As I write this Stone Column, I am on a plane to Las Vegas to attend The International Surface Event (TISE). It doesn’t seem like it has been a year since I was last there. Time definitely flies by quickly. And so we begin another “trade show season.”

This time of year is always exciting because it is when many companies launch their new product lines. That is why we present our Fabricating Technology Roundup every January and February. Beginning on page 28 of this issue, you can view some of the latest developments in tooling and accessories being used in today’s stone fabrication shops.

While in Las Vegas, myself and the Stone World staff will be witnessing first-hand the latest technology in everything from diamond blades to machinery to storage carts and other tooling and accessories. Additionally, we will see the newest stone varieties that are out there, as well as attending seminars covering the current issues fabricators are dealing with. We will be sure to report back on everything we learn about to keep you, our readers, abreast of new industry developments.

By sharing what we learn while on the road and talking with stone industry professionals, we hope it can help you in your business in some way — whether large or small. Working together and sharing ideas and information can often provide benefits.

Also while I am at TISE, Stone World will be presenting its annual “Fabricator of the Year Award.” This year’s winner, Scott Hanes of Majestic Marble and Granite in Orlando, FL, was nominated for his dedication to the industry and willingness to open his shop and share his experiences to help others.

“In 2014, Scott hosted an SFA event at his shop so that others could learn more about his equipment and fabrication processes,” stated his nomination form. “In 2015, Scott presented at the Coverings tradeshow and how digital technology has transformed his business. For over five years, he has been a main presenter at the Digital Stoneworking Expo, sharing his company story and how digital technology has enabled him to grow and thrive in a very competitive market. His “open door” policy has resulted in 100+ guests visiting his shop to learn best practices within the industry.”

Scott is one of many industry members who devote their time to innovation and helping others grow their businesses. Unfortunately, we do not have an award to give everyone, but by recognizing a fabricator each year and sharing their story, we hope it encourages others to pay it forward and collaborate with others for the benefit of the stone industry as a whole.

And while the Fabricator of the Year Award is presented annually, we will continue to share stories of your peers through our series of Fabricator Case Studies throughout 2017. If you would like to share your experiences or know someone who does, please don’t hesitate to let me know. We’d love to hear from you.