Stone World

An Open Letter from the Natural Stone Council regarding funding

August 25, 2009

from John Mattke, Co-Chair
Natural Stone Council

In recent weeks, the Natural Stone Council (NSC) has sent a number of communications out to members of the stone industry to explain its activities and initiatives. The NSC board has also sought input to evaluate whether or not industry members support the NSC to the degree necessary for these initiatives to continue. We would like to thank those of you who have invested the time to express your thoughts and concerns in a constructive manner. It has been very helpful and has led us to conclude that an industry unified around common goals is worthwhile, that building a brand preference for stone versus other materials is desirable, and that a focus on positioning stone within the green building arena is an imperative. There may be differences of opinion on how to accomplish these things, but the primary initiatives undertaken by the NSC are valued by most industry members.

Funding, on the other hand, has been a contentious issue and has resulted in significantly reducing activity on these other initiatives as well. Throughout the year, the NSC board has reduced spending several times and cut back activity in order to stretch dollars while seeking a permanent funding solution. Based on industry feedback, the NSC Fundraising Committee has been expanded to include additional stakeholders, many of whom have expressed strong opinions about the Check-Off solution being pursued by the NSC. This expanded committee, including 15 members in total, has been charged with further investigating funding alternatives (including Check-Off) and coming to the NSC annual meeting at StonExpo in October with several alternatives and a recommendation for board consideration. Look for additional communications to be distributed after the NSC board meeting at StonExpo this fall. Also, if you plan to attend StonExpo this year, join the NSC for a discussion of the NSC and the future of these initiatives on Thursday, October 22 from 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the StonExchange presentation area on the show floor.

In the meantime, if you would like to know more about this or other activities the NSC has undertaken on behalf of the stone industry, please visit the Web site at www.genuinestone.org or contact us at 800-210-3916.