United Tile, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, says its success is due in part to building and sustaining relationships. "We place particular value on long term relationships," adds Ron Cook, executive vice president.

"We know what is meant by a global economy. We represent companies located on five continents. Even though our supply sources have become more diversified, we feel and demonstrate a particular loyalty to our key domestic partners -- Crossville Ceramics and Laticrete – who we have been affiliated with for over 25 years. This commitment has proven helpful through the years, and isn’t going to change,” Cook concluded. “We have the same commitment to our core customer partners."

In 1969, Bud Morris opened the doors to the company’s flagship store in Portland, OR. Phil Stalcup became his partner when they later expanded into Washington. In 1991, they sold the company to Ken Wiedemann. Today, Wiedemann, Ron Cook and Bob Hart form the senior management team that directs United Tile's operations. Cook also runs the company's Washington and Alaska operations. "Ron is known and respected throughout the industry," Wiedemann said. "No place is that more evident than in our market."

Hart joined United Tile in 1993. He was named vice-president and CFO shortly thereafter. Wiedemann lauds his contributions. "Given his diverse responsibilities, I have never worked with an individual as competent and dedicated as Bob. I couldn't have two better partners."

Environmental commitment also ranks high on the company’s list. As a result, each of its four locations has been recognized for its green practices. This year, United Tile was named one of Oregon's 100 Best "Green" Companies to work for by Oregon Business magazine.

Management believes most consumers are looking for value as opposed to price. "While we are seeing more price sensitivity than in the past, if medium- to high-end products are properly presented, we know consumers are still willing to buy them. It costs just as much to install a cheap tile as it does to install one that can transform their home or business into the image they envision," said Wiedemann.

United Tile is also fully involved in all the social and business media networks. In addition to its website (www.unitedtile.com), United Tile communicates with customers on their blog, Twitter site and Facebook page. Martin notes, "This has been a fun to way to stay connected and share news of both products and projects with our customer base."