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The value of gathering together
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Martin Brookes
, NTCA President
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Attending Total Solutions Plus (TSP) at the end of October solidified my belief that – without a doubt – it is the best conference to gain knowledge and network with other tile contractors about staying on top of your game in the coming months. The information presented at this conference was essential in advising you on how to protect yourselves in what is becoming an extremely disruptive marketplace with supply chains and logistics impacting how we obtain materials to do our work. These issues were discussed in detail throughout the event. In addition, the LATICRETE breakfast and a presentation by the ever-informative Sean Boyle gave insight into how to prepare for the coming year. Content like this is the true value of attending a conference like TSP. A presentation by Ben Lowenthal from Hendrick Phillips Salzman and Siegal and his explanation of important contract language would have been enough value by itself to offset costs of attending the conference. Another presentation by Roman Basi gave great insight for those wanting to get a valuation or sell their company. These talks, along with an excellent schedule of industry icons presenting topics to help you navigate the proper methods and standards to achieve perfect installations, made me realize what we have missed during the last two years. Online meetings are no replacement for a conference such as Total Solutions Plus. The next show is just a few weeks from now in Las Vegas: The International Surface Event (TISE) February 1-3, 2022. The National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) will be holding another NTCA Technical Committee meeting immediately preceding the show on January 31. This is an excellent opportunity to meet – and become part of – the think tank that shapes the industry, from manufacturing, to distribution, to installation. This is where the sausage-making happens. If you are curious or invested in the direction of the industry, attending the NTCA Technical Committee Meeting is the perfect way to get involved, bring issues you feel are important to the table, and have a voice within the industry. On a parting note, I would like to share that at TSP, even though I was fully vaccinated, I contracted Covid-19. I realized I had become too complacent and did not fully understand the consequences of this horrid virus. After my experience with this virus, let me emphasize that your safety and wellbeing are of the utmost importance! I will be taking the appropriate steps to not only protect myself but everyone I come in contact with in the future. Happy New Year!