=&cid=12716

or http://bit.ly/2B4uG9J.





Workshops and Educational Events

The Tile Shop went above the call of duty for this February 9 event, presented by CTEF director of training and certification Scott Carothers in Dunwoody, Ga. It included over 10 key accounts from all over the country, and a tour of the nearby Blanke and Lackmond manufacturing facilities.  NTCA board advisor Dan Welch, NTCA State Ambassador John Roberts, and NTCA training and education coordinator Becky Serbin were also on hand to support the event, during which one new member signed up and nine installers expressed interest in taking the Certified Tile Installer exam in the future. The Tile Shop manager Henry Paz, technical coordinator Dan Holcomb, and numerous other Tile Shop personnel went all out to make this workshop a huge success.  The group is pictured at Blanke’s manufacturing facility.

Southern California State Ambassador Josh Castelli and son

John Wirtz and Amber Fox spoke about the NTCA Five Star Contractor program

About 40 people attended the San Diego Daltile Design Center NTCA workshop. The Southern California crowd expressed a lot of interest in certification. 

On February 21, the San Diego Daltile Design Center NTCA workshop was a hit, with about 40 attendees. Presented by NTCA’s Robb Roderick, it was supported by Southern California State Ambassador Josh Castelli of Christian Brothers Flooring & Interiors, and  John Wirtz and NTCA Five Star Contractor Coordinator Amber Fox who both spoke briefly about the NTCA Five Star Contractor program. Manufacturers iQ Power Tools, Alpha Professional Products and Custom Building Products were also represented.  The Southern California crowd also expressed a lot of interest in certification. 

Sixteen people attended the Mechanicsburg, Pa., workshop.  CTEF’s Scott Carothers stopped in on his way from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia to lend his support to the workshop effort.  A second surprise visitor was NTCA vice president Chris Walker who happened to be traveling from New York to Washington with his mother-in-law, and made a slight adjustment to his travel plans to attend and support the workshop. Chris and Scott both provided outstanding commentary on successful contractors and installers joining and participating in the NTCA and challenging themselves with the Certified Tile Installer exam. 

On February 23 – National Tile Day – NTCA celebrated at the Daltile in Allentown, Pa. Jerry Dwyer, Dal’s NE Region VP presented manager Shawn Friel with his 25 year service award and the staff with a tile plaque recognizing Dal’s 70 years in business. Lots of great prizes were given away including trip for four and tickets to a game in a skybox at Yankee Stadium!

(L. to r.)  From MAPEI: Todd DeKorte, ; Becky Perry; and Lou Genzlinger, with NTCA technical trainer Mark Heinlein. While assisting with Mark Heinlein’s Conshohocken, Pa., workshop, Todd DeKorte, MAPEI sales representative for Eastern/Central PA & DE graciously offered show him the brand new MAPEI Distribution Center for the Northeastern U.S.  Unit manager Lou Genzslinger and Quality Control manager Becky Perry gave Mark a comprehensive tour and behindthescene insight of the brand new operation. 

The new van in which Mark and Connie Heinlein will tour the country is fully emblazoned with training and education sponsor logos! 


The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) will celebrate 70 successful years as a leading trade association in 2017. Each year, the NTCA reaches over 4,000 industry professionals through a variety of educational programs including hands-on workshops, through which it provides training for installers and tile industry professionals on industry standards and how to prevent and address problems on the job. These educational programs are fundamental to the continued success of the association.

Utilizing four trainers, over 140 educational workshops and training sessions are scheduled for 2017, the most training seminars in NTCA history. In addition to record-breaking workshop numbers, for the first time ever, the association will perform training programs in Spanish, to be held in ten locations across the country, where the language is spoken commonly in the construction industry.

A major sponsor of the workshop program in 2017 is Daltile, who will host over 120 programs alone. Additional sessions will be supported by independent distributors including The Tile Shop and Louisville Tile, who are set to host 14 and eight educational events, respectively. “The success of the educational workshops in the first quarter has been so strong, that several independent distributors are working with NTCA to add more events in more locations this year, making it possible that the number of seminars will increase to more than 150 by the end of 2017,” said Bart Bettiga, NTCA executive director.

In addition to workshops and educational seminars, trainers also perform custom-sponsored programs and will complete several this year. To learn more about hosting an NTCA workshop, please contact NTCA assistant executive director Jim Olson at jim@tile-assn.com, via telephone at (612) 788-4726, or visit www.tile-assn.com.

NTCA Workshops: Visiting Dalene Flooring in Connecticut

Last week, NTCA Technical Trainer Mark Heinlein visited with Five Star Contractor Dalene Flooring in South Windsor, Connecticut.

IMG_5939“NTCA Region 1 Director Chris Dalene gave me a tour of the facility, introduced me to all of the Dalene headquarters staff and and gave me an overview of some of their many past and present projects,” Mark said. “Chris is extremely passionate about the tile industry and Dalene Flooring’s contributions to it and the flooring industry in general. They have a great operation based on a tradition of quality and customer support.”

“Dalene flooring works with many types of floor coverings in addition to tile. I rode along with Chris on an inspection visit to one of their clients, the University of Hartford. The floor has been in for many years and Dalene works with the university on an ongoing basis to analyze the floor for performance and keep it in tip top condition. While I was there, they were locating and correcting “dead spots” where, from use and changing conditions, a floor board needs to be removed, tightened from beneath, and replaced. Dalene recently refinished the floor in the University’s Chase Family Arena including the painting of the court and game lines and logos.”

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Chris Dalene (right) and one of his hardwood flooring experts discussing the tuning of the floor and removing “dead spots” where the basketball has slightly less bounce due to the use and changing conditions of the floor.

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New NTCA trainer holds first three workshops

New NTCA trainer Mark Heinlein presented the first NTCA Tile & Stone Workshop of the 2016 campaign at Daltile in Jackson, Miss., on February 23rd, with very positive results and feedback. Almost 30 Daltile customers enjoyed lunch and a presentation by Heinlein on jobsite failures – and one new member signed up at the workshop.


The New Orleans crowd enjoyed a crawfish feast by Tasty Tails.

This new program focuses on what causes installation problems and challenges the audience to do the job right the first time. Daltile is hosting 100 NTCA events in 2016.

Next stop was Baton Rouge, where 22 attendees showed up in addition to Daltile staff.

Heinlein then took the show to Emser in New Orleans where a crowd of about 45 were present, plus Duhe and Baker who helped support the event by speaking about qualified labor, specifications, business practices, and technical questions while networking with the crowd. An animated Q&A discussion took place during the PowerPoint presentation with questions coming from architects, designers, contractors, installers and sales – in fact 11 people submitted paperwork for CEU credits.

On the west coast, NTCA trainer Michael Whistler is getting ready to go on the road with several upcoming programs. Go to the www.tile-assn.com for a complete listing of workshops for 2016.


Almost 30 Daltile customers enjoyed lunch and a presentation by new NTCA trainer Mark Heinlein on jobsite failures.











(l. to r.) Mark Heinlein with Daltile staff in Jackson, Miss.: Chuck Mertz; Waymon Thornton; Maceo Simmons and Heather Smith.











Two new members joined at the Baton Rouge workshop at Daltile, with vendors that included Protecto-Wrap, LATICRETE, MAPEI, Custom, and Pliteq, along with NTCA Louisiana State Director Todd Duhe and Regional Director Tave Baker.  Duhe and Baker spoke about the benefits of the NTCA and Qualified Labor and CTI.














With Heinlein (far left) in Baton Rouge are (l. to r.): Norris Whitaker; Thurmond Lytell; Gary Cannon; Jason Harriford; Daisha Parker; Mike Scichowski; Michael Fletcher and Tyrrell Scott





















Shown at Emser New Orleans are: (front row, kneeling l. to r.): Tave Baker; Todd Duhe; Mark Heinlein. (back row, standing l. to r.): Julie Morals; Ashley Salvant; Amy Simmons; Patrick Levy; Simone Giroin; Fenner Sedgebee. Not pictured is Christina Chisolum.

NTCA brings workshops to Tennessee and Oregon

Over the summer months, NTCA presenters Gerald Sloan and Michael Whistler continue road-tripping across the country, bringing the NTCA Tile & Stone Workshops to host sites for an evening of education, camaraderie, raffle prizes, networking and of course, delicious food.

1-workshopLouisville Tile Knoxville

We reported on Sloan’s swing through several Louisville Tile Distributors (LTD) sites in our July issue. This month, we wrap up with the Knoxville installments of the Tile& Stone Workshop at LTD.



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4-workshopDaltile Oregon

Bend and Salem

In June, NTCA presenter Michael Whistler toured the Pacific Northwest, bringing the NTCA Tile & Stone Workshop to Daltile locations in Bend and Salem, Ore. Whistler focused on bringing information on mosaic installation, glass tile and pre-manufactured shower systems to the attendees at these events.


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Portland, Ore.

Whistler also rolled out the NTCA Tile & Stone Workshop program at the Portland home of American Olean and Marazzi, two Daltile brands.


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NTCA brings custom workshop to Louisville Tile Distributors

1-louisvilleBy Lesley Goddin

Louisville Tile Distributors (LTD) is deeply invested in education for staff and customers – so much so that the company schedules NTCA Tile & Stone Workshops every other year at several of its locations.

“We believe the workshops are a great opportunity for us to help educate, train and promote the tile industry,” said Don Kincaid, LTD vice president. “The rapid pace of change and introduction of new products and methods makes the workshops more valuable and relevant than ever. Our employees take pride in getting attendance at the events and do not want their branch to be the ‘low man’ on the attendance list.“

Attendance at the June workshop at the Indianapolis/Fisher branch included 80 customers, 15 vendors and 20 employees, said Brian Dillard, operations manager for the location. “The hot topic was the installing of mosaic and the large thin tiles. [NTCA’s Gerald Sloan] is a great guy and always does a good job with these shows.”

J.T. Wenger, general manager of the Evansville, Ind., location, said “We had 19 vendors and 58 contractors in attendance.” Attendees were most interested in cleaning of tile and large-format installation. “This was by far our best seminar to date,” Wenger said.  “We had good participation, excellent fried chicken, and Gerald was very informative as always. We are excited for the next class and thinking of ways to outdo this very successful event!”

2-louisvilleAt this writing, six workshops have been completed with 248 attendees – and two more are scheduled. “We anticipate well over 300 attendees,” Kincaid said.

Kincaid added, “Vendor table tops prior to event and the pertinent subject matter during the workshops allow tile mechanics, architects, estimators and all industry attendees a chance to learn together. In many cases, full-time mechanics who set tile every day never get the opportunity to see the industry. The workshops provide a forum for everyone in the industry to interact with our staff, suppliers and other channel members. The exchange and feedback is invaluable for all attendees.

“Our industry is changing very fast, with bigger and thinner tile , new grouts and thinsets, leveling systems, tools and more,” Kincaid added. “Disseminating information is very challenging, therefore the workshops are a great opportunity for us and the industry to connect and interact.”

3-louisville60 years strong

This year was even more special, since the company, which has grown to eight locations, is celebrating its 60th year in business.

Kincaid said the company is adding its 60th anniversary logo to business cards, stationery, banners and all communication tools this year.

“We will be hosting eight birthday parties, one for each location, in reverse chronological order – newest to oldest,” he added. “The Louisville celebration, September 22, will be a grand finale with attendance of the company founder, Jud Wilcox.”


Wednesday, September 9th Knoxville

Thursday, September 10th –      Chattanooga

Wednesday, September 16th Cincinnati

Thursday, September 17th –      Indianapolis

Wednesday, October 14th –       Nashville

Thursday, October 15th –           Evansville

Wednesday, October 21st –       Lexington

Thursday, October 22nd –           Louisville 


Upcoming NTCA Workshop Events

NtCA workshop banner horizontal




February 5th

Emser Tile – Las Vegas, NV
3655 West Sunset Road
Suite A
David Hille

February 26th

D & B Tile – Doral, FL
8369 N.W. 36th Street
Maddy Diaz
Rudy Llerna

February 27th

D & B Tile – Pompano Beach, FL1551 N. Powerline Road
Marlene Koszo
George Apakian

February 28th
D & B Tile – Port St. Lucie, FL
321 N.W. Peacock Blvd.
Paul Lucas
Richard Favreau

March 5th

Daltile – Ventura, CA
4840 Market St., Suite A
Marty Lambert

March 5th

Daltile – Tampa, FL
8508 Benjamin Rd., Suite A
Lenny Gonzalez

March 6th–Architects & Designers

Daltile – Orlando, FL
2515 Shader Road
Kevin LaBonte

March 7th–Architects & Designers

Daltile – Jacksonville, FL
9446 Phillips Hwy., Suite 10
Robert Vogt

May 7th

Daltile – Evansville, IN
1425 N. Cullen Avenue
John Proctor

May 8th

Daltile – Blue Ash, OH
4650 Lake Forest Drive, Suite 540
Missy Stanfield

2012 NTCA Tile & Stone Symposium


NTCA began 2012 with an expanded schedule of NTCA Tile & Stone Symposiums with Gerald Sloan, NTCA training director, and Michael Whistler, NTCA trainer and Symposium presenter, imparting their knowledge and experience to installers and other personnel spanning the U.S. Here’s just a sampling of events that took place through May, in an all-new Symposium format and curriculum.

Plano, Texas  

The March 7, 2012 Symposium at Daltile in Plano, Texas, presented by Michael Whistler, was hailed as a great success. Paul Hansen, Daltile senior director of allied products sales, noted, “This was a fantastic production with excellent turnout and tremendous supplier support. We consider this a slam-dunk event!”



Boynton Beach, Fla.

Scott Lang, branch manager of Keys Granite, a Daltile company in Boynton Beach, Florida, complimented Gerald Sloan on the April 25, 2012 Symposium. “You certainly have this road show program presentation engineered to be self-sufficient, productive, and very informative. I received many positive comments during the event, and every participant felt it was valuable time spent. Well done!”


Farmington Hills/Detroit, Mich.

On May 2, Michael Whistler rolled into the Farmington Hills/Detroit area Daltile, where he was welcomed by a crowd of 111. A seven-piece Mariachi band played during the Mexican-themed meal hour to celebrate upcoming Cinco de Mayo.

“The Dal staff did incredible work to transform a mundane warehouse setting into a very nice show area,” Whistler said. “First, they curtained off most of the surrounding pallet racking, hung numerous banners to further cover racks, and then they laid carpeting over the concrete. They even had a carpet runner leading from the showroom area, where the food was set up, to the show area.”

Joining in the event in the newly remodeled showroom were Jeff Glazier, branch manager, Daltile royalty Harold Turk and many Dal upper echelon management in attendance. Also in attendance were Dave Rogers, NTCA Area 5 Board Director, who volunteered as cameraman and erstwhile assistant, Steve Maloney and Frank Fazi, NTCA Five Star contractors, and TCNA’s Stephanie Samulski with her husband Phil, tile contractor.

Albuquerque, NM

On May 23, Whistler engaged an attentive crowd of contractors and architects at Daltile in Albuquerque. TileLetter/TADA editor Lesley Goddin, who makes her home in Albuquerque, helped welcome guests and photographed the event, while her sweetie John Vandermey operated the video camera. (This is how Goddin and Vandermey spent their 11th anniversary!)

Angelica Saiz of Creative Touch Interiors called the Symposium “interesting and informative. My big takeaways from the presentation were the coverage example of thin-set with straight trowel lines vs. swirl. The pros of using medium bed thin-set mortar for large format tile made a lot of sense. I enjoyed the presenter – he engaged the audience and was very knowledgeable.”

Architect  Ken Cook, AIA, CSI from The Hartman + Majewski Design Group added, “The substrate requirements will probably affect how we do specifications and details.”

Plymouth, Pa.

On May 29, 35 people joined Gerald Sloan at the Plymouth, Mass., Daltile for a highly interactive and enthusiastically-received Symposium. “People were thrilled to get information from the TCNA Handbook,” Sloan said. Three memberships resulted from this event, spurred on by a huge interest in the NTCA Reference Manual and its highly-useful cause/cure/prevention format. “They were very impressed with information from the Reference Manual, and wanted to know more about it and get involved with NTCA,” he said.

NTCA Tile & Stone Symposiums are an excellent way for installers, designers, specifiers or salespeople to stay abreast of rapidly-changing information and products for the tile and stone community. Each Symposium includes information on the many changes in the TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass and Stone Tile Installation, such as installation of large format tile, glass tile and mosaics, membranes, backer boards, and shower receptors, pans and moisture management. Two Symposium programs educate architects and designers on the avoidance of specification pitfalls with tile, stone, and setting materials. All programs provide live demonstrations, with an open forum for discussion and networking, potentially solving installation challenges before they occur.

A schedule of future Symposiums is included in each issue of TileLetter, and the full schedule for the rest of 2012 is also posted on NTCA’s website at www.tile-assn.com. Take advantage of this educational opportunity when you see an event listed in your city; it will be well worth the time and effort invested.