Coverings announces 2021 Rock Stars winners, highlights new features

Coverings has announced the winners of the 2021 Rock Stars Winner, as well as highlighted new and old online and on-site features for this year’s conference.

The conference, which will take place on July 7 – 9 in Orlando Fla., is the largest stone and tile exhibition and conference in North America.

Courtesy of Coverings

Every year, Coverings recognizes 16 leaders in the tile and stone industry through its Rock Stars program. The program acknowledges “the best and brightest young talent.” This is the program’s 7th year at Coverings. 

A committee of industry leaders chose the 16 inductees by thoroughly reviewing a large number of nominations. 

The 16 Rock Star honorees are as follows:

Designer Category

  • Rebecca Oehlschlaeger, Designer & Special Projects Manager, Bellew Tile & Marble, Sandwich, Mass.
  • Raquel Raney, Designer, EoA Group, Miami, Fla. 

Distributor Category

  •  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

  • Steven Miranda, Production & Facilities Manager, NOVUS Building Services, Sterling, Va.

Installer Category

  •  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

  • 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

  • Meagan Jensen, Co-Owner, Bella Pietra Design, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Nicolas Valderrama, Sales Manager, Casa Linda Tile & Marble, Miami, Fla. 

Trade Associations Category

  • 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

  • Jennifer Diliberto Riquelme, Senior Development Chemist, MAPEI Corporation, Deerfield Beach, Fla. 

The Rock Stars will be recognized on Wednesday, July 7, in the Coverings Lounge (booth 3919). 

An interactive session for young professionals will be held featuring Dahlia El Gazzar, founder of Dahlia+Agency. The session will focus on social media, content creation, as well as branding. Past Rock Star winners will be in attendance to speak on how their careers and personal growth have changed since winning the 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.

Coverings has also announced a plethora of new onsite activities. 

One new feature is the Coverings Lounge, which will hold a variety of fun and educational events.

The National Tile Contractors Association (NCTA) will host the Artisans in Tile Program and Presentation, which will feature a live installation of a collaborative mosaic with a Florida alligator theme. Contractor Tours, also hosted by the NCTA, will take participants around the show floor on Wednesday, July 7, and Thursday, July 8. A happy hour and giveaway, also hosted by the association, will be held each day at 4:30 p.m.  The space will also hold the Brand + Business Building Zone, an area dedicated to complementary marketing and communications advice and tools. 

As previously announced, the lounge will also host Engage Interviews, a mosaic project hosted by Luna Mosaic, as well as a One Hundred Moments in Mosaic exhibit, hosted by the Society of American Mosaic Artists. 

The Tile Council of North America (TCNA) and the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando will make a return for a fan-favorite at this year’s conference. One-of-a-kind doghouses, donated by TCNA member companies, will be presented to the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando at the TCNA booth (booth 3233), on Thursday, July 8 at 3 p.m. Puppies will be present briefly, to inhabit the doghouses as well as engage with guests. 

This year’s conference will also feature virtual experiences. These virtual opportunities were designed to allow individuals who are unable to attend in-person the chance to experience the many conference features virtually. The virtual access includes access to global tile and stone exhibitors, educational sessions for attendees to gain Continuing Education Units, as well as other learning opportunities. The virtual platform will be available in late June, and individuals registering can indicate whether their participation is virtual or in-person via the registration form.

“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.” 

More information can be found on the Coverings website. House Tipster Industry will be in attendance at this year’s conference, offering coverage both on our site as well as via social media.

Courtesy of Coverings


Leave a Reply