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May 12, 2010
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Dear Stone Industry Colleague:

We are writing to you to explain an important initiative of the Marble Institute of America (MIA), to make sure that natural stone continues to be a preferred building material in the future.

To support an industry-wide effort coordinated by the Natural Stone Council (NSC), MIA is launching the Natural Stone Sustainability Fund, a segregated fund that will only be used to further develop a case for natural stone being viewed as an environmentally preferred, sustainable building material. For the past two years, the NSC, with the financial support of the MIA and other industry organizations and companies, has been committed to substantiating the industry's environmental footprint through scientific means using a credible and neutral third party -- the University of Tennessee's Center for Clean Products (CCP).

The MIA now seeks to raise funds from across the United States and around the globe to continue to support the work of the NSC on sustainability, to communicate a positive message about natural stone as environmentally preferable, and to develop data that makes a credible case for natural stone as a suitable material for sustainable construction. Expenditures from the fund will be overseen by the MIA Executive Committee.

Click Here for the Contribution Form

To continue this work, which literally has just begun, the MIA is in need of financial contributions from every segment of the industry -- quarriers, distributors, contracting installers, fabricators, suppliers to the industry, restoration and maintenance specialists, etc. -- and we need them soon. It is important to continue the research and development and to communicate the industry's position as being serious about protecting the environment. It is critically important that we communicate to the design community (and others) that natural stone is environmentally preferable and sustainable, as well as beautiful, safe, durable, and practical. New building codes for sustainable architecture and design are being developed now, and if we are not at the table, our industry will be left out, or at a significant competitive disadvantage when it comes to supplying material for the new generations of buildings.

It is critical that we have all of the research and testing, evaluation, and communications tools we need to confirm the stone industry's overarching goal of positioning stone as not only a green building material, but also as the preferable green building material.. As you know from running your own business, this is an expensive task.

Your support is vital. Other competing building materials are already way ahead of our industry. We need to catch up and overtake them, if we are to protect and grow our market share. If one, two or more of your customers walk away from natural stone projects because of the lack of available, independently reviewed data about the sustainability of natural stone, the financial loss to you could be substantial.

In order to recognize and honor all those members who contribute to the fund, MIA will establish the MIA Natural Stone Sustainability Honor Roll. Supporters will be honored at the following levels:

· Platinum Level Sponsors = $10,000 and above
· Gold Level Sponsors = $5,000 to $10,000
· Silver Level Sponsors = $2,000 to $5,000
· Bronze Level Sponsors = $500 to $2,000

All donors at these levels will be recognized in our trade advertising and announcements, regarding the Natural Stone Sustainability Fund, and at the MIA booth at industry trade shows like StonExpo and Coverings. All donors, no matter their contribution, will be recognized on the MIA web site and in the MIA Newsletter. All donors at all levels will also be able to use a specially designed sponsor logo in their advertising and on their own corporate websites.

Please refer to the attached form and make any contribution you can afford. As we said before, the funds will only be used for one purpose – to help position natural stone as the most attractive environmentally preferable and sustainable building material. If you have any questions, please contact one of us personally or Gary Distelhorst at MIA headquarters.

Thanks for your help.


Brett Rugo, Rugo Stone LLC
2010 MIA President


Jonathan Zanger, Walker Zanger
2010 MIA Treasurer

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