The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) gathered for four days at the Wild Horse Pass Resort in Chandler, Ariz., for the 2010 NTCA annual winter meetings, which kicked off on February 15.

With more than 75 industry leaders in attendance, this year’s NTCA winter meetings focused on approving the 2010 budget, outlining strategic plans and goals for all divisions and committees for 2010 and ’11, and finalizing several new technical documents for the comprehensive NTCA Reference Manual available for members at www.tile-assn.com

The winter meetings represent an important time each year for the NTCA and its several subdivisions and committees to gather in one place and discuss the previous year and implement new strategies for the future. Officials from the NTCA Board of Directors, Executive, Technical, Standards, Training, Membership, Convention Planning and Business Development committees were also in attendance. Special guests included members from the Ceramic Tile & Stone Association of Arizona, select contractors, retailers and distributors. The Tile Council of North America held a Green Initiative Sub-Committee at the resort in conjunction with the NTCA winter meetings schedule.

“The NTCA is alive and well, growing its membership despite these difficult economic times, while at the same time increasing our programs and services,” said Bart Bettiga, executive director of the NTCA.  “Thanks to a dedicated staff and board of directors, the NTCA is thriving and continuing to play a leading role in the growth and development of the tile and stone industry.”

Other highlights included strengthening NTCA’s affiliation with the Ceramic Tile and Stone Association of Arizona to encourage membership growth and retention for both associations, with more plans and programs expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Sponsored by Ceramic Tiles of Italy, NTCA Training Director Gerald Sloan and Regional Director Michael Whistler participated in a two-hour program focused on ceramic tile design trends and the required techniques for proper installation. The program, taking place at Tailisin West, an architectural school designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, also included a presentation by Jen Renzie, a well-known author on creating beautiful designs with tile.  Local distributors supported the program with tabletop displays. The students of the architectural school treated the attendees with a wonderful Italian meal and wine reception.  Plans are being made to offer this program in Indianapolis and other markets later in 2010.

The NTCA Standards and Methods Committee also spent ample time outlining plans for the development of a stone tile installation section in the TCNA Handbook, under the leadership of the Marble Institute of America and the NTCA.

NTCA is a non-profit trade association serving every segment of the industry, spearheading education for the professional installation of ceramic tile and allied products.  For more information, please contact NTCA executive director Bart Bettiga at bart@tile-assn.com, via telephone at (601) 939-2071, or visit www.tile-assn.com