People and places in the stone trade.

Company Notes - November 2007

    • Flow International Corp. gained a place in Deloitte & Touche USA LLP’s Technology Fast 50 Program for Washington state. The program recognizes the performance of technology, media, telecommunications, and life-sciences companies; the Kent, Wash., abrasive-waterjet manufacturer, with 75-percent revenue growth from 2002-2006, ranked 42nd.
    • Stone Interiors North America will join with Vic Green, president/CEO of VIC International Corp., by opening a Stone Interiors fabrication location in a shared facility with VIC International in Knoxville, Tenn. The facility is the fourth for Columbia, S.C.-based Stone Interiors; Kelly Milligan, currently VIC International operations vice president, will be responsible for day-to-day activities for Stone Interiors in Knoxville. The Stone Interiors facility will operate independently of VIC International.
    • The Gallegos Corporation received a safety award from the American Society of Concrete Contractors for the third year in a row. The Vail, Colo., fabrication and masonry contractor’s OSHA-recordable injury rate was 3.03, compared to the national average of 6.0. This translates to 13 injuries per 856,104 hours worked for the 600 employees working across the Western United States.
    • The St.  Louis-based Interstate Family of Companies opens two new showrooms: The Gallery in Lenexa (Kansas City), Kan., and The Gallery Marble & Granite Annex in Overland (St. Louis), Mo. The Lexena facility includes a 10,500 ft² showroom and 45,000 ft² annex for slab display; the Overland annex features 115 different colors of granite and 25 colors of marble, travertine, onyx, limestone and slate.
    • Sakrete® donated $11,000 to HomeAid, a national non-profit provider of housing for the homeless, in association with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The dry-cement company sponsored the “Sakrete Diamond Play of the Game” program, which offered $200 for each Dodgers home win during half of the major-league baseball season.
    • Cambria launches its “Beautiful Design Giveaway,” a national contest offering $20,000 kitchen makeover. The winner receives an interior-design consultation from Cheryl Tiegs, spokesperson for the Eden Prairie, Minn.-based quartz-surface producer, along with a certified National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) designer; the prize also includes Cambria countertops. The random drawing is Dec. 21.

Zoom and Win With GranQuartz

    TUCKER, Ga. – Celebrating the arrival of some of the speediest CNC tooling, GranQuartz LLC is offering a very fast ride: the Suzuki Haybausa.
    The ADI Ultra High Speed (UHS) CNC Tooling Sweepstakes, open until Jan. 1, celebrates the arrival of ADI’s UHS products at the nationwide distributor of stone-fabrication equipment.
    “We couldn’t think of a better promotional tie-in,” explains Tom Probst, marketing manager for GranQuartz.  “The new Ultra High Speed tools from ADI are the world’s fastest CNC tooling for stone-cutting production.  Nothing short of the world’s fastest production motorcycle could promote our product better.”
    “The ADI UHS CNC tools have achieved up to three times the production speed or two times the tool life of competitive CNC tools,” says Paul Taylor, Diamond Consumables product manager for GranQuartz.  “The faster output results in tremendous savings in overhead and labor.  Also, a fabricator can achieve much greater utilization of their biggest capital investment, their CNC, with ADI Ultra High Speed tools.”
    GranQuartz’s CNC Tooling Program includes inventory availability from eight stocking locations nationwide, two dedicated service technicians and 24 trained field sales reps.
    The Suzuki Haybausa (Japanese for “peregrine falcon”) is a a hypersport motorcycle with a 1340cc four-cylinder inline engine. Current testing indicates the Haybausa can reach a top straight-line speed of 184 mph.
    Entries for the sweepstakes will be accepted through Jan. 1, with a random drawing on Jan. 2.

People - September 2007

Chris Rogers is the new territory manager for the Iowa and Nebraska area for Sommer & Maca’s Central Division. Rogers, with 25 years experience in the tile, stone and glass industries, will be based in Des Moines, Iowa. He previously owned Flooring and Specialties Inc. in Des Moines.

Alpha Professional Tools® hires Sam Crooks for their sales team, responsible for the greater Los Angeles area. He comes to the Oakland, N.J., tool manufacturer and distributor with a background in the tile and building industries.

Ty Consolino is the new midwest sales manager for GranQuartz Stone & Concrete Systems; he’ll be responsible for building partnerships with concrete and stone restoration, maintenance and fabrication accounts for the Tucker, Ga.-based company. Consolino will be taking over the territory for Jeff Dykstra, who’s moving to Las Vegas to serve as western sales manager for GranQuartz.

People - October 2007

    • The Building Stone Institute (BSI) appoints Margie Lechowicz as executive vice president of the Elgin, Ill.-based natural-stone association. Lechowicz brings more than 20 years of professional experience to the group, most recently as the board/executive manager of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.
    The BSI also appoints Connie Kitzinger as director of education and events; she previously served as the association’s program manager and special projects coordinator. Jennifer Wesolowski also joins the BSI as an administrative assistant.
    • Michelle Schaffran is the new process improvement manager for Biesse America, Biesse Canada and Intermac America. A Certified Six Sigma Black Belt in Methodology , Schaffran will spearhead a new initiative to implement the Six Sigma Process Improvement Plan for Biesse’s parts and service departments, in coordination with Charlie Schultz, North America service manager, and Fabrizio Tamanti, Biesse Italy service manager.
    • Cambria announces a partnership with Cheryl Tiegs, who’ll serve as the national spokesperson for the LeSueur, Minn., producer of quartz surfaces. Her involvement includes a multi-media marketing campaign utilizing popular home-decorating magazines; HGTV’s Pro Best in Kitchens & Baths; trade and consumer home shows; direct mail; and various promotions.  
     • Biesse Canada appoints Matthew Fleming to product area manager, directing sales efforts and strategies within the key Toronto territory. He brings a decade of experience in sales and product management to the job, most recently as product manager for distributor Taurus Craco.
    • OMAX® Corp. appoints Miguel Cervantes as sales representative for Mexico. Before joining the Kent, Wash.-based waterjet manufacturer in July, he held several positions in the Mexican waterjet industry, including sales and program engineering.

Company Notes - September 2007

Cambria quartz surfaces are now certified GREENGUARD For Children & Schools(SM) by the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI). The certification is given to companies and products that do not emit harmful levels of chemicals into the environment; the Le Sueur, Minn.-based company’s products were certified for general use in 2006.

• Employees from Cold Spring, Minn.-based Granite Tops Inc. ended up working in the wee hours of a Sunday morning in late August, volunteering services for the ABC-TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The effort helped build a home for a family in Minnetonka, Minn.; the episode involved – the show’s 100th – will air in late November.

Eastern Surfaces will relocate 85 employees and its production headquarters in January from Hanover Township, Pa., to a new 45,000 ft² in Allentown, Pa. The company's 15,000 ft² headquarters area will include a showroom.

Jet Edge Inc., St. Michael, Minn., is now posting used waterjet equipment for sale on its Website. Equipment inventory includes ultra-high-pressure intensifier pumps, motion systems, accessories and mobile cleaning and cutting equipment.

Superior Stone Equipment launches a new website,, giving full descriptions, details and specs on its bridge saws, edgers and water-recycling equipment. Future features on the site include live video of the equipment.

Shackerley (Holdings) Group Limited, the British partner of KEIL Befestigungstechnik of Engelskirchen, Germany, received the Queen’s Award in the United Kingdom for its Sureclad ceramic granite rain-screen system, which consists of a pre-fabricated ceramic granite slab, an aluminium sub-structure and a special attachment assembled to create a mechanically fixed façade with a defined air cavity to the rear. KEIL’s undercut anchor is used to provide a secure and stress-free ‘invisible’ fix to the rear of the panel, resulting in a façade with a sleek monolithic appearance.

• The International Solid Surface Fabricators Association (ISSFA) now offers a Quartz Template & Install Training Program – a hands-on workshop covering all fabrication issues from measuring and templating to installation and seaming, as well as handling and safety, and cleanup.

Stone Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Zimbabwe’s Industrial Development Corporation, is still awaiting government amendments on laws providing sufficient quality granite for domestic processing, according to the Herald of Harare. Stone Holdings petitioned the government a year ago to clarify a law that compels quarriers to offer 10 percent of each grade and category of dimensional stone to local companies – however, grades and categories of stone aren’t specified.