When the MIA board of directors asked me to step into the organization's executive vice president/CEO role, I immediately thought of one word - relevance. It is my hope that the word "relevance" is synonymous with the MIA. Being relevant to you - the member - is the most important thing that we do. When you read president Jonathan Zanger's article you will find a number of initiatives being undertaken in 2013 - all intended to bring valuable resources and services to you - thus fulfilling our organization’s mission and remaining an important (and relevant) partner for you.
The list that Mr. Zanger shared is just a portion of our efforts. The MIA’s international directors are focused on bringing more awareness to the benefits of membership for our international members (now in 52 countries). Whether we are addressing North American or international outreach - from my vantage point, the key is to continue "listening" to the needs of the industry. For everyone that participated in the MIA 2012 member needs survey – thank you! We have already used that feedback to fine-tune a number of initiatives including how we educate consumers, as well as some upcoming enhancements for the commercial contractor community.
We recently listened to a number of needs expressed by the restoration and maintenance stone community. An outcome of that includes the launch of a new initiative to dramatically enhance several sections of the MIA's Dimension Stone Design Manual. In like fashion, several "town hall" style meetings with our associate members (suppliers to the industry) provided us with valuable feedback about how we can better serve that community within the stone industry. We will continue to listen to all sectors of the stone industry – I can assure you of that.
A word about Gary Distelhorst who retired at the end of December. The stone industry has benefited from his leadership the past eleven years, however, I have known him for twenty-two years and worked for him for over fifteen years. So succeeding him to lead the MIA – well, words can not describe it. Thank you Gary!
Thank you for your ongoing support. Together, we (Board of Directors, staff, & members) will continue to make a difference for this great industry!
James A. (Jim) Hieb, CAE
Executive Vice President & CEO