ATLANTA, GA -- The Marble Institute of America (MIA), a leading international trade association of the natural stone industry, has announced several updates and additions to the Cornerstone Forums educational programs to be held during StonExpo. As a leading industry tradeshow and conference, StonExpo will be held December 4 to 6, 2003 at Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center.

This year’s program will offer 28 sessions, covering a variety of topics for stone fabricators and installers as well as a half-day session for architects and design professionals. Topics focus on an array of subjects related to materials and specific applications.

The Stone Tour of Atlanta involves a pre-show, three-hour bus tour of some of Atlanta’s finest examples of natural stone in architecture and construction, including the Georgia State Capitol and the new Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank.

The Fabricator Forums are two separate sessions featuring lively discussions among stone professionals about practical aspects of residential construction and commercial fabrication and construction.

Countertops Part 1 and 2 is expanded from last year’s event, and these sessions explore one of the most active applications in the industry. Part 1 covers pre-fabrication issues including material sourcing and selection, presales, pricing, sales, marketing and templating. Part 2 is devoted to fabrication, transport, installation and follow-up. To satisfy attendee demand, both parts will be offered on two separate days of the conference.

A seminar entitled, “Put a Bit of Science in Your Business: Understanding the Elements of Stone,” is conducted by Geologist Claude Rust, back by popular demand. He will present a hands-on seminar where participants will receive mineralogical kits with samples, a loop and testing materials. They will discover how to identify common minerals found in almost all stones.

The Expanded Learning Unit Credits for Architects and Designers provides architects and designers information about dimension stone and related topics. More than 15 Learning Unit credits will be attainable, and all registered seminars will qualify for HSW credit.

With this non-conflicting conference schedule, this year’s event will minimize time conflicts with the exhibit hall, ensuring that attendees have more time to view the trade show and interact with vendors.