Recently, a Midwestern contractor was featured as one of America’s oldest family owned businesses. Opening their doors nearly 150 years ago, they grew their business through the phase out of the horse and introduction of the automobile, the Spanish Flu, two World Wars, the Great Depression, the gas shortage, Black Monday, Y2K and the Recession of the 2000s. How did they manage to sustain their operations despite all of these hardships? Business experts will tell you that a company needs strong leadership, excellent people and unwavering support if they want to survive the test of time. 

Strong leaders cultivate excellent team members that support each other and, in turn, support the business. These individuals combine their talents to grow an organization, the communities in which they operate and their industry as a whole. The support companies provide outside their walls and jobsites grow purposes for the “greater good.” In doing what is best for all concerned, they help to raise the water level to float all boats. The natural stone industry has established a number of associations that benefit their stakeholders and keep us relevant in an ever-changing marketplace. Over time, some of these groups have come and gone, while others have combined their resources to grow stronger together. 

In an effort to include all of the market sectors that the industry represents, the Natural Stone Council (NSC) was formed. Its core purpose was simple: To be the unified voice of the natural stone industry. The mantle that they picked up in 2005 remains to this day. Now comprising nine affiliate organizations, everyone has an equal say and an equal stake in supporting natural stone in the marketplace. This is inclusive of all stone types, products and markets served. The NSC is truly an “association, of associations.” Who looks out for you? In short, we all do. That is part of the comradery we enjoy from being a part of one of the longest standing industries in the history of our civilization. The efforts of the NSC are driven by industry advocacy, regulatory compliance (safety and environmental), education and the promotion of natural stone and sustainability. Since these areas of focus are applicable to us all, the work carried out by the board and their committees help support each and every one of you. As a larger and louder voice, the NSC works in partnership with its nine affiliates to keep natural stone well positioned in the market.

Difficult times provide us opportunities to rise to the occasion and find solutions outside our usual compass. As the unified voice of the stone industry, the NSC has elected to turn inward to ask how they can better serve you. There are several committees that could use volunteers and suggestions are welcomed.  Remember, as long as we are looking out for one another, we will all have someone looking out for us.