OBERLIN, OH -- Kim Dumais (Miller Druck Specialty Contracting) is the 2022 Women in Stone Pioneer Award recipient.
Kim Dumais has spent her entire career in the stone business. Twenty-two of those years have been with Miller Druck Specialty Contracting. During those years, Kim has become an authority on stones around the world and earned a status with architects and clients making her an asset to anything involving stone. While Miller Druck doesn’t typically believe in titles, Kim is recognized as vice president of sales. Her colleague Ismael Garcia believes a more accurate title would be director of knowledge because of her thirst to teach, encourage and help others advance.
“Kim is a role model for other women interested in a career path in natural stone,” says Jonathan Mitnick of CCS Stone of Moonachie, NJ. “She has decades of experience, feels equally comfortable working with luxury clients, interior designers and architects as she would be at a jobsite in Manhattan, working with a difficult project manager.”
Respected by colleagues, clients and peers, Kim’s stone knowledge, professionalism and passion to teach is evident. “Daily, she helps motivate not only me, but our entire team,” adds Ismael Garcia. “Her tireless efforts to push our industry forward are inspiring. From educating everyone about stone, to always finding innovative ways to interact with clients, Kim’s career is quite admirable.” Eliana Bahamon, another colleague at Miller Druck, says that crossing paths with Kim 16 years ago was like winning the lottery. Kim guided her steps in developing attributes of versatility and creativity, lending increased value and credibility to her opinions on layout and design questions.
When Women in Stone was first formed, Kim didn’t waste any time getting involved and joining the steering committee. She has played an active role since its inception and works to give other women the tools that they needed to pursue a successful career in the stone industry. Women in Stone Administrator, Sarah Gregg compliments Kim for her contributions to the organization’s Mentorship Program. “The most impactful thing that I've seen Kim do is mentor the young women in our industry. We assign her with a mentee who maybe has only one or two years of experience in the industry, who shows great promise, but just needs that extra education about where the stone comes from and what its best uses are.”
Nadia Grogan of Capitol Conservation Services of Ottawa was mentored by Kim and was initially struck by her knowledge and passion for stone. She is grateful for helping her flourish and grow in the industry. “I met her at a time when I worked almost exclusively with men. Now I manage a team of mostly women. I hope that I can offer them support and inspire their confidence like Kim did for me.”
Ismael Garcia also credits Kim for her inspiration and guidance during a summer job more than two decades ago when he was hired to be her assistant. “The position was temporary and not much was expected of me. After two months, thanks to Kim, I was able to absorb enough knowledge to be invited back, and later promoted to a full-time salesperson. With Kim’s guidance for the past 22 years, we turned a summer job into a passion for stone that turned into a career.”
Paula Vigo has worked with Kim for six years now. She recalls interviewing with Kim who then taught her practically everything and encouraged her to study and get certified to give face-to-face CEU and online courses for architects in New York City, which meant pushing beyond her comfort zone. Paula is grateful for this nurturing but also appreciates the support Kim provided her and others during recent difficult times. “In the time of this pandemic, where you tried to find opportunities to meet, create virtual meetings so we can be with each other. And you will check on us and see how we were doing. So, thank you. You deserve it all.”
Nominations for the 2023 Women in Stone Pioneer Award are being accepted until May 20. To learn more, visit www.naturalstoneinstitute.org/pioneeraward.