CLEVELAND, OH --The Marble Institute of America's (MIA) Accreditation Program, as well as its Stone Slab Handling Safety Program, have been awarded the "Power of A" Silver Award. The Power of A Awards are the premier program honoring associations that exemplify how the association community and its dedicated professionals are essential to a stronger America and world. The awards, presented each year by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), recognize and celebrate the extraordinary contributions associations make to society year round by enriching lives, creating a competitive workforce, preparing society for the future, driving innovation and making a better world.

The MIA Accreditation Program and Stone Slab Handling Safety Program were both entered in the "Power to Create a Competitive Workforce" category of the awards competition. The competitive workforce category recognizes programs that help individuals gain and apply new technical skills, as well as learn best practices for their profession.

"We felt that the Accreditation Program was a perfect entry for the Power of A Awards," said Garen Distelhorst, MIA Communication Director, who manages the Accreditation Program. "From the outset, the Accreditation Program has been driven by our members' desire to develop industry standards for competency and an accompanying accredited designation. Our Accreditation Task Force spent over two years assembling the criteria, program structure, comprehensive exam, etc. The Accreditation Program is a testament to the significant impact an association can have on an industry when it unites its members around a common goal."

MIA Industry Research and Information Manager, Mike Loflin (who facilitated the Stone Slab Handling Safety Program) added, "The Safety Program is one of the most significant, important and timely examples of industry collaboration that we are aware of. Many competing companies came together for the betterment of the industry and have created a program applicable to any company handling stone slabs. There had never been a full training program created through the cooperation and idea sharing of stone industry companies."

ASAE received nearly 100 entries in the first year of the Power of A Awards. The awards will be presented at ASAE's Summit Awards Dinner on Wednesday, October 5, 2011. The dinner will bring together association executives, government officials and business and community leaders for an evening to celebrate the value of associations and their impact on society.