Oberlin, OH —The Natural Stone Institute was proud to present the 2020 CEU Awards to participating members of the CEU Program at TISE in Las Vegas, NV on June 16, 2021.

Each year, the association recognizes both an organization and a certified individual for presenting the most CEUs for that calendar year. It takes time and effort to coordinate these events for architects and designers, and the educational impact deserves recognition. As many locations were closed to visitors in 2020, certified speakers embraced virtual education to reach their audience.   

The 2020 CEU Educator of the Year Award was presented to Stone Panels International LLC, a lightweight stone company in Marble Falls, TX. Certified speakers at Stone Panels educated 594 individuals at 74 classes: the most of any participating company for 2020. Stone Panels implemented a marketing plan that targeted emails and flyers specific to architect and design firms, delivering a message they knew would resonate.

Kayla Strand, Regional Sales Manager for Stone Panels International LLC, was named 2020 CEU Speaker of the Year. Kayla’s efforts in outreach, presenting, and maintaining industry relationships allowed both her and her company to achieve these honors. Kayla was the top performing speaker, contributing 44 classes and 317 attendees to Stone Panels’ totals.

Regarding achieving her goals during a global pandemic, Kayla stated: “Last year was trying for all of us on many different levels. Every week regulations were changing. Instead of spending time on an airplane and traveling around to different cities, I used that time to dive into the market segments I was serving and offer them the same level of expertise I would have provided before the pandemic, just in a different way – virtually. I found that reaching out and offering online education was something many offices were looking for. People were looking for an opportunity to get their credits and learn about the product Stone Panels International has to offer. Before I knew it, my calendar was full: I was spending 2-3 days a week providing CEUs, sometimes back to back. COVID has brought a lot of challenges to all aspects of our lives. I’m a believer that sometimes the greatest ideas come out of the most challenging times.”

The Natural Stone Institute CEU program currently has 454 certified speakers worldwide. With 336 CEU classes were presented to 4,225 design professionals in 2020, the program continues to make an important impact on the natural stone industry. To learn how to get involved, visit www.naturalstoneinstitute.org/CEU.