Total Solutions PLUS, a collaborative effort between theCeramic Tile Distributors Association(CTDA), the National Tile Contractors Association(NTCA), and the Tile Council of North America (TCNA), is designed to annually bring theceramic tile industry together to network and learn from each other. The 2012 event, which is scheduled for October 27 to 30 at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage, CA, is expected to draw a crowd of more than 500 attendees.
Total Solutions PLUS 2012 Schedule
Monday
Tuesday

In addition to a full educational program, which includes seminars on both technical and management issues affecting the tile industry, Total Solutions PLUS will provide a forum for industry professionals to mingle at an opening night cocktail reception and closing dinner as well as other company-sponsored events. Additionally, attendees can peruse the Table Tops exhibition, which is scheduled to take place during the conference.

Keynotes

The Opening Keynote will be presented on Monday, October 29 by Connie Podesta, Expert in Psychology of Human Behavior and Leadership Development, who has been described as “a fearless advocate for personal and professional growth for more than 2 million people worldwide.” She will be speaking on “StandOut Leadership — How to Achieve Success by Influencing Others to be Successful.” Additionally, a Keynote address will be given on Tuesday, October 30 by Eric Astrachan, Executive Director of TCNA, on updates within the industry.

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Photos by Leslie Goddin

At the end of the four-day event, Pat Williams, Senior V.P. of NBA’s Orlando Magic will give the Closing Keynote. As one of America’s top motivational, inspirational and humorous speakers, Williams has addressed thousands of executives in organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies and national associations to universities and nonprofits. Clients include AllState, American Express, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Disney, Honeywell, IBM, ING, Lockheed Martin, Nike, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Tyson Foods, to name a few. He is also the author of over 55 books.

Williams served for seven years in the U.S. Army, spent seven years in the Philadelphia Phillies organization — two as a minor league catcher and five in the front office — and has also spent three years in the Minnesota Twins organization. Since 1968, he has been in the NBA as General Manager for teams in Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia — including the 1983 World Champion 76ers — and now the Orlando Magic, which he co-founded in 1987 and helped lead to the NBA finals in 1995. A total of 23 of his teams have gone to the NBA playoffs and five have made the NBA finals. In 1996, Williams was named as one of the 50 most influential people in NBA history by Beckett’s, a national publication. He will be speaking about “The Magic of Teamwork.”

Table Tops

On Monday, October 29, Table Tops will be displayed from 4 to 7 p.m. This will provide attendees with an opportunity to view products and to talk directly with manufacturers. As of press time, registered exhibitors at this year’s event include:

A. Bottini Enterprises Inc., Alpha Professional Tools, America Olean, Bostik, Ceramic Tile Education Foundation, Ceramic Tool, Custom Building Products, Daltile, Fin Pan, H.B. Fuller, Laticrete, Mapei, Materials & Methods Standards Association, Mediterranea, Metropolitan Ceramics, National Gypsum, Noble Co., OMG National, Pan American Ceramics, Pearl, Primo Tools, Rubi, Schluter Systems, Sponga USA, Stone Impressions, StonePeak, TexRite Texas Ceramic Products, Inc., Tileware Products, Tuscan Leveling System, University of Ceramic Tile & Stone and Wedi.

Educational seminars

Total Solutions 2012 will include a number of educational seminars for those looking to increase their knowledge on tile installation techniques as well as other tile-related issues. The following is some of the line-up for this year’s event:

Monday, October 29

10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Seminar: Stone Tile Installations

Speaker: Chuck Muehlbauer, Marble Institute of America Technical Director

Perhaps nothing is as challenging or complex in our industry than understanding the different characteristics of natural stone. In fact, an intrinsic component of its beauty is its uniqueness in color, veining and composition. Stone tile is versatile and durable, yet poses many challenges to specifiers, designers, salespeople and installers. The seminar will address the many types of stone and examine their unique characteristics. Attention to product selection and performance as it relates to successful installations will be the primary mission of this highly important technical seminar.

Monday, October 29

10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Seminar: The Art of Glass Tile Pool Installations

Speakers: Greg Andrews and David Fatula

A realistic approach to glass tile installation in pools and water features. This program will offer a step-by-step approach to making an all-tile pool into a work of art. Starting with proper pool coping installation, the attendee will then begin a journey through an all-glass mosaic pool from start to finish.

Monday, October 29

2:30 to 4 p.m.

Seminar: Installations over Concrete Substrates

Speaker: NTCA

The most common finish or substrate for ceramic and natural stone tile installations continues to be concrete. As our industry technology rapidly changes, it has become apparent that the conditions of the concrete surface are imperative for installation success. The NTCA will moderate a panel of construction experts that will examine the relationship between concrete industry requirements and tile industry standards. Included on the panel will be a general contractor, architect or design professional, tile contractors and concrete industry professionals.

Monday, October 29

2:30 to 4 p.m.

Seminar: Panel Discussion on Grout Residues — Know the Causes, Prevention and SolutionsTabletops_body.jpg

Speaker: Mike Micalizzi of Custom Building Products will lead a panel discussion. The Panel will also include a tile contractor and tile manufacturer representative. Even a perfect tile or stone installation can be ruined by grout haze or residue under certain conditions. Some of these problems will arise when you least expect it when using porcelain and many other tile materials. It can be very costly to remove grout haze, and at times, the tile or stone can be permanently damaged. Learn the causes of these issues from tile manufacturers, grout manufacturers and professional contractors to help you prevent these from happening. Also see what techniques can be used to solve most of these issues when they happen.

Monday, October 29

2:45 to 4 p.m.

Seminar: Distributor’s Forum

Speaker: CTDA

Every year CTDA distributor’s gather to discuss several topics and issues they are facing in the tile industry. Submit your topic suggestions and Distributor Forum ideas to CTDA staff.

Tuesday, October 30

10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Seminar: Thin Tile Installations

Speakers: Crossville and Mapei

Presented by Crossville and Mapei: Dr. Neil McMurdie — Thin or “Slim” tiles is the latest trend, and it is indeed exciting technology for many reasons. Lighter and more versatile, thin tile presents opportunities to specify tile in areas that are unprecedented and can potentially impact per capita consumption immediately. The caution is that there are presently no installation standards that can guide the specifier or contractor towards success. And there is much confusion as to its application and durability. Representatives of leading tile industry suppliers, Crossville and Mapei, will discuss the types of thin tile technology currently available, and will address handling, specifying and installing with this unique new and exciting product line.

Tuesday, October 30

1:45 to 3:15 p.m.

Seminar: Juggling Priorities

Speaker: Larry Mersereau

In an age of everyone “doing more with less,” choosing the most advantageous and beneficial priorities has to be a day-to-day priority in and of itself. In this session, Larry will help you see the difference between “demanding” tasks and “productive” ones. You’ll learn the three levels of priority, and quickly see which one each of your actions and assignments falls under. It’s a simple shortcut to success that you can’t afford to miss.

Tuesday, October 30

1:45 to 3:15 p.m.

Seminar: NTCA Five Star Contractor Forum

Speaker: NTCA

This will be a special forum of NTCA Five Star Contractors who will discuss what it takes to be a Five Star Contractor, and explain the program. Issues related to challenges in contracting practices will be discussed.

To view a complete schedule of Total Solutions PLUS 2012, visit http://www.ctdahome.org/tsp/2012/schedule. To register, visit http://www.ctdahome.org/tsp/2012/registration.TILE

Total Solutions PLUS 2012 will be held from October 27 to 30 at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage, CA. In addition to an extensive educational program, the four-day event will include a Table Tops exhibition on Monday, October 29 from 4 to 7 p.m.

The conference will also provide a forum for industry members to network at receptions such as one sponsored at last year’s event by Laticrete.