SASSUOLO, ITALY -- Each year, Confindustria Ceramica (the Italian Association of Ceramics) honors an exemplary North American tile distributor with the prestigious North American Distributor Award. The winner represents a company that not only has a rich history and sells a diverse array of Italian ceramic products but also demonstrates a deep passion and knowledge of their trade and a desire to build awareness around the lasting and superior quality of Italian-made design. Through this dedication, these distributors make the influential presence of Italian ceramic tile in North America what it is today. This year, Ceramics of Italy is pleased to announce Centura Tile as the 2020 recipient of this coveted award. In light of the cancellation of the 2020 Coverings show in New Orleans, LA, due to COVID-19, the award was announced at the virtual press conference on April 20 during Coverings Connected, the digital edition of the show, which took place from April 20 to 23.
A jury including members of the Confindustria Ceramica Board of Directors and representatives from Italian tile manufacturers carefully deliberated and selected Centura as this year’s winner based on the following criteria: consistency, exemplary service as an Italian tile importer and distributor, a high caliber corporate image, inclination towards Ceramics of Italy products in recognition of their innovative design and technical qualities, and fair trade practices in relation to Italian manufacturers. Centura represents a brand that lives and breathes a dedication to sharing ceramics with North America, coast to coast. Not only do they have many longstanding relationships with Italian tile manufacturers that date back up to 30 years, they also plan annual trips with architects and designers to the factories/showrooms of Sassuolo, Italy; host frequent seminars promoting Italian tile; and produce their own publications, Centura Magazine and Centura Outdoor Tile Guide, which feature many Ceramics of Italy brands front and center. Although the award was announced virtually at Coverings Connected, it will be presented in person to Ross Keltie, vice president of sales and marketing, at Cersaie, the world’s largest international exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings, which is scheduled to take place in Bologna, Italy, from September 28 to October 2, 2020.
Centura was founded in 1933 in Toronto, Ontario, by Don Cowie as Central Supply Company, and then changed to its current name in the 1980s. Since its founding over 80 years ago, Centura now has 13 locations and employs more than 550 people across Canada, including Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary and Halifax. The company is now co-owned by the Cowie family (Toronto), DelNet family (London) and the Maddalena family (Halifax). They have been carrying Italian products since the 1960s, and today, ceramic tile makes up over 65% of the company’s sales.