Tag Archive | "Networking"

Cosentino Hosts ISFA Pre-IWF Networking Event

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Cosentino Hosts ISFA Pre-IWF Networking Event

Posted on 31 July 2018 by cradmin

Attendees of the ISFA Countertops & Architectural Surfaces Symposium, as well as anyone interested in surfacing fabrication, are invited to attend a Pre-IWF Networking Event hosted by Cosentino from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday August 21.

Interested parties will gather at the CNN Building, just across the street from the Atlanta Congress Center, at approximately 4:15 p.m. and Cosentino will provide transportation to and from its Atlanta Cosentino Center. Cocktails and appetizers will be served, and a tour of the facility will be provided.

There is no cost to attend.

To RSVP or for more information CLICK HERE

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Marmomacc 2015 to Hold Stone Industry Leadership Reception

Posted on 17 August 2015 by cradmin

The Marble Institute of America (MIA) announced that it will host a Stone Industry Leadership Reception, along with Stone World magazine and Informa Exhibitions, at Marmomacc 2015 in Verona, Italy. The reception is Oct. 1 at the Verona Exhibition Center. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with stone professionals from around the world, find out about upcoming trade shows and hear about new projects. There will also be a wine tasting, courtesy of Tommasi Family Estates and hors d’oeuvres will be served. There is no charge for the reception. However, registration is required by Sept. 15.

Those interested can visit www.marble-institute.com/marmomacc for more information.

You may also be interested in this article on the Coverings trade show.

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ISFA To Put On ‘Knowledge Is Power’ Business Event

Posted on 11 April 2014 by cradmin

ISFA is introducing a new educational event it is calling “Knowledge is Power 2014″  that will be held May 14 and 15 in Pittsburgh. The event will feature presentations by and interaction with eight industry experts. Comprising a mix of presentations, Q&A and open discussions, the event is intended to focus on effectively managing fabrication businesses.

Speakers include: Russ Berry, president of A.S.S.T., who specializes in project planning and estimating; Aileen Davis, president of Stone Marketing Systems, who specializes in marketing and networking; Harry Hollander, president of Moraware, who specializes in data management; Jason Nottestad, sales manager for VT Industries, who specializes in manufacturing technologies; Jeff Schurman, consultant at Leading Causes, who specializes in leadership and organizational development; Michael Wood, manager at Education Management Corporation, who specializes in change dynamics; and Chuck Sawyer, executive director of ISFA, who specializes in financial management.

According to ISFA, it is targeting a level of around 20 participants – large enough to ensure plenty of interaction, yet small enough to allow for everyone to participate. Topics will include “Shop Operations,” “Digital Grab Bag,” “Filling That Funnel” and “Be a Leader in a Changing Industry,” with individual presentations from each of the experts, plus discussions of real issues and challenges faced by our participants.

The concept behind the event was to find an effective way to help today’s industry leaders manage their way through the maze of opportunities and obstacles facing them. The program is largely based off of successful ISFA offerings of the past, including its CEO Roundtables, Million Dollar Mentor Program and Business Boot Camp.

Additionally, each participant will be asked to answer questions about the goals, aspirations and challenges facing their companies in advance of the event. The answers and comments submitted will provide the basis for a dialog about what today’s leaders are facing that will be woven throughout the event topics covered.

“As all of us in the decorative surfacing industry are recovering from a tough period for our businesses, the opportunities for growth, efficiency, new markets, new products and new technologies are at our doorstep,” said Sawyer. “The new leaders in the surfacing industry need to be prepared to take advantage of these opportunities for growth and profitability. We believe the Knowledge is Power concept will be an outstanding tool to help the next generation build a more dynamic industry than ever before.”

More information is available by contacting [email protected].

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A Busy Year for the Countertop Industry

Posted on 29 August 2013 by cradmin

Chuck Sawyer photoGuest Blog by Chuck Sawyer of ISFA

This year has not only been busy and full of exciting changes for the International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) but also for the entire countertop industry. Partnerships and alliances are expanding within the industry and among closely associated industries, such as woodworking. Opportunities for general business education and countertop fabrication education have also never been greater or more successful than they are now and will be in the near future.

One of the ways that ISFA is helping countertop professionals to expand their knowledge and network with peers is by putting together Grass Roots Gatherings, hosted by industry supporters like Cosentino, Dixie Plywood and Oldcastle Surfaces. In addition, ISFA established a series of CEO Roundtable discussions in Cincinnati and Chicago, with upcoming events in Boston and Seattle. And with the popularity of the Roundtable events, we are planning a new version aimed at the new generation of business leaders in the countertop industry. This new event will be a conclave where the next generation of CEOs can learn about and share experiences on the topics necessary for leading successful businesses.

Organizations and businesses in the countertop industry are also expanding training opportunities. ISFA is hosting several training seminars, including hands-on training on stone and quartz fabrication and another on solid surface fabrication. A partnership between the Marble Institute of America (MIA) and Stone World is also providing a complete educational series that focuses on running a successful fabrication company. Additionally, ISFA will be providing some opportunities for learning at the 2014 StonExpo in Las Vegas by putting together several educational sessions that are being held at the show.

Another exciting event that will expand the reach of the countertop industry is a new partnership between ISFA and the International Woodworking Fair (IWF). In 2014, IWF will provide an expanded platform for the surfacing industry, which will include a full countertop educational track designed to reach the cabinet, woodworking and countertop industries. Additionally, a full-day Countertop Symposium will be held at IWF.

The big news, however, is that the 2014 IWF will include a new concept – the Countertop Pavilion, a dedicated section of the show floor designed specifically for members of the countertop industry. It will be a high-visibility opportunity for suppliers of machinery, materials, tooling and other products and services in our industry. For fabricators of decorative surfacing products it will be a great way to meet with suppliers, see machinery in action and be part of one of the nation’s largest trade shows.

IWF 2014 will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta on August 20-23, 2014. You can check out the web site at: www.iwfatlanta.com.

With all of these opportunities, it makes good sense to take advantage of them. As our fabrication shops are emerging from the “Great Recession” and we become busier and busier, it is all too easy to lose sight of the educational opportunities that can help to make a fabrication shop more profitable. Like the person who didn’t have the time to take a class on time management, don’t neglect the opportunities to participate and grow with the wealth of training offered by our industry!

Chuck Sawyer is the Executive Director of the International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) and can be reached at [email protected].

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It May be Time to Link Up your Countertop Company with LinkedIn

Posted on 28 August 2013 by CRadmin2

By Jean Kelley

Mention the phrase social media and most people automatically think of Facebook and Twitter. However, if you have any dealings in the corporate world – whether you’re an owner, CEO, salesperson, manager  or anything in between – you’ll want to take a closer look at LinkedIn. You may find it a useful tool to make your business relationships more meaningful and profitable.

Before you dismiss the idea of using LinkedIn because you only know it as that bland social media site where people go when looking for a job, realize that there are currently 90 million LinkedIn users worldwide. One new user joins every second, and unlike social media sites like Facebook, which many people use for entertainment, all LinkedIn users are business minded. That means the connections you develop on LinkedIn are more likely to positively impact you and your company in some way. Therefore, if you want better or more professional business relationships, LinkedIn is the place to be. Even if you have a business profile on Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn makes a perfect addition to your personal and business branding tools.

A Business Resource

The key to making LinkedIn work for you and your company is to use the site regularly. That means posting something, such as an update, a question or an answer, every seven days at a minimum. The more you use any social media site, the more likely Google’s algorithm will notice your account and assign it a higher ranking on searches than it would otherwise receive. Additionally, the more you interact and post on LinkedIn, the more prominent you’ll become within your network. Your name recognition will grow.

Fortunately, staying active in LinkedIn is simple when you understand how it can benefit you professionally. Use the following ideas and suggestions to make the most of your account:

  • Show off your skills. It’s as easy to set up your profile in LinkedIn as it is in Facebook. Make sure your profile is written well and that it highlights what you currently do, what you have done, your strengths, your talents, your key attributes and your education. Remember that people will access your profile for many different reasons, not just for recruitment, but also for background information and professional contacts, so be thorough and always make your profile public. Because your profile is essentially a dynamic resume, keep it updated, tasteful and accurate at all times.

  • Say something meaningful. By posting status updates that contain valuable content, you show your network that you are a team player and that you care about other people’s success. Remember that status updates are not the place to advertise your company’s products or services. A better idea is to share a best practice, announce a seminar or event or give a quick tip. If you can’t think of anything to post, it’s perfectly acceptable to post a meaningful or motivational quote. The key is to post something interesting and relevant to your network, and always remember that what you post stays on the Internet forever.

  • Uncover conversation starters. LinkedIn is a great place to get an inside glimpse of people. For example, you can look up potential clients or vendors on LinkedIn to see what kind of books they read, where they went to school, what their main interests are and much more. Now, you’ll have more to talk about when you meet the potential client, vendor, or networking friend. Think of it as a way to have a professional relationship with someone much quicker than with traditional methods of communication. In fact, some estimates show that by using LinkedIn to research the people you plan to interact with, you can have a six-month head start on the relationship.
  • Spot trends and hot topics. An amazing amount of real-time information is available on LinkedIn. By being a member of various groups that interest you, you can see what people are thinking on a certain topic by the questions they’re posting and the responses they’re getting. So, if you want to know what the current trends or best practices are in lean manufacturing, you could join several lean manufacturing groups and track each group’s activity. You can then use the information you discover for your own company.
  • Get an “in” with top companies. Whether you’re looking for new clients or new vendors, with LinkedIn you can search the companies you want to work with and see who in your network has connections there. You can then ask your connection for an introduction to a decision maker who can help. Even if you find that no one in your network has connections with a particular company, perhaps someone in one of your groups works there. That’s why it’s important to belong to every group that interests you. Continually build your LinkedIn relationships and make those key connections before you actually need them. As Harvey Mackay says, “Dig your well before you’re thirsty.”

The Missing Link to Your Success

Even though 82 percent of people use some kind of social media regularly, social media itself is much like the Wild West. It’s not tame yet, and best practices are still being formed. The key to making LinkedIn work is to work it regularly. Commit to spending time posting your ideas in updates, asking and answering questions, participating in groups and reaching out to potential connections. Yes, it’s one more thing to schedule in your calendar, but by building relationships and gaining new information on people and topics, your job can become easier and your company can attain a better position.


About the Author

Jean Kelley is the founder of the Jean Kelley Leadership Alliance. Her faculty and trainers have helped more than 750,000 leaders and high potentials up their game at work in the U.S. and Canada. Coupled with her books, Dear Jean: What They Don’t Teach You at the Water Cooler, and The Get a Job Keep a Job Handbook, Jean has earned the name North America’s workplace coach. For information on leadership programs and availability email [email protected] or go to www.jeankelley.com.

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KBIS to Change Hands for 2014 Show and Beyond

Posted on 17 May 2013 by CRadmin2

The corporate owners of the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), Nielsen Holdings N.V., announced in early May that its division focusing on expositions and events is being sold to Onex Corporation for $950 million. Nielsen Expositions is currently the largest business-to-business (b2b) tradeshow operator in the United States, a title that is expected to be assumed by Onex sometime within the first half of 2013.

Nielsen Expositions, headquartered in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., produces more than 65 b2b tradeshows and events in up to nine markets each year, including KBIS for the kitchen and bath market. In 2012, the division pulled in revenue of nearly $183 million, operating out of four offices staffed by 240 employees.

President of Nielsen Expositions, David Loechner, went on record stating that the deal “is an exciting development,” and Onex already has a proven record of successfully producing similar tradeshows and conferences.

Representatives of Nielsen have stated that the company plans to work closely with Onex to ensure that events such as KBIS will be in good hands, continue to grow and serve all event participants better than ever. The goal is to conduct a seamless transaction to the benefit of longtime clients and associates.

In a statement made by Onex Managing Director Kosty Gills, the company plans on expanding existing shows by using the leverage it has spent years developing. This is corroborated by the CFO of Nielsen, Brian West, who said, “We believe under Onex’s ownership, a great business will achieve even greater success.”

Onex is a multinational, private equity firm with offices in New York, London and Toronto. Its past strategy has been to develop key business partnerships with successful management teams, and the company now manages approximately $15 billion in assets, $5 billion of which is proprietary capital. In total, Onex’s annual revenues are about $37 billion, and the company employs 243,000 people.

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How to Be Memorable at Networking Events

Posted on 01 April 2013 by CRadmin2

By Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE

There is no point going anywhere if people don’t remember you were there. Networking is an important part of building your business and developing good social contacts. However, if you go to business events and no one remembers you afterward, what was the point in attending? Such contacts only work if you make yourself memorable. Happily, this doesn’t mean you have to be bizarrely dressed or loud and boisterous.

My professional life is spent helping other professionals speak more effectively to large and small groups. It never ceases to amaze me how many talented and well-educated people attend networking events yet overlook their big chance to be memorable by developing a mini-presentation for audiences of one to five. All speaking is public speaking. Outside the privacy of your own home, you are speaking in public no matter the size of your audience.

Here are some strategies that let you walk into a room with quiet self-assurance, confident that people will enjoy meeting you and will recall you afterwards:

1. Arrive looking your best. If you have a hectic day before going to a business meeting, keep a change of clothes in your office or car so that you can arrive unwrinkled.

2. Wear your name tag. We’re all more likely to retain information that we see and hear at the same time, so wear your name tag up on your right shoulder. That way, people can read it as they hear you say your name. Some women put their name tags down on their handbags or other people may put them in the most inappropriate places. Put it where people are not afraid to look!

3. Develop a memorable signature. Men can wear ties that people will comment on. An investment banker I know wears a money tie. At certain meetings, industry events and the National Speakers Association, I stand out because I wear distinctive hats. When people are asked, “Do you know Patricia Fripp?” the usual reply is, “Yes, she’s the one who always wears the amazing hats.”

4. Develop an unforgettable greeting. When you introduce yourself, don’t just say your name and job title. Instead, start by describing the benefits of what you do for clients. A financial planner says, “I help rich people sleep at night.” One of my responses is, “I make conventions and sales meetings more exciting.” Almost invariably, my new friend has to ask, “How do you do that?” Immediately, I get to market myself: “You know how companies have meetings that are supposed to be stimulating, but they’re often dull and boring? Well, I present practical ideas in an entertaining way, so people stay awake, have a good time and get the company’s message.” People remember the vivid pictures you create in their minds more than the words you say.

5. Greet everyone. Don’t ignore someone you recognize because you’ve forgotten his or her name. Smile and ask a provocative question like, “What is the most exciting thing that has happened to you since we last met?” or “What is your greatest recent success?” or “What are you most looking forward to?” And never be afraid to say, “The last time we met, we had such a great conversation. Will you remind me what your name is?” Bestselling author Susan RoAne tells people, “Forgive me for forgetting your name. Since I passed forty, it’s hard to remember my own.”

6. Overcome any shyness. Much of the value of networking events can be lost if you allow yourself to focus on being unassuming or fundamentally shy. For many people, mingling with a room full of strangers can be an unpleasant or even scary experience. Focus on the benefits of meeting exciting new contacts and learning new information instead of any butterflies in your stomach. Until you’ve gained confidence, a good way to do this is to offer to volunteer for a job that requires interacting with other attendees, such as volunteering to be a greeter. A greeter stands at the entrance with a labeled name tag denoting them as such. They have a specific job: “How do you do? I’m Chris Carter. Welcome to the Chamber mixer. Is this your first event? Please find your name tag; the food is in the next room, and our program will start in thirty minutes.” Soon you will start feeling like the host of the party. You’ve met many new people and will get cheery nods of recognition throughout the event, making it easy to stop and talk later.

7. Travel with your own PR agent. This is a powerful technique that maximizes your networking. Form a duo with a professional friend. When you arrive, alternately separate and come together, talking-up each other’s strengths and expertise.

Suppose you and Fred are secret partners. As Fred walks up, you say to the person you’ve been talking to, “Jack, I’d like you to meet our sales manager Fred. Fred has taught me nearly everything I know about sales and our product line. In the sixteen years at our company, there has never been a sales contest he has not won.” Then, Fred can say, “Well, Jane is being very generous. It’s true; I’ve been with our company for sixteen years, and Jane has been here for only six months and has brought in more new business in six months than any other person in the 53-year history of our firm.”

When you do this, you’re saying about each other exactly what you would love your prospects to know without modesty preventing you from telling them. Also, by saying something interesting, memorable or funny, you become objects of interest to your listeners. Imagine the next day when they go to work and talk about the networking event they attended. They will repeat your funny lines, making themselves an object of interest. Any time you can make someone feel good about themselves, they are very likely to remember you.

8. Always send a note or brochure the next day to the people you have met. Keep business cards, and make notes of what you said for when you meet them at another event.

These are all positive, pleasant, easy ways to be memorable. Get the most out of your networking time and energy by making yourself worth remembering!


About the Author

Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE, keynote speaker, executive speech coach and sales presentation skills expert, works with organizations and individuals who realize they gain a competitive edge through powerful, persuasive presentation skills. She builds leaders, transforms sales teams and delights audiences. Fripp is a past president of the National Speakers Association. To learn more about Patricia, contact her at http://www.Fripp.com or [email protected].

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ISFA Announces Regional Meeting in Anaheim

Posted on 23 March 2013 by cradmin

The Int’l Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) announced that it will be holding a regional “Grass Roots” fabricator meeting at the Cosentino Design Center in Anaheim,Calif., on April 11. The event will feature networking, lunch, vendor exhibits, a tour of the Cosentino facility, door prizes and a discussion of ISFA intitiatives.

The event is free to all fabricators, cabinetmakers, millwork professionals and technicians in the surfacing industry. RSVP to [email protected] is requested.

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ISFA Announces Upcoming Networking Event in Tampa

Posted on 19 February 2013 by cradmin

The Int’l Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) announced that it will be holding a regional “Grass Roots” fabricator meeting at Dixieply in Tampa, Fla., on March 21. The event will feature guest expert Keith Haight, specialist in shop optimization, networking, lunch, vendor exhibits, a tour of the Dixieply facility, door prizes and a discussion of ISFA intitiatives.

The event is free to all fabricators, cabinetmakers, millwork professionals and technicians in the surfacing industry. RSVP to [email protected] is requested.

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Countertop Fabricators: Sign up for Coverings Show Free

Posted on 06 February 2013 by cradmin

The Coverings show, an industry trade show focusing on stone and tile that is being held in Atlanta April 29 – May 2, 2013, is now offering free admission. Coverings is designed to offer something for everyone in the tile + stone industry. From live installation demonstrations and tours of the show floor, to networking opportunities in Coverings Central and an inspiring awards reception, this four-day event will be packed with things to see and experience.

To sign up to attend for free, countertop fabricators can click here.

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