Modomo announces the opening of its North American Headquarters

Modomo is proud to announce the opening of its headquarters at 4171, West Hillsboro Blvd, Suite #12, Coconut Creek, Florida. It’s one more step in Modomo’s goal to provide fine Italian tile, designed for the North American market.

“We’re really excited about the new office and feel we have something pretty unique to
offer.” said Managing Partner, Scott Alpert. Alpert’s industry background includes 35-years
experience from agent, contractor, buyer, retail/wholesale distributor, to Italian and
Chinese Trading Companies.

“We’re going to be different”, said Alpert. “As a U.S. based company, only marketing to the U.S. and Canada, we’ll keep a pulse on North American design and cultural trends and quickly gear our product offering to mirror those trends.”

Modomo also plans to go the extra mile. “We’re partnering vertically with our client’s inside and outside salesforce by providing extensive training, but that’s just the first step”, stated Alpert. “We are also going to go out with our clients and visit their dealers, architects and designers, builders and developers. We’ll help them train and educate their clients on the product.”  “We’re with our client partners one-hundred percent of the way and the new headquarters is just the beginning of that commitment.”

Modomo is a U.S. based trading company, run by industry veterans with over 100-years of
collective experience, providing the finest Italian tile to the North American market.
Partnering with one of the most successful Italian Tile Manufacturers, Modomo is committed to providing beautiful collections, superior sales and training support, state-of-the-art merchandising and marketing, as well as, very favorable pricing.

Find out more at modomotiles.com.

In Memory: Phil Halcomb of David Allen Company

Philip E. Halcomb

Phil Halcomb joined the David Allen Company in 1986 with a more than 25-year successful track record in the industry.  Phil operated his own tile company in Santa Cruz, Ca., for nearly 20 years before joining David Allen Company as Vice President and first manager of the Washington, DC Branch.  With exceptional skills at building relationships and a strong commitment to service, he quickly became the dominant tile, marble, and terrazzo contractor in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Phil’s passion was golf, and he was a master at building relationships with customers who valued his emphasis on customer service first.  Those same relationships were valuable when he initiated the annual David Allen Company Invitational Golf Tournament which has generated more than one million dollars over the last 20 years.  The proceeds of these tournaments have been donated to charitable causes.  Although Phil had taken a lesser role in his company responsibilities, this year’s tournament was the most successful David Allen Company Invitational in the series, raising more than $140,000 for Paralyzed American Veterans.

Because of Phil’s driven and focused efforts to always achieve a better result, every day, David Allen Company Vice President Chris Walker said “Few people have I met who lived as full a life as Phil Halcomb did.  His incredible fortitude, love of life, ‘fighting the good fight,’ and being a 110 percent guy, are the lessons from Phil that I value.”

Martin Howard, David Allen Company’s Executive Vice President remembers Phil as a man of principle and charm. Martin says “Phil maintained a positive attitude throughout his life regardless of the challenges, but because of the challenges he faced and how he overcame them, he inspired all who knew him and made a lasting impression on all who met him.”

David Allen Company Chairman Robert Roberson said “Phil has been a valued friend and a very important part of David Allen Company’s success during his 30 years of commitment, and we will miss him.”

Phil Halcomb at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, pursuing his passion for golf.

Halcomb touched many people in the industry and around the country. Ed Metcalf, President North America of LATICRETE International, Inc., said, “Phil Halcomb was beloved by many in the tile industry. Always smiling and joking, he always engaged with everyone else in the room. His generosity and loyalty to friends is legendary. In business and in life he was driven to succeed and to overcome any obstacles he encountered. A passionate golfer, Phil adapted to the loss of both legs and actually became a better player. I will miss Phil greatly, but he will always be an inspirational figure to me and to all who truly knew him.”
A statement from Robert Trent Jones Golf Club said it “extends its heartfelt condolences” and “deepest sympathy”  to the family and friends of Phil Halcomb, who passed away on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 in Manassas, Va.

A Celebration of a Life Well Lived was held Saturday, August 5, 2017,  3p.m. – 5p.m. at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, 1 Turtle Point Drive, in Gainesville, Va.

 

ProSpec LLC hosts “Design at its Core” at 20th Anniversary Celebration

ProSpec LLC celebrated its 20th anniversary with a reception at the Museum of the City of New York in July.

The design of the Jerome L. Greene Science Center at Columbia University’s Manhattanville campus in New York City was the focus of the 20th anniversary celebration of ProSpec LLC, a prominent New York distributor of tile and tile installation systems in July. Taking an original approach, Founder, Lou Giannini and Partner Steve Siciliano offered guests more than just a party to celebrate 20 successful years in business. They rented out the Museum of the City of New York for the evening and invited architects, builders, contractors and project owners to enjoy “Design at its Core”, a study in depth of the design and construction of the Jerome L. Greene Science Center.

ProSpec partner Steven Siciliano and family

Steve Jones, Senior Director of Industry Insights and Research at Dodge Data & Analytics provided information on current and future New York City construction activity plus insight into emerging new technologies for project design.  Jones’ insights pointed attendees to those areas with the greatest expected growth over the next several years. Finding new project opportunities to pursue, competition for those opportunities, concern over availability of talented and professional workers, and project financing were major concerns for the near future.

Steve Jones, Dodge Data & Analytics

Serge Drouin, an Associate at Renzo Piano Building Workshop, shared with the assembled group the overall plan for Columbia University’s Manhattanville campus, highlighting the five buildings in Phase I of the massive project. Foremost of these buildings is the Jerome L. Greene Science Center, which houses the Mortimer L. Zuckerman Mind Brain Institute.  Drouin underscored his presentation with architectural drawings and photographic images of the unique designs employed to achieve a LEED Platinum certification for the project.

Serge Drouin, Renzo Piano Building Workshop

The complex building challenges of this award-winning project were presented by Steven Sommer, Principal of Lendlease Construction, in the final presentation of the evening. Safety, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, all focused on the customer’s satisfaction, made Lendlease the perfect building partner for the project. In his presentation, Sommer concentrated on the project management, which brought together myriad details to produce 457,000 square feet of laboratories and meeting space dedicated to finding solutions to mind/brain challenges such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Steven Sommer, Lendlease Construction

Following the presentations, guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as they toured the exhibits about New York and its history on display in the museum.  Luigi Di Geso, CEO of MAPEI North America, a leading manufacturer of adhesives, grouts and chemical products for the construction industry, attending the event, commented, “ProSpec has taken the opportunity of its 20th anniversary to point the way to the future with an innovative and successful strategy that mirrors MAPEI’s own efforts to provide total solutions to its customers. By bringing together members from various aspects of the construction industry and demonstrating through the Jerome L. Greene Science Center project how collaboration promotes innovative, sustainable results, Mr. Giannini is establishing a model that can take everyone’s productivity to the next level.”

ProSpec, LLC focuses on product presentation and recommendation to the project team – the owner, architect, designer and consultant. Other groups within the company – ProTile, Stone, Terrazzo, ProWood and ProExterior Systems – are designed to provide contractors with customer service and logistics for materials that are delivered on time and on budget. This holistic approach to architects’ and builders’ needs provides a much-needed and appreciated service.

Strategic thinking and planning have created today’s success and will lead to future growth for ProSpec LLC. At the close of the evening’s activities, Giannini announced that he is managing for the future through succession planning as company ownership transitions to a “Women Business Enterprise” under the leadership of his three daughters.

ProSpec LLC founder and partner Lou Giannini with his family. Giannini announced that he is managing for the future through succession planning as company ownership transitions to a “Women Business Enterprise” under the leadership of his three daughters.

For more information on the Jerome L. Greene Science Center, stay tuned to TileLetter’s September issue.

Tile of Spain: everything old is new again

Old & cool (classic elements)
The revival of vintage styles is still one of the hottest trends in terms of home design and décor. Ceramic collections that revisit the past make the bring new life to rooms, both in the flooring and the walls all over the house, creating an interior unique space. Ceramic tiles bring the essence of other times through its colors, formats, motifs and reliefs.
The taste for retrieving vintage pieces has grown, mixing them with modern elements  to find the perfect equilibrium between retro and modern. Bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and living rooms welcome ceramics in walls and flooring inspired by ancestral homes.
Bathrooms from a former age
Classic designs lead in bathrooms, that part of the house that we eventually tend to decorate with more love. The increasing taste for vintage styles reigns in ceramics, with many recent collections including designs that revive either traditional geometric motifs or floral and vegetation elements, all inspired in the floral wallpapers used in the bathrooms of the early 20th century. These are references that obtain a vintage look through decorations in blue, pink and grey monochromes. They are usually present in small format tiles, from the classical 10×10 cm to mosaics, in order to create compositions in basic color ranges that soothe and seduce.
Retro look kitchens
Ceramic collections include, among its designs, walls and floors inspired by hydraulic tile patterns. These renewed classics fit the latest trends in interior design with multiple looks, which blend or allow random combinations, sometimes matched with smooth tiles. This allows creating retro environments with a contemporary style.
Vegetation patterns are also in the spotlight. These patterns become subtler, smoothing the overall sensation, and are featured on colored bases that also evoke a green environment.
A classic that never dies
The new tile compositions based on the mix of designs, results in a modern version of a traditional trend. Those ceramic collections following this trend retrieve the memories and sensations from old homes from a contemporary point of view. The collage of different motifs is an inspiration for decorating floors and walls of a house’s main rooms. The most coveted motifs are geometric, Arabic and flowered.
They welcome either a ‘black & white’ or a colorful universe with blue and green on the top. In light of this richness, ideally the flooring would match the furniture, woodwork and walls in smooth or neutral colors, in order not to overload the environment.

European ceramic tile manufacturers meet in Cordoba, Spain

June 15 -17, ASCER-Tile of Spain organized the Annual Congress of the CET (European Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Federation) in Cordoba (Spain).
During the General Assembly on Friday, the 17th, representatives of the European tile industry reviewed the current situation in different tile industries and addressed common issues in terms of commercial affairs, standardization, environmental law, technical aspects, etc. among other issues that European manufacturers have in common.
The meeting counted on the participation of the representatives of the tile industry associations in Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Czech Republic and Turkey, which are almost all the countries that participate in the European tile industry.
In terms of commerce, they highlighted the expiration of the anti-dumping measures against imports from China to Europe. This investigation was set upon CET’s request in the name of the European manufacturers: increasing commercial barriers in the Maghreb countries, commercial defense in the UK after the Brexit, etc.
On the other hand, some issues related to environmental law were also addressed, including Product Category Rules (PCR) and ecolabels, emissions commerce, energetic cost, etc.
About the CET and the European industry
The CET, to which ASCER belongs, represents the European ceramic tile manufacturers’ industry. Manufacturers belonging to the CET represent around 90% of the ceramic tile production in the EU.
  The ceramic tile industry in the EU registered in 2016 a trade volume of 9.560 million € and employed directly 55.200 workers in the EU. It is a competitive industry with a strong exporter profile and world leader in product development, innovation and design.
  The Spanish ceramic tile sector, represented by ASCER, sold 3.316 million € in the past year, from which 2.570 million correspond to sales in around 190 different countries. The Spanish industry is the number one exporter of the EU in terms of volume.

 

ASCER technical conference presents advantages of using ceramics in public buildings

A technical conference took place at ASCER’s conference hall on 20th to discuss the use of ceramic in public buildings with architects, building engineers and public engineers. In the past recent years, the use of ceramic tiles has conquered the exterior use: façades, sidewalks, squares, etc. This conference was aimed at bringing closer the latest new building solutions that ceramics offer to public works. It was also highlighted the importance of choosing the right materials depending on their application, as well as their proper installation.
The program of the conference included:
  • “Ceramics in architecture: solutions and proposals for public works” presented by Javier Mira, Coordinator in the Habitat Area in ITC (Ceramic Technology Institute);
  • “Choosing ceramic systems depending on their application. Solutions for public work,” presented by Juan José Palencia Guillén, Normalization Committee President CTN 138. Building Quality section chief in the Department of Housing (Valencian Government); and
  • “Ceramic tile installation by adherence according to the UNE 138002:2017 regulation” presented by Matías Martínez, PROALSO Secretary-General.

NTCA attends Gary Sinise Foundation “Walls of Honor” event that recognizes U.S. Navy EOD1 Andrew Bottrell in San Diego

NTCA attended the Walls of Honor event in San Diego, Monday, June 19.

On Monday morning, June 19, the Gary Sinise Foundation held a “Walls of Honor” event to support U.S. Navy EOD1 Andrew Bottrell. The event invites family, friends, veterans, community leaders and Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. program donors and supporters to write inspirational messages of gratitude on the walls of the new specially-adapted smart home for the family, prior to construction of the home. The “Walls of Honor” event is the midpoint marker for this Smart Home Build.

 

Mark Roberts (l.) and Bob Shuford of Arizona Tile write messages of gratitude on the wall of the specially-adapted smart home being build through the Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. program.

Through the R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment), specially-adapted smart homes are being constructed for severely-wounded veterans nationwide, to create greater mobility and ease for the wounded veteran and their families.

(l. to r.) Andrew Bottrell, his wife Lindsey and daughter Jessa, with NTCA’s Amber Fox at the Walls of Honor event in San Diego.

Amber Fox, NTCA Five Star Program coordinator, was honored to attend the event. NTCA, along with other industry supporters, donate time, materials and/or labor to these smart homes across the country.

“Growing up in the construction industry, it is in our nature to give back with our talents, and this program is an amazing vehicle for that,” Fox said.  It was so nice to see all the support from our industry. MAPEI, Crossville, and Arizona Tile all donated for this project.

“Getting the opportunity to meet Andrew and his strong spirit, confirms what an amazing program that the Gary Sinise Foundation is,” she added.  “If you are an installer and want to give back I strongly encourage you to go to the foundation website at www.garysinisefoundtion.org and reach out to see how you can help.  I know many in our community already have, you will no doubt get back more than you give.”

Donor reps at the Walls of Honor event are (l to r): Bob Shuford (Arizona Tile), Kikmet Pauls and Alfanso Gonzales of Marjan Stone, fabricator of stone that Arizona Tile is donating to the home; Andrew Bottrell; and Mark Roberts and John Culver of Arizona Tile.

US Navy EOD1 Andrew Bottrell attended EOD school in 2008.  A year later Andrew reported to EOD mobile unit 3. He was deployed to Afghanistan in July 2011 with Seal Team 10. In Afghanistan, on October 1, 2011, while conducting combat operations Andrew was in a vehicle that was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED). He suffered extreme injuries which led to a double leg amputation and a left arm amputation.

Andrew shared, “Always push yourself no matter what life brings your way. If you do not like your situation, change it. Do not blame somebody else for it and do not wait for somebody else to do something about it. You are not entitled to anything, only what you make your own. Take control of your own life, because life is what you make of it, so make the best of it.”

The R.I.S.E. foundation provides specially-adapted smart homes, home modifications, mobility devices, and adapted vehicles to America’s most severely-wounded heroes and their families. By the end of 2017, 59 specially-adapted smart homes will have been built or are underway.

For more coverage of this story, please visit the link below:

http://www.kusi.com/story/35700303/gary-sinise-foundation-dedicates-smart-home-to-wounded-veteran

To learn more about the Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. program, visit this link: https://www.garysinisefoundation.org/programs/rise

 

 

 

 

Olympia Tile+ Stone celebrates 90 years in business

Olympia Tile + stone celebrated its 90th anniversary with a spectacular event held at the Evergreen Brickworks in Toronto, Canada on May 4th.  The 125-year-old restored brickworks was the perfect setting for this grand event.

Over 3,000 people attended the extravaganza to view products and partake in the “passport-themed” event. Attendees were furnished with “passports” that traced their travels through the world of tile with over 40 vendor booths and food from 15 different countries.  “Flight attendants” mingled through the crowd and a flight simulator let everyone take their chance at being the next “Sully.”

Olympia Tile Group president Ralph Reichmann playing “Sully” on the flight simulator at the company’s 90th anniversary celebration.

The ‘mini-Cersaie’ event gave everyone an opportunity to see what the next new look would be.  Sizes, textures and colors reflecting the fashion trends in tile, from 1” x 1” mosaics to 60” x 120” panels were on display.

The accolades were plentiful from attendees. “What a fabulous night,” said Ruth Lynch, Byron Patton Associates, Toronto.  “Olympia went above and beyond…the venue, the food and the presentations were all spectacular.” Lawrence Beveridge, of Toronto’s LDB Associates, added, “The evening was perfect. I really enjoyed going from booth to booth to learn more about the products.  All the vendors were concise, enthusiastic and knowledgeable.  It was a perfect venue, and the food was fabulous.”

The great reviews continued the following day with a tour of the 35,000 sq. ft. Toronto showroom and the one million sq.ft. break-bulk facility in Vaughn , Ontario.  This main staging area for Olympia Tile+ Stone houses over 140,000 pallets of tile and 30,000 slabs of marble, granite, limestone, quartz and porcelain panels.

Over 3,000 people attended the extravaganza to view products and partake in the “passport-themed” event. Attendees were furnished with “passports” that traced their travels through the world of tile with over 40 vendor booths and food from 15 different countries.

“I truly enjoyed touring the showroom, and was blown away by the size of the inventory in the Vaughn warehouse,” said Patricia McClintock of Patricia McClintock Associates, Montreal. “I had no idea of the scope of Olympia Tile,” said Robert Irvine, Irvine Carpet & Tile, of Grand Rapids, Mich. “I have been to multiple factories around the world and have never seen an inventory this large.”

This event provided hats-off congratulations to Ralph Reichmann, president of Olympia Tile Group, and the 900 employees from Olympia Tile+ Stone that go above and beyond everyday for their customers.

“Many thanks to the esteemed customers and manufacturers, who have come from near and far to our Event from many parts of Canada, the United States and overseas,” Reichmann said. “The staff of Olympia Tile Group, who have organized this event, and myself are expressing our deepest appreciation, and trust you had an informative and pleasant experience.”

 

 

 

 

 

Arizona Tile kicks off 40th anniversary celebration events in San Diego

Arizona Tile celebrated its 40th anniversary with an event on June 15, 2017 commemorating its first branch and first lease in San Diego.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Arizona Tile is hosting celebrations for employees and customers at all of its locations this year in celebration of its 40th anniversary. On June 15th 2017, the company hosted an event for its San Diego branch. This branch is the  company’s first location, and the location where its first lease was signed, so this event represented a milestone for the company. Originally the party was scheduled to take place at the company location on Morena Blvd, but the response was so outstanding that it outgrew the venue and the celebration was moved  to Town and Country Resort.

 

John Wirtz of Wirtz Quality Installations (l. to r.); Mark Huarte, Arizona Tile (son of founders John and Eileen Huarte) and George Gasaway of Custom Building Products.

Jack Penny on the drums!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Several of the company’s former employees were in attendance at this event, including Jack Penny. Jack Penny was a branch manager and outside sales rep at the San Diego location for over 20 years and retired a few years ago. Not only did he attend the party, but his band, The Shenanigans, provided musical entertainment at the event.

 

Arizona Tile executive team members were also in attendance including:

  • John and Eileen Huarte (founders)
  • Bob Traxler (President)
  • Gary Skarsten (Executive Vice President and CFO)
  • Beth Gaughan (VP of Sales)
  • Don Kesteloot (Vice President of Finance)

Founders John and Eileen Huarte outside the San Diego branch store.

The company was thrilled to see so many team members, former team members, and customers at the event. Many of the customers in attendance of this specific event have been shopping with Arizona Tile since the company began in 1977.

As part of the celebration, Arizona Tile raffled off a steak dinner as well as a Notre Dame football signed by owner and founder, John Huarte, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1964 while playing for Notre Dame.

Following is a schedule of remaining 40th Anniversary events this year:

June 15th, 2017 – San Diego CA

June 22, 2017 – Dallas TX

July 11, 2017 – Rancho Cordova, CA

Aug 25, 2017 – Albuquerque, NM

September 14, 2017 – Salt Lake City, UT

September 21, 2017 – Houston, TX

October 12, 2017 – Livermore, CA

October 19, 2017 – Denver, CO

October 25, 2017 – Roseville, CA

November 2, 2017 – Tucson, AZ

December 6, 2017 – Las Vegas, NV

December 7, 2017 – Anaheim CA

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