Mediterranea, a multi-national tile and design firm, has shored up its West Coast sales team with the addition of Gary Rapp, a 30-plus year veteran of the tile and stone hard surfaces industry. For the last 25 years, Rapp has served as buyer and general manager of Baja Tile in San Bernardino County, California, and later Las Vegas (2004).

During Rapp’s time in charge of one of the top tile and stone distributors on the West Coast he developed a strong passion for the creative side of the business, and came to realize the value-added benefits of supplying tile products manufactured in the U.S. All of these attributes make Rapp the ideal candidate to represent Mediterranea sales in California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada.

“What I’m excited about most is the domestic presence of Mediterranea,” Rapp said. “Mediterranea offers what I call ‘Italian-style tile produced in the USA,’ and all the benefits that come with it. Adding to this, Mediterranea has license over its own designs because Michael (Mariutto) actively designs them. In my opinion, he had a lot to do with bringing Italian-style design to the domestic market. Mediterranea led a lot of others to water, so to speak. Because the tile is made here in the U.S., the inventory requirements are a lot a thinner and this opens up a lot of other opportunities with medium-sized distributors and importers.”

For Mediterranea, producing domestic porcelain tile is only part of what they offer to its customers, but it has become increasingly important during the economic downturn that also claimed Baja Tile. Rapp does believe strongly in U.S. produced Mediterranea porcelain tile because often his customers will be able to add two or three new collections to their showrooms for the price of purchasing just one manufactured overseas. In addition, Rapp simply enjoys being in the tile and stone business and strongly believes in building long-lasting partnerships and friendships with his customers.

The contacts and friendships Rapp has spent 30 years building will prove an invaluable asset as he begins to offer Mediterranea porcelain in some of the major metropolitan areas in the Western States. Rapp will return to Las Vegas where Baja Tile experienced great success with its second location and revisit his customers in that market. Rapp will also increase the market position of Mediterranea porcelain tile in Phoenix, Tucson, Arizona, Reno, Nevada, Salt Lake City, Utah, throughout Southern California as well as the Bay Area north in San Francisco.

Contact Gary Rapp at (305) 718.5091 (office), 951.830.1888 (cell). Email