INGOMAR, PA -- Fabricators and other industry professionals explored growth opportunities during the International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) annual conference, held October 16 to 19, 2023 on the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten. With nearly 70 in attendance, the event kicked off with a welcome reception and awards ceremony, which unveiled 10 recipients of the 2023 ISFA awards across nine categories.
The award winners included:
- Commercial Solid Surface Project of the Year:
- Seneca Valley Ehrman Crest Elementary School in Harmony, PA, fabricated by ASST of McSherrystown, PA.
- Residential Solid Surface Project of the Year:
- The Madison Club feature wall in Palm Springs, CA, fabricated by M|R Walls of Santa Monica, CA.
- Commercial Quartz Project of the Year:
- 3D Puzzle of Superlatives public benches in Uppsala, Sweden, fabricated by Rosskopf + Partner of Germany.
- Residential Quartz Project of the Year:
- Floating stairs in a home in Austin, TX, fabricated by Alpha Granite & Tile of Austin, TX.
- Commercial Mineral Surface Project of the Year:
- The Silva Hotel rooftop grills in Washington, D.C., fabricated by Ellis Page Company of Manassas, VA.
- Residential Mineral Surface Project of the Year:
- A series of bathrooms in a home in Hesse, Germany, fabricated by Rosskopf + Partner of Germany.
- Sustainable Project of the Year:
- The Tideline Autograph Marriott in West Palm Beach, FL, fabricated by Moderno Porcelain Works of Sunrise, FL.
- Fabricator of the Year:
- Eastern Surfaces, Allentown, PA.
- Hall of Fame Inductees:
- Mike Langenderfer, The Countertop Shop, Monclova, OH.
- Omar Salazar, Rockin’teriors, Raleigh, NC.
Educational sessions were held in subsequent days, including a presentation by Rich Hubner, safety practice lead for BSI, about driving successful change in safety culture, a topic that attendees were passionate about amidst the growing concern around the dangers of silica. A Q&A discussion followed, during which fabricators shared ideas and strategies for building a strong company culture. Additional panel discussions focused on optimizing software and technology to improve productivity, and implementing new equipment and other systems that streamline processes and increase efficiency.
“This was my first time attending the ISFA annual conference,” said Chris Sturdevant of Adobe Walls Stoneworks. “It was a terrific event. I met a lot of great people who understand my business. The programming was designed to help owners and managers like me troubleshoot, find ways to improve and keep growing. The safety presentation helped clarify hazard versus risk while gaining a better understanding of what steps need to be taken to stay OSHA compliant.”
After lunch, attendees enjoyed leisure time to explore the island and take advantage of the resort’s amenities, including a private pool party. Located close to Casino Royale and the famous Maho Beach, the resort was an idyllic place to bask in the sun on a white sand beach, snorkel, kayak, paddle board, play a round of golf, tour a nearby distillery and more.
“This year’s annual conference was a huge success,” said Austin Maxwell, ISFA president. “The educational sessions were so informative, and I’m always impressed by what comes out of these discussions. There are so many valuable takeaways, and it’s amazing to see our fabricator members and associate members come together to help each other strengthen businesses and further the industry. That’s the heart of ISFA.”
ISFA would like to thank the sponsors of this year’s event: Dal-Tile, Aristech Surfaces, BB Industries, Caesarstone, Cosentino, Durasein, Infinity Surfaces, Integra Adhesives, Laser Products Industries, LX Hausys, Kohler and Park Industries. These companies, together with ISFA, are dedicated to the success of surface.