Industry Insights
January 1st, 2006


January-February 2006

CTDA inducts two into Hall of Fame

The Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA) inducted two more members into the CTDA Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the association’s 2005 Management Conference. Gail Schovan, president of Turner Distributing and immediate past president, and William Ives, who has served as legal counsel to CTDA since it was founded in 1978, were both honored not only for their years of service to CTDA but to the industry as well.

In 1963, Gail Schovan found her way to Dal Tile as their “Girl Friday.” In 1988, she purchased Turner Distributing. Along the way she has spent countless hours promoting and directing the CTDA organization, including serving two terms as CTDA president. CTDA members describe her as a tireless recruiter for members, for committees, and for people to attend events. She is someone who embodies the Mission Statement in every way possible.

Bill Ives went from Knox College, a small liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, to the U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps, Germany, and graduated from Harvard Law School. During his 37 year career with Keck, Mahin and Cate, he specialized in antitrust, international law, regulatory agencies, and of course, trade and professional associations. In 1978, Ives found time to become legal counsel to a small startup association: CTDA. He is the only legal counsel CTDA has ever had. In 2004, Ives retired from the firm life to private practice in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


The Tile Council of North America, Inc. (TCNA) reports hiring Philip J. (Jeff) Micalizzi to be the new director of its wholly owned subsidiary, TCA Team, LLC. Mr. Micalizzi’s responsibilities include managing operations and recruiting additional consultants. “Since the launch of TCA Team, we have experienced a growing demand for pre-construction consulting and on-site inspection across the United States. Jeff brings more than 27 years of experience to TCA Team,” remarked Eric Astrachan, TCNA’s Executive Director. Mr. Micalizzi gained insight into the causes of installation failures while at Laticrete International and previously as a foreman for Local #1 in New Haven, Connecticut. Prior to working for Local #1, Mr. Micalizzi set ceramic tile in California and Connecticut for 16 years.“The purpose of the TCA Team is to solve problems—before, during and, if necessary, after a tile and stone installation,” said Micalizzi. “Bringing a ceramic tile and stone specialist into a project during the design phase will often save money.” There are now so many choices available in the ceramic tile industry, architects and other specifiers are often not familiar with the new technology and choices available. Because tile is both utilitarian and decorative, it is important that a full range of choices are considered. Because it is expected to last the life of the building, it must be installed correctly, which requires knowledge of the ever-broadening choices of installation materials. In the building industry, whenever materials can be decorative, functional, expensive, and long-lasting, specialists are needed to help make the right choices. A ceramic tile design specialist can help select tiles that are functional and decorative and an installation specialist can help make sure the installation system is properly specified and executed. “Our objective is to become a resource for the entire construction chain from the specification writer to the installer,” said Micalizzi. “As consultants become more readily available, we believe customers will receive better installations. Not just because of better workmanship but also because of better design choices, better installation systems, and better competition in the marketplace. In the long term, we expect this will result in more training and education for the industry—which makes everyone a winner,” said Astrachan.

Ceramic Tiles of Italy Design Competition

The Italian ceramic tile industry announced the 13th edition of the Ceramic Tiles of Italy Design Competition. Sponsored by Assopiastrelle, the Association of Italian Ceramic Tile Manufacturers, and the Italian Trade Commission, this annual awards program recognizes design excellence in projects that feature Italian ceramic tile. North American architects and interior designers are invited to submit residential, commercial and institutional projects completed between January 2001 and January 2006. Entries may be submitted for domestic and international new construction and renovation projects. A panel of design professionals will judge the projects based on their creativity, aesthetic value, and how the tiles meet their functional and technical requirements. The criteria for the jury includes: overall design of the project, innovative use of tile, tile design, quality of installation and degree that tile enhanced the setting. Winners in each category will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and a trip to Coverings in Orlando, Florida, April 4-7, 2006. Winners will also be treated to a free 5-day trip to CERSAIE 2006, in Bologna, Italy from September 26-30, 2006. For the first time, an additional $1,000 will be shared by the winning contractor/distributor team. There is no fee or entry limit. Completed submissions must be received by January 30, 2006. For more information or to download an entry form visit

Laurie Lyza Joins Crossville as Marketing Manager

Crossville, Inc. has named Laurie Grogan Lyza as its new Marketing Manager. Lyza will work with Crossville’s marketing team to develop and coordinate new product launches and special events, as well as to oversee marketing communications nationwide.

“Laurie’s wealth of marketing and public relations experience in the corporate, non-profit and academic sectors, combined with innovative management skills, are a welcome addition,” says Jim Dougherty, vice president of marketing and business development for Crossville. “We’re thrilled that she’s joined us.” A graduate of the University of Tennessee with a B.S. in Journalism/Public Relations, Lyza has served as a communications executive in a wide range of organizations, most recently at the headquarters for U.S. Cellular. Previously, she was Marketing Manager for InsLogic Corporation in Oak Ridge, TN. Among Lyza’s many professional activities, she serves on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity of Anderson County, providing public relations and crisis communications counsel, as well as chairing the Development Committee. “Growing up nearby in Roane County, I have always been aware of Crossville’s reputation, not only for its excellent products, but as a strong, stable company and great place to work,” says Lyza. “When the marketing opportunity arose, it was an easy decision to pursue it. I look forward to being part of the Crossville family for many years to come.”


The Call for Entries has been issued for the 2006 Spectrum Awards presented by Coverings. The competition, which draws installations representing excellence in the use of ceramic tile, seeks residential and commercial projects. To be considered, projects must have been completed within the timeframe of January 2003-December 2005. “It was an honor to have my tilework recognized by leaders in the industry, and winning only added to the excitement of attending Coverings,” remarked 2005 Grand Prize winner John Mandel, president of Red Canyon Tile & Stone in Lander, WY. Eric N. Rattan, owner of Santa Fe Design Studios, Madison, WI, and 2005 recipient of the Residential Award of Merit, echoed similar sentiments. “It was a dream come true to win this past year—I encourage people to enter because not only was my client base expanded, but I was able to network with the ‘real’ players in the industry.” Architects, designers, builders, contractors, distributors, retailers, installers and other professionals from around the world will be vying for the chance to win a $10,000 Grand Prize. Prizes totaling $8,000 will also be awarded to the First Prize and Award of Merit winners in the Residential and Commercial categories. A downloadable version of the entry brochure along with details on how to enter can be found on The deadline for entering is Friday, February 3, 2006. The 2006 Spectrum Awards is sponsored by Coverings and coordinated by its five sponsoring organizations including ASCER ( Spain’s Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association), Assopiastrelle (Association of Italian Ceramic Tile and Refractories Manufacturers), CTDA (Ceramic Tile Distributors Association), NTCA (National Tile Contractors Association) and TCNA (Tile Council of North America).


A new safety video, produced by the Marble Institute of America (MIA) with a grant from Dallas-based Daltile, focuses on the handling of stone slabs, one of the more dangerous activities in the natural stone business. Taped on location at Daltile facilities in Anaheim and Dallas, the “Basics of Safe Slab Handling” covers a wide range of slab handling scenarios ranging from removing slabs from containers to delivering them to customers. The video is hard-hitting and underscores the vital importance of following safe procedures when handling stone slabs, which can weigh up to half a ton. “We are pleased to be working with the Marble Institute of America on its expanding program to promote safety training for the natural stone industry,” said Harold Turk, Daltile executive vice president. He added, “We believe that when there is consistency of safety training throughout the marketplace, it eventually benefits the entire industry. The only way to achieve it is through continuing education.” For information on ordering, contact MIA at 440-250-9222 or visit

MIA Lifetime Achievement

Malcolm Cohen, a 65-year veteran of the natural stone industry, has been awarded the Migliore Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Marble Institute of America (MIA). The 92-year-old Cohen accepted the award at MIA’s annual awards luncheon at StonExpo 2005 in Las Vegas, NV on October 21, 2005. After graduating from Yale University, Cohen followed in his father’s footsteps and expanded his father’s business, which is now operating in its second century. His companies, Domestic Marble and Miller Druck Specialty Contracting have been involved in such projects as The White House in Washington, DC; Grand Central Station and the Statue of Liberty in New York City; and Canary Wharf in England. During his more than six decades in the stone business, Cohen’s experience in the industry is unparalleled. He has acquired a body of knowledge that cannot be duplicated. In nominating Malcolm Cohen for this award, his family said, “On a smaller scale, he headed up an office with employees that he treated like family. He shared his knowledge and expertise with everyone. How does one summarize a lifetime of work? Malcolm loves the stone business.” The Migliore Award was conceived by MIA in 2003 in honor of Vincent Migliore, MIA’s long-time technical director. The first award was presented to Migliore posthumously. In 2004, the award was presented to Joe Kapcheck of J. Kapcheck & Co. of Des Plaines, Illinois.

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