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Stone World and Marble Institute Kick Off 2010 Regional Education Series

February 9, 2010
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The 2010 MIA/Stone World seminar series will kick off in March with an emphasis on both residential and commercial projects.


"Business Success for Fabricators – Don’t Let Revenue Slip Away!" will take place on March 11 in Houston, TX,


The entire focus of this event is an examination of what makes fabrication companies successful? Fabricators attending will gain insight into: 

  • Analyzing the cost of doing business
  • Benchmarks for financial performance. This new component will cover executive summaries of both the 2007 and 2009 fabricator financial benchmarking surveys produced by the Profit Planning Group on behalf of the MIA. It highlights the differences between average and outstanding performing fabrication companies
  • Discussion on diversifying your operations
  • Equipment needs
  • Marketing your company
  • Value of being an MIA accredited natural stone fabricator
  • Networking 

Industry veteran and MIA Vice President GK Naquin of Stone Interiors, will lead the residential discussion. MIA Board Member Rodney Harvey of Curtain Wall Design and Consulting, Inc. will facilitate a breakout session on commercial projects. The MIA has also partnered with the ASID Texas Gulf Coast Chapter to provide a 2 CEU hour bonus session for interior designers. This bonus session, led by John Cogswell of CogswellStone and Todd Robertson of Vermont Quarries Corp., will provide an excellent networking opportunity for interior designers and stone professionals to be at the same event.


This seminar will be hosted by Fred and Art Fano of MCA Systems in its Houston design showroom.


Additionally, "Using Natural Stone in Commercial Projects" will be presented on March 17 in Washington, DC. This seminar has received the highest rankings of any regional seminar offered over the past two years. It offers commercial contractors an opportunity to expand their knowledge of complex technical aspects to using natural stone in commercial projects. It also provides traditional residential installers with an opportunity to consider diversifying their operations. Topics include: 

  • Exterior stone cladding methods
  • Specification compliance and how to not be caught off guard
  • Practical tips about installing stone in commercial projects
  • Becoming accredited as a commercial contractor 

This session will be led by MIA Technical Director Chuck Muehlbauer, Indiana Limestone Institute Executive Director/Technical Director Jim Owens and MIA President and Accredited Commercial A Contractor Brett Rugo.


American Institute of Architects (AIA) members can attend the commercial class and receive 6 CEUs.


The schedule also includes events in Chicago, IL (April 15), Ft. Lauderdale, FL (June 9), St. Louis, MO (June 30), Calgary, Alberta, Canada (July 20), Denver, CO (July 22), San Francisco, CA (September 15), Minneapolis, MN (September 22), Vermont Quarry Tours (October 6 to 7) and New York, NY (November 10).

All of the 2010 programs will be held in wholesale slab distributor showrooms. MS International, Walker Zanger and Amsun & Ash have already committed to host 2010 seminars. Host site sponsorships are still available.


Registration is open for all 2010 events, and attendees can register online at


Limited opportunities to serve on the host committee for each city also exist. Learn more at Host committee members receive discounts to the seminars and other incentives, including $100 of free merchandise from the MIA bookstore.    


Several leading equipment and supply companies are sponsoring the 2010 seminar series including: GranQuartz, Laser Products, Northwood Machine, Schechner Lifson Corp. and VIC International. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Learn more at

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