As a person, I like to keep my opinions to myself. As an editor, I have to share my thoughts, feelings, and yes, opinions, within the pages of TILE Magazine and its monthly e-newsletters.

Generally, I address “safe” issues affecting our respective industry, avoiding the “P” word - Politics.

In the November 2008 issue of TILE Magazine, I stepped out of my self-imposed “box” and offered my take on the current political and global situations that surrounded us at the time. I went further by soliciting feedback from you, our readers. Guess what, you responded.

Although, I received accolades for sharing my thoughts, it should be noted that I also received just as many calls and/or letters asking if I had forgotten to screw on my head to the rest of my body the morning I had written the editorial. You can read the editorial online at www.tilemagonline.com if you missed it.

Now, by the time you read this article, president-elect Barack Obama would have been inaugurated as the new leader of the United States. Personally, I wish him well in making the best choices for our country. He will be carrying the hopes, dreams and aspirations of millions in redirecting the efforts of the U.S. onto a path of economic health. Good luck Mr. President.

Now, back to the business of our business - the ceramic and porcelain tile industry. The upcoming Surfaces 2009 show in Las Vegas (set for Feb. 3-5), will include a tremendous line-up of industry leaders offering their expertise to see you through these difficult times with solutions geared towards current business issues, design trends, consumer needs and much more.

Installation demonstrations and workshops are also on the agenda. For example, TILE Magazine’s publisher, Phil Johnson, will be moderating a panel on the advances of sustainable practices in the floor covering industry.

Additionally, organizers of Cevisama ‘09, which comes on the heels of Surfaces, are busy finalizing plans for yet another unforgettable event in Spain, February 10-14. (See the Product Showcase section starting on page 8 for a preview of what to expect at Surfaces and Cevisama).

Take advantage of the many business-optimizing opportunities available at these industry shows, because more often than not, they are presented by your peers.

Finally, I wish you all a belated Happy New Year. May 2009 be THE year for change.