The National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association will wrap up its 95th annual convention on April 25th with the announcement of both its 2018 Job of the Year (JOTY) winner and the full lineup of Honor Award winners. It’s one of the most exciting times of the year for the NTMA’s member terrazzo contractors and the material suppliers who hold associate memberships, and understandably so: to be selected for special recognition by the NTMA’s panel of terrazzo experts is validation that an installation was done right, with the right materials, and with the right vision.
But while the NTMA convention and awards are unquestioned highlights on the organization’s calendar, they tend to overshadow its primary missions, one of which is to establish and promote national standards for terrazzo floor and wall systems and provide complete specifications, color palettes, and other information to designers and architects free of charge. Making these types of key players aware of terrazzo’s multitude of advantages over other flooring and wall material, as well as keeping them up to speed on technical specifications, goes a very long way to ensure that they will strongly consider terrazzo for their next project.
Equally important, is the technical expertise that the NTMA shares with its members and associate members. Nilgun Bandari, the founder of terrazzo aggregate manufacturer and supplier Arim, Inc. and an NTMA member since 2008, says that her company’s reputation for technical expertise has been enhanced by the tools that come with NTMA membership. “NTMA has a strong technical team that is very responsive to issues that affect contractors and suppliers,” says Bandari. “The annual seminars have helped keep us informed on new procedures and techniques, and that means we can provide even more targeted technical details to our customers.”
NTMA – A True Community of Technical Experts
The NTMA was originally founded in 1924 as the National Terrazzo and Mosaic Contractors Association, while its current incarnation as a 501(c)6 non-profit trade organization dates back to 1966. From the very beginning, the NTMA placed a great deal of importance on helping establish standards that would enable contractors and supplies to deliver the types of installations that would bolster the industry’s growth. Today, NTMA membership is limited to terrazzo contractors who have met standards for competency and proficiency crafted by terrazzo experts, and material suppliers nominated to become associate members for consistently delivering products that also conform to NTMA standards.
But there’s another aspect of the NTMA that’s not as well-known to outsiders, namely the willingness of members and associate members to share personal experiences that will help others avoid pitfalls on future projects. “It’s refreshing that NTMA members go out of their way to make sure that others don’t make some of the mistakes they’ve made in the past,” Bandari says. Apparently, Bandari and her team have made good use of such cautionary advice: over the past three NTMA conventions, Arim, Inc. was an aggregate supplier for eight Honor Award winners and the 2016 Job of the Year installation, the Pittsburgh International Airport Airside Terminal.
And while Bandari and other NTMA members reap the benefits of technical advances and guidance provided by NTMA’s team of experts, non-experts can still reap the benefits of the NTMA’s work by perusing the breathtaking work epitomized by each year’s lineup of award winners. Head to the NTMA Web site and select “Honor Awards” from the menu to see awe-inspiring work that was recognized at NTMA conventions dating back to 2010. And check out the “Stories in Stone” section (click “About Us”) to see other fascinating stories that reveal the myriad uses, practical applications, and artistic palette that only terrazzo can provide.