2024 dawns with changes in our training team. Every Technical Trainer is dedicated to combing the country and bringing training and education to new and experienced tile setters. And this year is a major undertaking, with 206 NTCA Workshops scheduled around the country and 86 Regional Programs on the roster – the highest number of training events we’ve ever offered in a single year.
Mark Heinlein, NTCA Training Director, leads a team of Technical Trainers that includes veteran trainers Robb Roderick, Randy Fleming, Chad Jones, Matt Welner, and Hank Boyle. Rotating off the team this year, after providing excellent and inspiring instruction, are Keith Barnett, Melissa Swan and T.J. Estes. Visit http://tinyurl.com/NTCA-Trainers to read more about our existing trainers.
Two new trainers join the NTCA team this year: Kate Koerber from North Carolina, and Ryan Hysell from Ohio. Here’s a brief introduction to these passion-driven instructors that you’ll meet this year at our events.
I come from East Tennessee, but currently live in Western North Carolina. I’ve been in the tile industry for approximately 25 years.
After a beginning in general home improvement, I realized I loved tile over all other aspects of that business. I decided tile was my passion, and I wanted to do it right, so I took classes at the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) in 2000 in the pre-certification era.
I spent 15 years operating my own residential tile installation business, doing most everything from demolition to installation on my own. I have continued to pursue education in the industry, and I currently work in the tile retail and design sector.
I have always been a big believer in education for this trade, and when the opportunity to be a trainer for NTCA presented itself, I felt like it was a dream come true. I am excited to begin my journey with NTCA and look forward to learning and sharing more knowledge of this awesome industry with others who share the same love for it.
I’m Ryan Hysell, born in Ohio and graduated from the Delaware joint vocational school in Delaware, Ohio, from the machine trades program in 1991.
I had a few jobs as an apprentice machinist after graduation. At age 21, I started as a cut man on a framing crew and fell in love with construction. In 2015, after moving back to Ohio from Phoenix and working a few hard-surface flooring projects as an eager and willing contractor, I started with tile.
In 2017, a builder superintendent challenged me because I wasn’t installing a membrane on a basement concrete floor for a tile installation. As a result of this experience I found the NTCA and the Certified Tile Installer (CTI) program, which was the closest thing to my other Microsoft and Cisco systems certifications I held. And so my quest for CTI certification began.
Four years and six tests later (through the COVID experience), I passed the CTI test and became CTI #1740. In 2022, I applied for an NTCA regional workshop facilitator position that Melissa Swan was ultimately hired for. Then just last fall at Total Solutions Plus 2023 in New Orleans, I was approached by Mark Heinlein, the NTCA Training Director, to see if I still had interest in working for the NTCA. How could I turn down the organization that gave me purpose? So here we are in 2024 and I’m a member of NTCA training team!
In addition to the trainers, a new member of the 2024 team is Amber Fox, Director of Strategic Initiatives. She collaborates closely with Mark to organize, oversee, and promote the extensive training calendar. Her responsibilities also include coordinating communications with hosts, NTCA Ambassadors providing assistance at trainings, and attendees.
Looking for a workshop or regional program near you? Visit www.NTCATraining.com to view our training and education calendar.
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.