Category Archives: Industry News

MS International, Inc. announces the grand opening of its new stone and tile design center in Orange, CA (Shelby Township, MI)

M S International, Inc. (“MSI”), a leading North American distributor of natural stone, announced the grand opening of its new 15,000-square-foot stone and tile design gallery at its corporate headquarters in Orange, CA.

The new stone and tile design gallery incorporates the full line of MSI’s product line of granite, marble, slate, travertine, limestone, quartz, porcelain, ceramic, sinks and glass mosaics — serving the flooring, countertop, and landscaping industries. In addition to a refreshed look for MSI’s existing products, the new design center includes MSI’s newest product offerings, including approximately 20 lines of porcelain, 25 new colors of natural stone slabs, 200 new varieties of wall tile and mosaics, Q Premium Natural Quartz and MSI’s new line of prefabricated countertops and stainless steel sinks. With products imported from 36 different countries, MSI’s corporate headquarters maintains over 1,500 containers of inventory, offering customers a selection of natural stone and related products among the largest in the country.

“Despite a continued challenging economic environment over the last two years, MSI remains committed to investing to bring innovation and increased product choices,” explained Manu Shah, MSI’s Chief Executive Officer. “The main goal of our new design center is to showcase these products for our wholesale customers. We are happy to report that in 2010, we will maintain our internal goal of achieving 15 percent of our revenue from new products or product lines.”
According to stoneworld.com

Restructuring at World Wide Stone Corp. (Shelby Township, MI)

Due to the lingering down economy, World Wide Stone Corp., the exclusive quarrier and producer of Authentic Durango Stone, continues aggressively managing costs. The company’s staff is now 120 employees, down from around 450 in 2006. Financial restructuring includes targeted marketing with far less “institutional” advertising.

It is also relocating from its Scottsdale, AZ, headquarters to more conservative space within the next year or so. “World Wide Stone Corp. and our teams are fully committed to continuing to provide our customers with high-quality products and services before, during and after the sale, as well as specials,” said Frank Cunningham, Company President. “Clients regularly express their preference to promote, offer and sell high-quality products with reasonable margins to retain their business and build their customers’ loyalty. They tell us their top preference is Authentic Durango Stone. They find that educating their sales teams — as well as their customers — on the real truth of what comprises natural dimensional stone quality results in a higher percentage of return customers who understand and buy quality. Who likes to find out the hard way?”
According to stoneworld.com

ABC Stone welcomes sculptor to New York (Shelby Township, MI)

Renowned Italian sculptor Oriano Galloni, whose work masterfully blends stone with elements such as wood and metal, was recently welcomed to New York at an event hosted at ABC Stone’s facility in Brooklyn, NY

The art world is welcoming world renowned Italian sculptor Oriano Galloni to New York. Galloni, originally based in Carrara, Italy, the stone capital of the world, has just opened his own studio in New York, with the cooperative efforts of ABC Stone, which held an event for members of the architecture and design community as well as noted stone producers.

Galloni’s art skillfully melds carved stone, wood and metal into “haunting, thought-provoking human forms.” His critically acclaimed, monumental sculptures have an overwhelming physical presence, and his thought provoking combination of materials deliver emotional impact. A gallery of Galloni’s carved marble, wood and metal sculptures can be seen at orianogalloni.com

 

“Since prehistoric times, man has been using stone to build and decorate his home,” stated ABC Stone. “In fact, some early stone dwellings still stand. Stone is our most timeless building material. Having parts of your home designed with stone is in one word, ‘magnificent.’ A solid marble bathroom is pure luxury; a throwback to the times of Roman living. Stone in a home that is polished and professionally and artistically installed adds a sense of strength and beauty to a room, unlike any other building material.” 

 

ABC Stone, with locations in Brooklyn and Westbury, NY, recently launched a Web site at abcworldwidestone.com, which affords a good taste of what the company has to offer. Users can browse through the company’s constantly evolving portfolio, and the catalog of images provides general visual characteristics, test reporting and origin. Users can easily search by color, country of origin or by name.According to stoneworld.com

Mackson Marble & Granite establishes presence in New York (Shelby Township, MI)

Mackson Marble & Granite has introduced introduce itself as a leading wholesaler of exotic natural stone in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Architects and designers are invited to visit the company’s 100 percent indoor facility at 40 Gazza Blvd. (off Route 110) in Farmingdale, NY to view the slabs with their clients. According to stoneworld.com

Indiana Limestone Co. acquisition completed by Resilience Capital Partners (Shelby Township, MI)

Resilience Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm, announced the acquisition of Indiana Limestone Co. This transaction is the second acquisition under Resilience’s industrial minerals platform, North Coast Minerals. Indiana Limestone is a complementary business to Victor Oolitic Stone Co., which was acquired by Resilience in November 2009. Like Victor Oolitic, Indiana Limestone has been a leading supplier of Indiana limestone to the dimensional stone marketplace for over 100 years. Its products and services are well-known in the industry for having consistent color, grain structure/size, texture, finish and fabrication capabilities.

“We are excited about this acquisition and both the near- and long-term opportunities it generates when combined with Victor Oolitic. Furthermore, the acquisition of Indiana Limestone is consistent with North Coast Minerals’ strategy of seeking niche industrial minerals companies with a unique reserve capable of supplying a variety of specialty end markets, including energy, environmental, building materials, agricultural and industrial,” said Michael Lundin, Chairman, North Coast Minerals and Operating Partner, Resilience Capital Partners.

“This transaction brings together two leading players in the market place. We look forward to continuing the heritage of these businesses and exploring further growth opportunities in the niche industrial minerals segment,” added Bassem Mansour, Co-CEO, Resilience Capital Partners. According to stoneworld.com

Cosentino announces new CEO for Cosentino North America (Shelby Township, MI)

Cosentino, a global leader in natural stone, quartz and recycled surfacing, announced the appointment of Eduardo Cosentino as the new CEO for Cosentino North America, which has been under the leadership of founder Roberto Contreras Jr. since its inception in the U.S. This comes after the Cosentino Group acquired full ownership of Cosentino North America at the end of 2009. Contreras will support the transition through the end of 2010 to then pursue new ventures.

“Roberto has been key to the success of Cosentino in North America, and we’re forever grateful for his contributions,” said Francisco Cosentino, President of the Cosentino Group. “He’s been a true partner whom we respect, appreciate and will forever maintain contact with.”

Eduardo Cosentino has served as the Corporate Sales Director for the Cosentino Group for seven years, overseeing sales and marketing efforts for the multi-national company across the globe, including North and Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. His responsibility to the executive committee has permitted him to acquire experience in the aspects of design and implementation of business strategies. Cosentino considers himself a responsible, methodical entrepreneur with a great sense of team work and outstanding capacity to negotiate, create and develop.

“This is a very exciting time for a global company like ours as we focus on developing the U.S. market,” he said. “We are confident that with the experience of our U.S. leadership team, our production capacity and our strategic business model, we will continue to be a leader in the kitchen and bath surfacing market.”

Cosentino, with its current count of over 650 U.S. employees, runs and operates 13 distribution centers and 12 fabrication shops across the U.S., and the company markets its products through a network of about 3,000 independent stone fabricators. Its expansion plans in the U.S. include the opening of Cosentino Centers, a concept already proven an essential fixture in Europe, where Cosentino has its global headquarters.

Eduardo Cosentino is now fully engaged with the U.S. leadership team and plans to continue supporting the efforts of improving the customer experience, delivering a high-value product and increasing consumer demand. He will be attending the Cosentino 100 Conference set for January 30, 2011, where he will address the companies’ top 100 customers and share his long-term plan of expansion in detail. According to stoneworld.com

Prodim delivers 1,000th Proliner 8 (Shelby Township, MI)

Prodim International BV, manufacturer of two-dimensional and three-dimensional portable measurement solutions, has delivered its 1,000th Proliner 8 through its Italian dealer, TecnoVati COM s.r.l.

For many years, Prodim International worked closely with TecnoVati COM srl, which won the “Excellent Salesmanship Award” for dedication as a Prodim Proliner dealer in 2009. Through its professionalism, enthusiasm and expertise, the firm brought the sale of the Proliner to a high level in the Italian marketplace.

The Proliner 8 is the most advanced model in the Proliner range. This model is available in a two-dimensional and three-dimensional and advanced in both functionality and looks. All professional measurements can be finished onsite.

Prodim International was formed in 1995, when two Dutch entrepreneurs developed a digital measuring device to measure two-dimensionally. Later on, this product was developed to a three-dimensional measuring device. In 2001, Prodim International BV elected to become international, and new life was breathed into the equipment. In 2005. Prodim USA opened in Florida, and a new office was opened in Atlanta, GA, in 2010. According to stoneworld.com

Lundhs acquires 100 percent ownership of Norwegian quarrying operation (Shelby Township, MI)

Larvik, Norway, stone producer Lundhs announced that it has acquired 100 percent ownership of Actieselskapet Granit (AS Granit) in Norway by buying 50 percent from R.E.D. Graniti S.p.A. “This acquisition further strengthens our position as the leading Norwegian quarry operator,” according to a statement from Lundhs. “The acquisition will first and foremost have impact on the operational efficiencies.” Actieselskapet Granit is the sole producer of the renowned Lundhs Blue GT granite (previously known as Blue Pearl GT). According to stoneworld.com

MAPEI helps make history at Four Freedoms Park (Shelby Township, MI)

In mid-September, dignitaries and citizens of New York gathered to celebrate the first shipment of granite foundation stones for the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. Honored guests included David Paterson, the Governor of the State of New York; Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of the City of New York, among other luminaries.

Representatives from the general contractor, F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.; the stone installer, Port Morris Tile & Marble Corp.; and installation materials manufacturer, MAPEI Corp., participated in the events of the day. During the ceremony, the dignitaries signed their names on a plaque made from MAPEI’s Ultracolor Plus grout. Kerapoxy, a 100 percent-solids epoxy grout, has been specified to fill the joints between the stones, which will be set with masonry mortar. 

The park, located at the south end of Roosevelt Island in the center of the East River, will be dedicated to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. A square plaza called “The Room,” will highlight Roosevelt’s famous “Four Freedoms” speech, delivered on January 6, 1941. “The Room” will pay homage to America’s commitment to these freedoms —freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. Granite-paved promenades protected by low granite walls will line the tree-shaded garden that leads to “The Room” at the tip of the park. The tops of the granite walls alongside two striking alleys of Little Leaf Linden trees will be engraved with memories from both FDR’s — and our country’s — life. Each of the 144 milestone “chapters” will be engraved with a memory and the name of the chapter donor or someone the donor wishes to honor.

New York City underwent a fiscal crisis that put the project on hold. But on March 29, 2010, construction began on the site, and it is expected to be completed in 2011. According to stoneworld.com

Grohe appoints new president, chief executive officer for the Americas (Shelby Township, MI)

Grohe, a global leader in premium-quality, high-design kitchen and bathroom faucets and shower products, has named industry veteran Franz Droege as President and Chief Executive Officer for Grohe America, a subsidiary of Grohe Water Technology AG & Co.

In his new role, Droege is responsible for developing and overseeing key growth strategies supporting the Grohe brand in the U.S., Canada, Central and South America — critical target markets for the company. Droege takes over this position from Past president and CEO Jeff Ackerberg, who held the title for the last two years.

A Grohe veteran with more than 34 years with the company, Droege comes to lead the Americas after seven years as president of the Grohe business in the Middle East and Africa. Prior to that position, Droege had been responsible for Grohe North America as Director of Overseas Operations for almost 10 years.

“Franz comes to lead Grohe America with a wealth of industry and company experience,” said David J. Haines, Grohe Global CEO. “He has proven his exceptional leadership abilities with the strong team and superb performance he was able to deliver in the Middle East. We are confident that Franz will successfully apply his skills and knowledge to building our brand and enriching our teams in North and South America.”

“Grohe products are unsurpassed when it comes to quality and innovation — characteristics that have helped create a stellar brand reputation in North America among our target audiences,” said Droege. “With this foundation of trust and respect among consumers, the company is poised for remarkable growth. I’m anxious to lead a highly energized team to new successes.” According to stoneworld.com