Tag Archive | "MIA"

StoneTalk Episode 40: Jon Lancto

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StoneTalk Episode 40: Jon Lancto

Posted on 21 June 2018 by CRadmin2

In this all-new episode of Moraware’s StoneTalk podcast, host Patrick Foley speaks with Jon Lancto of Artisan Group and the Marble Institute of America (MIA). Among the wide variety of topics discussed are the following:

  • Sharing best practices and buying power across companies
  • The trend toward paperless
  • A simple way to reconcile inventory
  • Ever increasing quality

Read the full transcript of this episode here: StoneTalk Episode 40 – Jon Lancto

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Natural Stone Resource Library Surpasses 50,000 Downloads

Posted on 01 September 2017 by cradmin

design-professional-resourcesMIA+BSI’s Natural Stone Resource Library has reached a new milestone of 50,000 downloads. Launched in 2015, the library houses all MIA+BSI technical documents, as well as resources from other industry associations. There are currently 272 documents available. All resources can be downloaded free of charge. The Library has become a trusted resource not only for stone companies, but also for architects, designers, and construction professionals.

MIA President Jon Lancto (Big Fish Consulting) commented “50,000 downloads makes a clear statement that the Natural Stone Resource Library has become our industry’s go-to source for information about natural stone.” BSI President Daniel Wood (Lurvey Supply) agreed stating “This incredible resource, a collection of the most comprehensive, up-to-date natural stone information in the industry, is the most valuable resource we offer. We encourage the industry to take full advantage of this free resource in order to be successful in specifying and utilizing natural stone.”

You may also be interested in this article MIA+BSI Adds Silicosis Training Resource to Natural Stone University.


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StoneTalk Episode 35: Jim Hieb

Posted on 27 June 2017 by cradmin

In episode 35 of Moraware’s StoneTalk podcast, Jim Hieb of the Marble Institute of America (MIA) speaks with host Patrick Foley on a multitude of subjects, including all of the following:

  • The role of associations in the countertop industry
  • How to comply with new OSHA regulations
  • Why you should create a safe workplace and how
  • The vast training library of MIA+BSI

Read the full transcript of this episode here: StoneTalk Episode 35 – Jim Hieb

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MIA+BSI Continues Support of Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. Program

Posted on 14 June 2017 by cradmin

Gary Sinise Foundation

Gary Sinise Foundation dedicates new smart home to wounded Marine veteran

MIA+BSI continues to support the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment). Through this program, MIA+BSI members provide natural stone materials, fabrication and installation for specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and their families nationwide.

MIA President Jon Lancto (Big Fish Consulting) notes that this a worthwhile cause for the association: “What better cause could our organization be involved with that allows the participation of our members in distribution, fabrication, and installation?”  Judith Otter, Executive Director of the Gary Sinise Foundation feels honored to recognize the service of the veterans in the R.I.S.E program.

MIA+BSI would like to thank the following companies that have supported this initiative:

MARVA Marble & Granite, Trindco, Pyramid Marble & Granite, AG&M, Rugo Stone, Delta Granite & Marble, M S International, Dee Brown, Inc., Daltile, ROCKin’teriors, Marble Line, Arizona Tile, Pental Surfaces, Floform, Marjan Stone, Big Creek Granite, Granite Group, Florida Bath & Surfaces, Inc., Mont Granite, Distinctive Marble & Granite, Global Granite & Marble, Murphy Marble, Acorn Granite & Marble, Duracite, and TexaStone Quarries.

You may also be interested in this article Fabricator Profile: Qualey Granite & Quartz Cares About Community.

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Fabricator Profile: Solid Surfaces Inc. Stays on the Cutting Edge

Posted on 27 January 2017 by cradmin

Screen-Shot-2016-01-12-at-8.17.12-AMSolid Surfaces Inc. was one of the first solid-surface fabricators to automate its shop, and the company takes pride in staying on the cutting edge of surface materials and fabrication processes. After updating the business’s software, Mitch Makowski, president of Solid Surfaces Inc., found that he and his team could communicate more efficiently, which streamlined the entire fabrication process.

To keep Solid Surfaces Inc. at the forefront of technology, the company formed a partnership with DuPont to field test new processes for fabricators, and the technicians at Solid Surfaces have been able to provide feedback that has helped shape and refine these techniques.

For the last 30 years, Solid Surfaces Inc. has been headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., and today, the original shop is accompanied by a sister facility in Buffalo with a separate division, Florida Surfaces LLC, located in Orlando. The company is accredited by the Marble Institute of America (MIA) and is a member of The Artisan Group.

Read more of this Fabricator Profile here: Solid Surfaces Inc. – Customer Profile

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MIA+BSI Releases Dimension Stone Design Manual, Version 8.0

Posted on 03 June 2016 by cradmin

mia bsi natural stone institute logoMIA+BSI: The Natural Stone Institute released the Dimension Stone Design Manual, Version 8.0, the stone industry’s single-source reference for dimension stone design and construction facts and details. Major revisions and additions to version 8.0 include a new “Restoration and Maintenance” chapter consisting of 122 pages covering equipment, repairs, sealers, restorative processes, and working with commercial and historic buildings. In addition, a 16 page “Troubleshooting Chart” containing over 128 photos illustrating common problems and solutions is included. The “Tolerances” chapter incorporates the September 2014 technical bulletin “Tolerances in the Dimension Stone Industry” and all tolerances references from previous DSDM editions. This new chapter is formatted as an easy-to-read chart divided into three sectors: stone fabrication, installation, and substrate condition tolerances. The revised “Wet Areas” chapter incorporates the 2013 Wet Areas Technical Module and 19 additional pages of large scale detail drawings. The revised chapter includes residential and commercial application details, conformance to current water vapor permeance standards and endorsement of current ASTM, ANSI, and TCNA methods and standards.

MIA+BSI Technical Director, Chuck Muehlbauer, stated: “The Cleaning, Maintenance, and Restoration chapters of the Dimension Stone Design Manual were the only two chapters that had not received significant revision in the past 10 years. This fact, coupled with the realization that the restoration sector of the industry is currently the fastest growing sector of MIA+BSI membership, made this project an essential improvement to our manual.” Keith Graves (Arc Granite & Marble), who was instrumental in completing the new Restoration and Maintenance chapter, commented: “I really think that this document will be an asset to the industry and it is my hope to have it serve as a standard to preserve the integrity of the industry.”

Following the publication of version 8.0, MIA+BSI is working on the first-ever translations of the manual. Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin translations are now underway as a means to enhance the applicability of the association’s technical resources. The launch of the association’s online Natural Stone Resource Library in 2015 affords architects and designers easy access to this information. To date, nearly 12,000 downloads have occurred, with the highest percentages being information from the Dimension Stone Design Manual.

The Dimension Stone Design Manual, Version 8.0 can be purchased in the association bookstore. It is also available for download in the Members Only section of the website and the Natural Stone Resource Library.


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Suzanne Marzullo Receives Natural Stone Scholarship

Posted on 18 April 2016 by cradmin

Suzanne Marzullo 2015 MIA Natural Stone Scholarship AwardEvery year the MIA+BSI, Natural Stone Institute awards scholarships and presents awards to craftsmen for their outstanding work in the surfacing industry. This year Suzanne Marzullo was presented with the 2015 MIA Natural Stone Scholarship Award.

Marzullo is a sales manager at Dente Classic Stone in Pittsburgh. She joined the company in 2014 and was quickly promoted to Sales Manager for her leadership skills and interior design expertise.

You may also be interested in this article about the TISE “Best Of” awards.

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MIA Women in Stone Mentorship Program Debuts at Coverings

Posted on 14 April 2016 by cradmin

The Marble Institute of America (MIA) announced the implementation of its Women in Stone Mentorship Program. The program pairs industry veterans with newcomers to provide an opportunity to build relationships in the stone industry. Each pair will receive monthly guidance emails throughout the six month program to help them get to know each other and their respective career goals. The guidance emails will provide reminders and help ensure engagement and success in the program. Mentorship topics will include stone industry knowledge, sales, marketing and communication, technical knowledge, management, leadership and career advancement. Pairs will be matched and guidance will begin in early May 2016. Registration deadline for the program is April 27, 2016. Late registrations will not be accepted.

The Women in Stone Mentorship Program will debut at Coverings with a Speed Mentoring Workshop on Wednesday, April 20 from 1:30 to 3pm. The workshop, led by Julie Kantor of Twomentor, will give attendees the chance to participate in an organized rotation to build relationships and establish a network of peers within the stone industry. This is also a great opportunity to get to know some of the potential mentors/mentees in the six month program. To register for this free workshop, visit www.coverings.com.

There will also be a celebration for four Women in Stone honorees on April 20 in the Stanley Field Hall at Chicago’s Field Museum from 6:30pm to 11:00 pm. Black Equinox: A VIP Event sponsored by Polycor and in collaboration with Women in Stone and Texastone Quarries, where cocktails, wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Enjoy conversation with stone and design industry influencers, talk on the seductive black trends in design and architecture, and enjoy a live Japanese drumming performance from Kodo. Registration is required.

You may also be interested in attending the Park Industries Digital Stoneworking Expo or viewing other opportunities coming up on our Calendar of Events.


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MIA 2015 Natural Stone Craftsman of the Year Announced

Posted on 04 April 2016 by cradmin

craftsman of the yearRegis Studeny was recently named the MIA 2015 Natural Stone Craftsman of the Year. Studeny began his career as an apprentice at Georgia Marble and Atlas Tile and Marble. Some of his very first projects were on the Library of Congress and the National Gallery of Art. Since joining Rugo Stone in 1993, Studeny’s work has been honored with awards from organizations such as the International Masonry Institute, the Washington Building Congress, the Baltimore Building Congress and the American Institute of Architects.

You may also be interested in this article on the Tile of Spain Award winners.

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OSHA Finalizes New Silica Rule Amid Concern

Posted on 25 March 2016 by cradmin

On March 24, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) finalized the revised federal rule for limiting the exposure of workers to crystalline silica, which is known to cause an array of medical conditions, including silicosis, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

OSHA believes the new rule will save more than 600 lives, prevent 900 cases of silicosis each year and provide a net annual savings of $7.7 billion. However, many individuals and organizations in the construction and building industries say putting more effort into enforcing the old rule would have gone further to protect the health of workers without increasing the cost of construction/renovation.

Provisions of the New Silica Standards

According to the OSHA Silica Web portal and the OSHA Fact Sheet Workers’ Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica: Final Rule Overview, the new rule is comprised of two separate standards: one for the construction industry and one for maritime and general industry. The four key provisions:

  1. The permissible exposure limit (PEL) for crystalline silica has been reduced from 250 micrograms per cubic meter to 50 micrograms per cubic meter in an eight-hour period.
  1. Employers are required to limit worker exposure to silica through engineering controls, personal protective equipment (PPE) and controlled access to areas with high concentrations. In addition, employers must develop a written exposure-control program, and train employees on the hazards of silica and how to limit exposure.
  1. Employers are required to monitor the health of workers with high exposure potential by providing regular medical examinations and information on lung health.
  1. The rule has some flexibility for OSHA to help employers, especially small businesses, comply with the rule and protect workers from silica exposure.

The new rule goes into effect on June 23 of this year (2016), but staggered schedules have been set with various industries to comply with the requirements.

  • Construction: One year – June 23, 2017
  • Maritime and General Industry: Two years – June 23, 2018
  • Hydraulic fracturing (fracking): Five years for engineering controls, two years for all other provisions

OSHA Defends New Rule

OSHA defends the new federal rule for silica exposure limits by stating that approximately 2.3 million workers in the United States are exposed to crystalline silica on the job and that the current PEL is more than 40 years old. According to OSHA, the old limit is based on research from the 1960s, and new evidence has emerged since that time to indicate the old limit does not adequately protect workers. In addition, the administration claims the technology to comply with the rule is readily available and affordable.

“We’ve known for over 40 years that it needed to be strengthened, and it has taken 40 years to strengthen it,” said Secretary of Labor Tom Perez. “Many people who are going to work right now and breathing unacceptable levels of silica dust are in for a brighter future. The science says we need to be at 50, so that’s what the final rule will say.”

“Silica is a killer, and employers need to take the necessary steps so that they can reduce exposure,” continued Perez. “And the good news is that those necessary steps are not going to break the bank. It’s real simple stuff. Get a vacuum. Get water. Those are the key elements of pretty simple compliance.”

Industries Respond

Several industry groups have opposed the new silica ruling since it was first proposed back in 2013, and the largest opponent is a partnership of 25 trade associations called the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC), which includes the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the Marble Institute of America (MIA) and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).

Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO of the AGC, has expressed his dismay over the new rule speaking on behalf of his entire organization. “Instead of crafting new and innovative ways to get more firms to comply with the current silica standard, which we know would save even more workers each year, administration officials appear to have instead opted to set a new standard that is well beyond the capabilities of current air filtration and dust removal technologies,” stated Sandherr. “Wishing firms could meet this new but unattainable standard will undoubtedly deliver many positive headlines for the administration, but it will be all but impossible for most construction firms to comply with this new rule.”

“We will continue our exhaustive review of this new regulation, consult with our members and decide on a future course of action that will best serve the health and safety of millions of construction workers across the country,” Sandherr concluded.

The NAHB held back its resentment but echoed the sentiments of the AGC. “NAHB has long advocated the importance of the rule being both technologically and economically feasible,” said Ed Brady, chair of the NAHB. “While we’re still reviewing the final rule, we’re concerned that it may not adequately address these issues and take into consideration real-world application.”

Jeff Buczkiewicz, president of the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA), is also concerned about the feasibility of the new OSHA rule. “At first glance, we have observed that a number of provisions that concerned us in the proposed rule have been left in the final rule. This makes us continue to question the final rule’s technological and economic feasibility for the construction industry,” said Buczkiewicz. “In addition, OSHA has added several new provisions not in the proposed rule that we have not had a chance to thoroughly review and consider the impacts. Once we complete our review, we will be able to be more specific about what was released today.”

The exception to the negative response to the new rule among the industry comes from the trade unions. The North America Building Trades Union (NABTU) issued the following response: “North America’s Building Trades Union is pleased OSHA has issued the final silica standard. Put simply, the OSHA silica standard will protect construction workers from getting sick or dying due to silica dust exposure.”

The AFL-CIO is also onboard with the new rule. “We applaud the Obama administration for issuing these lifesaving measures and commend Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels for their tremendous leadership and dedication to bring the silica rules to completion,” read the official AFL-CIO statement. “The labor movement has fought for these standards for decades. We will continue to fight to defend these rules from the certain industry attacks that will come so that workers are finally protected from this deadly dust.”

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