The official blog of the Marble Institute


MIA Seeks Additional Staff for Technical Department

October 07, 2014 · By Garen Distelhorst · No Comments

The MIA is seeking a person for the post of “technical advisor” (full-time) to join the MIA’s technical department (headed by Chuck Muehlbauer). Key components of the job and skills needed include:

POSITION SUMMARY:  Responsible for supporting the association’s technical and education programs. Responsibilities include fielding technical inquires and participating in the preparation of graphics and text for technical publications. Serving on and/or staffing technical committees, as well as speaking at educational events will be required.

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MIA Releases Stone Industry Health and Safety Handbook

October 02, 2014 · By Garen Distelhorst · No Comments

The Marble Institute of America (MIA) is proud to announce the release of a new Stone Industry Health and Safety Handbook. The 173 page handbook takes a comprehensive look at OSHA's relationship with the stone industry and describes how businesses can remain in OSHA compliance. In addition, stone industry professionals can use the handbook to:

  • Create a specialized safety program that protects both employees and the business from health and safety risks,
  • Better understand what documents OSHA looks for when performing a health and safety inspection, and
  • Review stone industry specific documents and job hazard analyses which should be considered by every employee.

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No CommentsTags: osha · press release · safety

Modern Marble Design Pioneers

September 26, 2014 · By Garen Distelhorst · No Comments

By: Emily Ford, Property Institute

The word ‘marble’ is derived from the Greek word for ‘shining stone’, aptly describing this masonry dream, which was highly regarded and often used by master painter and sculptor, Michaelangelo. He favoured Carrara marble due to its beauty, white gleam, beautiful reflection qualities and stunning malleability. A soft stone that originated in Greece, marble has been a symbol of prestige through the ages since 447 BC when the Parthenon was designed and constructed on the Athenian Acropolis.

Greece is built on a bed of marble, which has been mined in the Penteli mountain quarry for hundreds of years and is still used in the construction of buildings, statues and monumental structures throughout the nation. The stunning organic production certainly holds a beauty no other stone can match with its heavily veined façade, and variable firmness.
Michaelangelo preferred Carrara Marble due to its ease to work with and beauty

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No CommentsTags: art · design · guest blogger

What Being in the Stone Business Means to Me...As a Woman

September 22, 2014 · By Garen Distelhorst · No Comments

Written by: Jacqueline Tabbah of International Stoneworks, Inc.

I consider myself rather lucky that I am a woman in the stone business who has a father as her mentor. Working as a father-daughter team adds depth to our business, International Stoneworks. It also allows us to appeal to different types of customers from homemakers to property managers.

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No CommentsTags: restoration · women in stone

MIA Releases Stones of North America Version 3

September 05, 2014 · By Garen Distelhorst · No Comments

The Marble Institute of America has released Stones of North America Version 3. Stones of North America is a comprehensive iPad® app that gives design and construction professionals quick, easy access to detailed information about natural stones quarried in North America. Version 3 of the app includes 31 new natural stones, various programming updates to ensure proper functionality with iOS7, and a brand new companion website which makes this information available to everyone with internet access.

The app features natural stones from more than 100 quarries in North America. Stones of North America gives architects, builders, designers, homeowners, and others shopping for natural stone an easy way to view and select locally sourced natural stone. Users can search natural stones by type, color, intended use, location, and distance from a project. Stones are displayed in vivid color and are showcased through stunning photos of their use in commercial and/or residential applications.

Technical specifications, physical properties, and details on recommended use make it easy to investigate natural stone for any project.

Sophisticated mapping technology enables users to measure the distance from the stone's quarry and processing centers to a job site for sustainable projects.

A care and maintenance tab includes a comprehensive guide for how to care for and maintain all varieties of natural stone.


"Stones of North America is quickly becoming a go-to reference for information about the North American stone market," said James A. Hieb, MIA Executive Vice President and CEO. Hieb continued, "The new companion website, however, is what we are most excited about. For the first time, the information previously available only to Apple users is available to anyone. The increased exposure for participating quarries is exponential. This app is an ideal resource for professionals who specify materials for residential or commercial projects."

The Stones of North America iPad app is available for free download on iTunes. To navigate the companion website, visit:

No CommentsTags: apps · press release · stones of north america

Marble Institute of America Launches Midwest Chapter

August 20, 2014 · By Garen Distelhorst · No Comments

The Marble Institute of America has announced the Midwest Stone Fabricators Association (MWSFA) will become the MIA Midwest Chapter. The goal of the chapter will be to increase educational offerings and networking opportunities to stone professionals in the region (Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin).

During the next 18 months of operation, the Midwest Chapter plans to offer 6 educational courses. Offerings during this period could include:

  • MIA Midwest Chapter Kickoff Event
  • Midwest Stone Summit
  • Geology in the Natural Stone Industry
  • Panel Discussion of Key Industry Issues
  • A Technical Session on Stone Installation
  • CEU for Architects and Designers

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No CommentsTags: chapters · education · press release

MIA To Host Accreditation Immersion Course At TISE East

August 19, 2014 · By Garen Distelhorst · No Comments

The Marble Institute of America has announced that it will hold an Accreditation Program Immersion Course during TISE East in Miami, FL on October 22, 2014, the final day of the tradeshow. This one day course is designed to give companies interested in Accreditation the opportunity to learn about the application process, participate in a review of the exam material and to take the accreditation exam. The application and exam material review are conducted in the morning, while the 5 hour, open book exam will be administered in the afternoon.

The Accreditation Immersion Course at TISE East is the 3rd of a 3 event run of Immersion Courses occurring late summer and early fall. The first two are being held in Toronto, ON on August 22nd and Secaucus, NJ on September 12th. These three events follow in the footsteps of the hugely successful inaugural Accreditation Immersion Course held during Coverings 2014. During the Coverings event, 15 people passed the Accreditation exam and jumpstarted their company's path towards accreditation.

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No CommentsTags: accreditation · press release

Women in Stone Connection Conference Planned for StoneExpo East

July 15, 2014 · By Garen Distelhorst · No Comments

The Marble Institute of America (MIA) has announced plans for a Women in Stone Connection Conference to be held in conjunction with TISE East (The International Surface Event East/StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas/Tile Expo) in Miami, FL on Sunday, October 19, 2014. The program features dynamic speakers including Lisbeth Calandrino, Toby Morrison, Dave Mitchell, and a panel discussion of key women in our industry.

This conference will discuss the process of building relationships with customers, colleagues, and co-workers. Each item on the agenda will focus on the opportunities and challenges that exist because we are women. Attendance at this leadership summit will award participants the following learning objectives:

  • Learn how to take advantage of your assets to make your way in the business world.
  • Review today's building industry statistics and how key demographic factors affect your customer's decision to buy.
  • Discuss factors that affect women in the stone industry including working with family members and managing men.
  • Assess your personal leadership style and find out how to present information about ideas, products and/or services in a manner that is most engaging to those with a different interactive style than your own.

"The Connection Conference is the first education event held by Women In Stone," says Sarah B Kelly, Administrator of the MIA initiative, "this event will help serve our primary goals to recruit, retain, and advance women in the stone industry."

Women in Stone member, Jacqueline Tabbah of International Stoneworks in Houston, TX, added, ""The Women In Stone Connection Conference is an excellent opportunity for professional women in this industry to learn and network with one another. I am thrilled to be part of the panel discussion and share my point of view with this prestigious group of ladies."

For a complete schedule of events and to register for the Women In Stone Connection Conference event, please visit

No CommentsTags: stonexpo · women in stone

MIA Moves Headquarters To Oberlin, Ohio

July 14, 2014 · By Garen Distelhorst · No Comments

The Marble Institute of America (MIA) has relocated its world headquarters from Westlake, Ohio to Oberlin, Ohio. MIA's first day in their new building was Monday, June 23, 2014. The move increases the MIA office space from 2,800 square feet to 4,200 square feet with additional room to grow. In 2015, the MIA intends to open a new training room at the Oberlin location.

MIA Executive Vice President and CEO, Jim Hieb said, "We seized an opportunity to relocate the MIA headquarters to a building that provided growth opportunity, while decreasing our overall rent and utility costs. The MIA continues to enjoy easy access to the Cleveland airport." He added, "The new office includes a wide variety of stonework which was donated by over a dozen MIA member companies."

While the MIA phone number will remain the same (440-250-9222), there is a new address and fax number. MIA's new address is 380 East Lorain Street, Oberlin, Ohio 44074. The new fax number is 440-774-9222.

Oberlin (population 8,000) is well known as the home of Oberlin College, a leading liberal arts college. Those familiar with the area will also note that this region of Ohio has a rich heritage of sandstone quarrying. Today, MIA member Cleveland Quarries continue that tradition.

No CommentsTags: good news · mia · press release

President's Message: OSHA On-Site Consultations

May 23, 2014 · By Garen Distelhorst · No Comments

Thank you to everyone who made the Covering show a big success for the MIA. We had great attendance at the educational seminars, and there was a lot of energy as the industry prepares for a great year. We also had a full house for the MIA Accreditation Immersion Class and testing opportunity. We are taking reservations for another class to be held at StonExpo East this fall. Please contact Garen Distelhorst ( to reserve a spot.  I have had a number of people ask me about the OHSA On-Site Consultation inspection of their facility as part of the accreditation process. On-site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. I understand that it might seem strange to invite a government agency into your facility to have a look around. I was apprehensive when my company went through the process. What I found was a very professional group of people who were not only interested in helping me comply with the pertinent regulations, but were also interested in learning more about our industry. They helped us to put controls in place that were effective, but also practical.

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No CommentsTags: newsletter · osha · president's message