VERONA, ITALY -- During Marmomacc this year, the Edilgraniti Outstanding Associate Award for 2003 was presented to John Ganster Sr. of the Verona Marble Co. of Dallas, TX, at the restaurant 12 Apostoli in the heart of historic Verona.

Established in 2001 by Edilgraniti, this prize is awarded every year to the person -- quarry worker, distributor, architect or anyone else -- who has made the greatest contribution to the promotion, value enhancement or use of natural stone around the world. Ganster was recognized for his promotion of natural stone and Veronese marble and granite in the U.S. market through the development of a series of significant projects.

The Edilgraniti Outstanding Associate Award is an attempt to unite all the activities and industries that revolve around the sector, according to the company. The prize, a sculpture designed by Toshiyuki Kita and created exclusively for Edilgraniti by CESA 1881, aims at the unification of the natural stone sector's business world of designers and users. It creates an indivisible bond destined to last as long as natural stone itself as well as symbolizing the story of a company that has been operating for decades in the sector, reports Edilgraniti.