Dave Gobis accepting the Joe A. Tarver Cornerstone Award; L to R: Bart Bettiga, NTCA executive director; Dave Gobis; Jon Cox, NTCA president; Lesley Goddin, editor of NTCA publication, Tile Letter.

Dave Gobis, former executive director of the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) and columnist for Floor Covering Installer and its sister publications TILE Magazine and National Floor Trends, was honored with the Joe A. Tarver Cornerstone Award at Coverings 2009. The award, which honors members for their service to the ceramic tile industry, was presented by Bart Bettiga, executive director of the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA). When accepting the award, Gobis thanked the NTCA and stressed the importance of better training for installers.

“I am proud to accept the NTCA Cornerstone award,” Gobis said. “Throughout my contracting career, NTCA played an important role in the development of my contracting business. Membership provided me with unequaled educational opportunities and access to the leaders of the industry at the many NTCA events. Without participation in NTCA, the success of my business and ensuing educational career would not have been possible.”

“When I sold my business, one of the major considerations was my inability to further expand due to lack of qualified labor,” Gobis said. “That is what provided and continues to provide a driving force in my educational efforts for an industry I love. There still remains a critical need for knowledgeable tile setters. Tile is a very rewarding career both on a personal and financial basis and it is my desire to continue to learn, write, and educate and do my part in helping others enjoy the both the reward and satisfaction of a job well done.”Gobis, a third-generation tile setter, has been in the trade for more than 39 years, operating a successful residential and commercial tile contracting business. He started a ground-floor business in 1976 on a part-time basis while employed with Mayfield Tile and Mantel and commenced full-time operations in 1980. Gobis grew revenues from $35,000 in 1976 to $2.7 million in fiscal year 97/98. In 1998, with 14 employees and a 37 percent gross profit margin, the business was sold to an outside party.  

Gobis has authored over 100 trade-related articles and is a frequent speaker at industry events. He is member of the Construction Specification Institute, International Code Council, American Concrete Institute, NTCA Technical Committee, voting member of The American National Standards for Ceramic Tile Installation and Setting Materials (ANSI A108/118), American Society for Testing of Materials (ASTM) C-21 Ceramic Whitewares, and Tile Council of America Installation Handbook committees.