BAHAMAS - Members of the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA) came from across the U.S. to attend Foundations 2002, the organization's annual conference, from November 7 to 10, 2002. This year's event was enhanced by its collaboration with the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), which added a new perspective to the conference. In all, over 400 industry professionals were on hand at the event.

Committee and Board meetings were held throughout the first two days, with a goal of further improving association in several areas for 2003. Examples of new projects for 2003 include the following: finalization of the certification program for ceramic tile salespeople; an expanded member newsletter; development of "CTDA University" regional one-day seminars; a retailer-focused Web site; and many other exciting initiatives.

At the Annual Business Meeting, a treasurer's report was given, and the Committee Chairs reviewed the past year's accomplishments as well as plans for the future. It was also an opportunity to thank Sam Widener for his contributions as president during the past year. The newly elected Board of Directors was then introduced to the members, including President, Gail Schovan; Vice President, Cindy Bell; and Treasurer, Ralph Marra. The remaining Directors At Large will be: Mark Carlson, Doug Hayes, Robert Henry III, Vicki Holden, Ed Metcalf, Doug Miles, John Sunderland, Jim Vogel, and Sam Widener.

The speakers at Foundations were a highlight of the conference. Joe Theisman, former NFL MVP and current ESPN broadcaster, jump-started the whole crowd with his powerful presentation on what it takes to embrace change in your personal and professional life. Additionally, CTDA and NTCA sessions gave participants the opportunity to attend technical, sales or leadership presentations. All the seminars were well attended and highly rated.

Another highlight of the festivities was the NTCA and CTDA awards banquets, held Thursday evening. CTDA honored two members who have made a significant contribution to the growth of the association and the industry. Inducted into the CTDA Hall of Fame were Ted Clear of Fin Pan, Inc, and Jack Knies of East Coast Tile Imports. Over the years, both of these individuals have displayed a great deal of dedication and commitment towards the advancement of the tile industry. Also, NTCA honored Harold Turk of Dal-Tile as its Tile Person Of The Year, for his efforts in supporting the contractor during his illustrious career.

Foundations was established by both associations in an effort to bring the entire industry together for a unique educational and networking experience. Throughout the week, manufacturers, distributors and contractors attended seminars, dinners and recreational events together. The manufacturers who sponsored the event had the opportunity to speak with both distributors and contractors.

Rick Church, Executive Director of CTDA and Joe Tarver, NTCA Executive Director, concurred that Foundations 2002 was a success.

Next year's CTDA management conference will be held November 13 to 16, 2003, in Point Clear, AL, the site of the first CTDA management conference 20 years ago.