Information for, about, and of interest to the stone trade, including items previously featured in Latest News.


LATICRETE Moves Ahead

   LATICRETE International Inc. held a ground-breaking ceremony on Nov. 2, celebrating a new $20 million plant expansion at its world headquarters in Bethany, Conn.  The new facilities, comprised of 32,000 ft² of corporate offices and 110,965 ft² of manufacturing and warehousing space, more than triples the size of the existing facility for the manufacturer of installation systems for stone and ceramic tile and stone.
   In attendance was Dr. Henry M. Rothberg, company chairman emeritus, who founded LATICRETE in 1956, along with two his sons and co-owners of the firm, David and Henry B. Rothberg. In addition, JB Bouldin, LATICETE operations vice president, and local government officials participated in the event.

Machine Makers, Marmomacc Ink Pact

   MILAN, ItalyAssomarmomacchine, the Italian association of makers and users of machines and equipment for working ornamental stone, and Veronafiere, the organizer of the Marmomacc stone show, signed an agreement of cooperation late last year.
   The agreement – strengthening a 2005 accord – is a move to greater coordination between trade institutions and fair boards, especially in terms of the Italian stone sector, and formalizes a relationship involving the two premier organizations working in Italian stone.
   The two organizations confirmed their interest in negotiating the terms of an agreement aimed primarily at a project concerned with business-oriented shows in Italy and abroad, for promoting Assomarmomacchine and Veronafiere in the stone sector, and at adopting organizational strategies for reaching goals of mutual interest.
   “For Italy’s techno-stone sector our agreement is a definite step ahead towards a new kind of teamwork,” said Assomarmomacchine president Flavio Marabelli. “We are confident that a work group will soon be set up so we can quickly proceed to checking out concrete possibilities for joint projects, especially in regard to promotion and education in foreign countries.”

Devonian Stone Offers A Look

   WINDSOR, N.Y. – The doors are open to architects and other building-industry professionals at Devonian Stone of New York Inc.
   The sandstone mining and fabrication company recently expanded its facilities and now offers tours, including a visit to the company's production facilities, custom fabrication facilities and its quarry – where blasting demonstrations are offered upon request.
   Devonian owner Robert Bellospirito is a registered instructor with the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and has visited architectural firms throughout the northeast to help educate architects in the past several years about the use of New York sandstone as a building material.
   Now the classroom has been moved to the source; Bellospirito personally conducts each tour and carefully explains various stages of the process of how the stone goes from quarry to finished product.
   The company recently added a 1,000 ft², handicapped-accessible office space to its existing 15,000 ft² manufacturing plant, and also made separate employee parking and visitor parking areas.
   Several recently acquired high production stone saws will allow Devonian Stone to not only nearly double its production capacity and also create 12 to 15 more jobs over the next few years.
   “We're always looking for talented individuals who want to come on board and grow with us,” Bellospirito says.
   For more information, contact Devonian Stone of New York Inc. at 607-655-2600, or go to www.devonianstone.com.

MAPEI's Squinzi Attains Top Italian Honor

   MILAN, ItalyDr. Giorgio Squinzi, CEO of the Mapei Group, received the Leonardo Quality Prize for Italy in a ceremony headed by Italian President Giorgio Napoletano on Dec. 6.
   The prestigious prize was given by the Italian Quality Committee Comitato Leonardo, a group of business people, artists, scientists and representatives of the cultural world organized to promote and enhance Italian quality throughout the world.
   The Leonardo Italian Quality Awards are bestowed on entrepreneurs with success in international markets. Recipients are called “Ambassadors of the image of Italy in the World.”
   The Squinzi family turned a small Milan-based firm, founded in 1937, into a multinational company in the field of chemical products for building. In 1978, Mapei started its internationalization strategy by opening the first subsidiary outside Italy in Canada.   
   Dr. Squinzi became CEO in 1984 and began implementing a corporate strategy based on three main principles: specialization, internationalization and innovation. The Industrial Group today consists of 53 companies with 46 plants; seven of these plants are in Italy, while the others are strategically located in 23 other countries, including U.S. facilities in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Fredericksburg, Va.; Garland, Texas; San Bernardino, Calif.; Tempe, Ariz.; and West Chicago, Ill.
   The company’s investments in research and development are more than €60 million per year. Mapei’s total annual revenues are currently €1.4 billion (approximately $2 billion).
   In 1998 the title of Cavaliere del Lavoro, an honorary knighthood recognizing exemplary business leadership, was conferred upon Dr. Squinzi by the Italian government.

Stone Seminar Targets Strategic Marketing

   NEW YORK – The Turkish-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TACCI) organized an exclusive natural-stone marketing seminar for natural stone professionals in New York on Jan. 20.
   “Strategic Natural Stone Marketing: 7 Ways to Profitable Direct Marketing Imported Natural Stone Products in the U.S. Marketplace” by Hasan Kursad Devecioglu included information about the types of strategic natural-stone marketing mistakes made in the United States and how direct marketing can be used to increase natural-stone sales and customer retention.
   Devecioglu is a direct-marketing consultant and a natural stone professional; he’s also author of Marketing Imported Natural-Stone Products in the Competitive U.S. Marketplace. After the seminar, he answered questions about branding, direct mail and customer-relationship management.