People and places in the stone trade.

People - December 2006

   • Marmo Machinery USA appoints Keton Sompura as CNC specialist. He served as a CNC machinist for the Southfield, Mich., company for the past six years; previously, he worked with Key Plastics. Marmo also appoints Eric Fitzgerald as service technician; he brings  several years of machine knowledge to his new position.
   • Da Vinci Marble S.r.l. selects Dale Giattino as director of marketing and product development for Da Vinci Stone International. The company also appoints Aliza Ben-Noon as CEO of Yiftah Galil Stone Ltd., which Da Vinci acquired in February.

Company Notes - December 2006

   • Hard Rock Tool opens a new branch in Sacramento, Calif., to serve Northern California and Nevada, along with other Northwest states. The 4,300 ft² Sacramento location is the Anaheim, Calif.-based tool distributor’s third in California and ninth overall. Dave Miller is the branch manager and Brian Kraft is the store manager at 2990 Sunrise Blvd. in Sacramento; the phone number is 209-810-4099.
   • Rachel Crickenberger, a stone consultant for CogswellStone of Palmyra, Va., is the 2006 winner of the Natural Stone Scholarship Award from the Marble Institute of America Inc. (MIA). Crickenberger received travel expenses to StonExpo 2006 in Las Vegas last month; she won the award based on a 500-word essay explaining her commitment to the natural stone industry and why she desires to continue with her career in the industry.
   • Cambria donated 320 ft² of its quartz surfaces, valued at $13,000, for a custom home being built in Lane County, Ore., by a local homebuilders’ association for a family with a disabled teenager and an ailing grandfather. Classique Marble & Granite of Salem, Ore., and Bennett Stone & Tile Co. of Eugene, Ore., donated labor to fabricate and install the product.
   • The Chicago Board of Trade is the 2006 recipient of Landmarks Illinois' annual Real Estate and Building Industries Council award for outstanding preservation efforts. The CBOT, located in the heart of Chicago's financial district, at the intersection of LaSalle Street and Jackson Boulevard, has been recognized for the comprehensive $20 million rehabilitation of its iconic structure.
   • Pokarna Ltd. announces ISO 9001:2000 certification for its Unit I and Unit II in Andhra Pradesh, India, for the manufacture and supply of finished granite slabs, tiles and monuments, and its head office in Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India, for top management, business development, human resources functions and purchasing functions.

Company Notes - November 2006

   • Alpha Professional Tools® opens a Factory Service and Training Center in Las Vegas to better serve customers in the Western United States. The new facility offers services for repair and maintenance needs, as well as hands-on technical training and demonstrations for most of the company’s line of stone-fabrication products. The location will also offer the same ability as the company’s Oakland, N.J., headquarters to obtain genuine spare parts and immediate attention from certified technicians.
   • CaesarStone announces the opening of its Northwest Division in Kent, Wash., to serve the greater Washington and Oregon areas. The facility will feature a complete offering of the quartz-surface product line.
   • ETemplate Systems, the developer of the ETemplate Photo Digital Measuring System, was selected as a winner of the 2006 International Woodworkers Fair (IWF) Challengers Award. ETemplate, a division of Raleigh, N.C.-based Tri-Tech Solutions Inc., was selected from among approximately 1,400 companies exhibiting at the IWF, the biannual premier event for the woodworking industry.
   • Mosaico Italiano launches its Commercial and Hospitality Division to meet demands for custom-made stone and glass mosaics, catering specifically to the needs and product volume of the commercial market. The division will operate from corporate offices located in Pompano Beach, Fla., with new regional offices opening in St. Petersburg, Fla., New York and Los Angeles.
   The three new offices were launched as a corporate decision to offer the commercial industry faster turn-around times and an enhanced one-on-one commercial sales experience; each office will be staffed with project managers and an experienced Mosaico Italiano design team.

People - November 2006

   • The Stone Shop International announces that Tom McNall joins the restoration division, Stone Restoration Services (SRS), as an equity partner and the director of training, technical assistance, and operational support for franchisees; he’ll also serve as a member of the steering committee for TSSI. McNall owns and operates Great Northern Stone, a stone-restoration and -care business that services Canada and parts of the United States; he’s also a regular columnist for Stone Business and a member of the board of directors and a trainer for the Marble Institute of America (MIA).
   • The Marble & Granite Gallery announces the appointment of Julie Gilbert as design consultant. Before joining the Southfield, Mich.-based stone firm, Gilbert has more than five years of background in the home-design industry, previously working for a residential design and building firm and as an independent home-decorating consultant.
   The company also appoints Bobby Goetzke as an outside sales representative; he previously owned a kitchen and bathroom remodeling business, and has specialized training in kitchen design.
   • Terri Sparks joins Communicators International as an account executive. Prior to joining Portland, Maine-based Communicators, Sparks was advertising/marketing manager of Terrazzo & Marble Supply Co. She will be based in Chicago.
   • CaesarStone hires Greg Bassett as Technical Services Director. He is responsible for the development and implementation of the new CaesarStone Advantage Program, providing  fabricators and installers with promotions, discounts, training, and reward points; he’ll also manage field technical service as well as the warranty and customer-service departments for the Sun Valley, Calif.-based quartz surfaces company.
   • Global Granite and Marble adds Traci Langston as an administrative assistant. She’s the initial contact for clients of the Nixa, Mo., company,  and is responsible for several key business functions, including customer service, purchasing, inventory and accounting.

People - October 2006

   • Alpha Professional Tools® adds John Ryniak to the Oakland, N.J.-based tool manufacturer’s sales team. Ryniak, who holds several years of outside sales experience in related industries, will be responsible for the Mid-Atlantic Territory, including Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, southern New Jersey, central and eastern Pennsylvania and Virginia.
   • Jet Edge Inc. appoints Antoine Deproost as its new international sales engineer. Before joining the St. Michael, Minn.-based manufacturer of ultra-high pressure waterjet and abrasivejet systems, Deproost held sales and product management positions with several measurement-controls manufacturers.
   • CaesarStone hires Sagi Cohen as its new chief operating officer (COO) to manage and direct CaesarStone’s operational functions in the United States, reporting report directly to CaesarStone President Arik Tendler. Prior to joining the Sun Valley, Calif.-based quartz-surfaces operation, Cohen served as marketing manager at Paz Oil Company Ltd. in Israel.
   • Jialin “Charles” Qi joins Global Granite and Marble as a sales engineer. Prior to joining the St. Louis-based company, Qi worked as a consultant, and as a marketing/product manager for several Chinese machine manufacturers.