The memberships of the Marble Institute of America (MIA) and the Building Stone Institute (BSI) have voted to enter into a two-year joint venture.
“I believe this is tremendously important for the stone industry,” said Dan Rea, MIA's president. “The time is right for like-minded people across the industry to join efforts to defend and grow the use of natural stone.”
Effective Jan. 1, the combined organization, MIA+BSI, the Natural Stone Institute, will operate as a consolidated organization. Each organization will also maintain its individual identity during the two-year period.
“This joint venture, with its combined equity, will provide additional value to the industry and its members,” said Rob Barnes, BSI president. “MIA+BSI will ensure our continued relevance as we work together to become the world’s premier natural stone association.”
MIA+BSI will focus on five key initiatives, in addition to the myriad of ongoing programs underway for each organization:
• Introduction of Dimension Stone Design Manual, Version 8, which includes additions pertaining to restoration and maintenances. Technical committees will be formed to expand references to thin stone and flagstone paving in the manual
• Addition of safety programs for quarriers (joining the extensive array of current offerings available for fabricators, installers and stone distributors)
• Launch of a Natural Stone Promotional Campaign
• Development of industry advocacy groups
• An expanded legislative outreach program
The board and staffs of both organizations are reviewing and combining operations and are excited to begin putting plans to action immediately.