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Florida Stone Summit Makes an Impact

A sizeable turnout and interactive audience starts the 2024 Stone Industry Education series out on a positive note

The Stone Industry Education program – organized by Stone World and the Natural Stone Institute – launched its 2024 series at Marble of the World in Pompano Beach, FL, on Thursday, February 15th. The first all-day Stone Summit of the year was a success with a total of 48 participants. The presentation was led by industry veteran, Eric Tryon, who shared his road to success, as well as valuable lessons he learned along the way.

Fabricators who attended were engaged and interactive with Tryon throughout the discussion. Many attendees were owners of their own business, while others were newer to the industry and ready to listen and learn. 

“This business is littered with unpredictability,” said Tryon. “You have to learn how not to have the business run you.”

Tryon explained to the audience that he came from a “white collar” world, and at first tried to apply principles from his corporate way of thinking to his new fabrication business, but it didn’t work. The first point he realized was that in the stone industry you must honor your commitment, according to Tryon. “In the absence of trust, you have nothing,” he said. “Trust is a building block.”

Through the years, Tryon went on to build a solid fabrication operation based on his commitment and relationships. He spoke about holding your employees accountable for their job performance, but in a way that helps them grow, become loyal to the company and be in control of their own compensation.

Tryon spoke about how he successfully expanded his company, Premier Surfaces, to multiple locations and then sold it. He then shared how he watched his company be broken down piece by piece, which was tough. “I never thought I could have accomplished something like this in this industry,” he said. “But, what they told me and what they planned to do were totally different things. I started seeing what was happening to my baby. They were disassembling it.”

Throughout his presentation, Tryon discussed systems and strategies he and his team put in place, which took Premier Surfaces to the next level and established a strong group of dedicated employees and a profitable company. He also explained how the holding company that purchased Premier Surfaces only looked at the bottom line, and how it ultimately ruined the business and hurt his former employees.

A host of topics were covered during the Stone Summit, among them were maximizing material and material cost. Tryon also emphasized how having a “scoreboard” will have a strong impact on your business.

“My guess is that we don’t track enough or the right thing,” said Tryon. “Let’s get a little better today than we were yesterday.”

In addition to Tryon’s presentation, the Florida Stone Summit included a facility tour of Marble of the World, breaks for participants to talk and time to learn about products from SIE sponsors. 

“Hosting the Stone Summit of South Florida was substantial for our trade partners in both learning how to grow their business and making new connections,” said Ana Moriera, architect and design representative at Marble of the World in Pompano Beach. “Marble of the World is looking forward to a continued collaboration with the Natural Stone Institute to bring learning opportunities to the tradesmen. We would like to thank everyone who participated in this event.”

The next SIE event will be held on Thursday, March 7, 2024, hosted by Pacific Shore Stones at their North Hollywood, CA, location. To learn more about this Stone Summit, as well as view the entire 2024 schedule, visit:

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