MIA and BSI merge as Natural Stone Institute on January 01, 2018

The logo of MIA+BSI’s joint venture.

„Together, we will continue our resolve to provide the best technical, educational, and promotional support“

With a vote of 565 to 25, the memberships of Marble Institute of America (MIA) and Building Stone Institute (BSI) have overwhelmingly decided to authorize the merger of North America’s two most prominent stone associations. Effective January 01, 2018, the new body will formally be known as the Natural Stone Institute.

This again shows the high level of professionalism in both US-organizations – worth highlighting in so far as in countries in other parts of the world there are also two stone associations yet stuck in in year-long animosity.

The merging process between MIA and BSI had been started two years ago when both organizations formed a joint venture to make a practical experience with a strong cooperation. During this interim time, the name had been „MIA+BSI: The Natural Stone Institute“.

Before the members’ voting in November 2017, the positive results of a merger had been again explained in the newsletter „The Cutting Edge“: BSI-president Daniel Wood pointed out that each organization would bring in something that the other did not have, and MIA-president Jon Lancto added that by the „learning experience“ both organizations would experience a positive change and grow in many ways.

We quote Aristotle from his Metaphysics (referring to the North Americans’ love for neo-classical architecture that follows the style of Greek temples): the whole is something besides the parts.

In a message to the members, MIA’s Jim Hieb (in the future: CEO Natural Stone Institute) and BSI’s Jane Bennett (in the future: EVP Natural Stone Institute) wrote: „Together, we will continue our resolve to provide the best technical, educational, and promotional support for our growing membership and the natural stone industry, as well as expand our outreach to the design community.“

„We now have the combined assets to become the largest and most influential natural stone association in the world!“

David Carnevale (Carnevale & Lohr company) will be the first president of the Natural Stone Institute. Greg Osterhout (Northern Stone Supply) will serve as vice president, Robert Zavagno (Cleveland Marble Mosaic Co) as secretary, and Kathy Spanier (Coldspring) as treasurer.

Carnevale commented: „I look forward to serving as first president of the Natural Stone Institute. I want to thank the many current and past industry leaders from BSI and MIA who had the foresight to see what was possible with a merger. The Natural Stone Institute is well positioned to further advance the combined association’s role as a technical and educational leader. We will continue to offer a wide array of opportunities for networking with both industry and design professionals.”

The membership of the Natural Stone Institute will exceed 2,000 members. A new association logo will officially debut at TISE fair 2018 in January.

Important activities for the near future are the continuation of the Promotional Campaign for natural stone in the US and Canada, the testing lab expansion, technical standards and membership growth on an international level.

The Natural Stone Institute (MIA+BSI)

(04.12.2017, USA: 12.04.2017)