2018 Natural Stone Institute Convention



Or call Hotel Contessa directly at (210)-229-9222 using code 521909 to book

Event Dates: Arrive Sunday, February 25th - Depart Thursday, March 1st, 2018
Location: Hotel Contessa, San Antonio, Texas

Contact: Jane Bennett or Gina De Nardo
Email: or
Phone: 518-803-4336 or 440-250-9222

Join us at the Hotel Contessa, an all-suite hotel overlooking the San Antonio River Walk for our 2018 Annual Convention, a 4-day member retreat that offers the ideal blend of education, fellowship, and fun and also provides unmatched benefit for all sectors of the natural stone industry. We kick off the event on Sunday with the Tucker Design Awards and banquet at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.

The Annual Convention is the perfect stone industry immersion resource for member companies seeking to develop the skills and knowledge of new employees, and a valued networking opportunity for developing new business relationships in a relaxed setting.

NOTE:  Hotel reservations must be made “on your own”.  A reduced group rate and block of rooms have been established at the Hotel Contessa with both a direct phone line, and an online reservation system available for Natural Stone Institute members.  Tucker Design Award and Convention registration WILL NOT include lodging costs.  Attendees are encouraged to book at the Hotel Contessa for optimal savings, networking opportunity and convenience. 

Event Costs

Full Event Early Bird  $995
Includes Convention and Tucker Design Awards
Register before Friday, December 22, 2017

Full Event  $1,095
Includes Convention and Tucker Design Awards
For registrations after Friday, December 22, 2017

Tucker Design Awards Only  $250
Includes Sunday, February 25th ceremony, reception and banquet only.

Tucker Design Awards + Monday Tours  $275
Includes Sunday, February 25th ceremony, reception and banquet as well as Monday’s off-site tours to Alamo Tile & Stone and Triton Stone. Sign up for tours when registering.

Convention Sponsorship - No limit to sponsors in each level.

AUCTION DONOR  -  Advise Item & Value
Bar/Reception  $1,500
Sign on Bar
Guest Speakers  $1,000
Thank you in presentation
Team Building  $750
Sign at reception
Transportation  $500
Sign on bus
Bags/T-shirt  $250
Logo only on t-shirt    

Tucker Design Awards Sponsorship - No limit to sponsors in each level.

Platinum  $1,500
On-screen ad/Table sign/Premier seating
Gold  $1,000
On-screen ad/Program listing
Silver  $500
Program listing only


(subject to change)

4:30pm - 9pm
Tucker Design Awards And Banquet

Tobin Center for the Performing Arts to celebrate our Tucker Design Award and Bybee Prize winners. Included in Convention Registration.

Town Hall Meetintg
Off-site Tours: 
Visit Alamo Tile & Stone’s fabrication and distribution center followed by lunch and a showroom tour at Triton Stone. Triton will also host a geology tour of the slab showroom.
Team Building:  Become familiar with San Antonio on our team challenge scavenger hunt!
Team Happy Hour:  Hor d’oeuvres and drinks on the River Walk.
Night on Own

Industry Breakouts and General Session Speaker
Grab and Go lunch
Structured activities:

Quarry Golf Course, Kayak/Bike Mission Tours or Shopping at Market Square. Additional fees apply.
Night on own

General Session speaker
Advocacy Group Breakouts
Buffet lunch

Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. Program Presentation
Afternoon on own
Reception & Dinner
/Auction a portion of proceeds to benefit hurricane and wild fire relief efforts.




It’s Not About The Pool Table

Nancy Clark – Owner, Drive Brand Studio, North Conway, NH  How do we market our industry’s work to recruit and retain great new employees? Nancy expands on her last session to explore creating good work cultures, creatively marketing our jobs and attracting and retaining good employees by making them feel that they are part of a bigger picture--a piece of the whole that makes an impact on lives.


Women in Stone Presents - Negotiation Skills for Professionals in Every Level of Their Career

Rita Drieghe Kosnik, Ph.D - Professor of Management and Negotiations at Trinity University, San Antonio, TX  Rita employs a very interactive approach using several fast paced activities to cover topics such as dispute resolution, contract negotiations, and relationship management. This all starts with knowing how to change your mind-set before a conversation in order to prepare yourself to come out of it successfully.


Gary Sinise Foundation – R.I.S.E. Smart Home Program

Brandon Byers, Gary Sinise Foundation Smart Home Recipient, US Air Force SrA (RET)  Learn about this meaningful ‘give back’ program including how to support one of the customized homes made possible through donations of our member contributors.





Town Hall Meeting

Jim Hieb – CEO, Natural Stone Institute
During Monday’s breakfast, get the latest updates and status reports on the major initiatives of the Natural Stone Institute.



Succession Planning in Family Business – One Company’s Experience

Michael Schlough – Co-President, Park Industries, St. Cloud, MN  Michael shares his experience on a successful 3rd generation ownership transition and leadership succession for Park Industries. Plan to interact with questions and hear examples shared from other companies



CEU Speaker Certification Workshop

Sarah Gregg – CEU Program Administrator, Natural Stone Institute   Become a Natural Stone Institute Certified Speaker in 90 minutes. In this workshop, you will complete all the steps needed to be able to present our prepared CEU programs to the design community and give CEU credits to your attendees. Participate in this in-depth and personalized tutorial explaining all the program resources and how to use them. You will receive your Certified Speaker seal and printable certificate to begin promoting your new certification right away.   

Advocacy Group Discussions

Break out sessions for the four existing Advocacy Group segments including Quarriers, Fabricators, Installers and Distributors. Direction on discussion assignments based on past advocacy group discussion outcomes will be given.  

Additional Information:


Hotel Contessa is just a 10 minute drive from San Antonio Airport. Once you've arrived at the hotel, you can easily access restaurants and activities via river boat taxi, on foot alongside the river walk or by Uber and taxi services.

San Antonio in February - Average High Temperature of 67° F and Average Low Temperature of 44°. This is one of the driest months for San Antonio, however you should still pack a rain coat just in case..

All meetings, education sessions and tour are Business Casual.  Dressy attire is suggested for Sunday night Tucker Design Awards. 

San Antonio
Looking for more fun in San Antonio? Click here to see what there is to do in the area!

Hotel Attractions

  • Located directly on the River Walk
  • Woodhouse Day Spa offering full-service massage therapy
  • Heated Rooftop Pool with a hot tub overlooking the downtown San Antonio skyline
  • 24 Hour Fitness Center with cardio and strength equipment alongside free weights
  • Las Ramblas Restaurant and the Cork Bar (indoor & outdoor seating) offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Cork Bar offers specialty cocktails, beer and wine.
  • In-room dining
  • Spacious and bright meeting rooms

Close by:

  • The Alamo
  • Many museums and galleries
  • Zoo, aquarium and a wildlife ranch 
  • Caves and caverns
  • Ghost Tours
  • Botanical Garden
  • Schlitterbahn Water Park


Countertop IQ Stones of North America