The polls closed earlier this week for the 2018 Stone World Fabricator of the Year Award. As I checked the vote count from time to time, it was exciting to see the race between the well-qualified candidates. Unfortunately, we can only honor one person in the end, but all those who were nominated were deserving of the title and we appreciate all of you who took the time to vote!

The Stone World Fabricator of the Year Award is a long-time tradition which began when Jim Stengel of Dakota Granite Co. was honored in 1988. Forward 30 years later, and we have a lineup of outstanding industry members who have been recognized each year for their leadership, dedication and innovation.

Those who have received the award, as well as the other worthy candidates who were nominated, have all set an example by having a willingness to either educate by sitting on educational panels at various trade shows and other events or have opened their shops up to their peers to share ideas and experiences – all for the better of our industry.

I, as well as our staff, have been asked on more than one occasion how one is nominated for Stone World Fabricator of the Year. Nominations come from machinery and tooling manufacturers. The stone industry is relatively small, and most of the equipment suppliers are familiar with dedicated industry members who not only take pride in providing quality customer service and products, but also are involved and willing to share their knowledge and expertise with others for the overall good of the stone industry. We ask nominators to consider the following criteria when nominating a fabricator for the award:

  • cooperativeness 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

If you believe you are a contender for the Stone World Fabricator of the Year Award, then don't hesitate to mention this to one of your suppliers in the coming year. They are all sent nomination forms. Prove to them you are deserving of a nomination and encourage them to submit their form.

“The stone fabrication industry is starting to experience some necessary evolution,” said Eric Tryon of Premier Surfaces, who was the 2015 Stone World Fabricator of the Year. “It’s important for stone fabricators to get outside their bubbles. The introduction of new technologies has opened the doors for more effective tools and systems. For example, internal communication between departments, as well as external communication with customers, has advanced dramatically. Organizations that adapt and are willing to get uncomfortable and change will experience efficiency gains, cost reductions and better communication with customers.

This business is about people, systems and quality. Deliver a quality product, on time with no surprises and meeting or exceeding customer expectations. Success requires hitting the mark in all three areas. Winning the Stone World Fabricator of the Year Award was validation for the entire Premier Surfaces family and team. Our industry peers were recognizing our efforts to create positive change and take a leadership position to evolve and grow. I was certainly very proud of the entire Premier Surfaces team. The PS family and myself were grateful and appreciated the recognition and achievement.”

To find out who is the 2018 Stone World Fabricator of the Year join us at booth #3517 on Thursday, January 24th at 3 p.m. for the award presentation followed by the block party sponsored by the Natural Stone Council and other supporting stone associations.