Coverings 2015 Offers Multiple Conference Sessions For Stone Fabricators

(ALEXANDRIA, VA — March 16, 2015) Coverings, the largest tile and stone exhibition in North America, offers an extraordinarily vast conference program comprised of more than 75 free sessions, many of which focus on topics of particular interest to stone fabricators. Coverings returns to Orlando, April 14-17, at the Orange County Convention Center, with the education program beginning on April 13.
Along with the more than 1,000 global exhibitors showing an unrivalled range of innovative products and technologies, the free conference sessions are a primary reason fabricators attend the leading tile and stone exhibition.
In addition to the Keynote Speakers previously announced – including Eric Astrachan, Executive Director of the Tile Council of North America (TCNA); Edie Cohen, Deputy Editor of Interior Design Magazine; Harris Rosen, President of Rosen Hotels & Resorts; and Joey Shimoda, Chief Creative Officer of The Shimoda Design Group – other conference topics relevant to the fabricator segment include conversations on job-site safety, best business practices, and industry challenges; guidance on how to select appropriate membranes and anchors for projects; and instruction to ensure that products are tested and cared for appropriately.
 Here are the details to some of these not-to-be-missed sessions:

OSHA On-Site Consultation.  This session, moderated by G.K. Naquin of Stone Interiors, will provide attendees with insight into the benefits of inviting OSHA into facilities directly from companies that took the challenge. David Catellucci of Kenneth Castellucci & Associates Inc., Jonathan Mitnick of CCS Stone, Jim Nikolopoulous of Walker Zanger, and William Tomlin of OSHA-Department of Labor will outline guidelines for employees that ensure a safe, OSHA-friendly atmosphere at any facility. Monday, April 13, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Fabricators Forum. Moderated by Eric Tyson from Premier Surfaces, this open forum for residential countertop fabricators is an excellent opportunity for collaborative discussion about the challenges that exist in the fabrication market. Marco Duran from Atlas Marble & Granite LCC, Karen Rothenberg of Natural Stone Motif, Inc. and Buddy Ontra of Ontra Stone Concepts will discuss fabrication methods, equipment needs and materials, customer expectations, personnel and sale strategies. Monday, April 13, 2:15 – 4:15 p.m.
Anchoring and Backup Systems for Interior Light Commercial Projects. Rodney Harvey of Curtain Wall Design and Consulting Inc. will discuss the many decisions to address after deciding to use a mechanically anchored stone veneer. This session will share insights to recognizing whether preassembly will provide a cost advantage or whether it will produce unnecessary engineering complications, and offer basics of selecting and specifying anchorage systems appropriate for particular projects. Tuesday, April 14, 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
State of the Stone Industry. This panel discussion, led by leaders of the stone industry – David Castellucci of Kenneth Castellucci & Associates, Inc; Jim Hieb of the Marble Institute of America; John Lancto of Surface Products; Tony Malisani of Malisani, Inc.; and Dan Rea of Coldspring – will cover first-hand how industry leaders and peers are addressing matters ranging from government regulation, competing product challenges and forecasting of market growth. This session is focused on questions, answers and great discussion between peers. Wednesday, April 15, 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Selecting and Installing the Appropriate Membrane. This session, presented by Steve Taylor of Custom Building Products, will help attendees identify the different types of membranes for ceramic and natural stone installation and review the physical properties of all types of membranes. Standards from ANSI and TCNA for various membranes, the areas of use, and any limitations to the use of a type of membrane will also be discussed. Wednesday, April 15, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Wholesale/Slab Distributors Forum. Moderated by Jonathan Zanger of Walker Zanger, this forum will feature an in-depth discussion of strategic issues critical to running successful wholesale/slab distribution companies. Panelists Evan Cohen of Quality Marble, Josh Levinson of Artistic Tile and Roy Viana from Dal-Tile, will also focus on problems and solutions to common operational issues. Wednesday, April 15, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Practical Application of Stone Standards & Tests. Robert Bacon of Dal-Tile and Chuck Muehlbauer of the Marble Institute of America will present an interactive session about the relevance of the most widely used test procedures for stone products, and will advise for which applications they should be used. Attendees will learn tips on how to explain the technical aspects of stone testing in everyday common terms. Thursday, April 16, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Fabricator Roundtables. New for 2015, Coverings has added three roundtable sessions to provide smaller, more interactive learning opportunities for fabricators. The first roundtable will be led by Robert Bacon of Daltile and Sarah Kelly of MIA and is entitled: CEU Immersion Class |Providing CEUs to Architects & Interior Designers Using MIA’s Turn-Key Program on Wednesday, April 15 from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. The second roundtable session will be facilitated by speakers Peter de Kok, GranQuartz and Duane Naquin, Stone Interiors East, LLC and this session will focus on Perspectives in Benchmarking. The last roundtable will be held in the Appreciation Lounge and will focus on How to Handle Wastewater in a Fabrication Setting with speakers Jim Callaghan, GranQuartz and Jon Traczuk, Moscone Tile and Marble. Unless indicated, all roundtables will take place on Thursday, April 16 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Care and Maintenance Forum. Facilitated by Rod Sigman of Custom Building Products, this forum will help attendees gain an understanding of important and essential products to use for maintenance of tile and stone installations. David Bonasera of Better Bio Solution, Keith Graves of Arc, Lorne Greenberg of Fabra-Cleen, and Rawi Tabbah of International Stoneworks, Inc. will demonstrate the difference between alkalines, acids and solvents and where each should be used.  Thursday, April 16, 2:45 – 3:45 p.m.

To learn more about conferences, programs, exhibitors and special events planned for Coverings 2015, visit 
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About Coverings
Coverings is the largest and most important ceramic tile and natural stone trade fair and expo in the United States. It features exhibitors from 40 countries and is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world.
The exposition serves as a valuable resource for continuing education for all segments of the industry, with more than 75 informative, accredited seminars and live demonstration sessions throughout the show, all free of charge. Coverings attracts thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors, specifiers, architectural and design professionals, builders and real estate developers, as well as journalists and bloggers who cover this vital and dynamic industry.
Sponsors of the show are The Ceramic Tile Distributor Association (CTDA), Tile of Spain/Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturer’s Association  (ASCER), Ceramics of Italy/Confindustria Ceramica, National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) and the Tile Council of North America (TCNA). The show is managed by National Trade Productions.
Coverings 2015 takes place April 14-17 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. For more information, visit or contact National Trade Productions, Coverings Show Management, 703-706-8257. 
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