Tag Archive | "surface fabricators association"

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ISFA Announces 2016 Annual Award Nominees – Voting Open for Members Only

Posted on 19 September 2016 by cradmin

The International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) has announced that the nominations for its 2016 Annual ISFA Awards are in and voting for ISFA members in good standing is now open. The nominees this year are as follows:

For the Hall of Fame Award, which is given to the individual who has, in the course of his/her career, made significant contributions to the decorative surfacing industry, and has demonstrated leadership and commitment to the ideals of ISFA, the nominees are: Jon Olson for contributing significantly to the knowledge base, understanding and awareness of surfacing materials such as solid surface and quartz; Charles “Chuck” Sawyer for his years of service to the surfacing industry including as a past executive director of ISFA; and John Lancto for his years of assisting with the growth and advancement of the surfacing industry and standing as a pillar of the surfacing arena on the East Coast and an example for all.

For the Associate of the Year Award, given to an associate member company that in the past year has best exemplified the role of servicing the needs of fabricator member companies, and who has best supported ISFA in all activities, the nominees are: Moraware for going out of its way to expand the amount of solid information available to fabricators through its innovative newsletter, blog, podcast (StoneTalk) and its approach to marketing that works to improve industry standards and quality; and Cosentino for its ongoing support of ISFA events and programming and for supporting the fabrication community.

For the Innovator Award, given to the fabricator member firm or individual who goes outside the box and creates a product or system that enhances the life of the surface fabricator, ArtCor was the only nomination for using its experience and innovative solid surface design and fabrication techniques in Russia to advance the scope and possibilities for the use of solid surface material around the world.

For the Envision Award, given to the manufacturer member that excels in creating something imaginative and special for the surfacing industry, Cosentino was the only nomination for developing Dekton Flooring, which allows traditional countertop fabricators to expand into flooring with a durable, high-quality product that can be used in both interior and exterior applications.

And for the prestigious Fabricator of the Year Award, that is earned by an individual of a fabricator member company that in the past year has best exemplified the ISFA ideals of quality, innovation, character and exemplary service to ISFA and/or the decorative surfacing industry, with overall excellence, the nominees are: Augie Chavez of GECKO SSS for building a successful commercial fabrication business from the ground up, while maintaining a commitment to social standards, such as environmentally friendly practices & training, educating and respecting the company’s staff; Mitch & Sonny Hires Construction Resources (Atlanta Kitchens) for pushing the envelop, developing partnerships and setting the standard in the Southeast for excellence; and ArtCor for using advanced systems and methods to fabricate numerous outstanding solid surface projects making it one of the most innovative solid surface fabricators in Russia and the world.

All ISFA members are encouraged to vote for the 2016 ISFA Awards HERE.

Voting must be done on or before September 29. The winners will be revealed at ISFA’s Annual Conference & Meeting in November.

You may also be interested in this additional information on ISFA’s Annual Conference & Meeting.

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StoneTalk Episode 14: ISFA Executive Director Keith Haight

Posted on 01 September 2015 by cradmin

In this episode of StoneTalk, produced by Moraware, host Patrick Foley speaks with Keith Haight, executive director of the International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA). ISFA is a trade association dedicated to the surface fabrication industry in general, regardless of material fabricated. It focuses on solid surface, quartz surfacing and newer, developing materials, but also offers plenty of information, but to a lesser degree, on other traditional surfaces such as granite, marble, laminate, tile, etc.

Listen to this episode to learn:

  • What the International Surface Fabricators Association is
  • How the association has evolved over the years to meet the needs of fabricators
  • The sustainability of the future of ISFA
  • How to break a solid surface seam using irons.
  • The hands-on training opportunities available to ISFA members
  • The enormous success of the ISFA mentor program
  • What is “Lean” and the “Theory of Constraints

014Keith

Read the transcript of this StoneTalk podcast here.

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StoneTalk Podcast 13: Dave Paxton

Posted on 03 August 2015 by cradmin

In this episode of StoneTalk, produced by Moraware, host Patrick Foley speaks with David Paxton of Paxton Countertops and Showers in Grand Ledge, Mich. In addition to leading his business, he is a past president of the International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA). He is also a very hands-on participant in his business.

Listen to this episode to learn:

  • Paxton’s highest-ROI piece of equipment in the shop
  • The pros and cons of outsourcing some fabrication
  • Paxton’s unforgettable experience as the president of ISFA
  • Why relationships are as important as price
  • The reasons Paxton enjoys working with showers and solid surface
  • The importance of truly listening to your customers
  • How to break a solid surface seam using irons.

StoneTalk Episode 13 - Dave Paxton

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International Surface Fabricators Association Installs 2015 Board of Directors

Posted on 02 January 2015 by cradmin

Mellisa Hill 2015 ISFA President

Mellisa “Mell” Hill of Old Castle Surfaces – 2015 ISFA President

The International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) announced the changes to the association’s Board of Directors for 2015. Fabricator Member Directors are chosen by association members, for a term of three years, with the option to renew for a second consecutive three-year term. The results of the association election were revealed at its recent annual meeting in Atlanta.

Mellisa “Mell” Hill, vice president of sales and marketing for Old Castle Surfaces in Atlanta, assumed the role of President of the ISFA Board of Directors on Jan. 1, 2015. Hill replaces David Paxton, of Paxton Countertops and Showers, in Grand Ledge, Mich., who now takes on the role of Immediate Past President. The former Immediate Past President, Mike Langenderfer, of The Countertop Shop in Holland, Ohio, will remain on the board in a director role for an additional year. Stepping down from the board after fulfilling his term is Associate Member Representatives Jeffrey Smith, of Gemstone in Elkhart, Ind.

Rounding out the Executive Committee of the Board are Adam Albee, of Lincoln Lamination in Lincoln, Neb., as Vice President; Ryan Miller, of VT Industries in Holstein, Iowa, as Secretary; and Erica Hussey, of JCW Countertops in Woburn, Mass., as Treasurer.

Retaining Director positions on the board are Kate Dillenburg of Bisley Fabrication in Gresham, Wis., and Mike Woods of Creative Countertop Solutions in Nashville, Tenn..

One new board member was also voted in to fill the vacant Associate Member Representative seat: Jessica McNaughton, president of CaraGreen, a distribution company that focuses on providing sustainable products and educating professionals on the subject of sustainable resources. The other retained Associate Member Representative was John Hansen of Kohler Co. in Kohler, Wis.

“The line-up of next year’s board of directors is a dynamic group of individuals that possesses sharp business acumen and passion for this industry,” said Keith Haight, ISFA’s executive director. “The collective personalities are focused and will surely prove themselves in making ISFA more valuable for its members and the entire decorative surfaces industry.”

“We would like to recognize Dave Paxton for his leadership as president over 2014, and for his drive to keep the association striving to always do its best not matter how small or large the task. We look forward to his continued support on the board,” added Haight. “The association would also like to express its appreciation to outgoing Associate Member Representative Jeff Smith of Gemstone. Jeff has shared his abundant energy, great ideas and willingness to advance ISFA to the next level throughout his time on the board. ISFA looks forward to more interaction with him in the future, as he has truly proven himself to be a valuable asset to the association and the industry.”

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International Surface Fabricators Association Names 2014 Award Winners

Posted on 16 December 2014 by cradmin

Russ Berry, president of A.S.S.T, named ISFA 2014 Fabricator of the Year

Russ Berry, A.S.S.T, ISFA 2014 Fabricator of the Year

The International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) announced the winners of its annual awards at the association’s recent annual meeting in Atlanta. The ISFA awards are chosen by association members, and given to those in the industry that stand out as the very best.

The Fabricator of the Year Award was given to A.S.S.T., Allegheny, Pa. Accepting the award was owner and president, Russ Berry. The Fabricator of the Year is awarded to an individual of a fabricator member company that in the past year has best exemplified the ISFA ideals of quality, innovation, character and exemplary service to ISFA and/or the decorative surfacing industry, with overall excellence. A.S.S.T. is recognized not only for the amazing fabrication work done by the company on a regular basis, but also for the tireless support the company has given to ISFA with many projects and events the association implemented.

Mike Nolan, former ISFA education director and board member

Mike Nolan – ISFA 2014 Hall of Fame Award Winner

The Hall of Fame Award was presented to Mike Nolan of Windbound Surfaces. The Hall of Fame Award is given to the individual, or individuals, who have in the course of their career made significant contributions to the decorative surfacing industry, and have demonstrated leadership and commitment to the ideals of ISFA. Accepting posthumously on behalf of Mike Nolan was Keith Haight. Mike was a former education director and past board member of ISFA, and his love of the industry was infectious. The mark he left on so many through the vital role he played in training and educating members will not soon be forgotten. The award was delivered to Mike’s widow Terry who remembered fondly his passion for craftsmanship and teaching others.

The Associate of the Year Award is given to an associate member company that in the past year has best exemplified the role of servicing the needs of fabricator member companies, and who has best supported ISFA in all activities. This year’s winner was Dixie Plywood and Lumber Company, Savannah, Ga. Accepting the award were Nelsy Leyba and Tom Heard. Dixie Plywood was recognized for its level of participation in ISFA events and activities and for its instrumental involvement in helping to design and implement one of the courses for ISFA’s Continuing Education Program.

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ISFA to Start Mike Nolan Scholarship Fund

Posted on 03 December 2014 by cradmin

Mike Nolan, former ISFA education director and board member

Mike Nolan, former ISFA education director and board member

The International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) is creating the Mike Nolan Scholarship fund, in honor of the late ISFA education director and board member. “This scholarship recognizes the tireless efforts by Mike to educate, train and serve ISFA members,” stated an announcement from the association. “Mike was a life-long member of ISFA. He served on the Board of Directors and was Education Director as well as an overall mentor and friend.”

Nolan’s wife Terry donated a significant amount of money to begin a scholarship on behalf of her husband that will help high school students pursue a career in the trades. The association is seeing other donations to add to the fund and those interested may contact ISFA at [email protected] or call (412) 487-3207.

Read More About This Great Opportunity for Charitable Giving Here.

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ISFA Launches ‘Marketplace’ Program

Posted on 10 October 2014 by cradmin

The International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) has launched a new ISFA Marketplace program for members. Through the program, member companies can sign up to receive discounts from various vendors. According to a release from the organization, vendors currently included in the program are FedEx, Staples and W.W. Grainger. Other companies will reportedly be added over the coming months to further expand discounts that members can receive via the program.

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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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ISFA to Offer CEUs through American Institute of Architects

Posted on 13 December 2013 by cradmin

The International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) has been approved to provide Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to architects through an agreement with the American Institute of Architects (AIA). ISFA’s first presentation, “Solid Surface Design Basics” has already been approved as a course, providing one Learning Unit (LU) for participants. Additional courses on quartz surfacing, advanced solid surface design, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, and more are already under development for 2014. The new ISFA program has three current sponsors, Dixie Plywood and Lumber Company, Meganite and Aetna Plywood, and additional sponsors are welcome.

As an Approved Provider for the AIA, the Continuing Education Program at ISFA will be developing content for a variety of approved courses through a program with participating ISFA members. ISFA is responsible for the coordination of the CEU efforts, and provides the point-of-contact for the AIA and other professional organizations that conduct continuing education programs. The ongoing administration of the CEU programs will be the responsibility of ISFA, with guidance from Continuing Education Program participants. ISFA will also train and register presenters who will be qualified to deliver approved courses on behalf of ISFA.

“This program will help participating ISFA member companies to have more contact with architects and designers and also help to education potential customers on a variety of topics,” said ISFA Executive Director Chuck Sawyer. “We think this will be of great value to our members to increase their reach and influence with more specifiers.”

For more information, contact Chuck Sawyer at [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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