The Marble Institute of America, Inc. (MIA) has appointed Vince Marazita as its education director, a key staff position at the international trade association serving the natural stone industry.

Marazita will coordinate the MIA seminar programs -- including the Cornerstone Forum Seminar Program presented at StonExpo, the industry's annual trade show -- and expanded educational programming for architects and construction specifiers on the use of natural stone. He'll also take charge of revising and maintaining MIA Technical Modules, write a monthly column for MIA's Through the Ages newsletter and oversee other education-related activities in which MIA may become involved.

"We're delighted to welcome Vince to MIA," stated Garis L. Distelhorst, MIA executive vice president. "His vast knowledge of natural stone and his in-depth experience in education and communications will be of enormous value to MIA members and affiliated professionals, such as architects, as we develop new education and training programs on the wide applicability of natural stone for residential and commercial settings."

"Few architects, engineers, interior designers or even stone industry professionals have ever had a formal education in the use of natural stone," stated Marazita. "I've found that the largest body of knowledge that exists about its usage is found in the general rules of thumb those in the industry have learned along the way. The members of the MIA are among the best 'teachers' in the world to help expand this knowledge, and I'm looking forward to making their valuable teachings more accessible to all."

Marazita is a frequent speaker at stone industry gatherings and has written for industry publications. He has been involved in the natural stone industry for more than two decades. After graduating from Harvard University in 1981, he spent five years at the University of Genoa in Italy as an architecture student, English lecturer and translator/interpreter for architectural texts and conferences. During his 12 years as a senior trade analyst with the Italian Trade Commission in Los Angeles, he developed and implemented promotional campaigns for the natural stone industry. Most recently, Marazita has provided integrated marketing and sales services to clients in the natural stone and other fields through Marazita & Associates of Canoga Park, CA.

In addition, he is a member of the MIA and the Construction Specifications Institute and a board member of the Italian American Chamber of Commerce West.