A broad educational program featuring 17 extensive one- and two-day seminars across the U.S. will be offered by the Marble Institute of America (MIA), which is combining forces with Stone World magazine to deliver the best quality regional education program offered in the stone industry.

The 2009 program will have a strong emphasis on analyzing the cost of doing business; exploring alternative product lines and services; showcasing techniques and tips for templating, fabrication and installation; sharing management tips that drive successful stone companies; and much more. The mix of seminars will provide opportunities for fabricators/installers, restoration, marketing, sales and advertising professionals. The expanded "commercial" stone class is highly recommended for residentially focused stone professionals wishing to expand their business.

An all-star cast of industry veterans will serve as speakers including GK Naquin (Stone Interiors), Fred Jackson (Estudio Group LLC), Tony Malisani (Malisani Inc.), Brett Rugo (Rugo Stone), Michael Twiss (Columbia Stone), Jim Hogan (Carrara Marble Co. of America, Inc.), Rodney Harvey (Curtain Wall Design & Consulting, Inc.) and Tom McNall (Great Northern Stone). Marketing expert Marty Gould (Focalize Now) and representatives from several OSHA offices will also be participating.

"The time was right to leverage the marketing outreach of Stone World Magazine with the educational programming produced by the MIA," explained Stone World Publisher Alex Bachrach. MIA's Gary Distelhorst added, "that the new program content addresses what stone companies need to gain a competitive advantage during tough economic times."

The following is the 2009 schedule (please consult the MIA Web site for pricing and registration):

Business Success for Fabricators – Don't Let Revenue Slip Away

(*includes a second day of tours of local showrooms, fabrication shops and a mock-OSHA inspection of a fabrication facility)<br>

·         March 18 & 19 – Dallas, TX *

·         April 30 – Atlanta, GA

·         June 10 & 11 – Seattle, WA *

·         July 22 & 23 – Boston, MA *

·         August 5 & 6 – Chicago, IL *

·         September 9 & 10 – New Jersey/Metro New York City *


Countertop & Floor Repair

(demonstrations will occur on Day Two)

·         July 22 & 23 – Boston, MA

·         September 9 & 10 – NJ/NYC


Expanding Your Natural Stone Know-How – A Showroom Perspective

·         March 18 – Dallas, TX

·         April 30 – Atlanta, GA


Marketing Your Company in Today's Business Environment

·         June 10 – Seattle, WA

·         August 5 – Chicago, IL


OSHA/Shop Safety

·         April 9 – Cleveland, OH

·         June 25 – Cincinnati, OH / Northern Kentucky


Quarry Tours & More – Destination Vermont!

·         May 13 & 14


Using Natural Stone in Commercial Projects

·         Date TBD – Washington, DC

·         Date TBD – San Diego, CA


Stone professionals will have an opportunity to take advantage of several incentives being offered:


·         Earn a $200 bookstore credit - MIA member companies that send two employees to a classroom seminar will receive a $200 credit for items from the MIA bookstore.

·         Earn two free registrations - non-MIA member companies that join prior to or during the seminar will be able to send two employees to a seminar for free (a $498 value).

·         Each seminar city will also host an Industry Regional Meeting / Networking Reception.  The regional meeting and reception will be a set 2-hour segment on the same day of classroom seminars.  Stone industry professionals (MIA Members & non-members) from the general area will be invited to join the event at no cost. The meeting will include an industry briefing on key topics (such as radon, industry check-off program, sustainability, accreditation and much more) followed by a networking reception.

The following companies proudly serve as national sponsors in support of this important industry program: GranQuartz (Tucker, GA), Water Treatment Technologies (Hampton, NH), Park Industries (St. Cloud, MN), Aqua Mix/Custom Building Products (Seal Beach, CA), VIC International (Knoxville, TN), Laser Products (Romeoville, IL), Schechner Lifson Corp. (Summit, NJ), Braxton-Bragg (Knoxville, TN) and Breton SpA (Italy).

About the Marble Institute of America
For over 60 years the Marble Institute of America (MIA) has been a world leading information resource and advocate for the natural dimension stone industry. MIA members include marble, granite, limestone, sandstone and other natural stone producers and quarriers, fabricators, installers, distributors and contractors around the world.

For more information, contact MIA at (440) 250-9222, e-mail MIAinfo@marble-institute.com or visit www.marble-institute.com.