Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. It’s always hard getting back into the swing of things after having a nice long break, but I’m excited about some of the new things we are launching here at Stone World in 2020.

For starters, you will notice we have a new columnist that will be contributing some helpful tips and insight into running a successful stone business each month. We are very happy to welcome Eric Tryon to our Stone World family. For those who are unfamiliar with Eric, he often presents at the Stone Industry Education workshops, which we partner with the Natural Stone Institute and are held all over the country throughout the year. Eric is a founder of the Rockheads and started his own fabrication business that he successfully grew to have four locations. He then sold the company and founded Clio Holdings, which he is a retired CEO. Eric was also named 2015 Fabricator of the Year. We are excited for Eric to share his knowledge and experiences with our readers through “Tryon’s Tips.”

You will also see that our Fabricator Case Study section has been renamed to “Inside the Shop.” Overall, we still intend to continue to share fabricators’ stories, but we also want to take a closer look at a particular part of their business, whether it be how they manager their shop, how they approach investments, etc. Something our readers can learn from and possibly apply to their own business structure and practices.

Another area we are focusing more on this year is digital media. Jason Kamery, who has been Stone World’s managing editor for almost six years, is also now our group digital editor. Jason and I have already devoted some time at the end of 2019 to developing ideas for videos and podcasts that we can share with our readers on our website, social media platforms and eNewsletters. Jason already has a few podcasts under his belt that he will be airing soon and we are excited to soon share the video he has put together about the making of our Fabricator of the Year Award. In it, our friend Jonathan Mitnick of CCS Stone, who has been fabricating this award for us for many years, shares his inspiration for the design and how it has evolved. And speaking of the Fabricator of the Year, for those who will be at TISE this month, please come by our booth (#3513) on Wednesday, January 29th at 4 p.m. to join us in honoring the 2019 Stone World Fabricator of the Year.

Overall, it looks like 2020 will be a good year. We present our annual Purchasing Plan Survey, beginning on page 42, which indicates that while industry members might be more conservative with their spending than last year, they still seem optimistic and many plan on making investments and have a positive outlook for the coming year.

As always, if any of you have a story idea, would like to be featured in Inside the Shop or have a suggestion for a podcast or video, please don’t hesitate to let us know at richinellij@bnpmedia.com or kameryj@bnpmedia.com. We look forward to hearing from you!