Ron Blatt of Blatt Billiards Honored with 2013 BCA President’s Award

Each year the Billiard Congress of America (BCA) recognizes an outstanding individual who has made significant contributions to the billiard industry with the presentation of the BCA President's Award. This year, BCA Chairman Ivan Lee has chosen to honor Ron Blatt of Blatt Billiards with the prestigious President's Award. Ron, who recently retired, served as president and CEO for Blatt Billiards for more than 45 years. Blatt's business model includes a diverse range of services, including manufacturing, restoring and retailing some of the finest and most demanding handmade billiard and game tables available on the market.
Ron will be honored with this distinguished award at the opening of the BCA Summit in Louisville, Ky. on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 on the exhibitor floor at 9:45 a.m. All attendees and exhibitors of the BCA Summit are encouraged to attend the event and recognize Ron for his dedication to the billiard industry.
"Ron has dedicated his career to elevating the sport to its highest levels. The Blatt name has become synonymous with outstanding craftsmanship, design and it now stands out as a premium brand in the billiard industry and beyond," said BCA Chairman Ivan Lee. "It is a privilege for me to honor Ron for his accomplishments and his career and the work he and his team have accomplished over the years. His commitment to the quality and the work he produced is reflected by the discerning clientele that insist on the Blatt name."
Blatt Billiards begun in the 1920's when Ron's grandfather, Sam Blatt, began the company by crafting buck horns for pool cues, pool cues, and billiard balls - all by hand. Ron's father, Maurice Blatt, then added to the company's services by repairing pool tables in NYC when there were more than 4,000 pool rooms between the five New York City boroughs. Ron then made a name for himself and his company when he started restoring antique tables under the Blatt banner. "It was fun doing the restoration on old tables, because of what we would learn from the craftsmanship, construction techniques, and finishing techniques these old tables provided," recounted Ron Blatt.
"Ron Blatt and Blatt Billiards have always been the premier name in billiards," said Kurt Schmidt, owner and president of A. E. Schmidt Billiard Company.  "When the truly elite wanted a pool table, they didn't call the names most people are familiar with-they'd call Blatt." As an industry leader, Ron was unique! As any New Yorker would say, he did it his way: he went after decorators long before anyone else had the idea, he ran lavish tournaments, while everyone else was giving up on them, and while everyone else invested in the suburbs, Ron stayed in his "funky old building" in Greenwich Village. Why? Because that was Ron and he liked it."
When Ron and his partner Eric Roeder took over the company in 1969, they focused on the restoration and the creation of the finest pool tables in the world. Each piece of every table that Blatt produced was hand sanded and polished in a rigorous nine-step process, which yielded a product that was legendary in both the billiard and interior design industries. Maintaining in-house quality was always a top priority for Ron and Blatt Billiards. When asked what legacy he thought he would leave behind for the rest of the industry, Ron immediately responded, "Quality! It was our absolute desire to give and provide the best product every time. At times it was to my determent, but I would never sacrifice quality for anything else."
Blatt Billiards' clientele is just as impressive as the tables themselves. Hundreds of famous and wealthy customers own a Blatt Billiards table. People who can afford to buy from anyone choose Blatt Billiards due to their reputation of making and selling the highest-quality game tables produced. "Ron is an innovator in the high end table market," said Michael DiMotta, president of Imperial International. "He built his business by offering one-of-a-kind custom tables to very elite customers. When the billiard industry was booming he had customers waiting up to two years for a custom or refurbished classic antique."
The ability for Blatt Billiards to find a balance between being both businessman and craftsman, seeking modern convenience while also maintaining the highest level of quality, not only separated Blatt Billiards from the rest of the industry, but also set the standard of excellence in the industry. "Ron and his family have been the leader in the industry for decades, not only as a billiards dealership, but also as one of the more important keepers of the history of the game," explained Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Ewa Laurance. "Ron has also served on the Billiard Congress of America Board of Directors and is never shy to weigh in on the direction of the game."
Now that Ron has retired, the Roeder family have taken over Blatt Billiards and will continue the same standard of excellence that has been established by Ron and his team.