Tag Archive | "MIA+BSI: The Natural Stone Institute"

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MIA+BSI Members Vote Yes to Merger

Posted on 01 December 2017 by cradmin

mia bsi natural stone institute logoWith a vote of 565 to 25, the memberships of Marble Institute of America (MIA) and Building Stone Institute (BSI) have overwhelmingly decided to authorize a historic merger of North America’s two most prominent stone associations. Effective January 1, 2018, the combined association will formally be known as the Natural Stone Institute, a name widely used during the two year joint venture.

The Natural Stone Institute would like to thank those members who voted and everyone who has participated in the dialogue about the merger. Your trust, support and guidance has helped make this merger possible. Together, members will continue with resolve to provide the best technical, educational, and promotional support for the growing membership and the natural stone industry, as well as expand outreach to the design community. As a result the Natural Stone Institute now has the combined assets to become the largest and most influential natural stone association in the world.

The combined staff emphasized that they share the members’ passion to advance the industry. Natural Stone Institute has a dynamic team of dedicated people who have come together over the past two years to prove this union can work, and that merging is the best move for the industry.

In 2018, David Carnevale (Carnevale & Lohr) will serve as the first president of this merged organization. Greg Osterhout (Northern Stone Supply) will serve as vice president, Robert Zavagno (Cleveland Marble Mosaic Co) will serve as secretary, and Kathy Spanier (Coldspring) will serve as treasurer.

Carnevale commented: “I look forward to serving as first president of the Natural Stone Institute. I want to thank the many current and past industry leaders from BSI and MIA who had the foresight to see what was possible with a merger. The Natural Stone Institute is well positioned to further advance the combined association’s role as a technical and educational leader. We will continue to offer a wide array of opportunities for networking with both industry and design professionals.”

The membership of the combined association will exceed 2,000 members. The leadership will focus on technical and education initiatives intended to further advance the use of natural stone. A new association logo will officially debut at TISE 2018 in January.

You may also be interested in this article about Architectural Surfaces Group

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MSI Donates to R.I.S.E. Program in Support of Wounded Veteran

Posted on 10 November 2017 by cradmin

M S International Inc. (MSI), North American supplier of surfacing products, donated to the Gary Sinise Foundation’s Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment (R.I.S.E.) program to help a wounded veteran and his family.

On October 10, 2017, US Air Force Senior Airman Brandon Byers (Ret.) and his family were presented with an iPad for their specially adapted smart home, which was built by the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program. MSI personnel, along with many others, were on hand to help celebrate the event.

MSI proudly donated surfacing materials to the specially designed McKinney, Texas home through their membership in MIA+BSI (the Natural Stone Institute). MIA+BSI supports the R.I.S.E. program by providing natural stone materials, fabrication and installation for homes designed for severely wounded veterans and their families.

Several of MSI’s surfaces are featured in the home. Fantasy Brown marble countertops were installed in the master bath, and Augusta White marble counters in the kitchen. Laundry room counters are covered in Silvestre Gray granite and Black Pearl was used for the kitchen office nook.

You may also be interested in this article about the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

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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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MIA+BSI Adds Silicosis Training Resource to Natural Stone University

Posted on 04 August 2017 by cradmin

miabsi-natural-stone-universityMIA+BSI: The Natural Stone Institute has added a new silicosis training resource to the Natural Stone University. This resource, entitled “Silicosis: An Industry Guide to Awareness and Prevention,” is divided into three sections:
• What Is Silicosis?: An Industry Guide to Awareness and Prevention
• Air Quality Test Methods
• Safety Precautions for Workers

“This is an important addition to our library of online safety resources,” said Aaron Dahnke, MIA+BSI Education Manager. “This training tool serves as a review and opportunity to update the people who work in our industry about this preventable illness.”

Overexposure to respirable crystalline silica particles can lead to serious, sometimes fatal illnesses including silicosis, lung cancer, tuberculosis (in those with silicosis), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In addition, silica exposure has been linked to other illnesses including renal disease and other cancers. Silicosis is a progressive disease and there is no cure upon its onset. Minimizing your exposure to respirable crystalline silica is the key to prevention.

Shop owners who have implemented strict new housekeeping rules and controls have been able to achieve levels that are below the new OSHA Action Level (25 µg/m³). The effective date for OSHA’s new silica exposure standard for General Industry (fabricators) is June 23, 2018. The Construction Standard, covering workers in the field, becomes enforceable September 23, 2017.

To access this resource, visit www.naturalstoneinstitute.org/university

You may also be interested in this Health & Safety Watch article regarding silica exposure.

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MIA+BSI Releases Quartzite Technical Bulletin

Posted on 27 July 2017 by cradmin

A new technical bulletin about quartzite has been added to MIA+BSI’s Natural Stone Resource Library.



The bulletin, written by geologist and educator Karin Kirk, covers properties of quartzite, understanding the difference between quartzite and other stones, and basic diagnostic tests that can be used to determine whether or not a stone is a genuine quartzite.

To access this technical bulletin and other free technical resources, visit naturalstoneinstitute.org/resourcelibrary.

You may also be interested in this article Antolini Introduces Multicolored ‘Fusion WOW’ Quartzite.

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MIA+BSI Natural Stone University Expands Spanish Courses

Posted on 02 June 2017 by cradmin

MIA+BSI Natural Stone UniversityMIA+BSI: The Natural Stone Institute has announced the expansion of Spanish course offerings available online through the Natural Stone University. To date, Spanish versions of all Safe Slab Handling courses and the Basics of OSHA Compliance course have been uploaded. In addition, 42 Spanish Toolbox Talks are now available, covering a wide variety of safety topics.

Funding for the translation of these materials was sponsored in part by Laticrete. According to MIA+BSI Education Manager, Aaron Dahnke, the addition of these courses is crucial to helping the University reach a broader sector of the industry.

You may also be interested in this article about Safe + Sound Week.

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Kathy Spanier Receives MIA+BSI Person of the Year Award

Posted on 03 March 2017 by cradmin

MIA+BSI Person of the Year

Kathy Spanier with 2016 BSI President Aaron Hicken and 2016 MIA President David Castellucci.

Kathy Spanier, Director of Marketing for Coldspring in Cold Spring, Minn,, was the recipient of the 2016 MIA+BSI Person of the Year Award. Spanier received the award at the MIA+BSI Awards Luncheon at TISE.

With more than 35 years of marketing experience, Spanier has spent the past decade advocating for advancing leadership and sustainability within the natural stone industry. She serves as chair of the Natural Stone Council’s Committee on Sustainability and has been a driving force in having NSC 373 recognized by the Living Building Challenge, the US Green Building Council, and other regulatory groups. She has been a member of the BSI Board of Directors since 2013 and currently serves on the joint MIA+BSI Board.

Spanier serves on the steering committee for MIA+BSI’s Women in Stone initiative. She has also been active in launching the Women in Stone Mentorship Program, which pairs industry veterans with newcomers, providing an important opportunity to build relationships and learn about the industry.

You may also be interested in this article about ISFA’s Annual Award winners.


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MIA+BSI Announces 2016 Pinnacle Award Winners

Posted on 03 February 2017 by cradmin

MIA+BSI Pinnacle Awards 2016

Representatives from Polycor, Twin City Tile and Marble, Italmarble Pocai, Tennessee Marble Company, Cutting Edge Stone, and Bonstone with Janina Mathiasz (Veronafiere), 2016 MIA President David Castellucci, and 2016 BSI President Aaron Hicken.

MIA+BSI Natural Stone Institute announced the winners of the 2016 Pinnacle Awards at the MIA+BSI Awards Luncheon at TISE 2017 in Las Vegas. For the 9th year, a Grande Pinnacle Award was presented to the best overall project. The 2016 Grande Pinnacle Award was presented to the six companies responsible for the Minnesota State Capitol renovation: Polycor, Twin City Tile and Marble, Italmarble Pocai, Tennessee Marble Company, Cutting Edge Stone and Bonstone. This marks the first time in the program’s history that multiple companies have been honored with this award.

The Minnesota State Capitol restoration is one of the largest and most complex restoration projects in the United States. The project architects used the same White Georgia marble selected by the building’s first architect, Cass Gilbert, 115 years ago. Success in communication between all stone team members resulted in less than a 1 percent fabrication error rate and kept the stone schedule on time and within budget.

MIA+BSI expressed its thanks to the contributors of the 2016 Pinnacle Awards: MAPEI (Commercial Awards), GranQuartz (Residential Awards), Coldspring (Renovation/Restoration Awards), Vitoria Stone Fair-Marmomac Latin America (Kitchen and Bath of the Year Awards), and Marmomac (Grande Pinnacle Award). The 2016 Pinnacle Awards are as follows:

Pinnacle Awards of Excellence
Renovation/Restoration: Polycor, Twin City Tile and Marble, Italmarble Pocai, Tennessee Marble Company, Cutting Edge Stone and Bonstone for the Minnesota State Capitol Restoration.
Renovation/Restoration: Rugo Stone of Lorton, VA for the UVA Rotunda Renovation in Charlottesville, VA.
Commercial Interior: Camarata Masonry Systems of Houston for Energy Center III of Houston.
Commercial Exterior: JMS Jura Marble Suppliers of Eichstaett, Germany for Talan Towers of Astana, Kazakhstan
Bath of the Year: Ceramic Harmony International, Inc. in Huntsville, Ala. for Mitchell Master Bath in Huntsville, Ala.
Kitchen of the Year: United Marble Fabricators in Watertown, Mass. for Private Residence in Weston, Mass.

Pinnacle Awards of Merit
Renovation/Restoration: Coldspring in Cold Spring, Minn. for St. Francis of Assisi Church inStaunton, Va.
Renovation/Restoration: Ford Marble and Tile in New Athens, Ill. for The Arcade in St. Louis, Mo.
Renovation/Restoration: Vermont Stone Art in Barre, Vt. for 9 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, Mass.
Residential Interior/Exterior: Stonrich Pte Ltd. In Singapore for Peirce Hill Residence in Singapore.
Residential Interior/Exterior: Marmi Natural Stone in Norcross, Ga for Monumental Staircase in Washington, DC.
Commercial Interior: ASI Stone Imports in Chelsea, Ala. for Inspiration Slope/Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
Commercial Interior: Rugo Stone in Lorton, Va. For Hungarian Chapel in Washington, Dc.
Commercial Exterior: Coldspring in Cold Spring, Minn. for National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.
Commercial Exterior: PICCO Engineering in Concord, Ontario, Canada for Aga Khan Park in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Commercial Exterior: KEPCO+ in Salt Lake City, for Indianapolis Temple in Carmel, Ind.
Commercial Exterior: Red Leaf Stone in Vancouver, BC for The Vermeer in Vancouver, BC.

You may also be interested in this article on the recent ISFA Annual Awards.

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MIA+BSI Welcome 3 New MIA Board Members

Posted on 03 January 2017 by cradmin

mia bsi natural stone institute logoMIA+BSI announced that three individuals have been elected to the thirteen-person MIA Board of Directors. These individuals will also serve on the transitional MIA+BSI Board of Directors during the second year of the joint venture.

Duane Naquin, CEO of Stone Interiors, an MIA Accredited fabrication /installation company in Gaston, SC, will represent Zone 3 (Southeast: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee). Naquin is an MIA+BSI CEU speaker, Women in Stone mentor, and is actively involved in the education program. Naquin replaces Jon Lancto, who will remain on the board as 2017 MIA President.

Herwig Callewier, Chairman of Beltrami N.V., a natural stone producer and wholesale company located in Belgium, will represent Zone 10 (Europe). Callewier is founding member and now president of Febenat, an association which furthers the natural stone industry in Belgium and Holland. He is also involved with the WTCB Belgian Technical Institute’s stone committee and the World Natural Stone Association. Callewier replaces Claus Larsen (DANSK Srl), who served on the MIA Board for five years.

Ali Kader, President and CEO of Egy-Mar International, a quarry and supply company based in Egypt in Dubai, will represent Zone 11 (Africa, Asia, Australia, Middle East, and Philippines). Kader is the founding member of the World Natural Stone Association and has been involved with the Egypt Expo & Convention Authority, the Federation of Egyptian Industries, Marble Sector, and the Marble & Granite Investors Association. Kader replaces Arik Grebelsky (A.Grebelsky & Son), who served on the MIA Board for five years.

2016 MIA President David Castellucci (Kenneth Castellucci & Associates) expressed his gratitude to the two outgoing board members, saying: “We are most appreciative of the work done by both Claus and Arik during their time on the MIA Board of Directors. With their help, we have made great strides to become a more inclusive and international association. We welcome the three new board members and look forward to what the future will bring for our combined organization.”


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MIA+BSI Launches Natural Stone University

Posted on 05 December 2016 by cradmin

miabsi-natural-stone-universityMIA+BSI  announced the launch of the Natural Stone University, an online education tool for stone industry professionals. Safety will be the primary focus during the first phase of the Natural Stone University. All safety courses and materials have been made available free of charge, courtesy of the MIA+BSI safety committee. Courses include modules on safe slab handling, installation, OSHA compliance, and CNC operation. Toolbox Talks are also available. Each course includes video and written components, as well as a closing quiz to test knowledge gained from the course. The system will also record transcripts for all who pass tests and meet competency for the courses. Courses can be taken by individuals or downloaded by managers to be administered in group settings.

2016 MIA Vice President Jon Lancto commented: “Our industry will be thrilled to offer this groundbreaking, consistent, and verifiable method to teach and test competency of employees and associates. This tool will cover everything from safety to sealers and will expand over time to meet all the needs of our industry.” Nate Schultz (Innovative Surfaces, Inc.) remarked: “I became involved with this initiative because I thought it was the missing link, an opportunity to provide others with a resource that I wished would have been around years ago. By providing your staff the opportunity to partake in these courses you can feel confident that their career in the stone industry is being built on the proper foundation.” MIA+BSI Education Manager Aaron Dahnke stated: “Our goal is to create a safer and more productive workforce through education.” The next phase of courses will include quarrier safety. Visit www.naturalstoneinstitute.org/university to view available courses.


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