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Thursday, April 4, 2024

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HomeContentEditor's LetterMaking the world a better place – one woman at a time

Making the world a better place – one woman at a time

“We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.”

Sheryl Sandberg

Barbie. Taylor Swift. The Artemis moon program. Greta Gerwig. America Ferrara. Tracy Chapman. Joni Mitchell. Emma Stone. Kamala Harris. Melinda Gates. Beyonce. Malala Yousafzai. Greta Thunberg. Liz Cheney. Diana Nyad. These names and references may sound familiar from the news, from celebrity, in the headlines. 

Here’s another list. Peggy Heuler. Marlene Morin. Christiane Ferreira. Tina Boyle. Erin Albrecht. Shannon Huffstickler. Angie Ré. Mia Tavonatti. Allison Eden. Alena Capra. Angie Weber. Amber Hunter. Jane Callewaert. Sheila Menzies. Melissa Swan. Sarah Gregg. Gianna Vallefuoco. Tanja Kern. Michelle Winters. Lisbeth Calandrino. Shannon Vogel. Elizabeth Lambert. “That Tile Chick.” Megan Giberti. Megan Garvey. Dawn Marie Davis. Janice Hill. Raven Hoffman. Crosby Hall. Megan Renk. Mercedes Austin

Do you recognize these names? This second list truly is endless. I could easily fill an entire page with notable women in the tile and flooring industries; I listed just a few to evoke a sense of the size of the female galaxy that is part of tile universe: a galaxy that is continually expanding to occupy a greater portion of that universe every day. 

In this annual Women in Tile issue – going strong for well over a decade now – we touch on just a few determined, powerful and influential women in our industry who are making inroads as they lead their companies to success. There’s our cover story of TL Ceramic Installation’s proprietor Connie Shockey and the role she played transforming the Polk County Government Center with the help of PROFLEX products; there’s our Training and Education story that focuses on the NAWIC’s Women in Construction Week this month, as well as several initiatives being spearheaded by the NTCA’s Women In Tile group. Did you know that there will be a Galvanize Women’s Lounge at Coverings this year? And that the Ignite Change, Rising Together women’s breakfast followed by a rousing talk by trailblazer Demi Clark will take place there? Read more about that – and a panoply of other amazing activations and opportunities in our Coverings Preview story in our Business section. 

We focus on four prominent tile industry women in our Women in Tile story: NTCA Technical Trainer Kate Koerber; Johns Manville’s Shawn Bouchard; United Tile’s Heidi Martin; and Katia McGuirk who is breathing new life into The TileWorks in Doylestown, Pa. Bart Bettiga sits down with celebrity designer Jennifer Farrell to discuss her new tile line, impact on the link between design and tile and how she is partnering with NTCA and Louisville Tile to bring education to a new audience later this year. Contributing writer Amanda Mourelatos had a conversation with Artisan Tile Inc.’s Jennifer Panning and daughter Morgen about how they keep their company moving forward. 

NTCA President Sam Bruce tells an inspiring story of gumption, dedication and skill by his grandmother Betty Martinho, and has the pictures to prove it. Several courageous and future-minded women are included in our story on the NTCA Emerging Leaders Program, as well as a look at how a cadre of artisan tile setters has enrolled in this program as the next step in the evolution of their craft. And the ever-wise Scott Carothers of CTEF explores the why, when and how of using shims in wall tile projects. 

The influence of women in this industry is here to stay – and to grow. And that’s inspiring for women and men alike. Just like the climate, the industry – indeed every aspect of our lives – is changing. And with the fresh perspectives, work practices, creativity, and new viewpoints that women bring to the party, everyone benefits as new ideas are sparked and new collaborations grow. 

The truth is that the future of our industry and our world needs all of us to move it forward into the prosperity zone, and to do it in a way that will enrich our inner lives as well as those we show to the world. Let’s meet some of the women paving the way and get busy making the world better. 

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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