The 10th International Natural Stone and Technologies Fair was held from April 1 to 4, 2004, with participation of 751 companies from 30 countries. The “Marble Fair,” as it is called, broke the attendance record for the event, with 25,432 trade visitors from 63 countries. The Marble Fair was held for the first time in 1995 as a unique specialized fair of Turkey, with the participation of 47 countries in an area of 2,600 square meters. Today, the Marble Fair - with 751 exhibitors and approximately 25,432 visitors - has become an international success, according to the organization. Marble Fair was accepted as a member and registered by the world's leading organization, UFI Global Association of the Exhibition Industry in 1998. The fair was arranged on an area of 29,260 square meters in Izmir International Fair Complex, and it was visited by representatives of 63 countries from around the world.

The number of exhibitors has increased 130% compared to last year's statistics, according to Dilara Surgu Ersozlu, General Manager of Izmir Fair. “The Marble Fair was visited by important buyers from all over the world,” she said. “Our aim was to bring leading importers to the Marble Fair. We brought important natural stone and machine buyers to Izmir. The meetings we had with the exhibitors displayed our success. Our aim is to increase Marble Fair's success, and be the premier event in the world.”

Marble Institute Of America Names New Technical Director . . .

Charles J. “Chuck” Muehlbauer has been appointed Technical Director for the Marble Institute of America, Inc. (MIA), the leading international trade association serving the natural stone industry. Muehlbauer will direct all aspects of MIA's natural stone technical opinion, guidance and education services for association members and design and construction professionals. In addition to responding to technical questions, he will write technical articles for the monthly MIA newsletter, assist in developing curriculum for MIA-sponsored educational programming at regional and national seminars, and serve as a primary resource in creating and updating MIA reference materials.

“We're delighted to welcome Chuck to MIA in this key industry service role,” stated Garis F. Distelhorst, MIA Executive Vice President. “His rich, hands-on experience in the natural stone industry and in-depth knowledge of stone suitability, application and maintenance will be of tremendous value to MIA members and affiliated professionals, including architects.”

“MIA has earned a worldwide reputation as the authoritative resource for natural stone information and education, and I'm honored to become part of the team,” Muehlbauer said. “I look forward to assisting MIA in delivering the technical guidance sought by today's natural stone and design professionals.”

Muehlbauer previously spent more than 20 years at Cold Spring Granite Co. in Minnesota, where he started as a draftsman after graduating from St. Cloud Technical College in 1981. Most recently, he served as Technical Advisor to the company's Building Products Division for 15 years, a role that required him to evaluate stone products for suitability. He also directed architects and engineers in stone application and maintenance issues, performed cursory structural calculations for load resistance of stone panels, conducted project site visits to identify and remedy performance problems, and managed the company's internal stone testing laboratory. A member of the ASTM Committee C-18 on Dimension Stone since 1989, Muehlbauer also serves as Chairman of Subcommittee C-18.08 on Stone Selection. He has written and edited papers published by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), ASTM and Cold Spring Granite Co., and recently assisted in revising the Granite Specification portion of MIA's newly updated Dimension Stone Design Manual.