TileLetter is the industry's leading tile magazine

Friday, July 19, 2024

The industry’s leading tile installation magazine

HomeContentCourageous industry members electrify NTCA Emerging Leaders Program

Courageous industry members electrify NTCA Emerging Leaders Program

Leadership programs are necessary to train and educate the next wave of managers and leaders to carry their company’s businesses into the future. There are lots of program styles, but the NTCA Emerging Leaders Program, facilitated by Wally Adamchik of Firestarter Speaking and Consulting, holds a special challenge, and abundant rewards. Those taking the program – now in its second year, with a kickoff at TISE, a wrap up at Coverings, and months of one-on-one phone conversations and six group virtual meetings – is an exercise in courage. 

Austin Andrews
Austin Andrews

Why? Because the foundation of the program is getting real and vulnerable with oneself and each other. This helps participants better understand their habits, motivations, strengths and weaknesses, and to discover how to navigate those qualities to better manage and lead those on their teams. Being vulnerable can be scary, and those who dedicate themselves to completing this program exhibit real courage. 

As Austin Andrews of Brekhus Tile & Stone bravely stated, “I am willing to open up my mind and let my history out so I can determine a path forward in my professional career and personal life.”

Steps along the way

Steps along the way include the DiSC Personal Assessment that participants complete before attending the first in-person meeting that helps participants identify their personality styles. Then there’s the book True North: Emerging Leader Edition that helps guide participants on their way. There are the weekly individual phone calls among the group, each with a different participant, to discuss the topics and themes, and awareness exercises like journaling that keep participants attuned to their styles and helps chart their growth as leaders. 

It’s about a “deep dive into self-awareness to be a better leader while meeting and getting to know like-minded professionals in the tile world,” Adamchik explained.

“We see this program as a way for our young leaders to get to know each other and learn and support one another,” said Bart Bettiga, NTCA Executive Director. “We also view this as an opportunity for NTCA to foster engagement and participation with the next generation.”

What’s new this year is the presence of first-round program participants to help guide and support the new cadets. Cody Cox of Cox Tile; Megan Garvey of Welch Tile and Marble; and Megan Giberti of Floor & Decor all have dedicated themselves to helping orient program newcomers who hail from all over the country, and shepherd them as they progress through the program. 

What participants say

Kali Pharand

Kali Pharand of Schluter Systems said this endeavor is a big stretch for her as a shy and reserved person, but hopes it will help her “..find my voice and exude confidence in a respectable, professional, and clear manner,” especially when it comes to public speaking. She’s also looking forward to building friendships, saying, “This group is fantastic, and I knew from the start of the first in-person session at TISE that these friendships would evolve throughout the program and last long after completion.”

Janice Hill

Janice Hill of DW Sanders Tile & Stone Contracting anticipates understanding herself better so she can “dial in more to my strengths and weaknesses when it comes to management and leadership within my organization.” She added, “It’s so nice to have others in the same industry who are facing similar issues and day-to-day tasks where we can discuss what the other is doing that has or hasn’t worked for them. We are developing a deeper connection that will carry us for many years within our careers and as we get more involved in the NTCA.” 

Hunter Marshall

Hunter Marshall of Fox Ceramic Tile also looks forward to networking with other leaders and getting more involved with the NTCA. And he has discovered, “I prefer to work with people with a very sociable personality and struggle to manage those who take a very direct approach to work. After observing the different ways people approach their work, I believe this has given me the insight to learn how to not only manage, but how to also work alongside others whose approach differs from my own.”

Artisan energy

Part of what makes this second chapter of the program distinctive is the presence of a group of artisan tile setters who all participated in the Artisans Revolution In Tile (A.R.T.) Training in Milwaukee last summer. The Emerging Leaders Program is the next step of embracing growth of their craftsmanship and choosing to enrich their leadership skills. The dedication to their art, to spreading the word about the artistic possibilities with tile while educating clients, builders and GCs about proper installation are laudable goals. 

Chris Resti

Chris Resti of Crest Tile & Mosaic, Inc. has jumped in since the A.R.T. training, putting skills learned into practice, growing friendships with other artisans and getting more involved overall, such as serving as the NTCA Brand Ambassador in his area with a goal of helping bring an NTCA Training Event or Certified Tile Installer exam to his area to educate and elevate area tile contractors. 

“After the first Emerging Leader session, I realized that this program was different from my expectations; it’s focused on learning about yourself – your strengths, weaknesses, communication styles, etc.,” Resti said. “Wally is not giving us a blueprint to be a leader, he is showing us how to use our strengths to lead/manage.”

Matt Blood

Matt Blood of Paragon Tile Installation wants to bring not only his company, but NTCA as a whole, forward into the future. He fights against perfectionism, but said, “I am not willing to let that slow me down however! I am looking to get the most from this, and am eager to do what it takes to get there.”

Maria Meyer

Maria Meyer, Artisan Tile Apprentice at Dragonfly Tile & Stone Works, who was an assistant trainer during last June’s class, said she realized how much she enjoys being part of a team, and hopes to learn skills to support her goals, her personal life and eventually to lead her own business. Despite her trepidation about transcending her comfort zone to open up to new people, she looks forward to “improving personal growth and making stronger connections with my peers in the industry.” 

Josh Vassallo

Josh Vassallo said, in essence, accusing the young generation of not wanting to work is a copout. “What if the problem isn’t ‘this generation’ but our discounting them in the first place? I’m hoping this program will help me get to know myself more in order to pour into other people… I really hope I can make a difference in this world for the better.”

Chris Osterritter

Chris Osterritter, of Art by Tile, said “The NTCA has caused me to excel in everything I do and think in so many different ways that I couldn’t be more excited for the next step of what they have to offer. I hope to learn a better understanding of myself, and my ability to be a leader.”

Aryk Snowberger

Aryk Snowberger, of Snowbee Custom Tile, is willing to do the work to reach his potential, being more intentional and aware as a father, husband and artisan. He is looking forward to the camaraderie of the group, saying, “My tile family lifts me up!” 

Keep your eyes peeled for this new generation of leaders and world-changers! For more information on the program, visit www.tile-assn.com and enter “Emerging Leaders” in the search bar. 

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.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

- Advertisment -