Congratulations to the 2023 NTCA Craftspersons of the Year award recipients.
- Residential winner: Gabriel Cortez of Heritage Marble & Tile in Mill Valley, CA
- Commercial Winner: Triniti Vigil of J&R Tile, Inc of San Antonio, TX
Gabriel Cortez, Heritage Marble & Tile
Cortez started with Heritage Marble & Tile in 1998, where his value as a tile setter was quickly realized. Through the
years, Cortez has not only grown personally, but he has become a key player to the growth of the company. Today,
Cortez not only sets tile but also mentors and trains up and coming tile setters. One former apprentice stated, “His
eye for detail often had me redoing work because it did not meet his standards. Although it was difficult to tear out
and redo at the time, I now realize how it benefitted me today.” Cortez not only mentors in the trade but he is also
involved in the community and mentors young people at his church.
Triniti Vigil, J&R Tile
Vigil started with J & R Tile in 2007. Today Vigil is the Director of Installation and Training, but you can still see him
on the job setting tile and active mentoring. Vigil is also known to educate the design community on the need for
qualified labor. He is a CTEF Regional Evaluator for the CTI program.
In his spare time, Vigil is a volunteer coordinator for the Westside San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, where he
works to improve neighborhoods. One local contractor stated, “Triniti is helpful, caring, resourceful, and happy to
offer help no matter the task. Even though he doesn’t need to, he always does so willingly and cheerfully.”
To be considered for this honor, nominees were required to have a minimum of 15 years of installation experience
and must still be setting tile today. They were evaluated on artistry, technical correctness, problem solving,
continuing education, and mentoring or leading others.