At Coverings 2015, the largest tile and stone exhibition in North America, TCNA Mexico Director Fernando Lozano Assad was honored as an emerging leader as part of the inaugural class of “Coverings Rock Stars,” a program initiated this year to recognize young professionals who have made a name for themselves as respected, forward-looking leaders.
Just what has the just-turned-35 Assad achieved so far? Appointed as the first-ever head of the brand new Mexico-based TCNA office in 2005, he has been instrumental in building a unified association from the ground up, with over 98% of Mexican ceramic tile manufacturers now participating in the association, plus the vast majority of installation materials manufacturers and equipment and raw materials suppliers. “This success was not because companies joined simply to belong, but because of the many programs he implemented,” says Eric Astrachan, TCNA Executive Director, who named just a few of the achievements that Assad can be credited with:
- Created a vibrant trade association with regular technical, marketing, and executive participation.
- Created the TCNA Pavilion at the Expo CIHAC trade show in Mexico, which has become the largest Pavilion in the largest construction trade show in the country.
- Built four regional installation training centers and a national installation certification program that is recognized by the Mexican government.
- Implemented a national Customs training program resulting in a 99+% reduction in falsely declared tile products and negotiated with the government to develop a consumer protection program to protect consumers from false porcelain.
- Created and developed new standards in Mexico, which previously didn’t participate in global tile standardization efforts.
- Created a tile testing laboratory, the only one of its kind in Mexico.
- Developed literature and education for architects and general contractors, including a full translation of the TCNA Handbook and several additional manuals and guides tailored to Mexican consumers.
“The vast range of these projects could not have been accomplished without the unique enthusiasm, vision, personality, persistence, negotiating skills, leadership, and charm that define Fernando,” says Astrachan. “It is a unique set of skills that lets him meet with the owners of large industrial groups at one meeting, present to contractors at another, and meet with government officials at another, all maybe in the same day or combined into one trip. This reflects a unique ability and attitude to make things happen.”