The title of my editorial may seem harsh, but unfortunately, it is reality. The past year saw the downsizing or demise of many businesses with only the resourceful surviving, and often thriving! We saw Twitter and Facebook taking on a larger role in social media and communication - often saving people’s lives and livelihood. I’m eager to see what 2010 will bring.

With the start of any new year come many changes: increased sales taxes, new laws, etc. As this is the first issue of TILE Magazine for 2010, we too have a couple of new changes (or faces) to introduce.

Our first addition is the launch of a new column penned by Jeanne Nichols. Her name may sound familiar to many of you: she was the former vp of sales and marketing for GranitiFiandre’s U.S. division. When I met with her to discuss the new column, the conversation and ideas flowed seamlessly. Her knowledge of the tile industry, and its many facets, is sure to pique everyone’s interest. You can read her debut column on page 54. Welcome aboard Jeanne!

Another name synonymous with the tile industry is Patti Fasan. As busy as she is, Patti put aside time for an exclusive interview on upcoming trends (colors, styles), photovoltaics, ventilated façades, and more. Her expertise, which includes more than 25 years of technical research and project experience, really comes through in the answers to the questions I asked of her. To complement this interview, Patti has graciously agreed to a mid-year follow-up on new developments.

Also launching the new year are two leading industry shows: Surfaces and Cevisama. The Surfaces 2010 show in Las Vegas (set for February 2-4), will include a tremendous line-up of industry leaders offering their expertise and solutions geared towards current business issues, design trends, consumer needs and much more.

TILE Magazine, along with sister publications National Floor Trends (NFT) and Floor Covering Installer (FCI) will also sponsor a series of new On-Floor Education events in the Business and Technology, and Installation stages during the show. Other stages will feature Sustainability and Design/Trends. The Business and Technology stage (Booth #1254) will be sponsored by NFT. The Installation stage (Booth #4670) is sponsored by TILE and FCI. Additionally, the New Product Showcase will offer showgoers a glimpse at some of the latest products (sponsored by TILE, NFT and FCI). The Best New Product contest, aimed at honoring the most innovative new product featured in the New Product Showcase, will also return.

Following Surfaces is Cevisama ’10, set for Feb. 9-12 in Valencia, Spain. See the Product Showcase section starting on page 8 for a preview of what to expect at both Surfaces and Cevisama.

Finally, I wish you all a healthy and happy New Year. Quoting an Irish toast: “In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, never in want.”