Randy Severson, of Carrara Marble Company (center) receives MIA Natural Stone Craftsman of the Year Award from MIA President Guido Gliori (right) in Las Vegas. Mike Faso of Laticrete, an award sponsor, looks on.

CLEVELAND, OH - Randy Severson, general superintendent of Carrara Marble Company of City of Industry, CA, has been chosen as the very first “MIA Natural Stone Craftsman of the Year;” a competition introduced by the Marble Institute of America (MIA) in 2009.

A six-member panel of stone industry veterans selected Severson from a pool of nominees in a competition sponsored by two leading industry suppliers, Laticrete and Campolonghi Italia. The award, a beautifully crafted and unique plaque, was presented at the MIA Annual Awards Luncheon at StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas in Las Vegas on October 23, 2009.

Severson joined Carrara Marble Company nearly three decades ago as a driver, but quickly advanced to serving as an apprentice. Three years after that, he became a journeyman, and he eventually became foreman and primary supervisor of the California Plaza project, a 55-story building in downtown Los Angeles. Six years later, he was unanimously chosen to succeed Carrara’s retiring general superintendent, and he has now been involved in major projects in California and Nevada as well as other states across the U.S.

“Randy Severson epitomizes everything you could ask for in an employee, and particularly, in the stone business,” said Jim Hogan, senior vice president of Carrara Marble Company, who nominated Severson and for whom the award winner works directly.

Severson admits he got hooked on the stone business early in his career. “What I liked about it is that at the end of the day, you can feel like you’ve put in a hard day’s work and then you can step back and see what you’ve actually created,” he said.

Severson is also passionate about helping young people in the industry so they have the knowledge and expertise to become the next generation of top craftsmen. “It’s very important that my journeymen, foremen and I take time to teach the young guys the proper way to install material,” he said.

A devoted baseball fan, along with his wife, Debbie and three children, Severson beamed as he described how he correlates his job with the game of baseball. “I have coached my sons in baseball since they were Peewee,” he said. “I put together my team here at Carrara Marble just like it. I have some utility guys. I have some guys who have some pop. I have some guys who have finesse. All of those guys are gamers, which is why when I get into a meeting that has an intense schedule, at no time do I think we can’t make it happen because I’ve got the best team behind me. I have a world championship team.”

The Natural Stone Craftsman of the Year Award will be an annual MIA competition to honor the men and women who truly reflect the best of the natural stone industry and bring stone to life through love of the material, craftsmanship and attention to detail.