JACKSON, MS -- The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) is excited to announce that Michael Kephart, president of the Kephart Group, has joined NTCA as an Executive Consultant. With a distinguished career in the tile industry, Michael brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his new role, where he will focus on advancing training, education and advocacy for the U.S. tile industry.

Kephart is a proven tile industry veteran with an extensive background in manufacturing, distribution, product management, international management, sales and operational leadership. His notable positions include serving as executive vice president for Daltile and president of Wonder Porcelain. Additionally, he is a certified flooring product inspection consultant, bringing a unique perspective to his consultancy work.

In his new role, Michael will serve as an executive adviser and advocate for NTCA and the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) in Tennessee. He will work closely with the U.S. Tile Collaborative and local factories to promote training, education and advocacy initiatives.

"The State of Tennessee is the center of the universe today and in the future for the US Ceramic Tile Industry,” said Kephart. Working with our State of Tennessee resources, existing producers, the leading organizations for labor - NTCA / CTEF, manufacturing standards and political advocacy - TCNA, we will lead in elevating culture, education, training, collaboration and future investment supporting dynamic growth and market share for the US Ceramic Tile Industry."

The U.S. Tile Collaborative has partnered with the Tennessee Economic Development Department, state universities, technical colleges, TCNA and NTCA to launch a groundbreaking educational initiative supporting the U.S. ceramic tile industry. The U.S. Tile Collaborative is an advocacy advisory for expanding the Tennessee tile manufacturing base with training and education for plant labor supported by the TCAT (Tennessee College of Applied Technology) model. The three tiers of education are the supporting initiative working with the State of Tennessee Economic Development and the Tennessee Workforce Development teams.

Kephart has played a crucial role in bringing NTCA before the Tennessee Economic Development Department, setting the stage for this transformative initiative. As an Executive Advisor/Consultant, he will help align factories in Tennessee today and in the future to support CTEF and NTCA industry initiatives. His efforts will also include developing a tile installation curriculum within the TCAT and Tennessee College Systems.

“NTCA leadership recognizes the unique opportunity Tennessee provides for our association to expand our outreach and positively impact the ceramic tile industry," said Bart Bettiga, executive director of NTCA. “We intend to utilize Michael’s unique talents and state and industry relationships to help us reach our goals.  We will clearly outline our strategic plans in the next several months and with Michael’s help, we will look to other industry leaders to support us in this effort.”