OBERLIN, Ohio & CHESTERTOWN, N.Y.— G.K. Naquin leads the honor roll of MIA+BSI’s 2016 awards with the coveted Migliore Award for Lifetime Achievement.

200 Migliore CopyClick photo to enlargeNaquin, president of Stone Interiors in Loxley, Ala., received the award with other honorees during the MIA+BSI Awards Luncheon at TISE in January.

The award is named for MIA's long-time technical director, Vincent R. Migliore, who was its first recipient posthumously in 2003.

Naquin’s career in the stone industry began in 1974, when he joined a startup stone company, Intrepid Enterprises. He served as CFO for Intrepid Enterprises for 25 years before starting his own company, Stone Interiors, in 1997. Locations in Gaston, S.C., and New Orleans, opened in 2002 and 2007, respectively.

Naquin has been an active member of MIA+BSI since 2003, and served as MIA President in 2011. His passion for bettering the industry can be found in his involvement in the Accreditation and Education programs. In the past dozen years, Naquin has facilitated 40 Stone Industry Education Series events, and at least 50 other sessions at industry trade shows and conventions.

“G.K. has been an advocate for many, a mentor to some, but an inspiration to all,” noted Tony Malisani of Malisani Inc. in a nomination letter. Eric Tryon, of Premier Surfaces, agreed, as “G.K. and his companies have made astounding contributions and advancements to promote the stone industry. However, it is his eagerness and ability to impart his knowledge to others that have been central to his legacy.”

Naquin stressed the importance of involvement with industry associations like MIA+BSI.

“If you’re in an industry where you’re making a profit and you plan to build your life around that business, you should be part of an association that promotes that industry,” he said. “Why would I be in an industry I didn’t support? I know it’s going to support me.”

Craftsman

250 Craftsman CopyClick Photo to EnlargeAndrew Swinley, carving foreman at Red Leaf Stone in Abbottsford, B.C, was named 2016 Craftsman of the Year.

Swinley began his career at the age of 20 as an apprentice stone mason, where he focused almost entirely on restoration. He then pursued a degree in Figurative Sculpture from the City and Guilds Art School in London.

After two decades as a self-employed stone carver, Swinley accepted a position at Architectural Stonemasonry, a division of Red Leaf Stone.

“Andrew is a traditional stonemason and architectural carver; a man passionate in promoting the skills of his craft,” said Tony Rogac, shop manager at Red Leaf Stone. “His training and experience give him a unique insight into what is possible in stone. When you are passionate about something, you want to see excellence.

When you have excellence in yourself, you want to see that brought out in others. That’s what Andrew does.”

Swinley is grateful for this award and the opportunities it will bring.

“Winning this award is meaningful, because it was given to me by my peers,” he says. “It is gratifying to finally get recognition in my field.”

Scholarship

200 scholarshipClick photo to enlargeJan Ligas, estimator at Wilkstone in Paterson, N.J, received the 2016 MIA+BSI Natural Stone Scholarship.

Ligas joined the staff at Wilkstone in 2014. He was fascinated by the industry almost immediately.

“I discovered that there was an entire industry behind the marble and granite people used in their home and office décor,” he said. “I rapidly began to see the potential and creativity in the industry, and I was determined to be a part of this world.”

“Jan is a hardworking man and we would like to see him become an even greater asset to Wilkstone and the stone industry,” said Joseph Petti, Wilkstone president. “This scholarship will give him the necessary skills and confidence to further his career and to mentor other young men and women in the future.”

The Natural Stone Scholarship covers travel and registration expenses for TISE and is designed to help aspiring stone industry professionals gain valuable technical and practical knowledge, meet and network with leading stone professionals, and explore potentials for future leadership.

Other 2016 honorees at the MIA+BSI Awards Luncheon at TISE were Kathy Spanier of Coldspring as Person of the Year, and Brenda Edwards of TexaStone Quarries as the first recipient of the Women in Stone Pioneer Award.

To learn more about the Natural Stone Scholarship and other MIA+BSI awards, please visit www.naturalstoneinstitute.org/awards.


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