It’s hard to believe that we are officially in the holiday season and wrapping up 2019. What a year it has been. From the ramifications of tariffs on Chinese imports to new silica regulations to an update on the ANSI/NSC 373 Natural Stone Sustainability Standard, there has been a flurry of activity in our industry. In particular, associations such as the Natural Stone Institute and Natural Stone Council have been working feverishly to provide information and set guidelines as a resource for stone industry professionals.

There are many other groups within our industry, such as the Stone Fabricator’s Alliance (SFA), Rockheads, Artisan Group and Women In Stone, who have also held workshops and seminars to further educate fabricators and other industry members. Even a few of the leading machinery manufacturers have held educational events in 2019 to further educate their customers on technology and other issues facing the industry.

It’s important for industry members to share knowledge and ideas with each other, and one of the best ways to do this is to be involved through an association or group of like people. Working as a unified team with similar objectives can only lead to good results. I know all of the above mentioned groups always welcome new members and encourage people to get involved.

If you have been in the industry awhile and attend trade shows and other events, or read Stone World or other industry news sources, then you are aware of certain individuals that are very involved and continually volunteer their time and experiences. In fact, four of them are currently nominees for our 2019 Fabricator of the Year Award. If you haven’t voted already, the polls are still open for a little while longer. Go to to cast your vote.

While these deserving candidates each possess the qualities that it takes to be a Fabricator of the Year, I know there are many more of you out there that have similar traits and are worthy of this award too. What’s so nice about the stone industry is that overall, it is a sharing group. There are many of you out there that devote your time not only to your own businesses, but for the good of the industry. Through the years, I have met many of you that participate in workshops, sit in on forums or volunteer for trade show delegations, etc. I also know there are probably many more industry members out there who haven’t been able to get involved due to time constraints or other obligations. In this day and age, we are all busy and feel like there isn’t much extra time to give back or get involved. But immersing yourself more in the industry, even if it is only a little step and joining a group or attending one industry event, can only be beneficial to grow your business through networking and sharing experiences and tips with others who are working for the common goal.

This is just a little food for thought as we wind down the year. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and I’ll see you in 2020.