LAS VEGAS, NV -- The Marble Institute of America (MIA) hosted the first gathering of its new "Women in Stone" (WIS) group during Coverings 2014, held in Las Vegas, NV, April 29 to May 2. This networking reception was sponsored by Polycor, while the overall initiative is also being supported by Blick Industries, Hanley Wood, OHM International, Rock of Ages, Polycor and TexaStone Quarries.

Women in Stone event

Event sponsor Patrick Perus of Polycor, Inc. with members of the WIS Steering Committee.

The purpose of the "Women in Stone" group is to retain and advance women who have chosen a career in the stone industry, as well as to recruit new women into the industry. The group aims to accomplish these goals by increasing the number of networking opportunities available to women, expanding on existing educational offerings and creating opportunities for women to serve on key industry committees.

"The Women in Stone launch was a tremendous success," said Co-Chair Brie Pfannenbecker of Connecticut Stone Supplies, Inc. "Out of all of the wonderful happenings at Coverings, the Women in Stone event is the one I have talked about the most since returning home."

"This is an exciting initiative that has lots of positive energy and momentum to become a resource for women to broaden their perspective (personal) through meaningful strategic connections at any level of their career, so they can reach their full potential and accelerate or enhance their career growth," said Coldspring's Kathy Spanier.

"There is beauty in a woman whose confidence comes from experience, a woman who knows she can fall and pick herself up," said Allyson Humphries of Walker Zanger. "The quiet confidence of the over 60 women who attended the MIA - WIS Event was inspiring. I am so eager to keep up the momentum and engage other women in our industry."

The next face-to-face "Women in Stone" event is set for StonExpo East in Miami, FL, on October 19. To learn more about this initiative, visit www.marble-institute.com/womeninstone