Future markets for ceramic tiles

Panel Debate

Business leaders from the international ceramics industry will discuss new types of demand, the sector’s ability to meet this demand along with traditional products through traditional or innovative channels. The following topics will be addressed:

  • Is it necessary to make major changes in communication, brand management, marketing and sales processes?
  • Is it necessary to be present in new formats and uses to be profitable?
  • Is there significant demand or growth potential in the industrialized construction sector?
  • Is there significant demand or growth potential in e-commerce?
  • Do these new segments offer higher profitability than traditional, tighter segments due to strong international competition?
  • Will the construction and decoration value chain (distributor/installers) be prepared to react quickly and successfully?

The session will be moderated by Bart Bettiga, Executive Director of the National Tile Contractor Association (USA), representative of one of the associations that makes most effort in the training and preparation of ceramic tile installers and one of the most promising markets for quality products and added value in our industry.


Chaired by:

Bart Bettiga

Executive Director of the North American Contractors Association (NTCA, USA).

Bart Bettiga has over 37 years of experience in the ceramic tile industry and has been the Executive Director of the National Tile Contractors Association since 2002. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation and is a board member of Coverings, the international tile and stone exposition held annually in the United States. Bettiga is a voting member of many tile industry standards and methods committees and is a member of the Technical Committee of Qualicer. He is the publisher of TileLetter Magazine and has authored numerous articles related to the promotion of proper tile installation and qualified labor. He was the 2018 recipient of the prestigious National Tile Contractors Association Ring of Honor. The NTCA has over 1800 members and represents thousands of installers and contractor business owners.

Graziano Verdi

CEO of ITALCER (Italy).

Top manager in the design and luxury sector, Graziano Verdi held the positions of CEO and President of the Iris-Graniti Fiandre Group for an extended period. Subsequently, he led Technogym and the Belgian conglomerate Koramic.

In 2017, in collaboration with Alberto Forchielli, President of the Mindful Capital Partners fund, Verdi established the Italcer Group, where he currently serves as Chief Executive Officer. Today, Italcer stands as the fourth-largest Italian industrial group in the high-end ceramic sector.

The Italcer Group encompasses La Fabbrica Ceramiche-AVA, Elios Ceramica, Devon&Devon, Ceramica Rondine, Italcer USA, Cedir, Equipe Cerámicas, Ceramica Fondovalle, and Terratinta, projecting a Group turnover approaching 400 million euros by the conclusion of 2023.

Verdi is actively involved at an institutional level, serving as a member of the Board of Confindustria Ceramica.

Additionally, he holds the position of Visiting Professor at the BBS – Bologna Business School, at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. Prior to this, he served as a Visiting Professor at the distinguished School of Business Communication of Publitalia in Milan, with Prof. Aldo Lapone, leading figure on the Italian panorama of business strategy.

Manuel Ángel Murillo

CEO Colorker (España).

Manuel Angel Murillo is the CEO of Coloker Group, a company that manufactures and distributes worldwide through different brands ceramic products for the habitat, floor and wall tiles in multiple sizes as well as innovative large-format sintered stone solutions,

With a 30 years carreer in the company, he has had responsabilities in international and domestic sales management until he was appointed president and CEO of the company. Manuel Angel Murillo has a degree in law and an MBA.

Clark Cornelius

President and Chief Operating Officer at Panariagroup (USA).

Clark Cornelius is a leader in the tile industry. He is currently serving as the President and Chief Operating Officer at Panariagroup USA, a subsidiary of Panariagroup Industrie Ceramiche and also a member of the Panariagroup USA board. Clark holds a Masters in Business Administration with 15 years of tile industry experience.

Clark is committed to strategic development and execution. His expertise spans across strategic planning, process improvement, global sourcing, management leadership, customer relationships, business development, international supply chain management, and financial processes.

Clark leads retail sales and operations including international supply chains, customer care, distribution centers, quality control, procurement, and private label sales. His roles at Panariagroup have included Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President, and Senior Director of Operations. Over the years, Clark’s forward-looking approach has resulted in several achievements including the orchestration of a sales strategy leading to millions of square feet in sales for the nation’s fastest-growing retailer and 20% growth in market share.

Clark is currently an Executive Board Member of the Tile Council of North America.