Industry News

ISFA’s 2022 Annual Conference Agenda Packed with Game-Changing Business Development Strategy Sessions

Themed “Waves of Innovation,” this year’s conference will foster a growth mindset with presentations led by industry experts, a software and technology panel discussion and more.

Fabricators and other professionals within the decorative surface industry are encouraged to explore new “Waves of Innovation” at the International Surface Fabricators Association’s (ISFA) 2022 Annual Conference, which will be held October 17-19 in Clearwater, Florida. Attendees will enjoy three days of educational sessions, business development workshops, new product presentations, networking opportunities, and more at the stunning Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort.

This signature event will kick off with a welcome reception and dinner, including a celebration that honors the 2022 ISFA Award recipients and the introduction of ISFA’s 2023 board of directors.

In subsequent days, attendees will benefit from powerful presentations and workshops that focus on fostering a growth mindset in business with insights from experts regarding industry trends, marketplace insights, business model strategies, software and technology solutions and integration, and more. Programming includes:

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2022

THE TECHNOLOGY OF A GROWTH MINDSET
Are you making decisions based on the last 12 months or the next 12 months? Is your technology telling you what needs to be done, or are you just trusting your gut? With an unprecedented labor shortage and a recession looming, we need technology now more than ever. Tim Saddoris, president of Grand Onyx, a firm dedicated to building world-class fabricators by helping them streamline processes and implement growth strategies using digital solutions, breaks down how you can transform your business with the right approach to technology. In this session, Tim covers:

  • A new kind of power tool: Transforming your business with technology
  • Better late than never: Why it’s sometimes better to delay tech onboarding adoption
  • Tech fatigue: What is it and how do you avoid it
  • Review, rinse and repeat: Did I make the right tech decision, or is it time to pivot

About Tim Saddoris
Tim Saddoris is the president of Grand Onyx, a firm dedicated to building world-class surface fabricators. Grand Onyx helps companies define operational processes and create roadmaps that enable more predictable revenue, stronger margins and foster legacy businesses that stand the test of time. Previously, Tim worked as IT director for the fourth largest power tool importing/exporting company in the United States and subsequently founded Thrive MES, an international software company that improves shop floor machine performance and operations, as well as InfoStream Solutions, a digital marketing company that helps organizations with critical tasks like lead generation through campaigns that play to the strengths that make them unique.

INDUSTRY TRENDS, MARKET FORECASTS AND A ROCK-SOLID BUSINESS MODEL
Join Mitch Henderson, CEO of Clear Seas Research, for firsthand data and consumer insights within the stone industry. Mitch will showcase over 15 years of overall stone market trends to demonstrate how customer centricity leads to success. In this session, learn the logic behind:

  • The reasons customers are drawn to the most preferred brands
  • Key drivers behind stone equipment purchase plans
  • Essential factors in selecting stone-related equipment and products

In addition to market trends, learn about the not-so-surprising model that leads to success in virtually every segment of the stone industry.

About Mitch Henderson
Mitch Henderson is the founder of Clear Seas Research, a full-service market research insights company. He is the co-creator of the online community, myCLEARopinion Panel, which specializes in skilled industry data sampling by providing access to a unique and powerful audience of decision makers, contractors, installers, technicians and experienced professionals. With an extensive background in research and statistics, Henderson evangelizes B2B market insights as the model that replaces traditional enterprise sales feedback. He obtained his MBA from the University of Michigan, and he trained at the Burke Institute with a focus on applications of market research. Proficient in interpreting statistical marketing research, Henderson also studied under IBM’s SPSS statistics program.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2022

A PANEL DISCUSSION: HOW SOFTWARE & TECHNOLOGY DRIVE GROWTH FOR THE SURFACING INDUSTRY
A panel of industry experts shares their experiences implementing technology in a fabrication shop. Gain powerful insights, best practices and more on:

  • How software and technology can add value to your business
  • What you should be doing out of the gate to ensure success
  • The best bolt-on solutions that increase efficiency

This open discussion will provide real-world examples of successes and failures, arming fabricators with the best path forward in a challenging time when digital innovations are proving to be a top driver for growth. Panelists include:

Aaron Martens, QXM Solutions
Aaron Martens is a technology expert who has designed and implemented software solutions for more than 25 years. He has helped organizations improve operational and financial performance by optimizing business processes with digital tools. Aaron is regularly invited to offer his thought leadership within industries that want to modernize and leverage more technology in their businesses. As the CEO of QXM Solutions, an enterprise SaaS construction sales management solution, Aaron has more to say now than ever. He is encouraging the fabrication industry to become more empowered, more connected and more profitable using smart tools and forward-thinking strategies.

Frank Sciarrino, Quote Countertops and Granite Gold Services
Frank Sciarrino is a third-generation stone fabricator with more than 20 years’ experience in the stone industry. Frank is a managing partner of Quote Countertops, a leading consumer-facing visualization and quoting platform, and president of Granite Gold Services, a provider of countertop care products and services. He regularly advises fabricators and marketing companies across the nation to help drive more sales through digital marketing strategy and technology.

Harry Hollander, Moraware
Harry Hollander is the CEO and co-founder of Moraware, the leading estimating and scheduling software for countertop fabricators. Since 2002, Moraware has been building solutions for drawing, quoting, scheduling and job management. Harry’s passion is helping build sustainable, profitable companies that provide an exceptional quality of life for their employees.

Steve Mast, Precision Countertops
Steve Mast is the director of Precision Countertops in Portland, Oregon. He has worked in the decorative surface industry for more than 25 years. He served as ISFA’s president in 2021. Steve got his start working for Avonite Solid Surfaces where he trained and worked with distributors. He joined Precision Countertops in 2004, which has since become one of the largest shops in the United States. In addition, Steve co-owns a remodeling company, a laminate edge manufacturer and the software company behind the popular SPEEDlabel solution. Passionate about the industry, he loves visiting other fabrication shops, learning and sharing ways to improve business.

Tiffanie Gardner, Top Priority, Inc.
Tiffanie Gardner is the general manager of Top Priority, Inc., a surface fabrication company located in Waipahu, Hawaii. Previously, Tiffanie served as Top Priority’s business development manager and was responsible for expanding the company’s sales activities to include more commercial, civil and government projects. She managed the technology division and played a key role in the continued integration of Moraware as a customer relationship management tool and job tracker. As general manager, Tiffanie develops processes and implements technologies that improve Top Priority’s production capacity and project lead times using optimized end-to-end management tools.

MARKETING MATTERS: HOW FABRICATORS CAN ELEVATE THEIR BUSINESSES
Are you putting marketing on the back burner in favor of the day-to-day rush? Join Stephen Alberts, owner of the Countertop Marketing Co., to learn the most critical communication strategies you should be doing right now, regardless of how packed your production schedule is. From website optimization to social media management to tracking sales leads and everything in between, Stephen will break down the best practices in marketing and communications that any fabricator can apply. Learn the benefits of implementing marketing tactics now that could offset potential challenges ahead.

About Stephen Alberts
Stephen Alberts is the owner of the Countertop Marketing Co., which specializes in helping countertop companies grow the retail side of their business outside of word-of-mouth and referrals. To learn more and book a free strategy session, visit countertopmarketingco.com or contact Stephen at steve@countertopmarketingco.com.

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: EOS IMPLEMENTATION + CONFERENCE TAKEAWAYS
In this session, ISFA Board Member Travis McDermott shares his experience onboarding an Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) at his fabrication shop, McDermott Top Shop. Get a high-level overview of how EOS systems foster growth and how it has transformed his business. This session will wrap up with a recap discussion about additional insights around implementing digital solutions and other key takeaways from the Annual Conference.

About Travis McDermott
Travis McDermott serves as operations manager for McDermott Top Shop in Jefferson, Wisconsin. Having worked in many roles in the company over the past 16 years, he is adept at all parts of the business, including best practices in fabrication, shop management, CAD and related software programming, sales, inventory, installation and more. Travis is passionate about leadership and contributing to a thriving company culture.

In addition to workshops, attendees will learn about some of the latest innovative materials, tooling and other products in the decorative surface industry. The New Product Lunch & Learn will showcase innovations from material manufacturers, tooling distributors, technology and solution providers, and more. In between workshops and presentations, attendees will have the chance to network with their peers over great food, entertainment and a breathtaking resort backdrop that enables everyone to kick back, relax and enjoy each other’s company.

“This year’s Annual Conference is a must-attend event curated specifically for today’s surface fabricators,” said Nancy Busch, executive director of ISFA. “The agenda addresses the obstacles fabricators face in today’s challenging market, and each discussion will provide actionable solutions. Our expert speakers and panelists will deliver meaningful insights and encourage out-of-the-box thinking that can be a driver for growth. We have thoughtfully planned programming and resources that will bring significant value to attendees, which adheres to ISFA’s mission to further the decorative surface industry and support fabricators in their work.”

The 2022 ISFA Annual Conference is proudly sponsored by Cambria and Moraware, Aristech Surfaces, Corian Design, Cosentino, GranQuartz, Infinity Surfaces, LX Hausys, Park Industries and Wilsonart. These companies, together with ISFA, are dedicated to the success of fabricators everywhere.

The deadline to register for this event is September 2, 2022; those interested in attending can find more details at www.isfaconference.com.

About the International Surface Fabricators Association
The International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) is globally recognized as a premier trade organization serving the manufactured surface industry. ISFA exists to help fabricators and other industry professionals increase product quality, improve safety measures, encourage professionalism and elevate profitability by facilitating education, standards and camaraderie. ISFA values innovation, dependability, trust, honesty, ethics, and serving others above all else. For more information about ISFA, the benefits of membership, training opportunities, association events, including the Annual Conference and more, visit www.ISFAnow.org.

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