Archive | December, 2021

GSF Tabansky

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Natural Stone Institute Coordinates with Gary Sinise Foundation for 40th Smart Home

Posted on 28 December 2021 by cradmin

The Natural Stone Institute has provided natural stone and fabrication services from Triton Stone Group, TexaStone Quarries and Unique Countertops for its 40th home with the Gary Sinise foundation through its R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) program. R.I.S.E. builds 100 percent mortgage-free specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and first responders.

After a September 19, 2015 routine demonstration of a Chinook helicopter in London, England, retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Jason Tabansky slipped and fell, injuring his right shoulder. Because of many complications after the injury, Tabansky became paralyzed from the waist down.

Remaining positive throughout his recovery and physical therapy, he spends time coaching and working with children. This specially adapted smart home will ease his daily struggles and mobility needs around the house, enabling him to spend more time with his wife and build upon their goals for the future.

Companies interested in becoming involved with future projects are encouraged to email [email protected] To learn more, and to see a list of all Natural Stone Institute members who have donated their time, products and services to this cause, visit

You may also be interested in this article: NKBA Names 2022 Board of Directors

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NKBA Names 2022 Board of Directors

Posted on 22 December 2021 by cradmin

The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the authority on the residential kitchen and bath marketplace and owners of the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS), has announced the 2022 NKBA Board of Directors. These new board members will officially take their positions January 1, 2022.


Basil E. Larkin, Chair

Vice President of Sales, Hestan Commercial Corp., Anaheim, CA

Larkin is responsible for all sales at Hestan, a manufacturer of premium commercial restaurant equipment and residential indoor/outdoor appliances. He has been in the appliance business for most of his career, and has held key roles in sales leadership, marketing and product development. Before joining Hestan, Larkin was General Manager at BSH Home Appliances, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Lynx Professional Grills, and Vice President of Sales at Viking Range Corporation.

Randy Warner, Vice Chair

Vice President of Sales, Signature Kitchen Suite and LG Builder, Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Warner leads the sales teams for both Signature Kitchen Suite, LG’s luxury kitchen appliance division and LG Builder. Previously, he was Vice President of Sales for the Luxury Division of Samsung where he integrated the Dacor brand into the parent company. Warner began his career at Maytag, working for 15 years in sales management positions, and then he joined Electrolux, launching and overseeing the West Coast Builder Division as well as managing the national Buying Groups. Later, he was named President of Distribution of the West and Southwest for Sub-Zero.

Kristen Elder, Secretary/Treasurer

Vice President of Residential Builder & Showrooms at Ferguson Enterprises, Newport News, VA

In her role at Ferguson, Elder is responsible for showroom and builder strategy and execution. An accomplished consumer product sales and marketing leader, she joined Ferguson in 2019 as Senior Director of Appliance Business Development. Elder has worked with the business groups, in sourcing, category management, marketing and the branch network to boost sales and profitability of Ferguson’s appliance business.


Jan Neiges, CMKBD

Principal of Jan Neiges, Highlands Ranch, CO

Neiges is an award-winning kitchen designer and past President of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the NKBA. With 40 years of sales and 20 years of design experience, she is a frequent guest lecturer at colleges, home shows and at NKBA’s Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS). Neiges advises kitchen and bath designers on marketing and selling skills, helping to shorten the lead-to-sale cycle, improve the closing ration and earn design fees before they design.

Jan Heck

President & CEO, Miele USA, Princeton, NJ

Named President and CEO of Miele USA in 2016, Heck oversees all operations of the company’s consumer and professional use appliance and floor care products, including the 10 U.S. Miele Experience Centers. His career began at Bizerba, a weighing and food processing equipment manufacturer. He joined Miele in Ontario where he became President of the Miele Ltd. Canadian subsidiary in 1999. Heck was a board member of St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto where he orchestrated a $100 million fundraising campaign.


Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, nobilia North America, Miami, FL

Akerberg, who has been CEO of nobilia North America since 2017, has over 20 years of experience as an international executive supplying products and services to the construction and remodeling market. At nobilia he has focused on building sales and expanding logistics to fulfill the demands of the retail and wholesale markets as well as the construction industry in multiple countries. Prior to joining nobilia, Akerberg held executive positions at Saint-Gobain S.A. and Jeld-Wen Inc. 


Chair and Founder, The House of ROHL, Irvine, CA

In his current position, Rohl serves as The House of ROHL’s strategic thought leader in the U.S. and is responsible for relationships with key vendors and customers. Rohl started his career nearly four decades ago, working at St. Charles Kitchens in St. Charles, IL, and at KWC Faucets in Switzerland before becoming a founding member of ROHL. He is an industry partner at the American society of Interior Designers, an Interior Design Continuing Education Credited Instructor, and a member of the executive coaching organization, Vistage International.


President, Delta Faucet Company, Indianapolis, IN

Promoted to President in 2018, Roberts has been with Delta Faucet Company for 22 years. Prior to his current position, he had been President of Masco Canada. Known for his ability to build teams and manage complexity, Roberts has held leadership positions at Delta in sales, international business development, manufacturing, engineering, forecasting, purchasing and logistics. He also spent three years overseas developing Delta Faucet Company’s China operations.


President, Caesarstone North America, Charlotte, NC

Williams, who joined Caesarstone in 2016, specializes in building strong teams with core values of high performance, people, innovation, customer focus and credibility. Previously, he held various senior executive level positions, including Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing in Masco Corporation divisions, and general management roles at Fortune Brands, Redhill Company Ltd., and Thorn Stevenson Kellogg Management Consultants.

The National Kitchen & Bath Association:

With nearly 50,000 members in all segments of the kitchen and bath industry, the NKBA has educated and led the industry since the association’s founding in 1963. The NKBA mission is to inspire, lead and empower the kitchen and bath industry through professional certification and learning, community and events.

For more information, visit or call (800) 843-6522.

You may also be interested in this article: Natural Stone Institute Announces New Board Members

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Natural Stone Institute Announces New Board Members

Posted on 20 December 2021 by cradmin4

The Natural Stone Institute will welcome three individuals to its board of directors in January 2022:

North American Installer

Sam Arcot, Rugo Stone, LLC

Arcot is the Special Projects Manager at Rugo Stone in Lorton, VA. With more than 22 years of experience, Arcot began his career in the Indian stone industry at the age of 17 as an entrepreneur. Arcot is also an MBA graduate and has a strong background in Sales, Marketing and Business Development. Having joined Rugo Stone in 2010, he has spearheaded the company’s marketing initiatives to promote natural stone products and to strategically diversify operations to target niche markets which require a combination of highly skilled/experienced workforce as well as the latest technology in stone fabrication. Arcot was the recipient of the Natural Stone Institute’s Natural Stone Scholarship in 2013 and has volunteered for many NSI delegation trips and Stone Summits. Arcot is also currently a mentor in the Women in Stone Mentorship Program. 

North American Quarrier

Darrell Petit, Stony Creek Quarry

Darrell Petit has worked in all capacities of the Stony Creek Quarry since 1990. He has led the team on many projects including: The Statue of Liberty Museum, The Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, Columbia University, the Second Division Memorial in President’s Park, DC and 550 Madison in New York City. An internationally renowned sculptor, he has worked with quarries around the world—such as Lundhs in Norway—to complete monumental sculptures including those for the Chubu Museum and Cultural Center in Japan, for the Yale University Peabody Museum, for the Four Seasons One Dalton Boston and for the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. Petit has been a member of the NSF Joint Committee on Dimensional Stone to develop the ANSI/NSC 373 sustainability assessment for natural dimension stone and currently volunteers as a mentor for the Women in Stone Mentorship Program. He was an early adopter of the Natural Stone Institute’s testing lab and currently volunteers on the association’s sustainability committee.

Associate Member

Filippo Emanuel, TENAX USA

Filippo Emanuel is the founder and CEO of TENAX USA LLC. After 14 years spent in the Italian Navy both as a jet pilot and as a captain of a ship, Emanuel moved to the US in 1998 to develop the market for TENAX S.p.A, an Italian manufacturer of consumable products for the stone industry. In 2000 he founded TENAX USA LLC and became its general manager. Since then, the company has grown exponentially, making the INC 5000 List of fastest growing companies in the US five times in less than eight years. From 2012 to 2016 Emanuel was also in charge of TENAX do BRASIL, acquiring an enormous amount of experience in the stone industry both from the manufacturing point of view and of the fabrication side of the business. Emanuel has supported the association’s safety committee and multiple networking events. He has also provided equipment resources for the association’s testing lab. 

Arcot, Petit, and Emanuel will be formally welcomed to the board by the five ongoing board members during the first meeting of 2022 at TISE in February.

You may also be interested in this article: NBMDA Announces 2022 Board of Directors

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U.S. Customs Finds Additional Evasion of Antidumping/Countervailing Duties on Quartz Surface Products From China

Posted on 16 December 2021 by cradmin

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“Customs”) has been taking aggressive action under The Enforce and Protect Act (“EAPA”) against companies that are violating U.S. trade laws as they pertain to quartz surface products from China.

On November 26, Customs found that 15 U.S. importers were guilty of illegally transshipping Chinese quartz surface products through Malaysia to evade the payment of antidumping and countervailing duties.

Less than two weeks later, on December 6, 2021, Customs cracked down on two Texas-based importers, Vivaldi Commercial LLC and Vivaldi Interiors LLC (collectively “Vivaldi”), for illegally misclassifying their imports of Chinese quartz surface products as “crushed glass” surfaces. Customs’ aggressive actions are important because they hold these importers accountable for their illegal evasion, deter other importers from engaging in similar evasion tactics, and ensure that the domestic industry receives the relief to which it is entitled under the U.S. trade laws.

Customs’ announcement confirms that quartz surface products made in China remain subject to the payment of AD/CVD duties.  If you suspect an importer of duty evasion, you can submit an allegation through Customs’ online portal

You may also be interested in this article: Vadara Debuts New Brand Experience with Updated Website

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Bus Sense Dec. 21 Data Analysis

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Business Sense: It’s Time to Hire a Data Person for Your Countertop Shop

Posted on 15 December 2021 by cradmin

By Katherine Gifford of Moraware

Not another person to hire! This one is different, I promise. 

To fully understand how your business is performing—whether it is weekly sales, material usage, or employee efficiency—analyzing the data is incredibly crucial for success. If you don’t know where your bottlenecks are, you can’t make the adjustments necessary for improvement. That’s where this role plays such an important part.

Hopefully by now you realize the importance of tracking all the processes in your shop. Now you’ve got the data, but who is pulling that data out so you can learn from it? 

By hiring a person dedicated to pulling out the information you need to make those crucial decisions for your business, you are making an investment in a job that will improve your profitability like never before. 

Why this role is important

A good data analyst will be able to provide valuable insights for your business and help strategize for areas of improvement. Tracking insights for every part of your shop will provide your business a greater ability to grow and succeed. And, you’ll all suffer less headaches! Data can let you see how well your business is doing as well as your employees’ performance. It can also be a powerful tool for motivating your team.

As your countertop fabrication business grows, delegating responsibilities will become more common. Just one of those responsibilities is keeping track of the data in order to gain insight on leads, sales, and employee performance all while communicating that in an easily digestible manner. Finding the right data analyst means putting in the work to effectively market the position, narrow down resumes, and conduct productive interviews. After hiring the right person, make sure to understand the best places to find the data.

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Tile of Spain Award Estudio Vilablanch_Living in a Coderch 6

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Tile of Spain Awards of Architecture and Interior Design Winners

Posted on 14 December 2021 by cradmin4

Tile of Spain, the association representing more than100 Spanish tile manufacturers, announced the winners of the 20th annual Tile of Spain Awards of Architecture and Interior Design. The panel of judges, led by renowned architect Carlos Ferrater, founder of the Office of Architecture in Barcelona (OAB), evaluated the projects submitted into this year’s awards and selected a winner in each category.

 Winning Projects:

Architecture– The new headquarters of the Valencia Construction Sector Employment Foundation by MRM Architects’ Studio.

The new headquarters of the Valencia Construction Sector Employment Foundation is set in an industrial district in Valencia, Spain. In keeping with the region’s physical and cultural backdrop, a decision was taken to use ceramic tiles for the construction of the employment center as this material is one of the Valencia’s flagship manufacturing products. The jury praised the use of large-format tiles as a quintessential feature of the building’s façade. They also highlighted the use of a single surface material, applied as an exterior cladding to support the sustainability and hygiene throughout the facilities interior and exterior environments.

Architecture Special Mention– Malaga University’s Faculty of Psychology and Speech Therapy by Llps Architects’ Studio

Interior Design- Living in a Coderch by Estudio Vilablanch (pictured)

Living in Coderch was a full renovation of an apartment in the emblematic Banco Urquijo building nestled in Barcelona, Spain. During the restoration of the flat, Estudio Vilablanch recaptured the essence of José Antonio Coderch’s architecture and contemporary style. Here, the jury celebrated the interior design scheme that enhanced the spirit of Coderch’s unique aesthetic. The judging panel also noted the exceptional choice of materials and meticulous care with which the design plan was executed.

Interior Design Special Mentions- JM55 by BURR and Cal Garrofa by Julia Tarnawski & Albert Guerra

Final Degree Project- Castilla La MaRcha. A resort for Motivated Spain by Gonzalo López Elorriaga (Madrid School of Architecture)

Castilla la MaRcha is a new-wave resort blueprint, devised to revitalize the rural Spanish neighborhood of Peralvillo. The design plan focuses on rejuvenating the vacant town with the leisure and entertainment typically found in highly populated cities. The jury found Gonzalo López Elorriaga’s proposal to use traditional tiles in a modern and unorthodox setting, ground-breaking. The resort’s design concept focuses on taking guests on a journey through Spain’s past, present and future with the help of strategically placed and thoughtfully designed ceramic installations.

Final Degree Special Mentions- A civic centre and temporary accommodation in La Asunción former factory by Mariona Dalmau Benavent (La Salle School of Architecture) and Hortus Conclusus by Teresa Clara Martínez López (Madrid School of Architecture)

The panel of judges was chaired by Barcelona based architect, Carlos Ferrater of OAB. Judging alongside Ferrater was Fermín Vazques, Director of b720, Jamie Sanahuja, Director of Sanahuja & Partners, Alicia Fernándes, Interior Designer at Alicia Fernández Interiorismo, José Ma Marzo Director of Tectónica­ and Ángel Pitarch President of the Colegio Territorial de Arquitectos de Castellón (CTAC).

You may also be interested in this article: NBMDA Announces 2022 Board of Directors

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Cambria Introduces Inverness Collection

Posted on 13 December 2021 by cradmin

Cambria, a Minnesota-based, family-owned manufacturer of quartz surfaces, recently released its newest collection of designs. The Inverness™ designs feature innovative technology and gently textured debossing throughout the veining. The four new designs in the collection are inspired by forces of nature that change the landscape. Featuring debossed veining and gently textured compositions, these designs capture the beauty of disruptions in nature.

The Inverness Collection consists of:

  • Inverness Cobalt – Stormy-blue veins with subtle flares fracture a cool white canvas.
  • Inverness Gold – Molten gold veins fracture a cool white canvas.
  • Inverness Bronze – Deep bronze veins with rosy undertones fracture a cool white canvas.
  • Inverness Platinum – Soft charcoal veins scattered with hints of silver fracture a cool white canvas.

According to the company Cambria quartz surfaces are distinctively durable, nonabsorbent and easy to maintain. The company also backs its products with robust service and support and a transferable Full Lifetime Warranty.

You may also be interested in this article: Join.It Surfacing Adhesive Offers Free Dispensing Guns for the Holidays

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MSI Celebrates Groundbreaking of New Las Vegas Showroom

Posted on 10 December 2021 by cradmin4

M S International, Inc. (MSI), a supplier of flooring, countertops, wall tile, and hardscaping products, announced the groundbreaking of its newest showroom and distribution center located in Las Vegas. Construction has started on the new 163,000 sq. ft. facility, which will serve Nevada residential and commercial markets. The showroom is scheduled to open in the fall of 2022.

The new facility will welcome trade professionals and consumers to make the best product and design decisions for their specific needs. The Vegas showroom will feature products developed around lifestyles, trends and budgets. complete with a state-of-the-art indoor slab area featuring Q Premium Natural Quartz and Natural Stone as well as bestselling products like Everlife LVT, Woodhills waterproof wood, Smithcliffs waterproof hybrid rigid core and Arterra Porcelain Pavers.

Paul Urbanczyk, Las Vegas Branch Leader for MSI commented, “I’m excited that after years of consistent growth and increased market share in the Las Vegas market, we are physically expanding which will give our customers the ability to browse our huge product line locally. MSI has a lot to offer and we see huge opportunity in this growing market.”

You may also be interested in this article: KBIS 2022 Introduces New Kickstarter Zone

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University of Ceramic Tile & Stone Announces New Online Course

Posted on 07 December 2021 by cradmin4

The University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS) is now offering “The Complete Guide on Developing Tile & Stone Specifications with Architects” course. The course provides students with detailed information on how architectural sales representatives can get their tile and stone products specified with “Bullet Proof Specifications” meaning resistant to “Value Engineering and Substitutions.” Students completing the course will learn the selection process, types of architectural specifications, architectural specification structure, getting your products specified and communication skills.

The content of the course is based on years of successful architectural sales by sales representatives who have sold many high-profile projects around the country. It is rated at an average of 7 hours to complete. The course cost is $300.00 per student (or two-member discounted tuitions from CTDA, NTCA, TTMAC, or Fuse Alliance).

Once registered, students have 14 days to complete the course, which is accessible online, 24/7. Students can print a personalized certificate once they have passed all lesson assessments with a score of 80 percent or better. Upon passing the course the student is provided a link to download a student reference guide that contains all of the key information from that respective course.

You may also be interested in this article: Natural Stone University Offers Internship Resources for Stone Companies

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KBIS 2022 Introduces New Kickstarter Zone

Posted on 04 December 2021 by cradmin4

The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) announced the new KBIS Kickstarter Zone, offering new-to-market residential design and construction brands (who have not previously exhibited at KBIS) the opportunity to purchase a special introductory exhibit package. The new feature will be included on the KBB Discovery District Tour as well as featured on the floor plan and directory. It will be located in the heart of the South Hall Discovery District. The event takes place at the Orange County Convention Center from February 8 – 10, 2022 in Orlando, Fla. 

Kickstarter Zone exhibitors will receive free entry into a special KBIS Kickstarter Competition. Participating exhibitors will be invited to present to key industry leaders, outlining what makes their products unique and innovative. Winners will receive media exposure and cash prizes. A “People’s Choice Award” will allow attendees to vote for their favorite Kickstarter brand.  

“We are pleased to offer new to KBIS and new-to-the-market brands the opportunity to experience KBIS with a full package of benefits,” said Jason McGraw, Group Vice President, KBIS. “Our attendees appreciate the opportunity to discover new offerings and this program allows new brands the chance to get involved early. This is a win-win for all.” 

You may also be interested in this article: University of Ceramic Tile & Stone Announces New Online Course

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