Article Number: 20075
Coverings Honors Emerging Professionals with 2020 Rock Star Awards
April 16, 2020 – ARLINGTON, Va. – Coverings (, the largest international tile and stone exhibition and conference in North America, today announced the 14 winners of the prestigious 2020 Rock Star Awards. The Coverings Rock Star program recognizes emerging leaders in the tile and stone industry by awarding the best and brightest young talent.

The program commemorates its sixth year in 2020 and furthers Coverings’ mission to support the growth and success of the industry by distinguishing talented young leaders as well as fostering networking and educational opportunities.

“Coverings is honored to welcome this exceptional group of emerging leaders into the Rock Star program,” said Jennifer Hoff, president of Taffy Event Strategies, LLC, the event management firm for Coverings. “We look forward to seeing continued advancement and evolution for each of these young professionals as well as the impactful contributions they will continue to bring to the tile and stone industry.”

A committee of tile and stone industry leaders carefully evaluated nominations to select the 14 outstanding inductees for the sixth assemblage of Coverings Rock Stars. The 2020 Rock Star honorees represent a wide array of industry professions and include the following:

Designer (1):
• Brennan Broome, Designer, EoA Group, Miami, Fla.
Distributor (1):
• Kristin Scholemer, Owner, Calia Stone, Chicago, Ill.
Fabricator (1):
• Michaela Steinbach, General Manager, Mario & Son, Liberty Lake, Wash.
Installer (5):
• Illisha Harris, Owner, Lead Designer and Installer, Coastal Custom Tile and Design, Swansboro, N.C.
• Janice Hill, Project Manager, DW Sanders Tile & Stone Contracting, Inc., Marietta, Ga.
• Ulas Maris, Stone and Tile Installer, Maris Tile Pro, East Moriches, N.Y.
• Joseph Mattice, Owner and Installer, On the Level, Simpsonville, S.C.
• Trey Toca, President, Toca Flooring, Metairie, La.
Manufacturer (2):
• Arturo Duarte, USA Commercial Manager, CREST, Monterrey, Mexico
• Brittany Storm, Sustainability Manager, MAPEI, Deerfield Beach, Fla.
Other (PR Firm) (1):
• Kristin Coleman, Vice President, Novità Communications, New York, N.Y.
Other (Technology) (1):
• Raj Katta, Technology/Functionality Specialist, Stone Grid, LLC, Windermere, Fla.
Retailer (1):
• Jimmy Bellew, Owner, Bellew Tile, Sandwich, Mass.
Trade Association (1):
• Ryan Marino, Standards, Development and Research Manager, Tile Council of North America, Anderson, S.C.

Each 2020 Rock Star Award winner received a gift card and will be recognized during Coverings Connected. Featured programming geared toward young professionals will include a webinar session entitled, “Leadership: The Right and Wrong of It,” by Dr. Ashley Prisant, SHRM-CP, Tuesday, April 21 at 3:30 p.m. EDT. This will be followed by a Zoom Networking “Happy Hour” at 4:30 p.m.

The honorees will also be celebrated with a luncheon at Coverings 2021 and a year-long professional feature profile at

To learn more about the Coverings 2020 Rock Stars, please visit

Coverings Social Media:
Twitter: @Coverings, #Coverings2020
LinkedIn: RequestGroupInvite

About Coverings: Coverings is the largest and most-significant ceramic tile and natural stone trade fair and exposition in the United States and North America. It features exhibitors from more than 40 countries and is the stage for introducing some of the most innovative tile and stone products in the world.

The exposition and conference serve as a valuable and complimentary continuing education resource for all segments of the industry, with more than 50 educational opportunities throughout the show. Coverings attracts thousands of distributors, retailers, fabricators, contractors, specifies, architectural and design professionals, builders, real estate developers, as well as journalists, reporters and bloggers who cover the vital tile and stone industry.

Sponsors of the show are Ceramics of Italy/Confindustria Ceramica, Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association of Spain (ASCER), Tile Council of North America (TCNA), National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), and Ceramic Tile Distributors Association (CTDA).

The show is managed by Taffy Event Strategies, LLC.

Coverings Connected takes place April 20-23, 2020, at

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