Leadership Letter: Taking Off
 
July 1st, 2006

July-August 2006

As we go to press with this issue, a number of us will be on our way to Turkey, accepting the generous offer of the Turkish Ceramic Federation to visit their country and get to know them and their products better. This is my sixth trip to Turkey and I have enjoyed both the country, the business and the relationships I have developed over the years. Being able to partner thru CTDA should be a great advantage for those distributors who are participating in the trade mission along with us. This type of trip and contacts that will be made would have taken years to develop.

It’s a wonderful opportunity, personally and professionally, and it reminds all of us that tile is an international product in an increasingly international marketplace. Despite the advent of the Internet, email and wireless communications, the personal touch—meeting face to face—remains the hallmark of successful business ventures. It works locally, nationally and internationally.

For almost 30 years, CTDA has been facilitating these important face-to-face meetings, at industry trade shows, at association events, and elsewhere, whenever members and associates meet and even do business. Certainly one of the greatest benefits of CTDA membership is the opportunity it affords all of us to enjoy easier access to our industry counterparts here and abroad.

Perhaps another of the great benefits of association membership is the way in which it forces us to look ahead, consider the future and envision new opportunities and markets. It’s very easy—especially given the frantic pace of most of our professional and personal lives—to put our head down and our shoulder to the wheel and just keep working.

But, it seems, we would miss a great deal that way and—when markets change as they inevitably do—we’d miss that as well.

One of CTDA’s functions is to identify future changes in business and bring to its members not only the educational programs about those changes, but also options and opportunities to stay ahead of them. They are happening so fast that a true collective effort is required to keep up.

One way we try to meet these challenges is with TileDealer.

The topic of mold—like the ubiquitous invader it is—seems to be everywhere. This month our One-on-One talks to Paul Schipp, Senior Research Associate at USG and chairman and one of the driving forces behind the Responsible Solutions to Mold Coalition (RSMC). He’s not here to sell us product; the purpose of this group is to become the voice of reason and expertise—a clearing house for information—in the midst of the clatter from all quarters about the dangers of mold.

I hope this issue of TileDealer offers you some inspiration and opportunities to meet the challenges ahead. That’s why we’re here!

Mark Carlson

CTDA President

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