Stone Column: School didn't let out for summer
As September rolls around, it’s time for many of us to get back to a routine. School is back in full swing for our children, which means homework, earlier bedtimes and running around for sports practices and other activities. And in the stone industry, our schedules usually fill up a little more in the fall with what we often like to refer to as “trade show season.” But while this summer didn’t have any major stone exhibitions going on, I noticed there certainly wasn’t a lack of educational events. School, so to speak, was still in session.
Throughout the summer months, our Stone Worldstaff “divided and conquered” to attend various workshops and events across the country. All were designed with the same intent – to provide knowledge to the participants that will help them with better business practices, which overall, is for the good of the industry.
At the end of July, I took a road trip to Connecticut to visit the historic Stony Creek granite quarry, which hosted a Natural Stone Institute New York Metro/New England Chapter event. There was quite a turnout for the tour, which started with a visit to the quarry and finished with a sunset cruise on Long Island Sound. Darrell Petit and Stacy Bandecchi of Stony Creek Quarry did an excellent job of sharing their knowledge of the quarry with our group. Stony Creek granite has been used for many prominent buildings and structures in New York City, including the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty and Grand Central Station. Most recently, they are working to provide Stony Creek granite for the new Statue of Liberty Museum that is scheduled to open the beginning of 2019. Once the project is completed, you can expect a detailed story in an upcoming issue of Stone World. You can also learn more about the summer tour, as well as the Stony Creek granite quarry, in our next edition.
Also in July, Stone Worldheld one of its stone industry education workshops, which we run with the Natural Stone Institute, in Kansas City. The event was hosted by MSI, and it received a nice turnout. I know I have spoken about these workshops often throughout the years, so I won’t go into too much detail now. They do offer valuable information on various aspects of running a fabrication shop – from business structure and management to sales, customer service and technical issues. They are also a good way to network with industry members to share knowledge and ideas. And for me, it’s a great way to meet some more of our readers.
The Stone Fabricators’ Alliance (SFA) also holds several workshops throughout the year – most recently one was hosted by Stone World’s fabricator of the year, Dave Scott of Slabworks of Montana in Bozeman, MT. These workshops are a great way for industry members to network and make new friends. They also provide an opportunity for participants to view machinery demonstrations and sit in on educational sessions that address current issues fabricators encounter. To learn more about the trip the SFA took to Italy this past spring, turn to page 76.
And the final event I will speak of was a seminar held collaboratively last month by ADI, GranQuartz and Zoller at Zoller USA’s headquarters in Ann Arbor, MI. The full-day session offered continued education and information exchange on leading stone industry technology, including a look at the Zoller Smile Pilot. You can find more information about the event in the Web Exclusive section on www.stoneworld.com, and the piece of equipment is also featured as this month’s Technology Update on page 102.
So as you can see, education was bountiful this summer, and it will continue through the fall. In a few weeks, I will be making my annual trip to Marmomac in Verona, Italy. Some of the other Stone Worldstaff will be heading to our stone industry education events in Indianapolis, IN; Secaucus, NJ; and Tucson, AZ. It seems education in the stone industry doesn’t take a break, and that’s a good thing!