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Fabricator How-toStone Industry Education

Fabricators Share Experiences at Oregon Stone Summit

Arizona Tile hosted a Stone Industry Education (SIE) event at its new facility in Beaverton, OR, on Thursday, June 15, 2023. The all-day educational session, organized by Stone World and the Natural Stone Institute, was designed to bring fabricators in the area together to discuss issues pertaining to countertop production, as well as best business practices. 

Presented by Duane Naquin, owner of Stone Interiors in Gaston, SC, the morning session covered a host of topics, including incentives for employees, managing customer expectations and cyber security. Participants were encouraged to engage and ask questions, which they did. 

There were several breaks throughout the first half of the day, where sponsors introduced themselves and explained a little about their company. Participants and sponsors also had the opportunity to mingle. Moreover, the breaks also provided an ideal time for everyone to network.

At the lunch break, the Arizona team, headed by branch manager Neil Czelder, gave tours of the stone and tile distributor’s new slab gallery. 

During the afternoon segment, participants divided into two breakout groups – technical and business management/marketing – which allowed them to have more in-depth conversations on particular points of interest. Before wrapping up the day, the group came back together to highlight with each other topics that were discussed.

Scheduled for Thursday, July 20, 2023, the next SIE event will take place at MSI’s facility in Bridgeville, PA, which lies just outside of Pittsburgh. The presentation will be led by seasoned fabricator Blake Christensen of Valley View Granite, based in Tremonton, UT, with four other showroom in Utah and Idaho. Among the points of discussion are:

  • Review your current business practices and how they compare to others in the industry
  • Find inefficiencies in your business and learn how to overcome those challenges.
  • Discuss what makes your company stand out in the marketplace.
  • Create a plan for taking your business to the next level.

To learn more details about the event, as well as locations of other upcoming ones, and to register, visit

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