Coverings, the largest U.S. product fair for the ceramic tile and stone industry, were held in Atlanta during the final week of April. D&B was well represented by Harold Yarborough, Rudy Llerena, Cindy Bell, George Apakian, Steve Goodman, Dennis McLennand, Alex Llerena, and Richard Favreau. In our continuing effort to bring our customers the latest and most creative products from around the world, this is one of the shows we attend to see the latest offerings from domestic and foreign manufacturers. We need to see the latest trends in design manufacturing. Coverings is the premier event for displaying of new ceramic tile, exotic stones of every type, innovative tools and installation systems.

More than 70 free sessions were held to inform and educate the industry. Major trends in style and future market directions were discussed and innovations in marketing and installation systems were presented. As part of a business management report, the impact of the upcoming healthcare reform was reviewed. We encourage all contractors to consult with their accounts or financial advisors to review the impact of this legislation in the coming months. Discussion of the latest manufacturing and testing standards from the Tile Council of North America and trends in the stone fabrication industry were also covered. Many of the programs offered Continuing Education Units for architects and designers. These programs helped to draw thousands of product specifies to this yearly event.

During the event, we spent time with our vendor partners and looked for new items to introduce to our customers. We discussed the trends and current business with our suppliers and reinforced our relationships with manufacturers and industry associations. Several of the D&B group, including Harold, Dennis, Cindy, and Alex are members of national CTDA, Ceramic Tile Distributor Association, and NTCA, National Tile Contractors Association committees. We also visited with other association members to discuss industry trends and business practices. This is how we stay in touch and remain current with our industry.