Proposed Bylaws Change - Frequently Asked Questions
During the week of April 12-16 the membership will be invited to vote via electronic ballot on a proposed bylaws change to adjust the structure of the Natural Stone Institute board of directors. Answers to several frequently asked questions are found below.
What Is Being Proposed?
The proposed change would maintain the total number of directors but increase the number of directors elected from key industry segments. It would also abandon the geographic system and adjust the number of international directors.
What Is the Current Layout of the Board?
Currently the board includes thirteen (13) members of which twelve (12) are chosen from geographic areas (7 US, 1 Canada, 4 International) and one (1) by industry segment (the Associate Member category, which includes equipment/tooling/chemical suppliers).
What Would Change?
The new board layout would include the following:
- Associate Member Segment – 1 Director
- North America Industry Segments – 5 Directors. One Each: Fabricator, Installer, Quarrier, Restoration & Maintenance, and Stone Distributor
- North America At-Large – 5 Directors
- Outside North America At-Large – 2 Directors
Why Is the Geographic Zone System Being Abandoned?
The goal is to ensure that all major industry segments are represented on the board. The primary focus of the proposed bylaws change is centered on the fact that several key industry segments are not currently represented on the board. The board recognized that 12% of our current membership is from outside North America, yet 31% of the board seats are designated for international directors. This change would also allow members from the same geographic region to serve on the board at the same time.
How Will the Five North American “At-Large” Board Positions be Elected?
The five “at-large” board positions can be elected from any industry segment. This offers flexibility to bring five directors onto the board to complement the six that are selected by industry segment.
How Will the Reduction in International Directors be Handled?
To offset the reduction in international directors, the board has also authorized the creation of an international advocacy group, which will work alongside the two international directors on key initiatives, including the ISO standards initiative.
What Role Will Advocacy Groups Play in the Future?
We believe advocacy groups can provide a platform for members to engage and network with other members of that industry segment and provide feedback on key initiatives and programing of the Natural Stone Institute. Advocacy groups for additional industry segments will be introduced in the future.
Which Industry Segments Are NOT Currently Represented on the Board?
As of 2020:
- North American quarrier
- Restoration & Maintenance
Additionally, the only North American installer’s term on the board will end at the close of 2021.
Does This Change Impact the Current Terms of Any Current Board Members?
No. Current board members will fulfill their respective board terms.
How Many Board Directors Will Be Recruited in 2021?
- Associate Member (equipment/tooling/chemical companies). Board seat currently held by Marcella Prado (LATICRETE)
- North American Quarrier (new opening)
- North American Installer. Board seat currently held by Robert Zavagno (Cleveland Marble Mosaic Company)
Which Board Seats Will Be Recruited in 2022?
- Outside North America At-Large. Board seat currently held by Ali Kader (EGYMAR)
- North America At-Large. Board seat currently held by Evan Cohen (Quality Marble & Granite)
- North American Restoration & Maintenance (new opening)
Who Is Eligible to Vote?
One representative from each member firm who has been designated as the “key contact.”
Does the Board Approve of This Proposal?
The board deliberated on this proposal at its January 2021 board meeting and unanimously recommends passage.
How Can I Vote?
A ballot will be sent via email during the week of April 12, 2021 to key contacts at all full member companies. Please contact our membership team if you need to change your key contact.
Additional Perspectives from Board Members:
“Our goal is to ensure that the major industry segments are represented on the board.”
– Robert Zavagno, Cleveland Marble Mosaic Company
“Having two international directors provides sufficient representation for the needs of the international community. Creating an international advocacy group will also increase the opportunity for more members to get involved, which is especially needed given the ISO standards initiative.”
– Herwig Callewier, Beltrami Natural Stone
“The elimination of the geographic zone system provides for more flexibility to bring the best leaders onto the board.”
– Duane Naquin, Stone Interiors