As I write this, I recently returned from participating on the Natural Stone Institute Bluestone Study Tour of quarries in Upstate New York and Pennsylvania, and I am leaving in a few days for Marmomac in Verona, Italy. After the past couple of years we have had living through the pandemic, I consider myself a lucky girl. It certainly feels good to be “out and about again” – having my work adventures and reconnecting with industry friends, as well as making new ones!

I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but attending in-person industry events is definitely beneficial for both the mind and soul. Being with people who share common interests and issues makes you feel good and helps you learn. Personally, I walk away from events like the Study Tour not only being educated on a new quarry or update on an industry-related topic, but it is a brainstorming period where I either gain a new story lead or come up with a new topic for a podcast.

Last month was my 26th anniversary with Stone World, which is hard to believe. When I took this job almost right out of college, I never dreamed of the world it would open up to me. As an editor for Stone World, I have been fortunate enough to travel the world. The best part is that I see my industry friends in many of the worldwide places I visit. I am excited to be returning to Verona in a few days for Marmomac, and I am looking forward to seeing many of my industry friends there. But whether it is international or attending a local educational event nearby, I highly recommend it. Having the opportunity to share life or work experiences – or both – only helps us evolve for the better of the industry. I left the Study Tour with not only reconnecting with a few old friends, but making new ones and taking away so many ideas of ways we can continue to serve our loyal followers. Look for a recap video soon on the Study Tour, as well as a follow-up video interview with Jane Bennett, executive vice president of the Natural Stone Institute. And more to follow soon on what was new at Marmomac.