MIA Staff

The MIA Staff and what we are each responsible for

James A. Hieb, CAE, Executive Vice President & CEO
Jim is both responsible and accountable for the administration and management of the MIA. The position is appointed by and directly responsible to the Board of Directors. He manages the staff, prepares and proposes annual budgets, assists with strategy and execution of the organizations mission. Jim lives in South Amherst (Sandstone Capital of the World) with his wife (Christa) and two sons. In his free time, Jim enjoys participating in the Oberlin Rotary Club, coaching baseball and camping with his two sons who are active in Boy Scouts. Jim is a graduate of the University of South Dakota and Bowling Green State University. Note: CAE = Certified Association Executive.

Chuck Muehlbauer, Technical Director
Chuck is responsible for overseeing development and revision of all MIA technical documents, including the Dimension Stone Design Manual, technical bulletins, and the technical content of videos and other publications. He also serves as the primary contact for member technical questions, and provides consultative assistance to industry design professionals using natural stone products. The MIA offers evaluation, inspection, and dispute resolution and technical opinion services on a fee basis for both member and nonmember companies. Chuck is the sole individual performing site visits and authoring reports on behalf of the MIA. Site audits for Commercial A and B Accreditation candidates are also performed by him. Chuck is a frequent speaker at venues such as StonExpo, Coverings, CONSTRUCT, MIA/Stone World, and AIA. Chuck represents the interests of the MIA membership (and the natural stone industry) on 7 national technical committees, including ASTM, ANSI, and other. Chuck is a graduate of the St. Cloud Technical College.

Helen Distelhorst - Meetings, Events & Awards Director
Helen is responsible for coordination of Board of Directors meetings, including hotel reservations, meeting planning and social arrangements. She works with Jim Hieb arranging hotels and on site planning for regional education events. She is responsible for on-site arrangements for the MIA Leadership Workshop and other meetings as scheduled. She is responsible for the transportation and logistics of the MIA exhibits at 7-8 trade shows each year and she oversees the staff responsibilities in the booth. She also has full responsibility for the MIA awards program, including the call for entries, judging, awards video presentation and awards brochure for MIA's Pinnacle Awards, Migliore, Craftsman, and Scholarship awards. In addition, she is responsible for overseeing the production and printing of the MIA Membership Directory. Another key role for Helen is that of MIA HR specialist, reporting payroll, and maintaining employees HR files and records. Helen is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University. She is an active volunteer for Lorain County Community College helping to raise money for student scholarships.

Garen Distelhorst, CAE, Communications Director
Garen is responsible for creative writing, electronic communication, the MIA website, marketing, public relations, social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.), the management of the accreditation program, and many other duties as assigned. Garen serves as editor and publisher of the Cutting Edge member newsletter and editor of www.StoneDimensionsBlog.com. He also acts as the de facto staff IT specialist. Garen has served on the NSC Sustainability Committee since its inception, is currently involved with the NSF in the creation of a Sustainable Stone Standard, is past Chairman of the ASAE Young Professionals Committee and is a current member of the ASAE Communications Section Council. In his free time, Garen coaches high school lacrosse, is an avid skier, paddleboarder, and mountain biker, loyal Cleveland and Ohio State sports fan, and amateur banjo picker. He resides in Lakewood, OH with his wife and Australian Shepherd. Garen is a graduate of Miami University.

Jeff Handley, Member Relations Manager
Jeff is responsible for recruitment and retention of member companies, affinity programs, and all data and marketing efforts involved with member services. He is the first point of contact for new and prospective members, and provides additional administrative and fulfillment services for MIA. Jeff managed jewelry stores for over a dozen years before moving up to bigger and better stones. He is an avid reader that enjoys spending time with family and friends. Jeff is a graduate of the University of Toledo. Contact Jeff if you would like to:

  • Update your company information.
  • Add/ remove additional employees to the company record.
  • Create a payment plan to keep your membership up to date.
  • Request a mailing list of fellow MIA members. (Note: it is MIA policy that we do not share email information electronically.)
  • Network with a fellow member that is out of your market.
  • Get more information on Endorsed Partner Programs.
  • Nominate a non-member company for membership.
  • Join the membership welcome committee.

Michael W. Loflin, Industry Research & Information Manager
Mike supports the Technical Department editing Technical Bulletins, Modules and Design Manual revisions in addition to fielding calls from consumers and assisting member companies, designers, architects and contractors by providing answers to a variety of technical questions concerning the use of natural stone. He maintains the 'Statistics' and 'Safety' pages on our website and manages MIA health and safety initiatives. Mike's contributions to our newsletter, Cutting Edge, include the 'Safety Tip of the Month' and the 'Here and There' column. He is a member of ASTM E60 Committee on Sustainability. He and his wife reside in Oberlin, OH where he chairs the city's Civil Service Commission. Mike is a graduate of The Ohio State University and Kent State University (EMBA).

Aaron Dahnke, Education Manager
Aaron is responsible for leading the association's education/training programs which include: stone related training at major industry tradeshows, MIA/Stone World regional education program, delivery of CEU credits to the design community (managed by Sarah Johnson), and resources from the MIA bookstore. Aaron is also involved in the MIA's Chapter Development pilot program. He resides in Westlake and is a graduate of Ohio University, where he earned both bachelor's and master's degrees.

Stephanie Guilfoyle, Office Administration
Stephanie's main area of responsibility is the financial recordkeeping of MIA's income and expenses and daily balancing of income posted to the association's data base. She also processes and fulfills MIA Bookstore orders, incoming mail, office supplies as well as front desk telephone & visitor receptionist duties. Stephanie resides in Westlake with her husband and 4 children. Stephanie is a graduate of Indiana University.

Sarah B. Kelly, CEU Administrator
Sarah serves as the point of contact for member inquiries, enrollment, and utilization of the CEU program. This program empowers MIA members to use their expertise to educate the design community. Her essential duties include maintaining program signups and member sessions, coordination of new course development, and keeping the speakers informed about all information relevant to the program. In 2005, while working as marketing coordinator at an MIA member fabrication company, she was announced the winner of the MIA Natural Stone Scholarship Award. Throughout her career she has become very involved in serving the marketing needs of granite countertop fabrication companies; through in house positions and free-lance projects. She holds a degree in Sales, Marketing, & Management from Northwestern Technical College in Moorhead, MN.