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MIA To Host Accreditation Immersion Course At TISE East

August 19, 2014 · By Garen Distelhorst · No Comments

The Marble Institute of America has announced that it will hold an Accreditation Program Immersion Course during TISE East in Miami, FL on October 22, 2014, the final day of the tradeshow. This one day course is designed to give companies interested in Accreditation the opportunity to learn about the application process, participate in a review of the exam material and to take the accreditation exam. The application and exam material review are conducted in the morning, while the 5 hour, open book exam will be administered in the afternoon.

The Accreditation Immersion Course at TISE East is the 3rd of a 3 event run of Immersion Courses occurring late summer and early fall. The first two are being held in Toronto, ON on August 22nd and Secaucus, NJ on September 12th. These three events follow in the footsteps of the hugely successful inaugural Accreditation Immersion Course held during Coverings 2014. During the Coverings event, 15 people passed the Accreditation exam and jumpstarted their company's path towards accreditation.

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No CommentsTags: accreditation · press release

Women in Stone Connection Conference Planned for StoneExpo East

July 15, 2014 · By Garen Distelhorst · No Comments

The Marble Institute of America (MIA) has announced plans for a Women in Stone Connection Conference to be held in conjunction with TISE East (The International Surface Event East/StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas/Tile Expo) in Miami, FL on Sunday, October 19, 2014. The program features dynamic speakers including Lisbeth Calandrino, Toby Morrison, Dave Mitchell, and a panel discussion of key women in our industry.

This conference will discuss the process of building relationships with customers, colleagues, and co-workers. Each item on the agenda will focus on the opportunities and challenges that exist because we are women. Attendance at this leadership summit will award participants the following learning objectives:

  • Learn how to take advantage of your assets to make your way in the business world.
  • Review today's building industry statistics and how key demographic factors affect your customer's decision to buy.
  • Discuss factors that affect women in the stone industry including working with family members and managing men.
  • Assess your personal leadership style and find out how to present information about ideas, products and/or services in a manner that is most engaging to those with a different interactive style than your own.

"The Connection Conference is the first education event held by Women In Stone," says Sarah B Kelly, Administrator of the MIA initiative, "this event will help serve our primary goals to recruit, retain, and advance women in the stone industry."

Women in Stone member, Jacqueline Tabbah of International Stoneworks in Houston, TX, added, ""The Women In Stone Connection Conference is an excellent opportunity for professional women in this industry to learn and network with one another. I am thrilled to be part of the panel discussion and share my point of view with this prestigious group of ladies."

For a complete schedule of events and to register for the Women In Stone Connection Conference event, please visit www.marble-institute.com/education/womeninstone.cfm

No CommentsTags: stonexpo · women in stone

MIA Moves Headquarters To Oberlin, Ohio

July 14, 2014 · By Garen Distelhorst · No Comments

The Marble Institute of America (MIA) has relocated its world headquarters from Westlake, Ohio to Oberlin, Ohio. MIA's first day in their new building was Monday, June 23, 2014. The move increases the MIA office space from 2,800 square feet to 4,200 square feet with additional room to grow. In 2015, the MIA intends to open a new training room at the Oberlin location.

MIA Executive Vice President and CEO, Jim Hieb said, "We seized an opportunity to relocate the MIA headquarters to a building that provided growth opportunity, while decreasing our overall rent and utility costs. The MIA continues to enjoy easy access to the Cleveland airport." He added, "The new office includes a wide variety of stonework which was donated by over a dozen MIA member companies."

While the MIA phone number will remain the same (440-250-9222), there is a new address and fax number. MIA's new address is 380 East Lorain Street, Oberlin, Ohio 44074. The new fax number is 440-774-9222.

Oberlin (population 8,000) is well known as the home of Oberlin College, a leading liberal arts college. Those familiar with the area will also note that this region of Ohio has a rich heritage of sandstone quarrying. Today, MIA member Cleveland Quarries continue that tradition.

No CommentsTags: good news · mia · press release

President's Message: OSHA On-Site Consultations

May 23, 2014 · By Garen Distelhorst · No Comments

Thank you to everyone who made the Covering show a big success for the MIA. We had great attendance at the educational seminars, and there was a lot of energy as the industry prepares for a great year. We also had a full house for the MIA Accreditation Immersion Class and testing opportunity. We are taking reservations for another class to be held at StonExpo East this fall. Please contact Garen Distelhorst (gpdistelhorst@marble-institute.com) to reserve a spot.  I have had a number of people ask me about the OHSA On-Site Consultation inspection of their facility as part of the accreditation process. On-site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. I understand that it might seem strange to invite a government agency into your facility to have a look around. I was apprehensive when my company went through the process. What I found was a very professional group of people who were not only interested in helping me comply with the pertinent regulations, but were also interested in learning more about our industry. They helped us to put controls in place that were effective, but also practical.

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No CommentsTags: newsletter · osha · president's message

Quarry Tour Takes Industry to Elberton and Tate Georgia - Brings the Marble Institute of America and Elberton Granite Assocation Together

May 23, 2014 · By Garen Distelhorst · No Comments

For years, the Marble Institute of America (MIA) has led study tours to quarries around the USA, Canada, and abroad. The 2014 tour took place in Georgia, USA - a state rich in both historic and modern day stone activity. The origin of this tour took root in June 2013, when the MIA met with the Elberton Granite Association (EGA) board of directors to discuss two important industry initiatives. At that time the MIA was deeply involved with establishing a national advertising campaign (commonly referred to as a “check-off” program), as well as working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to produce two new scientific studies looking into the safety of granite quarry and fabrication workers with respect to radon and radiation exposure. The EGA made a financial pledge to assist with both studies (which have since been completed) and also extended an invitation to visit again.  

That invitation evolved into a full fledged quarry tour with Elberton as the backdrop for the first of a two day event. The EGA, with leadership from Matthew Pruitt, arranged for tours of two quarries; two production facilities, a visit to a tooling supplier, a granite museum, and much more. The attendees, which included stone professionals from fifteen states, also represented a wide cross section of the industry. From quarrier to restoration professional, this event was truly a stone classroom in which everyone could gain in stone knowledge and make new business connections.

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No CommentsTags: education · newsletter · quarry tour

Queries and Quandaries: Stone Tile on Exterior Balcony

May 23, 2014 · By Garen Distelhorst · No Comments

Q: We are installing stone tile on an exterior balcony.  The existing concrete deck is not sloped.  The waterproofing contractor is placing a membrane directly over the existing, non-sloping slab, and we have been asked to create the draining slope with the mortar bed and tile.  Is this acceptable?  We normally see the slope occurring beneath the waterproof membrane.

A:            If the waterproofing membrane is not sloped toward drainage, then it’s really quite useless.  The setting bed beneath the tile will achieve varying levels of saturation.  The amount of water that is experienced by the surface, the pitch of the surface slope, the permeability of the stone, and the permeability of the grout are all factors as to what amount of water penetrates the bed.  But in all cases, there will be some water penetrating the bed.  If the waterproofing membrane is installed on a surface that is roughly level, that water will not be encouraged to flow in any direction.  And, since no surface is perfectly flat, there will be depressions in it that create small reservoirs within the bed that will never drain (See Figure 1).  Eventually, this continued saturation will break down the bedding material, and if it occurs in a freeze/thaw environment, it will happen even faster.  If one looks at the exterior balcony details in the TCNA’s Handbook, it clearly shows that the substrate surface is to be sloped to a minimum of 2%.

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No CommentsTags: newsletter · queries and quandaries · technical

A Note from Jim - May/June 2014

May 23, 2014 · By Garen Distelhorst · No Comments

Membership update - The first three months of 2014 are behind us. For any trade association, membership retention is a priority. Membership dues represent approximately 58% of the overall MIA budget. Specific to member retention, we are trending to have the best retention we have had in 5 years. I would like to think that the strong retention is due to several factors including:

  1. relevant and innovative programming;
  2. dedicated volunteers and staff;
  3. easy to use payment plans; and
  4. an improving economy.

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No CommentsTags: ceo's desk · newsletter

The MIA Toronto Chapter Discusses the Nuances of Natural Stone Installation

May 23, 2014 · By Garen Distelhorst · No Comments

In June 2013, 15 Toronto based natural stone companies met at Picco Engineering to discuss the prospect of forming an MIA Toronto Chapter. The goal of this group would be to provide training for the Natural Stone Industry and create awareness to the Architectural and Design Communities.

The realization of this goal came on March 27, 2014 at Moscone Marble and Tile. The MIA Toronto Chapter launched its 2014 programming with its presentation “Installation in the Natural Stone Industry” and an accompanying evening CEU Program. The two events attracted more than 75 participants from 29 companies and featured discussions by Michael Picco of Picco Engineering, Mike Micalizzi of Custom Building Products and Rod Sigman of AquaMix.  

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No CommentsTags: chapters · installation · newsletter

MIA and Stone World Magazine Discuss Cost and Pricing with North Carolina Fabricators

May 23, 2014 · By Garen Distelhorst · No Comments

On March 20th, the MIA and Stone World magazine took their Fabricator Town Hall Meeting to Cosmos Granite and Marble in Raleigh, NC. The North Carolina Stone Summit, which featured a discussion by G.K. Naquin of Stone Interiors, attracted nearly 40 fabricators from 22 companies and five states. Overall, 61 stone industry leaders were involved in the day long event.

The morning session started with a project costing discussion led by Naquin. The goal of this session was to prompt fabricators to think about the cost of fabricating a piece of stone. Using worksheet templates and real life scenarios, Naquin provided attendees with a list of financial benchmarks fabricators should measure when running a successful business. 

Naquin then turned his discussion to pricing and marketing natural stone. He challenged the room to realize the goal of business is to “collect revenue”. Revenue, he stated, is the lifeblood of a business and if a company does not collect revenue, the company will not be able to pay their bills.

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No CommentsTags: education · newsletter · stone world

Construction Corner: Housing on Pace to Have a Strong Year in 2014

May 23, 2014 · By Garen Distelhorst · No Comments

With the year rolling along toward the mid-year point, the chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says that on the basis of performance so far this year, he expects 2014 to be a strong year for housing and to aid in the overall economic recovery.

“The job market continues to mend and with that we will see a release of pent up demand of buyers,” said David Crowe, commenting on a report that of approximately 350 metro markets nationwide, 59 exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity. The NAHB/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI) said this represents a net gain of 11 metro areas year over year.

The report shows that, based on current permit, price and employment data the nationwide LMI is running at 88 percent of normal economic and housing activity. Twenty-eight percent of the metro areas saw their score rise in March and 83 percent have shown an improvement over the past year.

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No CommentsTags: construction corner · good news · nahb · newsletter