NTCA Recognizes Industry Leaders During Annual Awards Ceremony

NTCA Recognizes Tile Industry Leaders During Annual Awards Ceremony

The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) recently recognized tile industry leaders at its Fourth Annual Awards Ceremony during Coverings 2016 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

More than 200 guests were present to see the association present its annual Five Star Contractor Grand Prize awards for outstanding installations in both Commercial and Residential projects and this year’s Special Recognition Awards for the Promotion of the Tile Trade and Membership. An independent panel of judges evaluated submissions, based on execution & installation, original usage and overall design & purpose. Special recognition was given to those projects exemplifying stunning tile and stone.

NTCA’s Five Star Prize awards were presented for both Commercial and Residential Tile Installations. The Five Star winners received $2,500 each in prize money, sponsored by Daltile Corporation. Over 20 submissions were received and judged via the following criteria: Scope (size of project), Complexity (challenges), Technical Soundness (resolution of challenges) and Design & Presentation (Overall appearance, layout and artistic value).

Grazzini Brothers & Company of Egan, Minnesota was the recipient of the Five-Star Grand Prize for Commercial Tile Installation. The firm’s installation of over 24,000 sf of exterior natural stone wall tile and interior porcelain floor and wall tile at the Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory in Anchorage, Alaska proved to be quite a challenging project due to lack of infrastructure, cold, unpredictable weather and lack of daylight in the winter months. The largest installation challenge was the extreme weather conditions. Due to Manufacturer’s specifications, exterior installation could not be completed in temperatures below 40 degrees. Wind factors had to be considered due to hoisting the exterior stone wall tile for installation. Safety of the crew was the top priority. Grazzini Brothers & Co. had only 72 days to install the exterior stone work, so limited weekend work was necessary to complete this job on time.

Grazzini Brothers & Company: Five-Star Grand Prize for Commercial Tile Installation. Pictured (from left): Jeremy Sax, Daltile, Greg Grazzini, Earl Andersen, of Grazzini Brothers, Jim Olson, NTCA.
Grazzini Brothers & Company: Five-Star Grand Prize for Commercial Tile Installation. Pictured (from left): Jeremy Sax, Daltile, Greg Grazzini, Earl Andersen, of Grazzini Brothers, Jim Olson, NTCA.

Cox Tile of San Antonio, Texas was the recipient of the Five-Star Grand Prize for Residential Tile Installation. The firm’s project “Brick and Stone Paradise,” had a foundation of brick, natural stone and handmade artisan tiles throughout the interior of the home and exterior. Weeks of planning were needed to fine tune the details and designs of each area of the home. The project proved challenging and quite labor intensive. From Old Chicago Bricks cut into ½” veneers and Turkish Travertine set diagonal on stairs, to curved glass tile accent wall in the master bath shower, this project was the epitome of craftsmanship that only an NTCA Five Star Contractor could master.

Cox Tile of San Antonio, Texas: Five-Star Grand Prize for Residential Tile Installation. Pictured are (from left): Jeremy Sax, Daltile, John Cox and Jim Olson.
Cox Tile of San Antonio, Texas: Five-Star Grand Prize for Residential Tile Installation. Pictured are (from left): Jeremy Sax, Daltile, John Cox and Jim Olson.

NTCA’s Special Recognition Awards

Presented to two individuals for their dedication in promoting the tile trade and membership, Rod Owen and Bradford Denny were honored for their work.

Rod Owen of CC Owen Tile, Jonesboro, Georgia.  Rod is responsible for the Promotion of our Trade to the youth of Atlanta. Rod is an active member of the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia, CEFGA. Each year, the Foundation hosts a “Careers in Construction Week” to educate students, parents & school counselors that skilled trades are a legitimate career. Since 2007, Rod has led the Tile Craftsman section of the program and on September 10, 2015 Atlanta Governor, Nathan Deal, signed a proclamation for Careers in Construction Week in Georgia.

Since 2007, Owen (4th from left of Gov) has led the Tile Craftsman section of the program and on September 10, 2015 Atlanta Governor, Nathan Deal, signed a proclamation for Careers in Construction Week in Georgia.
Since 2007, Owen (4th from left of Gov) has led the Tile Craftsman section of the program and on September 10, 2015 Atlanta Governor, Nathan Deal, signed a proclamation for Careers in Construction Week in Georgia.

Bradford Denny of Nichols Tile & Terrazzo Co., Joelton, Tennessee. Brad is the moderator of the NTCA Members and the Regional and State Directors Facebook page. More importantly, Brad introduced the NTCA to the “Tile Geeks” Facebook page. Through the Tile Geeks, NTCA has increased membership by 30+ new members. Brad has been a constant voice promoting NTCA in all forms of Social Media.

NTCA’s Special Recognition Awards winner Bradford Denny (left) and Jim Olson.
NTCA’s Special Recognition Awards winner Bradford Denny (left) and Jim Olson.

Joe A Tarver & Tile Person of the Year Awards

This year, the NTCA’S 2015 Tile Person of the Year Award was presented to Steve Young of Steve Young & Associates, located in White Plains, Georgia. An active and supporting member of the NTCA since 1978, Steve’s most significant contribution to the Association was his work during the early development years of the Association’s traveling workshop program. Working with Joe Tarver and other industry leaders, Steve traveled around the country educating contractors on installation techniques and new technology.

Steve is also one of only two of the original members serving on the highly respected NTCAs Technical Committee, boasting a dedicated tenure of over 30 years. “Steve has served his industry and the NTCA for his entire career,” stated NTCA’s President, James Woelfel. “He is most definitely deserving of this recognition.”

Joe A. Tarver and Tim Curran
Joe A. Tarver and Tim Curran

Tim Curran, Co-President of the Curran Group, owners of Crossville Inc., received the prestigious Joe A. Tarver Lifetime Achievement Award, offered to a leader in the tile and stone industry who dedicates his/her career to advancing our trade. As Co-President of Crossville, a family owned business since 1918, Tim has supported a legacy of leadership at Crossville for more than 30 years in the industry. Crossville has a reputation for quality and customer service, and it is not uncommon for a distribution customer to say, “they are part of the Crossville family.” The leadership team at Crossville recognized the need for qualified installation and was the first company to support the NTCA Five Star Contractor Program.

Scholarship Awards

Finally, recipients of the association’s first-ever NTCA “Tom Ade” Ceramic Tile Scholarship Award were also announced.

The Scholarship was established by the NTCA to provide educational opportunities in college or trade for children or grandchildren of NTCA contractor members. It was respectfully named after Tom Ade, a former NTCA regional director and a previous recipient of NTCA’s Ring of Honor and Tile Person of the Year Awards. Through his generosity and support of training and education, funds were earmarked to launch this scholarship. The association hopes to raise additional funds to offer multiple scholarships to deserving applicants in the future.

Tom Ade, Brianne Martinho and Kim Olson
Tom Ade, Brianne Martinho and Kim Olson

Jan Hohn, NTCA state director from St. Paul, Minnesota, and last year’s Tile Person of the Year recipient, presented the first award. Receiving the Grand Prize and a $5,000 scholarship to be given to the college of his selection was Connor Meehan of Harwich, Massachusetts. Connor is the son of Tom and Lane Meehan of Cape Cod Tileworks. His father, who accepted the award on his behalf, is a state director in Massachusetts. Connor comes highly recommended as a young man of integrity, high moral standards, and character. He intends to focus on business and marketing, with a desire to help small businesses like his parents tile store and installation company.

Tom Ade, Tom Meehan, Jim Olson, Bart Bettiga
Tom Ade, Tom Meehan, Jim Olson, Bart Bettiga

Jim Olson, Assistant Executive Director of the NTCA presented its $2,500 Scholarship award to Brianne Martinho, daughter of Robert and Melanie Martinho of NTCA Five Star Contractor Visalia Ceramic Tile in California. Brianne is a student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and has chosen Mathematics as her major with a goal to be a calculus teacher. Brianne hopes to study abroad in Europe while at Cal Poly, and will use these funds to help pay for this unique cultural experience.

For more information about the NTCA, contact NTCA Executive Director Bart Bettiga at bart@tile-assn.com, via telephone at (601) 939-2071, or visit www.tile-assn.com.

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