Total Solutions Plus - Partners in Progress: CTDA, NTCA, TCNARegister Now!


Don Reynolds | Byron Pitts | Jason Bader | Stephanie Samulski | Marian Enriquez | Pamela Bowe
Larry Mersereau | MMSA | Shauna Causey | Distributor's Forum | Michael Stone
Gerald Sloan | Fred Jackson | Bill Griese | James Dion | Ask the Leader

Opening Keynote: Don Reynolds
Global Economic Update – The New Normal
We are now looking at transformational change. The corporate mantra for this year has been "If we can just hold on, one of these days things will get back to normal." Forget about getting back to normal. This is the new normal: more regulation, a weaker consumer, higher borrowing costs, more protectionism, a weaker dollar, more volatility, sudden shifts in perception, higher rates of unemployment, years before housing prices get back to old highs, more government debt, more taxes, a little deflation, then a lot more inflation and an end to US global economic domination.

So, instead of just trying to hold on, accept things have changed and develop new strategies. It means narrowing your product focus, and accelerating innovation. Making big business feel like small business so it can be nimble and move quickly. It is about building a corporate culture, spending more time and effort in making employees more comfortable in the work environment to get greater productivity.

Click here to read more about Don

Closing Keynote: Byron Pitts
A Conversation with Byron Pitts
Known for his thought-provoking coverage and his commitment to exceptional storytelling, Byron Pitts is a multiple Emmy award winning journalist. As Chief National Correspondent for CBS Evening News with Katie Couric Pitts was an embedded reporter covering the Iraq War and was recognized for his work under fire. Pitts was also CBS’ lead correspondent at Ground Zero immediately following the September 11th attacks and won an Emmy for his coverage. A news veteran with over 20 years of experience, other major stories include the war in Afghanistan, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the military buildup in Kuwait and the refugee crisis in Kosovo, to name but a few. Pitts realized a life-long goal when he was named a Contributing Correspondent to CBS’ 60 Minutes in 2009.

At the podium, he shares his incredible story perseverance and strength and inspires audiences to reach for their dreams.

“It seems unimaginable that someone of Byron’s intelligence and elegance could have faced so many struggles as a young man. No wonder he is such an inspired storyteller—his own story is inspiring.” —Katie Couric

Click here to read more about Byron

Jason Bader
Finding the Balance: Managing Inventory in a Tough Economy

Everyone is looking for ways to shore up their cash flow. While some may turn toward reducing headcount, others will look for reductions in inventory. Why not? Inventory is typically the largest asset in a wholesale distribution company. While prudent inventory reductions are always beneficial, we don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. We must recognize that we are sales organizations first and foremost. If we slash our inventory levels, for short term financial gain, we will jeopardize our ability to serve our customers. Unfortunately, their memories last longer than economic swings. In this presentation, participants will learn how to reduce inventory without alienating their loyal customer base. Distributors will learn how to analyze customer needs and make adjustments to their inventory investment. Even in tough economic conditions, we can provide superior customer service through prudent inventory management decisions.

Click here to read more about Jason

Stephanie Samulski
2011 TCA Handbook

One of the most important documents in the tile industry is the TCA Handbook, published annually in book and electronic format. This book is used by architects and design professionals in the specification process. It is also used by distributors and contractors and manufacturers so that they can assist the specifier to ensure a quality sale and installation takes place. Stephanie Samulski is with the Tile Council of North America, and is primarily responsible for the many revisions and dissemination of the information that has been submitted to the committee that oversees the development of the documents. Ms. Samulski has logged hundreds of hours this past year with the editing of existing methods and drafting of new proposals for consideration for approval by the committee. The 2011 TCA Handbook promises to be one of the most significant revisions to ever take place. She will give the audience a sneak preview of this very important new development.

Click here to read more about Stephanie

Kevin Burnett
Best Practices for Securing Federal Government Work

This educational session provides Best Practices from a Federal Contractor's perspective, which encompasses discussing the resources available by the federal government agencies, compliance requirements, and how to best procure these opportunities along with the importance of visibility and being proactive.

Click here to read more about Kevin

Pamela Bowe
Learn How to Use B2B/EDI For A Competitive Advantage
“Companies with better Information Technology grow faster than companies without.”

A recent study by Keystone Strategy proved businesses that make the right investment in information technology grow 6.8% faster and have 23% higher revenue per employee than those companies that do not.

More than 300,000 companies worldwide use the B2B/EDI standards in daily business transactions. Flooring industry companies, including retailers/ contractors, software developers, manufacturers, distributors and trade associations are working together to enable B2B standards, which now allow companies large and small to take advantage of the cost benefits and efficiencies B2B technology offers.

  • Enable your computer to quickly and accurately exchange business transactions with your vendor’s computer across the internet.
  • Eliminate costly back office errors and delays caused by doing business with suppliers by phone, fax, or mail.

Learn what other retailers are finding when they use fcB2B/EDI

  • Cost savings increased profits
  • Improved productivity
  • Lower overhead costs
  • Improved service levels
  • Improvement in customer satisfaction management
  • Stay competitive

How many of your suppliers are capable? How much will this technology influence your business?

Click here to read more about Pamela

Larry Mersereau
Growing your Business in Challenging Times Presented

In times of change (and we’re in ‘em), the most dangerous thing you can do is stay the same. Whether you manufacture, distribute, sell or install tile products, this session will help you take more than your fair share of the business in your market. You’ll learn how to position and promote your business as the only provider your target customer would even want to consider. If you want to emerge victorious from this economy, you have to market effectively and sell aggressively. This program gives you simple, doable… effective strategies and tactics you can use immediately to do both.

Click here to read more about Larry

The Materials and Methods and Standards Association

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Membranes, But Were Afraid to Ask

The Materials and Methods and Standards Association, (MMSA) is comprised of allied manufacturers of tile and stone installation systems, with the purpose of establishing standards of quality and performanc of materials and methods for installation and use of ceramic tile and dimensional stones. In this presentation, representatives of MMSA will discuss major components of various types of membranes and their uses and benefits. Particular attention to waterproofing and crack isolation membranes will be given, with discussion and live demonstrations of their applications taking place. New language to our industry standards will be explained to the audience as well.

Click here to learn more about the MMSA

Shauna Causey

Social Media: Get The Results You Want
You’ve decided to use social media tactics...but how can you maximize your time to make it worth the effort? Shauna Causey will take a look at why social media tactics are an important part of an effective communication plan. She’ll cover ideas on timing, tools, building a network, grassroots marketing and components of a successful campaign. She’ll also cover ideas relating directly to anyone in the tile industry— from the manufacturer to the retailer.

Click here to read more about Shauna


CTDA Forum
Distributor's Forum

Every year CTDA distributor's gather to discuss several topics and issues they are facing in the tile industry. The format of this year's CTDA Distributor's Forum will be different than past years to accommodate the feedback from the 2009 meeting. Details to come. Submit your topic suggestions and Distributor Forum ideas to CTDA staff.

Click here to learn more about the CTDA


Michael Stone
Contractor's Forum, Running a Financially Effective Company
Michael Stone's 90 minutes to Running a More Effective Company will teach you how to:
1) Correctly establish your company markup and how to use it
2) Set up your Profit and Loss statement, How to read and apply it to your business
3) Avoid the three main causes of cash flow problems in your business.
It will close with a Q&A session.

Click here to read more about Michael

Gerald Sloan

Ceramic and Porcelain Tile vs. Stone Tile Installations: Similarities and Differences

In this session, Sloan will discuss the new natural stone tile supplement to the TCA Handbook, developed in coordination with the NTCA, Tile Council of North America, and Marble Institute of America. He will discuss the differences and similarities between natural stone tile installations vs ceramic and porcelain tile, and will offer some hands on demonstrations highlighting this. Both commercial and residential projects will be discussed, as well as walls and floors.

Click here to read more about Gerald

Fred Jackson
Marketing Green in Today's Over Saturated Green Market

Fred Jackson's session will focus on marketing green in today’s over saturated green market. Fred will discuss the following:

  • What is the size of the green market?
  • Why marketing green is important to your business survival.
  • What are landmine's in green marketing.
  • Setting up and implementing a green marketing program that works for your firm.

Click here to read more about Fred

Bill Griese
Understanding Tile's Role in Green Building
Bill Griese will present, "Understanding Tile’s Role in Green Building". This program provides an in-depth understanding of the relevance of tile to the green building movement. It explains Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the International Green Construction Code (IgCC), the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS), and the National Green Building Standard (ICC-700), and how projects designed to these criteria can incorporate the use of tile. Attendees will better understand the positive impact tile can have on green building projects, and will be able to explain strategies for achieving standard and rating system compliance to architects, specifiers, and green building professionals.

Click here to read more about Bill

James Dion

Creating A Store

It really should be a Sales Room and not a Show Room, and even more closely resemble if not become a true retail store! Words mean things and calling your showroom a store can change internal and external ideas about what it really is. The tile Store of the Future will be nothing like what we see today in most places, our customers are far more sophisticated and are demanding the same experience in shopping for their floors and walls as they have in shopping for furniture, electronics and yes, even clothing. This session will show you some simple ways to begin the transition from showroom to retail sales room, giving you specific design and visual dos and don'ts as well as examples that you can use for a store that will increase sales and customer satisfaction while at the same time making your staff more productive and engaged.

Click here to read more about James

Ask the Leader
Total Solutions Plus will begin to wrap up it's jammed packed educational sessions with an Ask the Leader forum. A grand panel made up of high level executives from 2 contractor companies, 2 manufacturer companies and 2 distributor companies will share their expertise on three topics of importance within their company. Ryan Calkins, President of Statements Tile Inc., will be the moderator for the panel. The format will be Q&A and each panelist will be given an opportunity to describe the three most important things their company is dealing with and how it will effect them with in the next five years. All attendees will have the opportunity to submit written questions and provide feedback.


Ryan Calkins

Ryan Calkins
Statements Tile Inc.

Click here to read more about Ryan

The 6 panelists are as follows:

John Wirtz

John Wirtz
Vice President
Wirtz Quality Installations, Inc.

Click here to read more about John

Bob Roberson

Bob Roberson
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
David Allen Company

Click here to read more about Bob

Tom Kotel

Thomas J. Kotel
President and Owner
Mid-America Tile

Click here to read more about Thomas

Brian Knies

Brian Knies
President and Owner
Tile America

Click here to read more about Brian

Real Bourdage

Real Bourdage
Strategic Marketing Director
MAPEI Corporation

Click here to read more about Real

Ed Metcalf

Ed Metcalf
President, North America Division
LATICRETE International, Inc.

Click here to read more about Ed

Partners in Progress
Total Solutions Plus is brought to you by the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association, the National Tile Contractors Association, and the Tile Council of North America. To learn more about these organizations, click on their logo to the right.