CONCORD, NC -- From February 22 to 24, the Stone Fabricators Alliance (SFA) conducted its largest advanced training workshop to date. A total of 79 stone fabricators from around the U.S., Canada and Barbados traveled to Cadenza Granite and Marble to teach, learn and share ideas about better ways to fabricate and run a stone shop. The event was hosted by Ron and Melissa Hannah, owners of Cadenza Granite and Marble, who taught the first of three "classroom" topics -- "Stone Shop Management." This session covered management, sales, scheduling, production and quality control. Mark Lauzon of Stoneworks in Hubbard, OR, then taught a block on "Advanced Professional Selling Skills," which covered the basics of needs-based selling. Lauzon also taught a short block on how to build a Web site for a stone fabrication company using an Apple Macintosh computer running the iWeb software suite. During the hands-on training, Brian Briggs of Granite Guys in Fort Pierce, FL, did a hands-on demonstration on how to cut, glue and process a large book-matched radius tub deck surround. Barry Brandt from Pyramid Marble & Granite in Effingham, IL, then demonstrated the Rock Doctor, which can top polish seams and remove scratches. Also addressing top polishing, Donny Taylor demonstrated the technique using hand tools. In other sessions, Dr. Darren Dupree showed how to run a man-powered edge machine; Steven Hauser demonstrated some new types of sealers and ran several tests; Jeff Leun showcased advanced laminating methods; and Chris Checketts demonstrated a method he invented for producing chip-free seams. In addition to fabricators, the event was attended by several suppliers to the industry, offering tips on how to best utilize the technology on the market today. The next SFA Workshop will be held at Granite Guys in Ft. Pierce, FL, and it will focus on advanced marble masonry. During the summer, Pyramid Marble & Granite will host a three-day training event at its stone plant in Effingham, IL. For more information about the Stone Fabricators Alliance, visit or