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


Dr. Jay Lehr | Marcus Luttrell | Donato Grosser | MMSA | David Parker | Robin Grove | Bill Griese
| Greg Andrews and Gerald Sloan | Josh Levinson and Greg Mowat | Shauna Causey | Distributor's Forum | Patti Fasan | Gerald Sloan and Michael Whistler | Josh Levinson, Nyle Wadford and James Woelfel |Ask the Leader

Opening Keynote: Dr. Jay Lehr

Futurist, Economist, Researcher and Scientist
Jay Lehr is an author, speaker, and futurist.  He is currently the Science Director of the Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank supported by contributions by individuals, foundations, and corporations. No corporation contributes more than 5% of its annual income.  He is also Senior Scientist with Environmental Education Enterprises, Inc. in Ostrander Ohio.

In 2008 Dr. Jay Lehr was named Chief Hydro-geologist for Earth Water Global (EWG) corporation, one of the largest providers of water supply projects throughout the world. EWG makes available for delivery previously overlooked, large scale sustainable ground water resources at EWG's financial risk under a long term services contract with government clients globally.

During the past several years,  Dr. Lehr has served as a guest lecturer in the Departments of Economics at the University of Illinois, Purdue University, Southwest Missouri State University and Ball State University of Indiana.

Click here to read more about Dr. Jay Lehr

Closing Keynote: Marcus Luttrell, Lone Survivor

A Tribute to Courage, Honor and Patriotism
Marcus Luttrell’s 2007 #1 New York Times best-selling book, Lone Survivor, tells the harrowing story of four Navy SEALs who journeyed into the mountainous border of Afghanistan and Pakistan on Operation Redwing. An unparalled motivational story of survival, the book is also a moving tribute to the friends and teammates who did not make it off the mountain. A powerful testament to the courage, integrity, patriotism and community that forged these American heroes, Lone Survivor is an incredible account of teamwork, fortitude and modern warfare.

At the podium, Luttrell takes us from the rigors of SEAL training and what it takes to join the America’s elite fighting force, to the battle on the mountain, into his family’s experience of community support and generosity, and back to his own incredible story of survival and grace. In powerful narrative, he weaves a rich account of courage and sacrifice, honor and patriotism, community and destiny that audiences will find both wrenching and life-affirming.

“I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.” —Marcus Luttrell

Click here to read more about Marcus

Donato Grosser
The U.S. Economy and Changes in Ceramic Tile Distribution

Donato Grosser is president of D. Grosser and Associates of New york. He has been an active observer and commentator on the U.S. ceramic tile market since 1980.

Click here to read more about Donato

The Evolution of Grout Technology

Representatives of both Associations will examine the evolution of grout technology, looking at cementitious, epoxy, modified epoxy, urethane and lightweight grouts.  Discussion will include live demonstrations.

Click here to read more about MMSA

David Parker
It's Not Up-Selling, It's Selling Right

David Parker is a founding partner of ABG, Inc., an Indianapolis-based global training and business-consulting firm (a division of Adayana, Inc.)  Energy, enthusiasm, and passion are all words used to describe David’s approach to facilitation, consulting, and presentations. He has an uncanny ability to connect with audiences, using humor and real-world examples to drive key points home. His focus is on performance and strategy development, and he builds on his own experiences as a business owner, as well as helping literally hundreds of companies develop and implement their specific strategies. David is a graduate of Purdue University with emphasis on economics and communication, and incorporates sound business knowledge with practical application into every presentation.

Click here to read more about David

Robin Grove
Challenges Dealing with Customs on Import Issues

Robin Grove is the VP Commercial Operations and FMC qualifying individual for Masterpiece International/Multimodal International Shipping and is a licensed Customs Broker, Certified Customs and Certified Export Specialist. Robin has been in the international/domestic shipping industry for more than 32 years specializing in Stone/Tile/Flooring and overweight containers nation and worldwide. Robin is currently serving as a director of the Los Angeles Customs Broker Freight Forwarders Association as Forwarding Chair for more than 8 years, as well as Infrastructure liaison to the Pacific Coast Council of West Coast Customs brokers and freight forwards associations.

Click here to read more about Robin

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

Greg Andrews and Gerald Sloan
Glass Tile Installations and Demonstrations

NTCA Training Director Gerald Sloan with Greg Andrews, a acclaimed glass tile installation expert. The NTCA will utilize several successful glass tile experts to showcase their work and to examine the uniqueness of glass as compared to traditional tile and stone installations.  

Click here to learn more about Gerald and Greg

Josh Levinson and Greg Mowat
Exploring The Science of Natural Stone Tile Installations

Moderator:  Bart Bettiga of the NTCA
Presenters: Greg Mowat of Forensic Tile Consultants and Josh Levinson of Artistic Tile

Click here to read more about Josh and Greg


Shauna Causey
Designing a Website That Will Market Your Business and Increase Sales

Shauna Causey has managed communications, community relations and social media strategy for companies, non‐profits and elected officials. Over the last 15 years, she’s worked for the Seattle Mariners, FOX, Fox Sports Net, and Comcast. She was recently voted in the 100 Top Women in Tech by TechFlash and was one of seven women across the world honored as a top woman in tech at the 2010 South by Southwest conference. The LA Times named Shauna as part of the “Female Empire of Women in Tech” in an article in March 2010.

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 2010 meeting. Details to come. Submit your topic suggestions and Distributor Forum ideas to CTDA staff.

Click here to learn more about CTDA


Gerald Sloan and Michael Whistler
Large Format Tile Installations and Demonstrations

Sloan and Whistler will examine issues related to large format tile installations, including running bond patterns, substrate preparation, lippage allowance,the effects of lighting on installations, and grout width requirements.  Rectified tile installations will be discussed.  Effective demonstrations will illustrate the issues that installers and builders face every day in the field.  

Click here to read more about Gerald and Michael


Josh Levinson, Nyle Wadford and James Woelfel
Using Installation Standards in Sales and Installation of Ceramic Tile and Natural Stone

Contractors and Distributors will discuss the importance of staying on top of the latest standards for both tile and natural stone, and how to use this information to assist in the proper specification of these materials; and in planning and implementing a successful installation.

Click here to read more about Josh, Nyle and James


Patti Fasan
Strategies to Improve Market Share over Competitive Alternates
- Sponsored by Tile of Spain

Innovation in product design has been a major key to the success of many manufacturers in distinguishing themselves as leaders within the ceramic tile sector. Research and experimentation have led to improved aesthetics, an exciting explosion in finish, texture and sizes in conjunction with a parallel improvement in the technical quality of tile. The consistent originality of new lines has contributed to increased market share and extended areas of use for tile.   

This same attention to innovation needs to be applied to the industry’s marketing and educational efforts if we are to realize an increase in market share against competitive products such as hardwood, laminate, vinyl, linoleum, carpet, natural stone, cork, bamboo, sisal and rubber. The ceramic tile industry must integrate some of the effective strategies employed by competitive industries in order to maintain and grow our position within the floor-covering marketplace.

In this session we will present strategies and examine fresh new ideas and concepts to help you promote the premium value and long term performance of ceramic tile rather than going down the slippery slope of trying to compete on price alone against commodity non-durable alternatives. Learn effective tools you will be able to employ to promote quality ceramic tile and capitalize on future opportunities.

Click here to read more about Patti

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. Frank Donahue, Owner of Best Tile of NC, 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.


Frank Donahue
Owner - Best Tile of NC

Click here to read more about Frank

The 6 panelists are as follows:

Nyle Wadford
Neuse Tile Service

Click here to read more about Nyle

Daniel Welch
Welch Tile & Marble Company

Click here to read more about Daniel


Robert DeAngelis
Louisville Tile Distributors, Inc.

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John Cousins
Vice President

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Frank Douglas
Vice President of Business Development
Crossville, Inc.

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Harold Yarborough
D&B Tile Distributors

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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.