In recognition of his contributions and exceptional service in the North American tile industry over several decades, Tile Council of North America (TCNA) recognized Dave Gobis with the 2015 Tile Person of the Year Award.
In presenting the award, Eric Astrachan, TCNA's executive director, said that Gobis—who started out as a tile helper for his grandfather—came to be recognized as an industry guru, a go-to resource in the tile industry who has had, and continues to have, enormous influence in the realms of training and education, standards development, and inspection and consulting.
“Every time Dave and I would get together, I learned something new about tile and tile standards," he said. “Twenty plus years later that is still true.”
In cataloging Gobis’s many noteworthy achievements, Astrachan focused on Gobis’s nearly-decade-long post as executive director and technical director for the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF). In this role, Gobis demonstrated his strong commitment to standards-based, non-proprietary training, and much of the core curriculum he created is still in use today at CTEF for its various installation and inspection courses Astrachan also credited Gobis with “keeping CTEF going at a difficult time,” saying that doing so very much relied on Gobis’s generosity of time and resources.
“My time at CTEF represents the pinnacle of my career,” said Gobis. “I feel very strongly about training, standards and standards development. It is really important to have verifiable conformance and develop even, non-biased, and non-marketing-driven standards for our products.”
Gobis retired from CTEF in 2008, and in 2009 NTCA honored him with its Joe Tarver Cornerstone Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Gobis is now self-employed, undertaking forensic tile installation inspections and consulting on a national basis for owners, end users, manufacturers and contractors.
“For Dave the thrill is really in the challenge, and the challenge now for him is figuring out what’s happening on jobs that he’s consulting on,” said Astrachan. “As he has told me more than once: ‘if you don’t wanna know, don’t ask.’”
Gobis added, “All the testing that I’ve always wanted to do but never could do because there was no budget for it, now I can do it. “If there’s a problem, I will find out what caused it.”