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Counting gratitudes

“Thanksgiving is the holiday that encompasses all others. All of them, from Martin Luther King Day to Arbor Day to Christmas to Valentine’s Day, are in one way or another about being thankful.” 

– Jonathan Safran Foer 

November is upon us and it is the month to count our gratitudes. And there are many. 

First of all, I just returned from the annual Total Solutions Plus (TSP) conference in New Orleans. It was a wonderful time of learning, connecting and sharing ideas and thoughts with industry friends, old and new. I treasured my in-person time with folks I regularly communicate with in email or by phone or in virtual meetings – and as always, thoroughly enjoyed the closing dinner where many of us got to cut loose on the dance floor!

I took the opportunity to talk to a number of tile contractors while at TSP about what keeps them up at night. You can read about that in our Hot Topics story. And mark your calendars for the April Workplace Wellness story, where these same contractors will share how they build resilience in their lives – the topic of the opening TSP keynote, energetically presented by Adam Markel, it formed a great basis for conversation.

Circling back to gratitude, we present some ideas about thoughtful reflection from Chester Elton, author of The Gratitude Journal in this month’s Workplace Wellness story. And we include a look at the partnership between Procore and The B1M construction video channel, formed to address mental health and start discussions about it in construction. 

Our Member Spotlight shines on Chris Osterritter, CTI #1800, and owner of Art by Tile in Wilmerding, Pa. He participated in the Premiere Tile Artisans Training this last June in Milwaukee, and talked about how he is incorporating those lessons into his daily work life, and how NTCA and other industry resources support his passion for ongoing learning.

The August Mud Event was the site for Certified Tile Installer (CTI) and Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers (ACT) tests. Top Floor Writer Alice Dean was on the scene and interviewed some of the participants about their motivation in taking the exams and what the experience was like for them.

Grazzini Brothers & Company in Eagan, Minn., is celebrating 100 years in business this year. We present a special One-to-One interview with President Greg Grazzini who details the company’s journey through the last 100 years and what the future holds. 

Our Technical story defines the terms encaustic tile, pressed cement tile and concrete floor tile, their history and how they are manufactured. There is often confusion about what “encaustic tile” actually is and how it differs from “encaustic design” tile, and this story is part one of clarifying these tile types. Stay tuned for part two in December, when CTEF’s Scott Carothers will detail the unique methods needed to install each of these tile types properly. 

NTCA president Sam Bruce presents the fundamentals of a successful family business and what’s needed to make it thrive. 

And our cover story by PROFLEX tells the story of the Residences at the St. Regis Longboat Key, near Sarasota, Fla., and how its products helped create an iconic beachfront property that reshaped the landscape of Longboat Key.

I have a request – starting in 2024, we will translate some select print technical stories in each issue to Spanish and include those translations in our digital version of TileLetter. We could use help translating these 2-3 stories each month from someone with a good grasp of technical knowledge and the Spanish language. If you are interested, please contact me at the email address below.

In this month of Thanksgiving, please peek beyond the parade, football games and feasting to acknowledge those people, pets, experiences and things that make your lives glow and sing. Life is precious. Celebrate it.

God bless, 
Lesley

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Editorial Director and Senior Writer for TileLetter and TileLetter ARTISAN

Lesley Goddin has been writing and journaling since her first diary at age 11. Her journey has taken her through a career in publishing and publicity, landing her the editor position of TileLetter and its special publications in 2006. Her goal is to educate, inspire, recognize and encourage those in the tile industry -- especially the tile and stone contractor.

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