An Update on the Natural Stone Institute Board of Directors
Natural Stone Institute
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oberlin, OH, April 22, 2021—The Natural Stone Institute welcomed two individuals to its board of directors in January: Blake Christensen (Valley View Granite) and Amit Gupta (TAB/Amsum & Ash).
Blake Christensen is the owner and CEO of Valley View Granite based in Tremonton UT. With over 20 years in the natural stone industry, Blake started fabricating and installing slab countertops while attending high school in Southern California in 1997 and founded Valley View Granite in 2003. Valley View Granite fabricates and installs natural slab products and operates from 6 locations throughout Utah and Idaho. Blake has donated to the Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. program and helped install the natural stone in the Use Natural Stone booth for the KBIS show. He serves on several association committees and his company has earned Natural Stone Institute Accreditation.
Amit Gupta is the Chairman and CEO for TAB /Amsum & Ash in Jaipur, India. Beginning his stone career at age 23, Amit and his younger brother Sumit founded TAB and Amsum & Ash during college. The company began operations as a manufacturer of natural stone products and with Amit’s leadership and Sumit’s manufacturing prowess, it has grown to employ over 1,200 employees through their global operations. Amit helped to support the association during the radon crisis, hosted industry events at their facility, and has also been involved with fundraising efforts for the Use Natural Stone Promotional campaign.
Christensen and Gupta replace Bruce Knaphus (KEPCO+) and Josh Zhang (Jianming Stone Group) who completed their board terms.
The Natural Stone Institute membership recently passed a bylaws vote to adjust the structure of the board of directors. Going forward, the Natural Stone Institute board of directors will include representation from five key North American industry segments (Fabricator, Installer, Quarrier, Restoration & Maintenance, and Stone Distributor), as well as one director from the Associate Member segment, two directors from outside North America, and five North America At-Large positions. The total number of board seats will remain unchanged at thirteen. In 2021, three board seats will be recruited: Associate Member, North American Quarrier, and North American Installer. 2021 Board President Mike Picco (PICCO Engineering) commented: “We are excited to have Blake and Amit join the board this year and are grateful to Bruce and Josh for their board service. We strongly feel that the board is assembled with one primary purpose: to serve the membership. We feel that this change has strengthened this mandate.”
To learn more about opportunities to serve on the Natural Stone Institute board, visit www.naturalstoneinstitute.org/boardelections.
About the Natural Stone Institute
The Natural Stone Institute is a trade association representing every aspect of the natural stone industry. The current membership exceeds 2,000 members in over 50 nations. The association offers a wide array of technical and training resources, professional development opportunities, regulatory advocacy, and networking events. Two prominent publications—the Dimension Stone Design Manual and Building Stone Magazine—raise awareness within the natural stone industry and in the design community for best practices and uses of natural stone. Learn more at www.naturalstoneinstitute.org.