Leadership Letter
January 1st, 2007

January-February 2007

Our mission is clear

Like most organizations today, CTDA has a mission statement around which we build our programs and shape initiatives. CTDA’s mission is to “provide educational and networking opportunities for distributors of ceramic tile and their suppliers to further the consumption of ceramic tile.” You don’t have to look far in the association to see how much we do to support that statement.

CTDA educational opportunities have multiplied in the last few years. For example: Online Education is just a click away at www.ctdahome.org/onlineedu. This self-directed study program available 24/7 conveniently puts training into the hands of anyone who needs it, including new employees and seasoned veterans. Now you—and your employees—no longer have a reason not to become fully versed on the Basics of Ceramic Tile and Sales Techniques to move your inventory.

Tile Training in a Box has been updated to include new materials on the growing stone category, allowing you to expand your training along with your product line. If you haven’t used tile Training in a Box to introduce a new employee to the industry or as a refresher for existing employees, you are missing a wonderful opportunity to tap the benefits of CTDA membership with this easy-to-implement training program. All the topics you need to cover really do come in easy-to-use materials in a box, including PowerPoint presentations. TileDealer magazine continues to deliver news about product introductions, installation and trends in every issue. Take a look at the following pages for inspiration about the latest color trends, new products, the marketplace in 2007 and more.

Get certified! Perhaps the most exciting news is that the Certified Ceramic Tile Salesperson (CCTS) program has been successfully tested and is ready for implementation in 2007. This program was developed by ceramic tile sales professionals with the assistance of Southern Illinois University (SIU). Successful completion of the CCTS demonstrates industry knowledge and the necessary skills set to meet customers’ growing demands in the ceramic tile business. It is designed for ceramic tile sales professionals with a minimum of two years in the industry.

The launch of CCTS is yet another milestone in CTDA’s 27-year history of developing and maintaining a strong ceramic tile industry. Thanks to many tile professionals who took the time to take the test at Coverings and again at the Management Conference, we have enough results to verify our results. This is an important step in defining CCTS and in making it the industry-wide certification we believe it will become. CCTS testing will also be available at Coverings 2007. non-stop networking

If you are like most attendees at the CTDA Management Conference last November, you went back to your business ready to try a wealth of new ideas, from dealing with generation Y (Kelly McDonald) to improving your bottom line (Al Bates). I personally appreciated Tom Roland’s presentation on Homeland Security and its impact on imports and Paul Laudicina’s presentation on the factors that will be shaping our business in the near future. Of course, if you were at the Management Conference you also enjoyed the networking opportunities it presented, from informal coffee breaks to the Distributor Roundtables. This networking is the heart and soul of CTDA. If you were not an attendee I hope you will mark your calendar right now and plan to attend the 2007 event, November 7-11 at Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort, Dana Point, California.

Networking in CTDA doesn’t stop with the Management Conference or even with a trade mission to Turkey. It’s picking up the phone and calling another member to ask how he solved a problem or if she knows a vendor. If you aren’t leveraging that part of your membership, you are missing some terrific opportunities to learn more and grow your business.

Best wishes for a successful 2007!


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