Trade associations are similar to private businesses in that success is largely driven by having a good product, great people and an attentive ear to the needs of your customers (or in our case, members). How do you measure a year in the life of an association? Here are a few ways we can try. In 2018: 

  • 40,021,768 visitors accessed resources through the websites of the Natural Stone Institute, Use Natural Stone and Building Stone Magazine. 
  • 49,693 hours of education were completed.
  • 18,282 individuals attended over 60 Natural Stone Institute programs and events.
  • 3,200 technical questions were answered via phone and email.
  • 205 new companies joined the Natural Stone Institute.
  • 25 new safety resources were published.

As proud as I am of these accomplishments, there is so much more to do! The industry has been impacted by several key drivers for change: labor shortages, competing products, technology, tariffs and government regulations. These conditions and the dynamics they have caused will greatly impact the industry’s future.

So what are we doing about it? The Natural Stone Institute is currently going through an update to our strategic plan and the focus has been on listening to how we can shape an envisioned future for our members.

What have we learned?

  1. Our core purpose is to be the leader in advancing the natural stone industry.
  2. Our mission is to lead, support and promote a unified natural stone industry through authoritative information, education, standards and advocacy. 
  3. We have four key enduring principles that guide the behavior of our association: leadership, stewardship, collaboration and professionalism. These are often referred to as core values.
  4. As we examine several key goals for the next three-to-five years, our influence is needed for three primary stakeholders: the natural stone industry, the association membership and the design community (architects, designers and specifiers who all influence consumers). The association as an organization must remain innovative and relevant to make a difference for these three groups.

During a recent staff meeting, I shared the following statement with our team: “Our success is contingent on having the strategic plan as a living document and not as a publication that resides on the bookshelf never to be looked at.”

Where do you come in? Join us as we address the key issues facing the industry. Get involved and let your voice be heard. We will be highlighting portions of the plan during a member meeting at StonExpo/Marmomac at TISE in January. See you then!

My very best!