CLEVELAND, OH -- The Marble Institute of America (MIA) has announced that it will hold an accreditation program immersion course during The International Surface Event (TISE) East in Miami, FL, on October 22, 2014, the final day of the tradeshow. This one-day course is designed to give companies interested in accreditation the opportunity to learn about the application process, participate in a review of the exam material and to take the accreditation exam. The application and exam material review are conducted in the morning, while the five-hour, open book exam will be administered in the afternoon.

The accreditation immersion course at TISE East is the third of a three-event run of immersion courses occurring in late summer and early fall. The first two are being held in Toronto, ON, on August 22 and Secaucus, NJ, on September 12. These three events follow in the footsteps of the hugely successful inaugural accreditation immersion course held during Coverings 2014. During the Coverings event, 15 people passed the accreditation exam and jumpstarted their company's path towards accreditation.

"The accreditation immersion course is a great way for fabricators and commercial contractors to prepare for and take the test," said MIA Board of Director, Jon Lancto (of Surface Products in Cornelius, NC), who sat in for a panel discussion during the Coverings course. "We also got great feedback from the attendees that will make future immersion courses stronger."

Attendees, who will not be identified due to a commitment of confidentiality during the process, discussed their experiences with the course:

  • "The course was a great experience. I had been wanting to get accredited for years, but the opportunity to sit for the test before making any real financial commitment was what pushed me over the edge. So happy I did it!"
  • "It was very informational. I learned a lot."
  • "I love that the test was difficult. It covered many areas that I don’t deal with that often, but that is a good thing. Keep it tough!"

MIA accreditation for natural stone fabricators and commercial contractors recognizes those companies that meet the industry's highest standards for business activities, product knowledge, fabrication and installation. To earn MIA accreditation, a company must complete an intensive, rigorous process that includes documentation of its business and employment practices, letters of recommendation, a written examination and site visits to the facility and completed jobs. Currently, there are over 70 MIA accredited natural stone fabricators and over 10 MIA accredited commercial contractors in the U.S. and Canada. To learn more about the program and upcoming immersion classes, contact Garen Distelhorst at or visit