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Distelhorst to Retire as CEO of MIA

Posted on 08 August 2012 by cradmin

Garis “Gary” Distelhorst, CAE, executive vice president & CEO of the Marble Institute of America (MIA) since 2002, will retire Dec. 31, 2012, after an accomplished 43-year career as a senior-level association executive. The MIA Board of Directors has named James Hieb, CAE, the association’s vice president, as his successor. Hieb will become MIA’s executive vice president Jan. 1, 2013.

A Certified Association Executive, Distelhorst received the association industry’s highest honor, the Key Award, in 1984 from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). He was Chairman of the ASAE Board of Directors from 1995 to 1996 and Chair of the Board of Directors of the ASAE Foundation from 1992 to 1993.

Distelhorst’s 11-year leadership of MIA helped transform the association. Among his initiatives and achievements are:

  • Building MIA’s membership from 600 in 2001 to nearly 1,500;
  • Establishing the first professional accreditation for stone fabricators and installers;
  • Overseeing development of safety training programs;
  • Creating awards programs to recognize stone excellence and craftsmanship;
  • Expanding the MIA’s library of technical publications, videos, and Web information resources for stone professionals and specifiers;
  • Developing a regional education program plus stone education at Coverings, KBIS and AIA;
  • Creating stone  promotion campaigns and an array of consumer education materials; and
  • Helping to organize the Natural Stone Council, a federation of stone industry associations that work on common industry issues like sustainability.

Stasswender believes that Distelhorst’s leadership and member focus have transformed the MIA. “Gary made the MIA a professional organization,” said Bob Stasswender, president of Southwest Marble & Granite. “His first and foremost concern has always been, ‘what value are we giving members in return for the dollars they spend?’”

“It’s been an extraordinary honor and privilege to lead MIA during this time of growth, challenge and change. I am deeply proud of all we’ve achieved and grateful to the board, to MIA members and to my staff for all the support I have received. I am also especially happy about the many friends I’ve made in this noble industry,” Distelhorst said. “The Board has made a superb choice in selecting Jim Hiebto be executive vice president. He will be an excellent leader. I look forward to a successful transition and helping Jim take the reins of this wonderful organization.”

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