Industry Insights
March 1st, 2005


March-April 2005

International Stone Institute launched

The International Stone Institute (ISI) has been established to help fill a much-needed void for those companies and individuals who design, install, fabricate, restore and/or maintain dimensional stone and other stone products for the construction industry. ISI contracted with Fred Hueston, head of the National Training Center (NTC) for Stone and Masonry Trades, Asheville, North Carolina, to manage the new association. Hueston will act as the Executive Director of ISI. NTC is the only training center for dimensional and engineered stone in the U.S. and is well respected in the industry. “ISI is solely focused on advancing the industry and helping promote the use of stone, engineered stone and fill a void in the industry,” said Hueston. “That void is education, practical standards, useful information and technical help in dealing with issues and problems confronting our industry.” ISI estimates there are 50,000 or more U.S. businesses involved in the stone, tile and engineered stone industry. Among its benefits, ISI will offer a Certification Program available through the IICRC Hard Surface Inspection Committee, of which ISI affiliate NTC is a member. ISI also offers its own certification program with certifications in Stone Fabrication, Interior Stone Restoration and Preservation, and Stone Inspector. (

Florim personnel changes

Officials with Florim USA have announced the appointment of a new Plant Manager and the creation of a new position within the company—Vice President of Distribution Sales.

Giancarlo Adani is Florim USA’s new Plant Manager. Adani was formerly the Plant Manager of the Florim Group’s Italian company, Rex. He comes to the company with many years of accomplished experience in the tile industry, with great successes in terms of product quality and advanced design production. Clyde Black, previously Vice President of Florim USA’s American Florim and Gold Seal brands, has been named to the newly created position of V.P. of Distribution Sales. Black will oversee sales activities for the Esquire, American Florim, Gold Seal and Finale brands. He has been with the company for six years. “Florim USA is concluding a great year,” says Mirco Migliari, President of Florim USA.

North American Stone Machinery Association

The North American Stone Machinery Association (NASMA), has been formed to represent the interests of capital equipment manufacturers and distributors in the stone industry. The new association was formed by executives from the following companies, each of whom will serve on the board of directors for three years: AGM, Z. Bavellone, Bergman-Blair Machine Corporation, Breton USA, CMS/Brembana, Euro-Stone/Pyramid Supply, International Machine Corporation, Marmo-Meccanica USA, and Salem Distributors.

John Bergman of Bergman-Blair Machine Corporation was elected president; Anthony Banchitta of International Machine Corporation was elected treasurer; and Renato Meiohas of AGM was elected secretary. A NASMA founding principle was to present a unified front to various trade show organizations in the selection, endorsement, support, attendance and exhibition at certain trade shows. This effort is intended to bolster successful trade shows, reduce exhibition costs while increasing members’ exposure and profitability. One of the board members’ first acts was to select and endorse the following two industry trade shows: the International Tile and Stone Show (ITSS), held March 31- April 2, 2005 at the Miami Beach Convention Center and the International Tile and Stone Show (ITSS), held November 11-13, 2005 at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. (

Schluter®’s Sales Team Expands!

Schluter®-Systems is pleased to announce two new additions to our sales team. Alex Dickman, will be working with Great Lakes Territory Manager, Eric Williamson, to provide field support and education throughout that region. He comes to Schluter®-Systems with a Marketing Management degree from Ballstate University in northern Indiana, and a year of outside sales experience with James Hardie Building Products in Memphis, TN. Dale Kreider, will be working with Mid-Atlantic Territory Manager, Larry Horton. Kreider worked as a tile installer for a retail flooring store for nine years, and then ran his own ceramic tile installation business for eleven years.

DuPont acquires StoneTech™ Professional, Inc.

DuPont Chemical Solutions Enterprise (DCSE) has acquired the business and marketing assets of StoneTech™ Professional, Inc. of California, a provider of stone care products and solutions to the stone and tile industry. DCSE’s Surface Protection Solutions (SPS) has been supplying various markets and end use applications with chemistries to protect surfaces from water penetration, staining, spotting and soil damage for over 35 years. This acquisition enables DuPont to build upon its core competencies in providing durable surface protection for a growing market segment.

Marble Institute unveils training program

The pilot phase of a new localized continuing education program on designing natural stone projects is underway and the entire eight-part program could be rolled out by the end of 2005, according to the Marble Institute of America, which is creating the package.

The program, which will be taught on a local or regional basis by members of MIA, will include eight power-point presentations that cover an introduction to natural stone, stone selection criteria and how natural stone goes from the quarry to the residential countertop or commercial project. The MIA Natural Stone Continuing Education Program is being developed to train architects, interior designers, general and residential contractors and stone industry employees. “This is one of the most exciting training programs ever developed by MIA,” said Garis F. Distelhorst, executive vice president of the organization. The continuing education package focuses on educating versus selling. “It can create a great deal of credibility for companies eventually participating in the effort,” he said.

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