Held January 24 to 26 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV, StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas 2012 was a universal success. The exhibitor hall floor had consistently strong traffic, and the event’s extensive seminar program saw solid attendance from its beginning on January 23 to the event’s final day.

Co-located with Surfaces, the largest floor covering show in North America, the overall event saw a slight increase in attendance, according to the show’s organizer, Hanley Wood. But going beyond numbers, the buzz on the exhibit floor was stronger than it has been in years, with all types of industry suppliers — from machinery to tooling and accessories to stone — reporting that they were seeing brisk business at the show.

“There was definitely an enhanced atmosphere on the show floor,” said Amie Gilmore, Show Manager of StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas. “Booths were busy and people were engaged in serious business discussions. The stone industry is off to a great start, professionals are upbeat, and we’re thrilled to share in the momentum.”

Gary Distelhorst, Executive Vice President and CEO of the Marble Institute of America, commented: “This year’s StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas was fortified with a positive spirit about the near future of our industry — a feeling of excitement that has, quite frankly, been missing the last couple years.”

A strong showing of stone industry professionals walked through the exhibits and visited with 120-plus exhibitors — sourcing the latest stone products and machinery to equip their business for that next level of success. A total of 15% were new companies, providing attendees the chance to explore more innovative products and business opportunities.

As usual, StonExpo served as a platform for industry suppliers to unveil their latest developments, and this year was no exception. Not only could visitors find new stone materials at the event, but there were also new introductions in stoneworking machinery, electronic templating technology, tools, accessories, care and maintenance products, sinks and more.

Bolstering the level of product introductions at StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas 2012, a number of new stone industry-related companies were on hand at the event, representing stone as well as technology.

New areas added to the 2012 show floor included “Tool Alley,” featuring companies whose primary business is the supply of large and small tools. Groupings of exhibitors in the same category could also be found in the Stone Pavilion, where materials from around the world were on display, and Artisan Avenue, an area full of bold, specialty and handcrafted items — from tiles and sinks to cabinets.

Educational opportunitiesStonExpo/Marmomacc Americas 2012 Lobby

The StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas Educational Program was well attended, and it featured eight targeted tracks for every level and demographic of the stone industry.

Tracks included:

• Marketing

• Flooring Installation

• Building Design and Trends

• Business

• Sales

• Care/Maintenance/Restoration

• Stone Fabrication/Installation

• Sustainability (New for 2012)

A wide variety of practical education on stone fabrication and installation was available, including two open “Forums,” where industry members could present questions to a panel of industry veterans. These sessions, in particular, drew larger crowds than in years past.

StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas introduced the S² Masters Certification program at this year’s event, allowing education program participants to qualify for a “Master” status in any of the eight tracks offered. Attendees taking a minimum of eight hours received a certificate, a mention on the StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas website, along with a ribbon for their 2013 show badge.

The Marble Institute of America hosted their own educational sessions intertwined into the standard StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas education program. Five courses were offered over three days and ranged from topics on accreditation for the residential fabricators and commercial contractors to iPad apps for the design community featuring natural stone.

Moving outside the classroom education, attendees at StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas were presented with ample opportunities for hands-on learning directly on the show floor. The StoneLIVE! program offered up-close, expert-led education on some of the most challenging stone installation and hand-finishing techniques, with presentations by the Stone Fabricators Alliance (SFA).

The SFA also offered tooling demos and instruction in its hands-on fabrication area dubbed “The Cage,” which was located on the show floor. Demonstrations included Top Polishing, Seam Setting, Texturing Stone Using Hand Tools, Sealing/Enhancing, Granite Scratch Repair, Tool Sampling, Core Bit Sampling, Mitering & Vein Matching, Techniques, Marble Scratch Repair and Homing.

As an added bonus for attendees, the DIY Network’s Chris Grundy, host of “Cool Tools,” was also stationed at the SFA exhibit to sign autographs and watch the demos taking place in The Cage.

StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas is owned and organized by Hanley Wood, and its Official Sponsors are the Marble Institute of America (MIA) and Natural Stone Council. The event’s official endorsers are Marmomacc (Veronafiere), Allied Stone Industries and The Concrete Countertop Institute.

StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas 2013 is scheduled for January 29 to January 31 — again at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.


Stuart Young is Named Stone World Fabricator Of The Year 

The 2012 Nominating Committee for Stone World magazine has named Stuart Young of The Granite Shop in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, as Fabricator of the Year. The award was presented at StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas 2012 in Las Vegas, NV. Criteria for the award is as follows:

• cooperation in sharing technology with the industry

• willingness to pioneer in the use of new technology

• fostering educational programs for the training of stoneworkers in industry methods

• promoting technological progress through association work

In 2004, Stuart Young opened The Granite Shop. In just seven short years, The Granite Shop has become one of the most technologically advanced fabrication facility in North America. Stuart recognized and seized the opportunity of utilizing automation and new technologies in fabricating stone and quartz countertops.

For over the past few years, Young has been dedicated to sharing his stone business experiences with fabricators from all over North America, speaking at the 2009 and 2010 Coverings Show and numerous Park Industries Digital Stoneworking Expos. At these events, he shares his experiences, best practices, failures and financial improvements of converting his shop to a complete digital technology stone countertop production facility within just six short weeks.

Young is eager to share his successes with others in hopes that they will be able to adopt processes into their fabrication business. This is the driving force behind his success in promoting the stone and quartz industry in the marketplace and his charge to “raise the bar” among other stone fabricators in delivering the highest of quality products.

Young is a strong advocate for training. As a MIA member, he was instrumental in convincing the MIA/Stone World Stone Industry Education program to hold is first-ever training event in Canada and enlisted the help of vendors and other fabricators to make the event a huge success. MIA continues to host seminars in Canada as a direct result of Stuart’s advocacy and promotion of the events. In addition, Stuart also works with Southern Alberta Institute of Technology hosting, educating and promoting the stone industry and skilled trades in the Calgary area.

The current roster of winners of the Stone World Fabricator of the Year Award is as follows:

2012 — Stuart Young, The Granite Shop

2010 — Matt Lansing, Stone Innovations

2009 — Scott McGourley, Kasco Stone

2008 — Paul Menninger, Capitol Granite & Marble

2007 — Ron Hannah, Cadenza Granite & Marble

2006 — Dick Laliberte, Ripano Stoneworks

2005 — G.K. Naquin, Stone Interiors

2004 — Tim and Scott Buechel, Buechel Stone Corp.

2003 — Kip Cameron, Granite-Tops

2002 — George Fox, Luck Stone Corp.

2001 — Fred Becker, Becker & Becker Stone Co.

2000 — Connie and Brenda Edwards, TexaStone Quarries

1999 — Walter Dusenbery, Johnson-Atelier School, Sculpture

1998 — Harold Stobbe, Owen Sound Ledgerock

1996 — Willard Vetter, Vetter Stone Co.

1995 — Chuck Monson, Dakota Granite Co.

1994 — Linus Dingman, Cold Spring Granite Co.

1993 — David Teitelbaum, Cathedral Stoneworks

1991 — Wilbur Bybee, Bybee Stone Co.

1989 — Tony Ramos, New England Stone Industries

1988 — Jim Stengel, Dakota Granite Co.

1987 — David Elliott, Elliott Stone Co.



Marmomacc Stone Academy continues at StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas 

Since 1999, Veronafiere — organizer of Marmomacc in Verona, Italy — has been an American Institute of Architects (AIA) CES provider. In this role, Marmomacc is authorized to organize educational sessions for American architects and release international credits.

In addition to an extensive, multi-day program at Marmomacc in Verona, a one-day educational event is held in conjunction with StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas. “Designing With Natural Stone” is a day of continuing education for building design professionals organized by Veronafiere in conjunction with Hanley Wood Exhibitions in order to help architects learn advanced techniques in the use of marble, granite and other stone materials.

The program is a unique combination of classroom lectures, guided architectural tours and field trips to nearby quarries or natural stone processing facilities.

This year, the program began with a stone fabrication shop tour led by owner Jeff Grail of Cadillac Stone Works and Vince Marazita of Marazita & Associates. Cadillac has fabricated stone for a number of recent high-profile projects, including The Spa at the Cosmopolitan and The Gallery nightclub at Planet Hollywood.

 The tour included a general introduction and overview of stone fabrication, a discussion of how designers can best work with fabricators, a facility walk-through to see advanced machinery — including multiple CNC stoneworking centers and waterjet — and a look at the slab yard.

This was followed with a guided tour of the stonework at The Gallery nightclub, with an emphasis on the countertop fabricating techniques used by Cadillac.

Education at the site of StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas included:

• “From ANSI to ISO:  Improvements in Performance Evaluation,” presented by Mapei.

• “Natural Stone and Sustainability: Exploring Trends and Advancements to Achieve High Performance,” presented by Stephanie Vierra of Vierra Design and Education Services and Christopher Green of Ago Studios. 

• A Guided Walking Tour of StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas 2012, led by Vince Marazita of Marazita & Associates, which provided an overview of the international stone materials and stone processing technology

• “Caring for Dimensional Stone: The Importance of Protection and Maintenance,” presented by Fila Chemicals USA