MIA member firm Granquartz Canada hosted a MIA meeting of over 20 stone distributors to talk about safety initiatives for Canadian firms. MIA safety committee members Petar Kefar (Omni Surfaces) and Paolo Mantenuto (Marble & Marble) were also on hand to assist MIA Vice President Jim Hieb provide an overview of 2011 accomplishments, 2012 initiatives, and how to expand the vast array of MIA safety offerings into Canada.
MIA member Marble Of The World has donated exotic stone valued at more than $250,000 for the Lynn University Remembrance Plaza, unveiled this morning at a dedication ceremony at the university's Boca Raton, FL campus. Remembrance Plaza is a permanent tribute that honors and tells the story of four Lynn University students and two professors who perished during the January 2010 Journey of Hope to Haiti.
This month I would like to continue my discussion on the valuable services provided by the MIA to increase awareness in our industry and increase benefits for our members.
Several years ago we launched an accreditation program for our contractor members. This program was set up to make sure those companies representing themselves as industry leaders and members of our association were working to the highest standards. Many companies today already strive for these standards and will easily qualify to be accredited. Both of our companies are accredited and we are proud of that accomplishment. When I looked into becoming accredited, I said two things:
Each month, the MIA profiles an employee from one of our member companies. This month, we welcome Nick Whatley of Morningstar Stone and Tile in Topsham, Maine to the Cutting Edge profile page.
Q: What is your role at Morningstar?
A: I am president and spend most of my time on marketing and this is primarily focused on balancing our efforts to ensure that our customers are completely satisfied with the quality of both the workmanship, as well as, their experience from sales all the way through to installation.
You're doing all the obvious things: the right education, solid experience, a good mentor. But those in the C-Suite often confide that it's the subtle "polish" that takes the superstar to the next level of success. Small differences can make a big impact. What affects others' perception of your ability to lead a project, a division, an organization, or a movement? Consider the following habits, attitudes, skills, and characteristics of a leader to see how you measure up and then determine how you can step up:
Act with integrity
Tell the truth. Practice the principles you preach. Be genuine and sincere. It takes just one inappropriate action or comment to uncover the counterfeit. And once credibility vanishes, regaining it becomes a monumental task. People want to see the real you -- the integrity behind your face, the actions behind your promises. In today's economic landscape, trust trumps both price and track record.
The Marble Institute of America, Inc. (MIA) is proud to announce Danny Catania of Miller Druck Specialty Contracting Co. in New York, NY, as the 2011 recipient of the MIA Natural Stone Craftsman of the Year Award.
A six member panel of stone industry veterans selected Catania from a pool of nominees in a competition sponsored by the leading industry supplier, Campolonghi Italia. The award, a beautifully crafted and unique plaque, was presented to Catania at the annual MIA Awards Luncheon held during StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas 2012.
In a previous legal article found in The Cutting Edge dated November 2010 entitled INCREASED SCRUTINY REGARDING WORKER CLASSIFICATION INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR VS. EMPLOYEE, readers were made aware of the importance of properly classifying workers as employees or independent contractors. It was reported that there are significant distinctions between the two classifications which can have profound impacts upon the various taxes, benefits, and insurance which a company must pay on behalf of, or offer to, a worker. Typically, classifying a worker as an independent contractor instead of an employee is significantly cheaper (from the employer’s perspective) because of cost savings on employment taxes, unemployment, Workers’ Compensation, and employee benefits which must be paid on behalf of the employee, but do not have to be paid on behalf of independent contractors. The federal government receives less income when a worker is classified as an independent contractor because it does not receive social security or payroll taxes.
Home builder confidence is up for the fifth straight month and that’s a good sign. According to the National Home Builders Association/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), the barometer rose from 25 in January to 39 in February, the highest level the index has reached in four years.
Keep in mind, though, an index reading of 50 means more builders view conditions as good than poor. Bottom line: The index has a long way to go before there is a level of euphoria.
NAHB Chairman Barry Ruttenberg said, “the consistency of the index over the past five months suggests that the housing market is moving toward more substantial growth.” He cautioned that the housing sector remains very fragile with significant differences between individual markets and said policymakers must guard against actions that could impede or even reverse the gains of recent months.
Q: We specified stone pavers for the interior of our project. Our specification, which is largely taken from a boiler plate spec that we use for most projects, reads, “all stone units to have an eased edge.” The supplied pavers are nearly sharp, with a barely detectable blunting of the edge. The contractor says that this is the industry standard for eased. We thought the term “eased” implied a much larger chamfer, something in the range of at least 1/16”. Which is correct?
A: Unfortunately, the industry doesn’t know either, or we just can’t agree. In our last revision of the MIA’s Dimension Stone Design Manual Glossary, I called numerous industry members in an attempt to establish a consensus of the term’s definition, and I found that there were nearly as many answers as there were people to ask.