Trade Show Coverage

Stone-specific seminars at Coverings 2014

Coverings 2014 will offer 70-plus educational seminars, with a fifth day added to the program this year. The sessions will take place from April 28 to May 2 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV, and will include many stone-specific presentations — covering everything from fabrication, installation and distribution to specific marketing techniques for natural stone. The following is a look at some of the key stone-related sessions that will be offered.

 

Monday, April 28

2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Metrics for the Automated & Un-Automated Fabrication Shop

Speakers:GK Naquin, Stone Interiors; Paul Menninger, Capitol Granite
Experience Level:All

Understanding your metrics, and being able to price work for profitability, is key for the automated shop to produce a profit at the end of the day. A comprehensive understanding of fixed and variable costs, contribution margins and per activity man-hours are critical to extrapolating large bids.

Monday, April 28

3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

To Tell the Truth — Will the Real Granite Please Stand Up!?

Speaker: Chuck Muehlbauer, Marble Institute of America
Experience Level: All

How many of the granites on the market are actually granite? If a quartzite is etched by acid, does that mean it’s not really quartzite? How many names can you think of for Uba Tuba? If you’re confused about these issues, this session will unlock some of the mysteries surrounding stone definition and nomenclature for stone sales.


Tuesday, April 29

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

How to Write a Care & Maintenance Plan for Stone Applications

Speaker: Ted McFadden, Sureshine Care & Restoration Services
Experience Level: All

Learn about modern and traditional techniques used in caring for and maintaining natural stone from the author of Stone Care Guide. Develop a care and maintenance plan for your stone application by learning about how the chemical composition of a stone affects its performance, what sealers and cleaning products are on the market today, and what products are recommended for different applications. Also review some common problems that result from not following a proper care and maintenance plan.

Tuesday, April 29

8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Wholesale/Slab Distributors Forum

Moderator: Vincent Moiso, Quarry Collections
Speakers: Mark Schama, Cosmos Surface Distribution; Jonathan Zanger, Walker Zanger; Rupesh Shah, MSI International
Experience Level: All

This forum features in-depth discussion of strategic issues critical to running successful wholesale/slab distribution companies. Topics include a host of operational issues, including building strong fabricator relationships, networking with the design community, freight issues and much more.

Tuesday, April 29

8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Fabricators Forum

Moderator: Tony Malisani,
Malisani, Inc.
Speakers: Marco Duran, Atlas Marble & Granite; Dave Syverson, Syverson Tile & Stone; Brandon Maldonado, Maldonado Tile and Marble
Experience Level: All

This open forum for residential countertop fabricators is an excellent opportunity to discuss with your fabricator colleagues many of the challenges involved in the residential countertop market. They cover everything from fabrication methods, equipment needs and materials to customer expectations, personnel and sales strategies. Come prepared to share ideas and discuss opportunities and challenges that you face every day. Attendees are encouraged to participate by presenting a problem or sharing a solution.

Tuesday, April 29

8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Stone Trends 2014

Speakers: Vince Marazita, Marazita & Associates
Experience Level: All

From countertops to skyscrapers, the use of natural stone is a well accepted building material in the U.S. Especially in these lean construction years, it is crucial to understand the direction of the market for dimensional stone. Get an overall view of the market and market trends by attending the 16th annual “State of the Industry” presentation on the dimensional stone market in the U.S. This session will cover information, sourcing, marketing and application trends in the stone industry over the last year, including examples of award-winning projects that have been recognized for their use of natural stone.

Tuesday, April 29

1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

MIA DSDM - Revised Restoration & Maintenance Chapters

Speaker: Keith Graves, Stuart Corp.
Experience Level: Mid-Level Leader

Significant changes have been made to the Marble Institute of America’s (MIA) Dimension Stone Design Manual. Find out what new information and recommendations have been added and updated. Restoration is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing segments of the natural stone industry, as evidenced by the MIA’s rapid membership growth in this sector. This session discusses the means and methods that are used by many of the nation’s leading restoration contractors. Learn how to coach building owners to maintain their stone products in top aesthetic and performance conditions. Finally, gain knowledge of what business opportunities exist as a subcontracted stone maintenance or restoration provider.

Tuesday, April 29

3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m

David vs. Goliath - How Does the Little Guy Compete?

Speaker: Josiah Lilly, Epic Ceramic & Stone, Inc.
Experience Level: All

Big contractors started out as small contractors. Learn about the challenges in bidding, bonding, personnel, cash flow and how to deal with them. Discover how a small guy can compete in a big boys’ game.

Tuesday, April 29

3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m

Natural Stone & Green Design

Speaker: Robert Bacon, Daltile
Experience Level: All

Learn how natural stone fits into the Green movement. The stone industry continues to reduce environmental impacts through technology advancements and responsible manufacturing and shipping processes. Discuss historical uses of natural stone that have stood the test of time and see examples of how key characteristics of stone such as its life cycle and carbon footprint satisfy elements of green building standards.


Wednesday, April 30

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

The Restoration and Maintenance of Stone & Terrazzo Using no Chemicals

Speaker: Fred Hueston, Stone Forensics
Experience Level: All

There are many perspectives about floor maintenance and this session presents the viewpoint that stone and terrazzo floors do not need a topical coating of any kind. Waxes, sealers, etc., act as a sacrificial coating grinding the grit and dirt into the surface, meaning every time a force is applied to the floor, it is scratched and damaged. In addition, the chemicals necessary to strip and wax can be extremely hazardous. Naturally polished stone and/or terrazzo uses no chemicals, using diamond abrasives and water. The floor is polished to a high shine and left in a natural state.

Wednesday, April 30

8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Case Study of Development of National Food Chain Specification for Material Selection, Design Methodologies and Construction Techniques

Speaker: Scott Conwell
Experience Level: All

Writing a quality specification for a project is a challenge. Writing one for a national restaurant chain is even more daunting. It takes a complete collaborative effort. Scott Conwell of the International Masonry Institute shares his case study with attendees, including product selection, writing the specification, consulting with experts, mockups and implementation of the spec.

Wednesday, April 30

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

A Leading Question: “Why Can’t I Generate Leads From the Internet?”

Speaker: Marty Gould, Focalize Consulting
Experience Level: All

Getting qualified leads is a core objective for nearly every home improvement business. But many companies are disillusioned and disappointed with the results they’ve seen from their online marketing efforts to generate leads, qualified or otherwise. When it comes to connecting with potential customers, the internet has redefined everything about leads. If you don’t know what’s changed, and why, your online marketing efforts will never meet your expectations. The good news is that making a few simple changes to your online messages — and your attitude —can make a big improvement in your results.

Wednesday, April 30

1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Managing a Successful
Family Business

Moderator: Tony Malisani, Malisani, Inc.
Speakers: David Castellucci, Kenneth Castellucci & Associates; Paolo Mantenuto, Marble & Marble Ltd.; Rita Mantenuto, Marble & Marble Ltd.
Experience Level: All

Working in a family business can be a challenge. Why are some businesses successful, while others struggle? What are the best practices? Join a panel of stone professionals from three different family businesses as they share their experiences. Plan on joining this robust Q&A session.

Wednesday, April 30

1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

How to Use CEU Courses
to Build Relationships with
Architects and Designers

Speakers: Sarah Kelly, Marble Institute of America; Vincent Moiso, Quarry Collections
Experience Level: Mid-Level
Leader

Building relationships with members of the design community can be difficult. Consider using CEU courses to help get your foot in the door and position yourself as the natural stone expert with architects and designers in your area. This “how-to” demonstration, brought to you by the Marble Institute of America, helps you get started down the CEU provider path. Learn first-hand how to use CEU courses to educate your potential customers about your company’s products and services.


Thursday, May 1

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Exotic Stones — Expectations, Issues and Resolution Tips for Fabricators

Speaker: Filippo Emanuel, Tenax USA; Ron Hannah, Cadenza Corp.
Experience Level: Mid-Level Leader

Due to technology/process advances, the industry has seen an explosion of exotic stones, which has added to the appeal of natural stone among consumers. Sometimes the same technology that helped bring that stone to market is a struggle for the fabricator. Dealing with these often resined slabs requires additional knowledge about how to handle them, especially with color matching and edge polishing.

Thursday, May 1

9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

The Essentials of Stone Restoration

Speakers: Rawi Tabbah, International Stoneworks, Inc.
Experience Level:All

Join stone and tile restoration professionals as they discuss their views on restoration and answer your questions. Come prepared to share your ideas, challenges and solutions and listen to the experts share their own field experiences in stone and tile restoration.

Thursday, May 1

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Innovative Websites in
the Stone Industry

Speaker: Sarah Kelly, MKG Department
Experience Level: All

Websites have become a company’s number one resource for customer service, lead generation, branding and consumer education. Find out what tools cutting-edge stone fabricators are incorporating into their websites to help them produce results.

For a complete schedule of the Coverings 2014 conference program, visit: www.stoneworld.com/coverings.


 

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