History and Heritage
100 Countries, 3 Generations, 1 Mission
For 65 years, LATICRETE has been leading the construction market by manufacturing innovative construction materials. Through three generations, the family-owned, customer focused, world-wide manufacturer provides materials to over one hundred countries. All this began in a basement in New Haven, CT with one innovator, Dr. Henry M. Rothberg.
During the late 1940’s, while working in his family’s floor covering installation business in South Carolina, a young Chemical Engineer, Dr. Henry M. Rothberg realized that there must be a better way to install ceramic tile than the traditional “full mortar bed” method. He decided to dedicate himself to research alternative methods of installing ceramic tile and stone to bring improvements of chemistry to the normal Portland cement-based installation systems for tile and stone.
Dr. Rothberg began development work with Uniroyal Chemical at their Naugatuck, CT research facility where he investigated synthetic latex technologies that had been applied to the concrete industry. After much effort and time – LATICRETE® 4237 Latex Thin-Set Additive was developed and taken to market. For the first time a strong, weather and shock-resistant “thin-bed” mortar could be mixed on-site using equal parts of sand and cement, gauged to a workable consistency with LATICRETE 4237. In 1956, not realizing the potential of what would soon prove to be a revolutionary product; Uniroyal sold the LATICRETE brand to Dr. Rothberg, and LATICRETE International, Inc. was born.
Dr. Rothberg took his samples and product literature and departed for overseas markets where tile and stone were already much more common finishes. Large installations and long-term relationships followed successful presentations in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. LATICRETE remained primarily export-focused in its early years. Slowly, North American tile installation firms began to realize the labor-savings benefits afforded by this new and innovative installation system. Learning from his international experience, Dr. Rothberg focused his efforts on the Architectural community, which could appreciate the significant savings in other aspects of building construction – less steel, less concrete, no depressed slabs – when thick, heavy mortar beds could be eliminated. As LATICRETE grew, the thin-bed method took hold as a typical means of installation. Consumption of ceramic tile grew steadily and rapidly in North America with 2015 estimates of close to 3 billion square feet.
LATICRETE became one of the most prominent product lines available as tile distribution developed around the world in the 1960s and 1970s. As distribution increased, so did the availability of LATICRETE. More and more products were added to the LATICRETE product line that allowed installation of ceramic tile in residential and remodel applications as well as in industrial and commercial construction. LATICRETE became a brand preferred by many types of installers, not just large installation firms focusing on large projects. Demand for LATICRETE products is fulfilled through distribution supported by 8 plants in North America, and a network of factories, distributors and partners around the world.
During this time, Dr. Rothberg’s wife Lillian and their seven children all worked in the family business at various times, with most of their children starting at a young age. In 1974, their son Henry B. Rothberg began as a full-time employee at LATICRETE where he assisted his father in opening up their first manufacturing facility in Bethany. Four years later as a newly minted Harvard MBA graduate, David A. Rothberg began his career at LATICRETE alongside his father and his brother.
In the 1990s LATICRETE sharpened its focus on the international market to create and cultivate efficient local production in expanding markets. This successful strategy has resulted in worldwide local availability of LATICRETE installation materials. Together with a cohort of remarkable employees, Dr. Rothberg and his two sons built a trusted, respected international enterprise. Now more than double its original size, the company supports thousands of families and works to better the lives of people and communities in more than 100 countries.
In the ensuing years after a long apprenticeship that encompassed duties in sales, laboratory, finance, operations and marketing, David had garnered the necessary skill set for his role as CEO. Likewise, after years of being responsible for LATICRETE North America sales & marketing efforts, international expansion and leading company-wide technical training, Henry B. Rothberg began serving as Senior Vice President of Training in 2001. Today, Henry B. Rothberg hosts architectural, distributor and contractor presentations to promote the use of ceramic tile, and has been a popular guest speaker at many industry conventions throughout North America and around the world, promoting the use of ceramic tile and stone.
Through steadfastly emphasizing the crucial roles of integrity, innovation and passion, both David and Henry have fostered an organization whose dedication to customers has been rewarded with exceptional growth and increasing strength despite volatility in major construction markets.
Left to Right: David A. Rothberg awarding Henry B. Rothberg with his 50 years of service award
After succeeding his father as Chairman and CEO in 2001, David broke with tradition by replacing family members on the Board of Directors with a very experienced, diverse selection of business people, thereby bringing broader and different perspectives into the company’s leadership framework. This choice has been instrumental in producing the sharp increase in the breadth of corporate operations, efficiencies and capabilities.
By listing his home phone number on his business card, David signaled not just high levels of personal involvement but also his belief that true inclusivity drives 21st century business. David’s respect for hands-on experience, resourcefulness and unconventional problem solving, learned from a lifetime hobby of mountaineering and exploration in remote parts, has inspired an organizational embrace of change and the unexpected. David has also been responsible for directing a critical evolution of the LATICRETE international business model from dependence on export of products manufactured in one U.S. factory to a worldwide network that services customers with manufacturing, technical support and R&D.
3rd Generation and Moving Forward...
CEO David successfully navigated the transition from the first to second generation while retaining the core values that enabled LATICRETE to grow from its roots as a garage operation to a global player in construction materials. Building on the work of founders Dr. Henry M Rothberg and Lillian Rosenstock Rothberg, David was actively engaged in paving the way for the third generation of this prototypical American success story.
After 42 years serving as CEO, David retired and moved into his new role as Chairman of LATICRETE with responsibility for guiding the company’s Board of Directors in 2020. He is now heavily engaged with the exciting and important work of developing the LATICRETE Family Council, where the future shareholder and owners of LATICRETE will learn their roles and responsibilities as stewards of the global enterprise that their grandparents founded.
Left to Right: Patrick Millot, CEO with David A. Rothberg, Chairman of the Board
In August 2020, Patrick Millot succeeded David A. Rothberg as LATICRETE CEO after a multi-faceted and accomplished career with the Fortune Global 500 company Saint-Gobain, where he spearheaded manufacturing and omni channel distribution for the industrial and construction industries.
“I see the same focused enthusiasm in Patrick that I have and I am delighted that together, we will ensure continuity of our culture and values, while he takes our innovation, customer centricity and globalization to the next level. I am confident that Patrick will effectively take up the mantle begun with my parents, and transition seamlessly into his new role propelling LATICRETE forward." – David A. Rothberg, Chairman of the Board.
With no changes in LATICRETE ownership, Patrick and David are working together to develop the third generation of Rothberg family members as they "earn their stripes" to become the new stewards of their grandparents’ legacy and carry on the following principles the company was founded on:
- Full P&L and market development responsibilities within our two divisions: North America and International, led by their Presidents;
- Corporate function to support the divisions’ development and to globally leverage our resources as one company;
- Strong engagement of the Rothberg family, with David Rothberg as our Chairman, four members of the family as our employees and the commitment of our shareholders for the long run;
- LATICRETE board guidance and support with experienced directors, passionate about our industry and our company’s values.
3rd Generation Family Members...
Meet the Team
Patrick Millot, CEO
Patrick Millot joined LATICRETE International Inc. as CEO in August of 2020. Millot most recently served as CEO of Abrasives and Composites Systems at Saint-Gobain, a manufacturer of high-performance materials and building products. In this position, he led a division overseeing 12,300 employees from 88 sites in 30 countries. Before being promoted to Systems CEO, Millot served as President of the Ceramic division, and previously as Vice President of corporate planning, strategy and finance of the High Performance Materials sector. He started his 24-year career at Saint-Gobain in finance and strategy before being promoted to General Manager of the Reinforcement Division.
He earned an engineering degree from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, holds a master's in Economics, a LL. M. in International and European law and is a graduate from the Ecole Normale Supérieure.
He is married and has three sons.
Faisal Saleem, President & COO, International Division
Faisal Saleem is President of LATICRETE International’s International Division, working out of corporate headquarters in Bethany, CT. Saleem is responsible for the International P&L and market development activity of the division. His responsibilities include Organizational development, Strategic planning, Leadership development, M&A, and expansion into new geographic locations.Originally from India, Saleem worked for a Laticrete distributor in Saudi Arabia before joining Laticrete International in the year 2000.
He was one of the critical stakeholders who built, supported, and grew the MYK LATICRETE JV set up in India in the year 2000, he was responsible for the significant growth that resulted in four plants, 22 offices and the addition of more than 600 employees.
Saleem graduated from Osmania University in Civil Engineering and attended the General Management Program at Harvard Business School.
He resides in Cheshire, CT with his wife Nusheen and sons Daniyal and Danish. Personal interests include reading, traveling and cricket.
Ron Nash, President, North American Division
Before being named President in July 2021, Ron Nash was the SVP of Sales & Marketing and was responsible for sales, product development, and marketing operations, including end-to-end management of all sales activities and architectural specification support in the North American markets. He also plays key roles in LATICRETE’s M&A and strategic development and helped foster strategic reseller relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace.
Nash is a naturalist; in 1993, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University, where he studied Botany/Plant Biology and Forestry. Today he uses that experience as LATICRETE extends its leadership in the environmental stewardship to improve the built world and those who live in it.
He is passionate about leadership development participating in multiple expeditions with the North American Outdoor Leadership School and various programs for leadership development. Nash has been recognized for leadership at LATICRETE, receiving the Captain Don Peak award for Exceptional Leadership as well as the Timothy J. Alper award for Outstanding Customer Service. He also serves on industry boards including the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA).
He’s a life-long learner. To continue his education and advance his leadership experience, Nash will complete the Global Leadership Executive Program at Yale in October 2021.
Ron is first and foremost a husband of 21 years, a father to three beautiful daughters, and a friend to all.
Stuart Adendorff, CFO
Stuart Adendorff is Vice President – Finance of LATICRETE International, Inc. He is responsible for overall financial management of LATICRETE including financial reporting, compliance, treasury, tax, risk management and IT.
Stuart comes as an accomplished CFO with over 30 years of experience in global family businesses, public companies and private-equity owned firms in manufacturing environments. Before joining LATICRETE, he was the CFO for Plastic Industries in Nashua, NH. He previously assumed key financial responsibilities within Pfizer, United Technologies, HJ Baker & Bro and LBB Specialties.
Stuart was born in South Africa and started his career as a fighter pilot. He holds an MBA (Columbia), a Master of Accounting Science (South Africa) and is a CPA (Inactive).
Stuart lives in Southington, Connecticut with his wife Mandy. They have two daughters. In his leisure time, he enjoys flying airplanes!
Daniel C. Lu, Sr. Vice President, Special Projects
Daniel C. Lu, Senior Vice President of Special Projects attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan and received his Bachelor of Science degree in geology and chemistry.
Since joining the Technical Staff of LATICRETE International, Inc. in 1975, he has worked extensively in the areas of New Product Development, Field Technical Services and Architectural Specifications.
Lu was instrumental in the development of the first commercially successful Modified Epoxy Emulsion Mortar/Grout LATAPOXY® 210.
His development work also included a Liquid Applied Membrane which pioneered waterproof ceramic tile installations with load bearing and anti-fracture capabilities (LATICRETE® 9235).
Lu has served on several tile/construction industry technical committees, including ones conducted under the auspices of MMSA and CSA.
His personal interests include camping, fishing and rock collecting in the areas around Bethany, Connecticut where he makes his home.
LATICRETE Board of Directors
David A. Rothberg, Chairman of the Board
David A. Rothberg, Chairman of LATICRETE International, Inc., holds a M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts.
Rothberg obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in geology from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He has also completed courses at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Law School, and an advanced management program at the International Institute for Management Development (I.M.D.) in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Rothberg has been employed in the flooring industry full time since 1978, when he started in the laboratories of LATICRETE. Over the years, his responsibilities have included Scientist, Technical Service Representative, VP of Finance and Administration, and CEO.
His areas of focus as Chairman are guiding the Board of outside directors to maintain LATICRETE as a family owned and operated business and upholding the values of it’s founders to help make the world a better place.
Rothberg travels extensively, reinforcing Company values in over 100 countries. When not working, he is an avid cyclist, sea kayaker, and white-water canoeist. His expedition travels have taken him to the highest points on five continents, and by ski to the South Pole.
Rothberg is married to Attorney Nan M. Birdwhistell, former Mayor of Woodbridge, Connecticut. They have two sons; Daniel, a geologist, working at LATICRETE headquarters as a Product Manager, and Jason, attending New York University.
Rothberg is a 25 year member of YPO, a global business organization.
He served on board of The Connecticut Business & Industry Association and on the Advisory Council of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), of Lander, WY., USA. NOLS is the leader in wilderness education.
Doris Zelinsky has a 35-year career within US-based manufacturing and sales companies. She has worked with family owners, private equity and public companies. Ms. Zelinsky's "origins" are in manufacturing. During the last two decades, she has expanded her skills to full P&L responsibility, including general management, strategy, sales and marketing.
After completing her BA in economics at Yale and an MPA at Princeton, she joined the Lender’s Bagel Bakery and designed new technologies and plants to support their growth. At Lender's, she worked side-by-side with family leadership for six years, where she directed all operations, manufacturing, R&D, Q A, engineering, construction, supply chain and customer management. Lender’s grew revenues tenfold during her tenure. From there, she spent nine years with Kraft Foods, also in leadership positions.
During the last eight years, she has been an active board member of several manufacturing companies, as well as a management consultant. She currently serves on the Board of YUM Restaurants of Puerto Rico, and is an adviser to a 1,700 store chain in the US and Canada.
In addition, Ms. Zelinsky serves as both board member and as consultant to a portfolio of US companies in consumer products and food manufacturing equipment.
As a passionate volunteer, Ms. Zelinsky has served as the founder and president of Greater New Haven Holocaust Memory, responsible for maintaining the first Holocaust Memorial built in the United States on public land. She is the executive producer of "People Forget...New Haven Remembers", an award winning documentary that reinforces this "first in our country”, memorial’s timely and compelling message of tolerance.
Ms. Zelinsky resides in New Haven and Branford Connecticut with her spouse, Law Professor Edward Zelinsky. They have raised four children in Connecticut, where as a family, they actively enjoy New England's summer sailing and winter skiing sports.
Albert A. Canosa served as President, CEO and Director of Raytech Corporation from 1998 to 2004 and brings a diverse array of experience, skills and qualities to the corporate decision-making process. Raytech Corporation, a New York Stock Exchange corporation, is an international leader within the vehicular power transmission applications for the automotive, heavy duty OEM and aftermarket market segments.
As CEO of Raytech, Mr. Canosa piloted the company through a 12-year asbestos-related bankruptcy process and led the company to emerge as a financially healthy, viable, respected, and market-leading competitor worldwide. He generated the highest performance of Raytech with equity increase of 72% and the highest pretax performance level to date. Under Mr. Canosa’s leadership, all Raytech manufacturing plants received their QS or ISO 9000 certification and the company received Q1 status from Ford and Partnership status with Deere.
Mr. Canosa’s experience includes 12 years as a Chief Financial Officer, as well as more than 30 years of excellent performance in diverse disciplines, such as tax, SEC reporting, shareholder relations, treasury, short- and long-range planning, financial analysis, acquisitions/divestitures, auditing, corporate structure, turnaround programs, asset management, debt reduction and employee relations.
Raytech operated in a mature industry with no opportunity for price increases and yet it generated a compound annual growth rate in pretax earnings of 17% for 11 years straight with Mr. Canosa’s direction. He has demonstrated leadership, integrity and management qualities that are respected by peers, competitors, customers and associates.
Mr. Canosa previously served as Chairman of the Private School Board and Chairman of St. Mary Church Council. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Marlin Firearms Company, the United Way of Branford and is a Trustee of Quinnipiac University. He is currently Director & Chairman of the Audit Committee of Tasker Products. Mr. Canosa received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. Mr. Canosa resides in Branford with his wife Sharon and his son Adam.
Volker Weidmann joins LATICRETE with 28 years of experience, including being the Managing Director of Hermann Otto GmbH in Fridolfing, Germany for the last 20 years. Having worked extensively in sales, R & D, application support, marketing and branding, Volker brings a comprehensive knowledge of construction industry practices and materials. He has been elected chairman of the German Industry Association of Sealant Manufacturers (IVD).
Volker was granted a master’s degree in organic chemistry and a doctoral in technical sciences from the Technical University in Graz, Austria. In his free time, Volker enjoys music (listening, composing and playing), hunting, reading and collecting books.
Mark S. Levy has dedicated his career to the fire alarm and early detection industry, overseeing the growth of both Fire-Lite Alarms Inc. (which was founded by his father Herbert in the 1940's) and NOTIFIER.
Mark received his BS in Business Administration from the University of Denver in 1970. Upon graduation, he took over Fire-Lite Alarms Inc., where he already had 10 years’ experience working with his grandfather and his father in various roles within the company. Mark set goals, objectives and marketing strategies that guided the company on a path of modernization and future growth. In addition, he recruited the industry's best engineers to develop and expand the company's product line. In 1984, Mark recognized another great opportunity to grow the business when he sold Fire-Lite to the Pittway Corporation of Chicago, Illinois. He remained as president of Fire-Lite Alarms Inc., and in 1987 was named president of NOTIFIER as well, another company acquired by Pittway. Today, both companies are part of Honeywell International's Fire Solutions Group and among the world's leading manufacturers of commercial fire detection systems.
Promoted to President of Honeywell International’s Fire Solutions Group in 2000, Mark oversaw five global systems brands - Fire-Lite, NOTIFIER, FCI, Gamewell and Silent Knight, as well as the detector and device businesses – System Sensor and KAC, which are the world leaders in their markets. The Fire Solutions Group employs over 3,000 people globally.
Among his achievements throughout his career, Mark was recognized by the Connecticut District Export Council in 1998 with the "Connecticut Exporter of the Year Award". He received the Honeywell Hero Award for outstanding achievement in September 2001. He is also active on the Board of the University of New Haven, currently as the Chairman of the Finance Committee; and former Board Chairman of the Easter Seal Goodwill Rehabilitation Center in New Haven.
Stephan Liozu comes to LATICRETE with more than 23 years of experience with several multinational building product companies. He has expertise in the manufacturing and distribution practices of our industry, his forte is customer value management, and recent accomplishments include coaching, consulting and training for large global industrial companies. Stephan has published six books, 4 e-books, a combination of 40 academic and practitioner papers, and has presented at over 45 conferences.
Stephan received a master's degree in business administration from Cleveland State University and a doctoral degree in management from Case Western Reserve University. He is a native of France.
Dr. Liozu resides in Phoenix, Arizona with his son, Lorenzo. He loves working out and watching rugby.
Stephen MerkelSteve has been a Director or Non- Executive Chairman for 14 years with private and public companies involved in turnarounds, operational reviews, strategic planning, acquisitions, people development, succession planning, shareholder operating agreements, exit strategies and key customer and distributor interface.
He was one of four Directors that led the turnaround of NYSE Sturm Ruger where market cap increased fivefold in six years.
Prior to Director and Non-Executive Chairman work, he had 18 years of global and domestic P&L responsibility as Managing Director, President or Operating Executive mostly with Loctite Corporation.
His experience has included multi-national companies selling Direct and/or thru Distribution across specialty chemicals, industrial, construction, fire arms, electronics, specialty water, paper, hospitality, HVAC, food service, specialty metal, automotive aftermarket, jan san, aerospace, restaurant and hardware.
Steve has led / directed the acquisition of 24 companies and divested two businesses with shared services as either a Managing Director, President, Operating Executive or Board Member.
He has managed thru natural disaster, wild inflation, catastrophic loss of facilities, major integrations, divestitures, a hostile takeover, turnarounds, fraud and financial uncertainty.
He is adept at consistently improving the value offering and gross margins throughout his career by testing price elasticity, reengineering products, outsourcing, improving productivity, new product introduction and pricing to value not cost.
Steve has served on NYSE, private and not for profit Boards, and currently works with three privately held companies.
Steve has attended Executive Programs at IMD in Switzerland and AMOS Tuck School at Dartmouth. He also holds a Master’s degree in Marketing and Finance from Clarkson School of Management and a BS in Management from Clarkson University.
Thomas Tullo, the Founder and Managing Director of Range Light Capital, Inc., joins LATICRETE with 38 years of experience in finance. Mr. Tullo is a specialist in public and private capital transactions, mergers and acquisitions and restructurings for Industrial manufacturing companies.
Prior to founding Range Light Capital, Mr. Tullo was a Partner in Rossoff & Co where he headed the firm’s Industrials practice. Previously Mr. Tullo headed the Industrial and Diversified Services Group at RBC Capital Markets. Prior to RBC his career included working at Goldman Sachs, S. G. Warburg and McKinsey & Company where he advised clients on mergers, acquisitions, financings and recapitalizations both in the U.S. and overseas. Mr. Tullo is a member of the Board of Directors of Taco Comfort Solutions.
Mr. Tullo holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School ’82, and an Economics degree, Summa Cum Laude, from Dartmouth College ’79.
In his free time, Tom enjoys sailing, woodworking, and reading.