Fishman’s Mabeus Named Executive VP

Fishman Flooring’s Bill Mabeus has been promoted to the newly created position of executive vice president.

Mabeus, who first joined Fishman in 1982, was previously vice president of sales for the company. He is a member of the company’s board.

In his new position, Mabeus will be responsible for managing Fishman’s six operating regions and will be more active in strategic planning and employee development and training. He will continue overseeing the company’s sales force, selecting new vendor partners and integrating products into the company’s existing product line.

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Schluter Celebrates 50 Years

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Schluter-Systems.

In 1966, Werner Schlüter embarked on his first business venture: founding Schluter Tile. A few years later, Schlüter developed a product that would revolutionize not only his work as a tile setter, but the industry as a whole: Schluter-Schiene, a metal finishing profile designed to prevent tile edges from chipping. From these humble beginnings the company has evolved to a global organization with seven subsidiaries and 1,100 employees.

With its home base still in Iserlohn, Germany, and its largest North American facility located in Plattsburgh, N.Y., Schluter-Systems continues to thrive as a family-run business that reaches many countries around the world. Schluter-Systems North America set up shop in Plattsburgh in 1989 with two employees and a 13,000 square foot warehouse. Today, Schluter-Systems occupies nearly 600,000 square feet of warehouse and office space throughout North America and employs more than 500 people continent-wide.

“I could not have imagined such a development at that time. It all began with five types of products made of brass,” said Schlüter. Over the next several decades, Schlüter led the company’s evolution from this first product to protect tile edges, to a portfolio of products designed to protect the integrity of tile installations from multiple angles: from underneath, at perimeters and transitions, and within large expanses. The Schluter line of products now consists of more than 10,000 items.

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Florida Tile’s Franceschelli Elected President of TCNA

Michael Franceschelli, CEO of Florida Tile, has been elected to a two-year term as president of the Tile Council of North America (TCNA).

Franceschelli has served as CEO of Florida Tile since 2010, leading the company to steady growth in sales and profits while also expanding its manufacturing and distribution capabilities.

In the years since joining the tile industry, Franceschelli has taken an active role in TCNA, serving four years as second vice president before accepting his current post. His commitment to raising the bar in the tile industry is reflected in the goals that he has set for himself and TCNA for the coming year.

“Developing a TCNA ‘Why Tile’ program to educate consumers and the industry on the many benefits of tile is high on my list of priorities,” said Franceschelli. “It’s important to lead this charge of informing the public and training our industry professionals in order to make a positive impact in the flooring market.”

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Roma Joins MAPEI Americas as General Manager of Canada

Marco Roma is now general manager of MAPEI Inc., the Canadian subsidiary of the global chemical products manufacturer.

Roma will join the MAPEI Americas leadership team and will report directly to MAPEI Americas president and CEO, Luigi Di Geso.

Roma has worked for Mapei S.p.A. since April 2014, as a corporate area manager and then interim general manager for MAPEI’s holdings in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Before coming to MAPEI, Roma worked for Materis Group, holding various executive positions in Italy, the Asia-Pacific and Western Europe.

“We are looking forward to Marco’s support in maintaining and building an even stronger team in Canada as we work to continuously grow our business in this important North American market, where MAPEI started their globalization efforts,” Di Geso said.

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In Memoriam: Lillian Rosenstock Rothberg

Laticrete co-founder and wife of the late Dr. Henry M. Rothberg, Lillian Rosenstock Rothberg, passed away Nov. 27, 2016. Throughout her life, Mrs. Rothberg remained the bedrock upon which the Rothberg family legacy was built and the inspiration for the values instilled in the family-owned company. She was 91 years old.

Mrs. Rothberg co-founded Laticrete with her late husband in 1956. While overseeing office and administrative functions in support of her husband’s efforts to champion superior tile and stone adhesives, she also maintained a home and ensured the successful upbringing of their seven children. Together, and lovingly, she and her husband established the soul of Laticrete, shaping it into the family-run and family-oriented business it is today.

“Words cannot express the depth and pain of this loss. Our devoted mother was a true inspiration to all members of the immediate Rothberg and extended Laticrete family,” said David Rothberg, chairman and CEO of Laticrete. “She was not only our loving mom, but was instrumental in the creation of the company’s philosophy and values.”

Outside of her professional life, she was known for her insights into human nature, passionate concern for sociopolitical justice and love of literature. She and her husband took pleasure in inspiring young members of their growing family to achieve great things. Their devotion to mentorship and education led them to contribute 20 scholarships to Dr. Henry M. Rothberg’s alma mater, the University of South Carolina’s School of Chemical Engineering.

Mrs. Rothberg is survived by her seven children, Irene Rothberg, Henry B. Rothberg, David Rothberg, Deborah Rothberg, Celia Meadow, Dr. Jonathan Rothberg, Michael Rothberg, 19 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

An online memorial in remembrance of Lillian Rosenstock Rothberg has been established at for condolences.

First NAFCT Technical Conference a Success

More than 35 manufacturers and industry groups presented during the educational portion of the first National Academy of Floor Covering Training (NAFCT) Trade Show & Technical Conference in Dalton, Ga., last October.

Manufacturer technical representatives each gave two-hour, hands on and/or Powerpoint training sessions on how to use their products. Participating manufacturers included Ardex, MAPEI, Royal Adhesives & Sealants, Tarkett, Roppe, Novalis, Wagner, Tramex, Schönox/HPS North America, Halex, Capri Cork and CBC Flooring.

In addition to education sessions, attendees also enjoyed networking opportunities and a tabletop trade show. According to organizers, manufacturers donated more than $3,500 in giveaways for a raffle drawing during the event.

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NWFA Revises Wood Floor of the Year Awards Categories

The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) has revised categories for its annual Wood Floor of the Year awards to align the awards with the refined Master Craftsman program.

According to the association, the revised categories will generate more diversity with contest submissions by focusing on the specific skill sets taught during NWFA hands-on training events.

The new categories are: Best Restoration/Makeover; Best Color and Finish Application; Best Circular/Curved Application; Best Parquet/Inlay Application and Best Textured Wood Application.

In addition to the revised categories, NWFA will recognize the Members’ Choice Award. All entries submitted will be eligible to receive this award, which will be presented to the floor that receives the popular vote among its members.

All winners of the 2017 contest, as well as past Wood Floor of the Year winners, will be invited to an exclusive reception with NWFA’s publishing partners at the 2017 NWFA Expo, which will be held April 11 through 14 in Phoenix.

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MIA+BSI Launches Online Education Tool

Marble Institute of America (MIA)+Building Stone Institute (BSI) has launched the Natural Stone University, an online education tool for stone industry professionals.

Safety will be the primary focus during the first phase of the Natural Stone University. All safety courses and materials have been made available free of charge, courtesy of the MIA+BSI safety committee. Courses include modules on safe slab handling, installation, OSHA compliance and CNC operation. Toolbox Talks are also available. Each course includes video and written components, as well as a closing quiz to test knowledge gained from the course. The system will also record transcripts for all who pass tests and meet competency for the courses. Courses can be taken by individuals or downloaded by managers to be administered in group settings.

The next phase of courses will include quarrier safety. “Our goal is to create a safer and more productive workforce through education,” said Aaron Dahnke, MIA+BSI’s education manager.

MIA+BSI would like to thank the companies that have sponsored the Natural Stone University: Braxton Bragg, Terminator, Custom Building Products, Polycor, Atlas Copco, Braxton Bragg, Laticrete, the National Building Granite Quarries Association, Polycor, the Rockhead Group and Terminator Diamond Products.

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Bonitz Names New CEO and Opens Florida Location

Bonitz has appointed Pete Larmore as president and CEO of Bonitz. Larmore becomes the fifth president in the company’s 63-year history. In his new role, he will be responsible for ensuring the company’s continued growth both strategically and operationally.

During his 30-year career with Bonitz, Larmore has held positions of increasing responsibility in sales, operations and leadership. He will retain his current position as CEO of the Bonitz Flooring Group, along with his new role leading the company.

Additionally, Bonitz announced the extension of its floor care services to the Central Florida area by opening a location in Tampa.

Launching this new location is a former aviator with extensive experience in both floor care and business, Mark Hodgson. His floor care foundation includes experience with DuPont Flooring Systems, TSI Property Services, Stanley Steamer, MilliCare and certifications from DuPont, IICRC and RSA.

Hodgson has also built an extensive client base for commercial floor care in other regions, created programs that focus on stone/tile/wood/water restoration and even established an award-winning safety program. He understands the many perspectives of clients involved in commercial flooring maintenance and planning.

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Industry Members Endorse FCICA CIM Program

At the Flooring Contractors Association (FCICA) Mid-Year meeting held in Henderson, Nev., last October, 24 manufacturers and distributors along with eight contractors pledged to endorse and support the Certified Installation Manager (CIM) program.

The CIM program is the flagship certification program of the FCICA.

The manufacturers and distributors who signed the pledge form include: Ardex Americas, Capri Cork, Flexco, H.B. Fuller Construction Products, Schönox/HPS North America, Helmitin Adhesives, Loba-Wakol, MAPEI Corp., Metroflor, Michael Halebian & Co., Moldings Online, Procedo Flooring, Protect-All Flooring, RFMS, ROPPE Corp., Seneca Millwork, Shaw Industries, Sika Corporation, Spray-Lock, Tarkett, Traxx Corp., UFloor Systems, USG and Wagner Meters.

The contractors who signed the pledge form include: Allstate Floors, Becker Brothers, Bonitz Flooring Group, DCO Commercial Flooring, Flooring Services, Inside Edge Commercial Interior Services, Synergy Flooring and Texan Floor Service.

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INSTALL Continues Partnership with Helmets to Hardhats

Last April, the International Standards and Training Alliance (INSTALL) and Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) forged a partnership calling on INSTALL contractors to sponsor veterans with the goal of bringing new skilled workers into the floorcovering industry through an apprenticeship program.

The partnership has since been actively recruiting veterans in both the U.S. and Canada and has seen tremendous results and surpassed expectations.

At the outset of the partnership, INSTALL and H2H set a goal of enrolling at least one veteran into the INSTALL apprenticeship program per month in 2016. At press time, INSTALL said it has entered 13 veterans into the program, meeting its goal by 163% with a little time still to go. Additionally, more than 80 vets have shown interest in an apprenticeship and INSTALL is connecting them to contractors for possible career opportunities.

H2H operates in both the U.S. and Canada with two complementary but independent programs that connect National Guard, Reserve, retired and transitioning active-duty military service members with skilled training and quality career opportunities in the construction industry. The program is designed to help military service members successfully transition back into civilian life by offering them the means to secure a quality career in the construction industry.

INSTALL is a training and certification program dedicated to putting highly skilled floorcoverers to work in an industry that is suffering from a shortage in skilled labor. The two programs, recognizing the great potential to help each other, established the partnership with the ultimate goal of putting more veterans to work.

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Mr. David’s Partners with Loth

Mr. David’s has announced a collaborative partnership with Loth, located in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio. Loth, a furniture and workplace design company, creates smarter spaces for organizations across all sectors in the U.S. It specializes in optimizing organization’s spaces to improve productivity using a wide array of offerings from furniture to technology.

This cooperative effort will not only strategically align Mr. David’s and Loth, but will also allow both organizations to truly concentrate on their core competencies while still expanding their client base. The new relationship will result in Mr. David’s absorbing what was previously Loth’s commercial flooring division in both Cincinnati and Columbus.

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Coverings Calls for Industry ‘Rock Star’ Nominations

Coverings, taking place April 4 through 7 in Orlando, Fla., is seeking nominations for its 2017 group of “Coverings Rock Stars,” an award that recognizes the best up-and-coming young professionals in the tile and stone industry.

Selected by a committee of industry leaders, each outstanding individual will be awarded based on his or her impact on the tile and stone industry along with previous industry recognition.

Rock Star nominees must be 35 or younger and currently employed by or as an architect, designer, distributor, retailer, contractor, installer, fabricator, specifier, trade association or manufacturer in the tile and stone industry. Nominators must also be active and experienced in the tile and stone industry.

Award winners will receive a one-night hotel stay in Orlando, Fla., to attend Coverings, will be featured in online and onsite promotions and will be honored, along with their nominators, at an awards breakfast at Coverings.

All nominations must be submitted by Friday, Jan. 6, 2017.

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NTCA Announces Executive Board Elections

After a long and productive weekend at Total Solutions Plus last October, the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) held its annual meeting and elected new members of the executive board.

Martin Howard of David Allen Co. was elected President. Chris Walker, also of David Allen, was named 1st Vice President. Martin Brookes of Heritage Tile and Marble was elected 2nd Vice President, and outgoing President James Woelfel was elected Chairman of the Board. Dan Welch was named Executive Committee advisor, joining John Cox and Nyle Wadford.

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Laticrete Supercap Announces Partnership with Texas Motor Speedway

Laticrete Supercap has partnered with Texas Motor Speedway to install new high-tech floors in the speedway’s two garage areas and tech bays.

Laticrete Supercap is now the “Official Garage Flooring System of Texas Motor Speedway.” The new floors, a first in NASCAR, cover 22,000 square-feet and house 48 individual service bays plus the Technical Service Inspection Station where every team sends their racecar for an intensive inspection before racing. The Laticrete System includes products designed specifically for commercial garages, warehouses and airplane hangars where performance is a factor because of elements like hot tires, hazardous fluids and the regular use of heavy equipment within the area.

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NAFCD + NBMDA 2016 Convention Sees Record Attendance

The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD) and North American Building Material Distribution Association (NBMDA) recently brought together 940 distribution professionals throughout the floor covering, specialty building material, cabinetry and woodworking industries to network, engage, learn and grow their businesses.

The event took place last November at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, where attendees participated in an increased number of education sessions covering more topics than ever before: economic trends, technology-driven marketing, demographics, freight and logistics, employee retention and developing successful sales professionals.

The 2016 Distribution Management University (DMU), held in conjunction with the annual convention, was an interactive workshop where distribution managers learned proven techniques and tools to build relationships and enhance their personal brand.

Attendees were able to take advantage of many new enhancements to the NAFCD + NBMDA Annual Convention. The new partner pavilion featured seven experts who provided attendees with valuable ideas, insights and best practices in their individual areas of expertise. Attendees were able to participate in complementary one-on-one, 15-minute consultations in the pavilion over two days of the event.

The 2017 NAFCD + NBMDA Annual Convention event will take place Nov. 14 through 16, at The Broadmoor, in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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Shaw Completes Purchase of USFloors

Shaw has completed the purchase of USFloors. According to the company, the acquisition will further expand Shaw’s strong position in the resilient luxury vinyl tile (LVT) and hard surface markets.

As an innovator of composite core flooring, as well as cork, bamboo and hardwood products, USFloors will bring an even more diverse portfolio of products to Shaw’s expansive offerings. Composite core encompasses a wide range of evolving flooring products, including wood-plastic composite (WPC) and rigid core board (RCB). The companies’ combined design, innovation, service and operational excellence will enhance both companies’ position in the market.

“This is a marked time of growth and progress as we further expand our resilient and hard surface markets with the purchase of USFloors,” said Vance Bell, Shaw’s chairman and CEO. “Piet Dossche and the USFloors team will provide valuable expertise and market insights as we combine these two forward-thinking companies.”

Through the acquisition of USFloors, Shaw has procured the fastest-growing company in the WPC flooring market. Shaw also recently invested more than $100 million in the creation of a new resilient manufacturing facility in Ringgold, Ga., which currently employs approximately 100 associates.

“We are extremely proud to join Shaw, a company known for quality, team work, superior service and operational excellence,” said Piet Dossche, CEO of USFloors. “By combining these two stellar flooring companies, we will further empower our talented teams to solidify our COREtec brand as the leading product within the new WPC flooring category.”

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Visitor Online Registration Opens for DACF 2017

Visitor online registration for Domotex asia/ChinaFloor (DACF), taking place March 21 through 23, 2017 in Shanghai, is now open.

The online registration gives access to online visitor services including getting in contact with the participating exhibitors before the show, navigating through the latest launched products and planning the visit.

According to organizers, at press time almost 85% of DACF was already booked, featuring more than 900 companies.

Innovations and design will take center stage as highlights of the show in 2017. Cadex, the international event for connecting, learning and doing business in the design and architecture industry will be held for the second year concurrently to DACF. It will generate stimulating and creative flooring-related displays, conferences, networking events, interactive activities and much more.

The newest and most innovative flooring products will be introduced through the InnovAction Flooring program which, in the last edition of the show, showcased to the visitors more than 400 new products both in the online visitor center and in dedicated areas on-site. The campaign is designated to give exhibitors ways to expose their brands and promote their products through the most effective channels before and during the show and enable visitors to faster connect with manufacturers matching their interest.

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ISSA, ARCSI Members Approve Merger

The memberships of ISSA and the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI) voted to approve the resolution to merge. As approved by the memberships, ARCSI will be officially known as “ARCSI, A Division of ISSA.”

“We couldn’t be more excited about this merger and the benefits, resources and power it will bring to our membership,” said Ernie Hartong, CEO of ARCSI. “Drawing on ISSA’s resources, we will be able to grow our membership and provide wider options for education programming. We are also poised to drive the message to consumers of the benefits of using a professional residential cleaning company and with the support of ISSA, we can bring that to fruition.”

Under terms of the agreement, ARCSI members will retain their ARCSI memberships, but those memberships will expand to include global ISSA membership and benefits. Now finalized, ARCSI members will have access to ISSA member benefits, including expanded educational opportunities, market exposure, networking opportunities, business tools and data and other industry information.

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Ramanujam Named President and CEO of USGBC

Mahesh Ramanujam has completed the transition into his new role as president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

He will also serve as president and CEO of USGBC’s sister organization, Green Business Certification (GBCI). Formerly USGBC’s COO, Ramanujam takes the reins from Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC’s founding chair, who had previously announced plans to leave the organization toward the end of 2016.

Ramanujam brings a strong focus on serving the underserved and a drive to broaden and deepen USGBC’s market transformation efforts. He joined USGBC in 2009 as senior vice president of technology and he was named COO in September 2011. In December 2012, he was also named president of GBCI. In 2015, when Fedrizzi announced his plans to leave USGBC toward the end of 2016, the USGBC board named Ramanujam as incoming CEO.

Prior to joining USGBC, Ramanujam was COO for Emergys, a business transformation consulting firm in North Carolina. Prior to that position, he was a consultant to IBM, serving as part of the team that led various business transformation initiatives, including the sale of IBM PC systems to Lenovo and its printer divisions to Ricoh.

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FCICA Unveils Member Information Center

FCICA, the Flooring Contractors Association, has announced a new member information center and website for the organization.

The member information center will serve as a platform for members to utilize the association’s resources as well as network with other members, view upcoming industry events, and register for FCICA’s educational events.

“I am really excited about FCICA’s new member center and the opportunity it provides members to better connect with the association and fellow members,” stated Sarah Bays, membership & website coordinator.

Additionally, FCICA has launched an improved website at, which is mobile-enabled and offers a clean look. The new website hosts a searchable member directory where visitors can search for Certified Installation Managers by company, type of products installed by contractors, products manufactured, areas of service and more.

The technical resource directory has also been enhanced with the addition of a search function. Bays commented, “The new website definitely enhances the look and feel of the association and further extends our ability to communicate with the floor covering industry.”

Other features of the new website include social sharing, a career opportunities area, member to member deals, plus an online store.

Decorative Concrete LIVE! to be Held at World of Concrete

Concrete Decor magazine and the Concrete Decor RoadShow will showcase decorative and architectural concrete in a homelike setting Tuesday, Jan. 17, through Friday, Jan. 20, at the 2017 World of Concrete in Las Vegas.

On a 40-by-40’ concrete stage in the outdoor Concrete Surfaces & Decorative Pavilion across from the South Hall, Decorative Concrete LIVE! will feature displays alongside demonstrations of horizontal and vertical concrete finishes that can be used in quality homes of any size and style.

From stamping and staining to polishing and saw cutting, up to eight horizontal applications will be displayed alongside up to five finishes on interior and exterior vertical surfaces. Treatments such as trowel-applied coatings, stenciled or embossed patterns and carved toppings will be applied to insulating concrete forms (ICF), the concrete building-block system which will form the walls of the representative show home.

To encourage hands-on interaction to experiment with these techniques, Concrete Decor LIVE! will have two Artisan Sandboxes where attendees are invited to use a variety of tools to create their own unique finishes. Upon completion, they will be urged to take pictures of their handiwork and post them on Concrete Decor’s Facebook page to accumulate “likes” that can earn them prizes.

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New Hires and Promotions

Concrete Polishing Solutions (CPS) has appointed Brian Williams as the new Mid-Atlantic sales representative where he will be charged with developing new business territories in the region.

Williams brings experience in project management and business development in the flooring industry, with an emphasis on marketing and sales.

The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) recently announced that Andrea Dobbins has joined the group’s philanthropic arm, the Floor Covering Industry Foundation (FCIF), as executive director. Dobbins comes to FCIF from the United Way where she rose through the ranks over a 11-year career to Director of Donor Engagement and Strategy. In that role, Dobbins was responsible for overseeing fundraising and marketing functions and staff at United Way of Northwest Georgia, which mobilized more than 4,000 volunteers and raised nearly $4 million annually. For more information about applying for a grant or to make a donation, Dobbins can be reached at (706) 217-1183 or

Todd Maland has joined UFloor’s Uzin division as technical sales representative for the upper Midwest. Maland’s background in the concrete and flooring industry spans more than 15 years and includes residential and commercial flooring. He will be headquartered out of the Minneapolis area and will work closely with Gary Onate, Uzin’s Midwest regional manager.

Uzin also welcomes Jesse Garibaldi as a technical sales representative in California. Garibaldi joins the team with more than 17 years of experience in the floorcovering industry, working in distribution and building key relationships with contractor customers. Garibaldi will be headquartered in the Los Angeles area and will work with the other team members in the region.

Distributor Appointments 

Sika Corp. and The Cronin Co. have announced their new business relationship. The Cronin Co. has begun distributing the Sika Interior Finishing product range in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. This product range includes Sika’s commercial and residential solutions for wood flooring adhesives, moisture mitigation, subfloor preparation and self-leveling underlayments.

Upcoming Events

The International Surface Event 2017—Las Vegas, Jan. 17-20.

World of Concrete 2017—Las Vegas, Jan 17-20.

FCICA 35th Annual Convention—San Antonio, Texas, March 5-8.

New York Build 2017—New York, N.Y., March 15-16.

Coverings 2017—Orlando, Fla., April 4-7.

NWFA Expo 2017—Phoenix, April 11-14.