ARLINGTON, Va. – Coverings (coverings.com), the largest international tile and stone exhibition and conference in North America, today announced the list of the Coverings 2021 Rock Stars Winners and onsite features for Coverings’ attendees to experience. Coverings 2021 has also announced an interactive, virtual event to correspond with the onsite show taking place July 7-9, 2021, in Orlando, Florida, at the North Hall of the Orange County Convention Center.
The Coverings Rock Stars program recognized 16 emerging leaders as the best and brightest young talent in the tile and stone industry. The program commemorates its seventh year in 2021, and it furthers Coverings’ mission to support the growth and success of the industry by distinguishing talented young leaders and fostering networking and educational opportunities.
A committee of tile and stone industry leaders thoroughly reviewed a bevy of nominations to select the 16 remarkable inductees for the seventh assemblage of Coverings Rock Stars. The 2021 Rock Star honorees include the following:
Designer Category (2):
- Rebecca Oehlschlaeger, Designer & Special Projects Manager, Bellew Tile & Marble, Sandwich, Mass.
- Raquel Raney, Designer, EoA Group, Miami, Fla.
Distributor Category (3):
- Bruna Da Silva, Purchasing Manager, StoneHardscapes LLC, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
- Blakely Dent, RID, Commercial Sales Specialist, Florida Tile, Lexington, Ky.
- Annie Llerena, Branch Manager, D&B Tile Distributors, Doral, Fla.
Fabricator Category (1):
- Steven Miranda, Production & Facilities Manager, NOVUS Building Services, Sterling, Va.
Installer Category (3):
- Ken Ballin, Owner, Skyro Floors, West Creek, N.J.
- Mikaela Fedor, Owner, Tile Titan LLC, Bath, Pa.
- Nick Struzik, Owner/Setter, Syndicate Tile and Stone, Burr Ridge, Ill.
Manufacturer Category (2):
- Adam Abell, Senior Market Manager - Tile & Stone and Surface Prep Products, Bostik, Wauwatosa, Wis.
- Sarah Williams, Marketing Director, iQ Power Tools, Perris, Calif.
Retailer Category (2):
- Meagan Jensen, Co-Owner, Bella Pietra Design, Honolulu, Hawaii
- Nicolas Valderrama, Sales Manager, Casa Linda Tile & Marble, Miami, Fla.
Trade Associations Category (2):
- Christopher Ellis, Tile, Marble, Terrazzo Field Representative, Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local 1 WA/AK, Lacey, Wash.
- Amanda McMillan, Director of Member Experience, Rockheads Group USA, Beachwood, Ohio.
Other Category (1):
- Jennifer Diliberto Riquelme, Senior Development Chemist, MAPEI Corporation, Deerfield Beach, Fla.
The 2021 Coverings Rock Stars will be recognized Wednesday, July 7, in the Coverings Lounge, booth 3919, at Coverings 2021. Featured programming created for young professionals will include an interactive session from Dahlia El Gazzar, founder of Dahlia+Agency, on social media, content creation and how to brand oneself in the marketplace. Past Rock Star winners will be involved in the session to speak about how their careers and personal growth have changed since winning the coveted award.
“These young professionals have already made impactful contributions to the tile and stone industry in their careers, and we look forward to seeing even more advancement and evolution from them in the years to come,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Event Strategies, the show management company for Coverings. “We are honored to yet again welcome an exceptional group of emerging leaders into the Rock Stars program.”
Coverings 2021 will host new onsite activities and learning sessions geared toward the show’s segmented audience. One of the newest and most interactive components of Coverings 2021 is the Coverings Lounge. This space is set to host the Artisans in Tile Program and Presentation, a not-to-be-missed feature hosted by the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), as they broadcast the live installation of a collaborative masterwork of a freestanding mosaic with a Florida alligator theme; Contractor Tours, hosted by the NTCA, will take participants around the show floor on Wednesday, July 7, and Thursday, July 8, to see the latest tools, equipment and allied products for contractors; the Brand + Business Building Zone, a place for complimentary branding, marketing and communications advice, resources and tools; and happy hours and giveaways from NTCA members, which will begin after 4:30 p.m. EDT each day during Coverings 2021. As previously announced, the Coverings Lounge will also host Engage Interviews with industry leaders, a mosaic project being developed by Luna Mosaic and the Society of American Mosaic Artist’s One Hundred Moments in Mosaic exhibit.
A fan-favorite onsite activation by the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) and the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando will make its return to Coverings 2021. Several TCNA member companies will donate beautiful, one-of-a-kind doghouses to the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando for a donation ceremony at the TCNA booth, 3233, Thursday, July 8, at 3:00 p.m. The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando will bring puppies to briefly inhabit the doghouses and engage with guests, making for a dog-lovers and tile-enthusiasts haven, to be sure.
Coverings will also offer industry professionals both a virtual experience and an in-person event during Coverings 2021. The Coverings 2021 virtual options will provide the ability to interact with and participate in the show’s various features for those who are unable to travel. The virtual event will include online access to global tile and stone exhibitors. It will also host educational sessions for attendees to gain Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and other valuable learning resources. Coverings’ virtual platform for online attendees will be available in late June, and attendees will be able to access the platform and choose how they would like to participate during the Coverings 2021 registration process.
“Coverings’ onsite and online offerings allow attendees of the show to join us in their own way,” said Hoff. “By providing a hybrid platform, which comprises a wide array of onsite and online learning opportunities, Coverings is creating a means to learn and engage with the ceramic tile and natural stone industry in a variety of ways.”
For more information and to register for Coverings 2021 (onsite or virtual) at no cost, visit coverings.com.