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Winter 2019 Happy New Year! 2020 is the start of a new year, a new decade, and a new outlook on the future. After the rush of the holidays, I always enjoy the beginning of the New Year. It just seems so refreshing, starting out with goals and ideas in mind for a new year. Sometimes, the goals and ideas are new, and sometimes they are just carryovers from the previous year. Ideas that were started but not completed for one reason or another, or, may have never been started at all. Either way, it doesn’t really matter whether the goals and ideas are new or old, or large or small. What does matter however is that you are thinking about how to improve your operation in the New Year. Hopefully, you already have some goals or ideas in mind for your own operation, as you move into the New Year. I know that personally, I always pick up a lot of ideas from the conferences and conventions I attend throughout the previous year. Also, by reading the publications and newsletters from the various organizations that EGA is affiliated with. I am always amazed at the great ideas that other businesses and organizations have already put into play. I find myself saying, “That is a great idea, how can that business practice work for us?” I mean, why re-invent the wheel if you don’t have to. Sometimes just asking the employees might yield ideas on potential changes that can be made. Taking ideas from the employees can definitely be beneficial, because it gives them a sense of buy-in to the operation. Also, many times they have first-hand knowledge and experience of where and how the most productive changes or ides might be implemented. The important thing to remember is, keep moving your goal and ideas forward. Sometimes, it may take several years to get these to become a reality, so don’t give up. If you are not thinking about how to improve your operation with new goals and ideas, then you are standing still. If you are standing still, you are going to get passed up by your competition. EGA is excited for the 2020 New Year, and we are definitely not standing still! We have been working on several different goals over the last few years, and we are encouraged to see them come into play this year. The MB University show is coming to Athens and Elberton and we are excited to see this show become a reality. We have also been working to get a viewing station built that will overlook one of our quarries. This viewing station is nearing completion, and will be incorporated into the tour during the MB University show. Also, we are looking to start the conversation and process of renovating and adding to our museum. EGA is very aware of the importance of keeping the history of the granite industry alive and sharing that history with future generations. We are looking forward to seeing many of you in February for the MB University show in Athens, and then at all of the regional conventions throughout the year. EGA would like to wish all of you a happy and prosperous new year. Stay safe my friends. MBUniversity Conference Is Coming To Athens, GA FEBRUARY 6-9, 2020 WHAT IS THE MBUNIVERSITY CONFERENCE? The MBUniversity Conference is an experience where we turn up the volume on education to eleven! This conference will showcase highly interactive workshops that will provide attendees with the opportunity to work side by side with your peers, exploring a variety of topics in the monument industry. In addition, vendors will showcase the latest and greatest in products and services. WHO SHOULD ATTEND THE MBUNIVERSITY CONFERENCE? Owners and managers Salespeople Monument designers Children of owners who are getting into the business Shop personnel Associates involved in the monument industry Actually, anyone involved in the industry should be in Athens in February. This Conference has something for everyone. WHY ATTEND THE MBUNIVERSITY CONFERENCE? Courses offered will include a variety of topics that can enhance your business operations, advance your monument building skills and bolster your sales! Don’t miss out on these top notch educational offerings! This setting will allow you to tap the expertise of your peers in a way never done before! In short, you’ll have the opportunity to: See the latest offerings from granite and marble manufacturers and wholesalers See new products and hear of new services from distributors, manufacturers, and wholesalers. Learn the latest in software and other technology that will improve and enhance your business Network and exchange information and experience with your peers Learn more about MB Healthcare Program HOST CITY: ATHENS, GEORGIA Nestled in the northeastern reaches of the Peach State, Athens, Georgia, is an unmistakably southern city steeped in vibrant college culture. While the spirited city is perhaps most known for the University of Georgia, the state’s largest public research university and the birthplace of public higher education in America, it’s also home to a thriving music scene, award-winning restaurants and a host of other attractions that make the city a can’t-miss destination on your next trip to Georgia. THE CLASSIC CENTER The Classic Center brings together state-of-the-art technology and unparalleled customer service in a venue that features new and modern spaces perfectly paired with restored historical structures. Connected by 5 major highways and convenient to 2 interstates that link Athens to the Atlanta and Greenville-Spartanburg International airports, The Classic Center in Athens is the perfect fit for a successful event in a location like no other. Located at 300 North Thomas Street, Athens, Georgia 30601, The Classic Center is surrounded by the vibrant downtown Athens with more than 1,500 hotel rooms and more than 150 shopping, dining and nightlife options. VENDORS AND SPONSORS Visit the monument industry suppliers participating in this year’s MBUniversity Conference to experience a collection of manufacturers, wholesalers, equipment and product suppliers, and technology providers in the industry. MBNA knows how important it is for you to meet face-to-face with these individuals who will be on hand to share their insights into the latest trends in monument building, design and memorialization. This is your opportunity to form new partnerships and build existing ones. MBNA’s MBUniversity Conference provides the opportunity to connect your company with current and prospective clients. To help make your participation in the show even more successful, MBNA has developed a slate of sponsorship opportunities designed to promote your presence and drive customers to your table display. Visit to review the list of marketing opportunities to find a sponsorship that best meets your needs. THE ULTIMATE ELBERTON EXPERIENCE By Alison Raymer, CM, MBNews Editorial Advisory Board Chair Coming back for another year, MBUniversity brings you the Ultimate Elberton Experience! This will easily be the most important learning and networking event that you and your staff will ever attend! With an extraordinary combination of hands-on learning opportunities, unforgettable networking events and successful sales techniques, attendees are guaranteed to leave with the knowledge and skills necessary to do more. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2020 This year’s MBUniversity will start off with a networking adventure that is certain to bring memorial retailers, suppliers, and enthusiasts together for a good time. Take your pick of one of our two remarkable outings: OPTION 1: Calling all golf enthusiasts! (or those who simply like to think they are golf enthusiasts!) Tee off where the Dawgs play at the stunning University of Georgia Golf Course! This par 71 Robert Trent Jones layout course is widely regarded as one of the best university golf courses in the US. Enjoy challenging terrains and a helpful pro shop for a networking opportunity that you won’t soon forget. OPTION 2: If you haven’t heard of Stan Mullins, internationally renowned visual artist, you are about to be amazed! Hosting a 7,000 square foot studio that is nothing short of a visual artist’s wonderland, Stan Mullins has gained international notoriety for his cultural and political sculptures. Join him for some local brews and a journey through his studio where he will teach you that “each work of art, from small watercolor to epic scale sculpture, embodies a passion for life and living that is both inspirational and personal”. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2020 While our Ultimate Elberton Experience kicks off with some exciting event options, it really cranks up the volume with a trip to the Pyramid Stone quarry that you and your staff will not want to miss. This trip will help provide your sales, shop, installation and creativity teams with invaluable knowledge and experience that will, in turn, help them improve your overall safety, sales, and/or customer experiences. On this trip to Elberton you and your staff will gain the following experiences and knowledge: 1. Gain first-hand knowledge of the entire quarrying process with a trip to the Pyramid Stone quarry. Their brand-new quarry overlook platform provides an unobstructed view of one of the most timeless and fascinating processes in our industry. Participate in hands-on demonstrations that include breaking quarry rocks with pneumatic hand drills, jackhammers, wedges and shims – this is an opportunity you do not want to miss! 2. Are both safety and quality of equal importance to you and your setting crew? Do you strive to have an accident-free workplace? If so, this hands-on setting demonstration by River Edge Granite may easily be the most valuable resource your team has at their disposal! At this hands-on demonstration your team will learn how break old habits and safely handle and install large and/or odd shaped monuments. We will introduce proper setting compounds, pinning procedures, the best practices of safely using tools, and so much more! 3. What would an MBNA event be without food? Enjoy a delicious lunch break at the Elberton County Fairgrounds, brought to you by your friends at the Elberton Granite Association (EGA). Did you know that the Elberton County Fairgrounds were honored as “One of the 10 Great Places for Blue Ribbon County Fairs” by USA Today? With a 300,000 square foot, award-winning facility, it is the perfect venue for our group of hungry rock hounds! 4. Do you struggle to remove unsightly granite stains? Are you looking to add cemetery cleaning and/or restoration services to your revenue stream? If so, then your team will not want to miss this invaluable learning event! At this demonstration we will have multiple workstations set up with various “problem pieces” such as unsightly spots, stains, chips, cracks, and more. Cleaning and restoration professionals will be available at each station to teach you to use the proper tools, products and techniques for safe restoration. 5. Out-pace your competition by gaining an in-depth knowledge of the entire CNC process and the multiple ways this technology can benefit your business. From cutting to carving, this technology holds an important place in our industry for precision, efficiency and capability. Here you will learn about all-axis carving machines, multi-wire saws, articulating wire saws, and how they can be incorporated into the memorial finishing process. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2020 Cap off the day by Rockin’ with MBNA! Sponsored by the Elberton Granite Association, our MBNA Rockin’ Party is the perfect way to celebrate the opening of our show! Grab a drink and get out on the dance floor to enjoy an evening with The Swingin’ Medallions! Best known for their 1966 smash hit, “Double Shot (Of My Baby’s Love)”, which climbed to number 17 on the Billboard Charts, this beach-rock band is a favorite throughout the South! MBU CONFERENCE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS (Below schedule is subject to change.) THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2020 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Board of Trustees Meeting 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m Check-In & Information Desk Open 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m (OPT) Golf Outing with Lunch 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m (OPT) Stan Mullins Art Studio 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m Check-In & Information Desk Open Evening On Your Own FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2020 6:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m Check-In & Information Desk Open 6:30 a.m. Van Spot for Departure for Elberton 7:00 a.m. Departure for Elberton 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m Quarry & Overlook Setting Demonstration / Lunch Cleaning & Restoration CNC Technology - Whole Process 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m Vendor Set Up 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m MBNA Happy Hour with Vendors & Art Show SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2020 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m Check-In & Information Desk Open 7:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m Art Show 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m Continental Breakfast with Vendors 8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m MBU Session #1 (see MBNA website) 9:50 a.m. – 11:20 a.m MBU Session #2 (see MBNA website) 11:20 a.m. – 11:50 a.m Refreshment Break with Vendors 11:50 a.m. – 1:20 p.m Annual Recognition Luncheon 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m MBU Session #3 (see MBNA website) 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m MBU Session #4 (see MBNA website) 2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m Refreshment Break with Vendors 3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m MBU Session #5 (see MBNA website) 3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m MBU Session #6 (see MBNA website) 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m EGA Happy Hour 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m MBNA Rockin’ Dinner Party (Band Sponsored by EGA) SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2020 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m Check-In & Information Desk Open 7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m Art Show 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m Continental Breakfast with Vendors 8:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m CM Breakfast & Presentation (for CMs) 8:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m MBU Session #7 (see MBNA website) 9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m Refreshment Break with Vendors 10:20 a.m. – 12:00 p.m MBU Session #8 (see MBNA website) 12:00 p.m. Conference Conclusion LETTER FROM MBNA VICE PRESIDENT & PILLAR OF EDUCATION CHAIR Monument Builders of North America is proud to bring our 2020 MBUniversity Conference to members and friends of the industry. This event, to be held February 6-9, will feature multiple educational workshops, a table-top display with vendors from throughout North America, and unlimited networking opportunities. This must attend event only happens every other year. This year’s education-focused event will offer something for everyone regardless of how many years of experience one may have in the industry. Take part in our educational sessions about a variety of topics, including cremation marketing; enhancing your customers’ experience; techniques to increase sales volume; and, how to compete in the digital era and design. Traveling to Athens early? Discover the city’s vibrant culture with optional activities on Thursday, February 6 during a round of golf or the Stan Mullins’ art studio tour! Explore the home of the Elberton Granite Association! EGA has invited everyone on a tour of the area on Friday, February 7. EGA Day will include shed tours and demonstrations, a setting demonstration, cleaning and restoration techniques, a CNC technology overview and more! Vendors will be on hand throughout the event to discuss their products, services and innovations designed to help you improve your business. MBNA is committed to assisting retailers and suppliers in the enhancement of their relationships and in developing new ones with key decision-makers with purchasing power. MBNA will also announce award recipients, recognize new Certified Memorialists® and install our elected leaders. Sincerely, Jonathan Modlich, AICA MBNA Vice President & Pillar of Education Chair Attention EGA Member Firms: Let Us Help You Prepare For The Upcoming Conventions! The Elberton Granite Association is offering the time and design work needed to help its firms get ready for the upcoming conventions. Several members have already taken advantage of the offer. Mona is offering to design banners, brochures, business cards and whatever other things that may be needed to assist members with their display. She has also worked with several companies to get the best prices available on a variety of printed and promotional materials. Contact Mona at EGA 706-283-2441 Ben Brubaker Trucking Becomes Duncan Transport Services, LLC Blake Duncan purchased Ben Brubaker Trucking in 2017 from former owner, Ben Brubaker. After being established in the granite industry, Blake began his new ownership of the company by spending time getting to know his customers and clientele. He maintained the former name of the company and eased his customers into the change. After spending over a year doing this he decided it was time to make the name change official. Blake changed the name to Duncan Transport Services, LLC to reflect his ownership and pride in the work that he and his team does. Blake Duncan, Owner 706-424-6740 Porcelains Unlimited Hires New Employee Porcelains Unlimited would like welcome Anna Phillips to their team! Anna is in charge of sales on both the memorial and architectural sides of Porcelains Unlimited. Born and raised in Sarasota, FL, Anna is currently studying for her bachelor’s degree at Florida Gulf Coast University. She is a loving mom to three dogs, Dutch, Maui and Oakley. She is excited for the experience and opportunity to be working with an innovative company within the memorial industry. The Elberton Granite Association would like to wish Anna the best of luck and send a big welcome her way. A.Q. Stone Design Company Employs Lauren Hart, Champion Of The Voice of The Elberton 12 County Fair A.Q. Design Company hired Lauren Hart the middle of 2018 to work in their offices part time. Lauren has been responsible for general office duties such as filing, deliveries, weeding stencil and running errands necessary for the office to run smoothly. Lauren stated that she enjoys her job and is thankful for the opportunity to work with Quinn and his team. Lauren has been accepted into college for next year and will be attending Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee to pursue her nursing degree and sing in the campus chorus. Lauren has always had a love of music and jumps at any chance to sing or play piano. Recently Lauren competed in The Voice Of The Elberton 12 County Fair and took home the Gold Microphone with First Place! Annual Monument Builders Class - 2019 – Each Fall the Elberton Granite Association hosts its Annual Monument Builders Class. The EGA’s Monument Builders Class is a perfect course for men and women who may just be starting out in the monument, cemetery or funeral home business. The class is centered around the different steps taken in each phase of a monument’s trip from the earth to the manufacturing plant and onto its final resting spot whether it be a cemetery, personal property, a park or a town square. The class learns how granite is quarried from the Earth and are able to see first-hand the hard work and labor required to accomplish such a task. The class also walked through several manufacturing plants and watched as the granite blocks were brought in, cut to slabs, polished, shaped and sandblasted or etched. Each plant offered different perspectives, options, and capabilities for the class to see. Class time was spent with the knowledgeable Troy Caldwell, Certified Memorialist & Owner of Caldwell Monuments in Kokomo, Indiana. Troy taught the class several aspects including Industry Terminology, Nomenclature, Marketing, Wholesale & Retail Pricing, and Memorial Design, along with Craftsmanship. It, of course, is an understatement that the EGA could not accomplish all that it does without the dedication and sacrifices of its members. Each year, members firms reach out in an effort to help the class by offering tours through their plants or quarries, or by offering to teach a lesson for the class in their particular field. That is what makes this class a success year after year. Men and women who work hands on daily take time from their business to walk with the class through a journey of what they do. The best teachers on Earth are the ones that actually do what they teach for a living. They know the ins and outs and the do’s and don’ts. They have made mistakes and they have celebrated their successes and they are willing to pass those experiences along to the students in hopes that it will help them in their futures in the granite industry. The Elberton Granite Association is thankful every day for the honor to associate with such fine men and women. Blue Sky Quarries lived up to its name the day the class got to enjoy a ride down into it. Blue Sky Quarries is one of few quarries that one can drive down into and see first-hand the stone being harvested from the Earth. Randy Rice, Manager of the quarry took some time to speak to the class and explain the use of wire saw technology. Quinn Floyd, Owner of A.Q. Stone Design spent some time with the class sharing his experience with Graphic Design in the New Age with the class. The class visited Bicknell Supply Company where they were given the opportunity to see different products available. Bicknell Supplied the class breakfast and answered questions as they came up. The Class of 2019 poses in front of the Georgia Guidestones The Class of 2019 poses for yet another group photo before beginning their tour of Southern Mausoleum The Class of 2019 proudly displays their Training Certifications. Congratulations, everyone! Well done! Guest Speaker, Troy Caldwell Certified Memorialist & Owner of Caldwell Monuments, Kokomo, Indiana The Association had the honor of having Troy Caldwell, Certified Memorialist of Caldwell Monuments in Kokomo, Indiana for his second year of being the guest speaker/class mentor. Caldwell Monuments is an award winning monument and memorial designing company that is family owned and operated. The company was started by Troy’s grandfather and is now run by its third generation of Caldwell men. Troy spent the entire week training the class in the techniques used in memorial design and process. He began at the very beginning when a customer walks in the shop and went all the way through to the very end when the memorial or monument is set. The week was filled with exceptional techniques and suggestions. Troy went above and beyond for his second year of what he was asked to do and the Elberton Granite Association is so grateful that he spent his week with the Monument Retailers Basic Course. Mike Fernandez with Design Mart discussed carving and lettering styles and proportions along with services and products offered by Design Mart. Upon completion of that discussion, Mike took the class on a tour of Elberton’s oldest cemetery where he discussed the importance and meaning of symbolism. George Arnold with Glass Art introduced the class to the exciting new technique of adding images to stone in long-lasting full color. At Eagle Granite Company the class was able to see many procedures and machines including the different steps of sandblasting and painting a stone. The class came upon an employee of Eagle Granite Company as he was finishing up on a task of cutting contoured members. He gladly explained the technique and the tools used to complete it. Ryan and Paul Albertson with Henry & Henry showed the class different techniques used to load and unload various shapes and sizes of stones from the trucks. Tanner Lewis with Porcelains Unlimited demonstrated new technology used by his company to incorporate technology into the granite industry. Greg Ruff with River Edge Granite Company demonstrated foundation preparation, setting techniques, measuring monuments and rubbings. He also showed the class a hands-on demonstration of setting a monument just outside his plant. Mark Crook with Miles Supply of Elberton discussed products used in all phases of the monument business before giving the class a tour of the store and the shop. Miles Supply supplied breakfast for the class during their tour. Anne and Brian Jenson with Jenson Etching etched spoke with the class on individual levels about the different techniques used in etching. The class viewed hand etching techniques in different stages of progress along with watching the artist as they painted their etchings. A great big thank you to Anne for her fresh cookies. Jesse Hernandez with Southern Mausoleums took the class on a tour of the manufacturing plant while discussing the various steps of production for mausoleums and columbariums. The class saw some beautiful mausoleums in different stages of production being completed. Stacey Drake and the team at Granite Sales and Supply Corporation demonstrated the use of Monu-Mask after supplying the class breakfast on their final day of instruction. The Elberton Granite Association would like to thank those members that stepped up and went out of their way to assist with this year’s Monument Builders Course. Your dedication to the granite industry does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. Thank you! 3rd Annual Museum Foundation Golf Tournament Proved To Be Best Year Thus Far 2019 Champions! FIRST FLIGHT, FIRST PLACE Phil Johnson, Matt Rorick, Eli Goff & Jason Edwards FIRST FLIGHT, SECOND PLACE Chris Caldwell, David Voyles, Jackson McConnell & Shannon Fortson FIRST FLIGHT, THIRD PLACE Wade Owens, Roscoe Powell, Tim Hamby & Kyle McGee SECOND FLIGHT, FIRST PLACE Alan Johnson, Marty King, Jim Hulme & Tom Ellias SECOND FLIGHT, SECOND PLACE Chip Strickland, Steve Heinen, Chris Kubas & Alan Powell SECOND FLIGHT, THIRD PLACE Mark Harper, Nick Fleischer, Doug Maxwell & Elliott Paul PUTTING CONTEST Clay Creech & Billy Bryant SECOND CLOSEST TO PIN Randy Smith, Wesley McConnell, Alan Wilder & Nathan Thornton CLOSEST TO PIN Eddie Kinnard, Eli Goff & Quinn Floyd LONG DRIVE Nick Fleischer The 3rd Annual Museum Foundation Golf Tournament turned out to be a huge success. Many, many thanks go out to all who came out to support the Association in the endeavor to update and upgrade our museum for the preservation of our past and the growth of our future in the granite industry. We could not do what we do without the help and dedication that our sponsors have shown us. GOLD SPONSOR Eagle Granite Company Granite Sales & Supply AWARDS CEREMONY AND BUFFET DINNER SPONSOR Miles Supply BEVERAGE CART Georgia Administrative Services SILVER SPONSORS US Metalcraft Bicknell Supply Pinnacle Bank Flatwoods Granite Ron White’s Air Compressor Sales A.Q. Stone Design Air Compressor Sales Southern Granite Co. King’s Monument Co. Central Granite Co. Brownstone Memorials PUTTING CONTEST SPONSOR Anchor / IPG Stencil LONGEST DRIVE CONTEST SPONSOR Henry & Henry Trucking LUNCH SPONSOR Porcelains Unlimited HOLE-IN-ONE CHALLENGE SPONSOR Porcelains Unlimited Boneyard Cycles Mahindra of Anderson In every good event there is an extra amount of fun and play. This event was no different with a visit by Little Caesar for lunch sponsored by Porcelains Unlimited, LLC. Miles Supply of Elberton sponsored the buffet dinner after the great day of golf was complete. There were burgers and dogs and all of the fixings to go along with. Prizes galore were waiting to be won! New 2020 Catalog Released By Jenson Etching Who doesn’t love to sit and look at the many designs Jenson Etching offers. Great News! They just released their 2020 Designs Catalog with new scenes that can be done by all three of the different styles they offer; laser, hand and impact, black and white and color! The catalog will show examples of every type of scene such as military, country, fishing, hunting, religions and much much more. It also will show the new spots of every different categories. Toward the back of the catalog there are hand drawn sketches of different scenes and spots that are available in hand etching. There are 67 pages full of new and exciting options! “We have been serving the monument industry for more than twenty years. We are a service company that specializes in custom laser, impact and hand etching. We take great pride in our work, paying close attention to detail to provide you with the best etchings possible. We would like to say thanks to each of you for your continuing support.” wrote Jenson Etching in their catalog. Besides releasing a new catalog, Jenson Etching also spent some time over the past few months designing a new company logo. the new sleek logo will be used from now on as they will retire their former logo. Jenson Etching can be reached at 706-213-9296. Their email address is All of their designs can be found on their website at The Elberton Granite Association Welcomes Ideal Aggregate as an EGA Voting Member As many travel along the roads of Elberton, Georgia, it becomes apparent that the one thing Elberton is not short on is granite. Piles of scrapped granite often referred to as sprawls can be seen discarded on hillsides and some roadsides as it is the parts of the granite slabs chipped away to form the monuments. These sprawls were used by the manufacturers to hold slopes of land, however, they often become too large and vast and there have not been many options in the past on how to discard of them in any other fashion. Several years ago, Kathryn and Jeff Daniels began attempting to solve an issue they were having on their personal farm land. They were spending entirely too much money laying gravel for the roads and trails that they used on their property. Rates were only getting higher and their need was only growing. They began to research a better option that would allow them to maintain the roads on their farm in more cost efficient manner. This sent them on a mission that landed in Elberton, Georgia where they saw granite piles discarded along the manufacturer’s plants. Kathryn, majoring in Environmental Health and Engineering, thought that surely there would be an economic way to solve both the problems of the sprawl piles along with the need that farmers had to acquire reasonably priced gravel mixtures. A vision was born. Kathryn and Jeff researched what they would need to begin crushing the discarded granite. Their friends, Julia and Chad Brown from Brownstone Memorials volunteered an area on their land that they could set up shop and volunteered their own sprawl piles to be used to crush into different forms of gravel. The name “Ideal Aggregate” was given to the company because this would be the “Ideal” solution to both Elberton’s problem with what to do with sprawls needing to be discarded in the future along with their need to supply their farm land with gravel needed. Once there was a plan in place, Kathryn and Jeff began their business in November of 2018 by purchasing the largest mobile rock crusher manufactured. In addition to the crusher, they also invested in a wash plant, excavators, dozers, conveyor belts and wheel loaders. Kathryn runs the company while Jeff focuses on operations along with finances utilizing his education with a degree in business finance. Ideal Aggregate’s focus is innovation. The goal of the company is to introduce new blends of aggregate that require less product to achieve the same or superior results than standard aggregate. They strive to keep their prices at a reasonable price and to provide top quality granite in crushed aggregate. Ideal Aggregate offers a variety of materials such as #4’s, GAB (also known as crush and run), 57, rock chips, baby surge along with their unique special blends. Their most used special blend is the Farm & Forest Road Blend (FFRB) is far superior than #4s alone. FFRB is much more durable and packs down smoother and takes less loads. Using less product means less delivery costs which often exceeds the price the aggregate that is being delivered. Their blends are as simple as mixing different sizes and types of rock to as complex as adding many different additives to achieve our targeted range of strength, compaction, durability, or aesthetics. Their other blends can be read about on their website at The Elberton Granite Association welcomes them to the family and wishes them all the success in their goals of solving one of the industry’s largest growing problems. “I saw a product that isn’t going anywhere, it’s just not going away and only getting larger and thought there has got to be something better we can do with this...” stated Kathryn Daniels Flat Creek Express Joins the EGA Family As An Associate Member Started in 2009 by Mitchell W. Boone, Flat Creek X-Press, LLC is a privately owned and operated transportation company. They specialize in flatbed service, striving to meet the special needs of each of their customers. Mitchell provides one-on-one personal communication with each customer to ensure total satisfaction. As a team, all Flat Creek X-Press, LLC employees are committed to providing safe, reliable, quality transportation services for each individual customer. With communication being one of the biggest keys to success, their goal is to build and maintain open lines of communication and to establish longstanding relationships with all involved in the transportation process. Flat Creek Express services the lower 48 states. As the newest Associate Member, the Elberton Granite Association would like to extend its warmest welcome to them and to wish them the best of luck in the industry. FLAT CREEK X-PRESS, LLC ELBERTON, GA 706-283-2100 KERSHAW, SC 803-4 75-2400 E-mail: Johnson Machine Shop Builds New Diamond Saw The team at Johnson Machine Shop recently built this massive diamond saw, post mount for a company in California. The carriage bean is constructed of six-inch by six-inch square tubing with wear strips bolted on all sides. These are assembled so that they can be replaced with they become worn. The carriage is constructed of half-inch plate steel and adjustable rollers with an automatic variable D.C. motor. The arbor drive motor is 15HP. The motor and the controls were wired to operate 208, 230, or 460 voltage. The panel is set up to operate auto step cutting for granite. This diamond saw comes with many options including meter relay to cut machine off if overloaded, water safety to cut off the machine if the water flow is cut off, laser light, corded or cordless remote push button. This saw is certainly filled to the brim with possibilities. The Elberton Granite Association Celebrated Christmas 2019 With Its Members At The Elberton Country Club The 2019 Christmas Celebration was held at the Elberton Country Club on December 6th. Many of our members joined the Elberton Granite Association staff to celebrate another year’s Christmas Season. The night began with a lively happy hour where drinks and chatter flowed freely. Chris Kubas, Executive Vice-President of the EGA spoke for just a few moments about the strong points of the year, thanking the members for their participation and their diligence in helping to make the EGA programs so successful! Dinner was catered by Renee Hunt of Elberton. The table was full of delicious entrees and finger foods. It is always so nice to have the member-firms of The Association join together as a family unit. Thank you to all the members that participate with us year end and year out and we hope to see all of them again in the coming year’s celebration as well! All are welcome! Downtown Display It is the time of the year for a new set of granite masterpieces to be displayed in the heart of Elberton, Georgia. This six-month display is a rather special one. Design Mart, an EGA Member-Firm celebrated its 50th Anniversary this year. Each summer and winter the members of the Elberton Granite Association install new monuments on the display located on the corner of North Oliver and Elbert Street. The members gathered together this winter season to honor Design Mart’s celebration by using a D-Mart design for each of the monuments. Burton Monument Company, Inc. crafted this magnificent multi-pieced masterpiece. This monument boasts of great craftsmanship and design. The unique centerpiece features a sandblasted circular emblem with shape carved grapes and grapevines. The original symbolic meaning of grapevines is that of sacrifice and abundance of love from the divine. This monument is all steeled with steeled wings on either side. The sub base features a check member along the top tying together the matching checks on the tablet and both wings. The base was fashioned with a 2” steeled margin with the balance rock pitched. Burton Monument Company did a GREAT job with this monument and all it offers. This stunning Dakota Mahogany monument was made by Central Granite Company. Central did a phenomenal job in showing the different variety of textures and capabilities. The base has a polished top while the edges are all rock pitched. On the monument you find a polished surface with steeled designs along the bottom outer edges. The monument also features an intricately shape carved and sandblasted rose design in bas relief style on the left and right outer edge. Baston Monuments, Inc. created this beautiful Celtic cross. The cross features elaborately interlacing bands sandblasted into the face of the monument with “IHS” in a ring in the center. The Celtic cross has many meanings to many different types of people but stands extremely prominent in Irish history. Baston depicted this cross with such precision and detail for it stand on display in the heart of Elberton. This Canadian Mahogany monument was created by Walker Granite Company, Inc. The monument features unique design contrasting polished and steeled finish separated by a shape carved rose design. The rock pitched edges tie the monument to the base that is polished on the top and has rock pitch on each edge. Walker Granite did a superb job designing and creating this monument. Brownstone Memorials, Inc. manufactured this elaborately designed monument for the EGA’s winter downtown display. The monument is made from Standard Blue granite and shows a remarkable example of how granite can be so versatile with just the right design. The sandblasting on the monument was done using shape carving to create the roses and the bricks that outline the top portion of the stone that frames the name perfectly. There is a 2” polished margin along the base of the monument with the balance of the sides rock pitched. The team at Brownstone did a great job as usual in creating this monument. This impressive monument was created by Welch’s Granite Company, Inc. in the shape of a teardrop. The front and back of the teardrop are polished with a frosted portion that leaves the impression of a flame to the polished area. The flame could symbolize a light shining bright in life and could also represent Divine love. The edges of the monument are rock pitched. The base has a polished top with rock pitched edges on all sides. Wallace Granite Sales created this stylish monument from Medium Georgia Gray granite. The shape carved flowers are cradled gently along a frosted swirl design. The shape of this monument makes it intriguing to the eye as the sides have a reverse taper leading to an offset roof. This monument adds to the artistic aurora on the display at the heart of Elberton. This edition’s cover was crafted by Keystone Memorials, Inc. for Brookhaven Monuments in Brookhaven, Mississippi. The unparalleled artistry used in etching was done by Member-Firm, Jenson Etching, LLC and the vibrant and beautiful color porcelain circle was created by Porcelains Unlimited, LLC. The monument is a memorial to the plane crash victims of the band, Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was erected in Gillsburg, Mississippi, only yards from the exact site where their leased-plane went down forty-two years ago on their way to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Lynyrd Skynyrd memorial is set upon six steps (one for every person that passed in the tragic plane crash). All three tablets are polished front and back with rock pitched edges along with a two-inch rock pitched band that goes along the bottom portion of each tablet on the front and back. The left and right tablets tell the story of the plane’s ill-fated flight along with recounts from surviving band members of the heroic action the residents that lived nearby and the first responders displayed after the crash. The verbiage and photos on all three tablets are laser etched with precision. The center tablet tells the history of band from its meager beginnings to its rise to fame. Placed at the top center of the front of the center tablet is a 12” round porcelain with artwork from the band’s single “Free Bird”. The right tablet Lead Singer Ronnie Van Zant, Guitarist Steve Gaines, Road Manager Dean Kilpatrick and Backup Singer Cassie Gaines are all memorialized with a laser etched photo of each on the backs of the two outer tablets. The back of the center tablet features a laser etched photo of the band in front of their twin engine Convair plane. This memorial turned out wonderfully with so many member-firms working together to accomplish it. Keystone Memorials created this stunning ledger with the purpose of matching existing pieces already present for Columbus Monument Company located in Columbus, Georgia. Extra care had to be given to this job to ensure that the new pieces matched and fit in with the existing. Lynn from Columbus Monuments wrote to Keystone Memorials, “I know you don’t get too many emails of praise, but I wanted you to know that the Dean ledger was perfect and the family LOVES it!!!” This beautiful and inspiring memorial was created by Childs & Childs Granite Company for Carroll Memorials in Kings, North Carolina. Porcelains Unlimited provided the beautiful porcelains used throughout the monument. This memorial was made from Silver Cloud granite with an array of polish and rock pitch textures. The tablets were cut with notches to fit around the plinth. This gives the monument a smooth appearance and pulls all the pieces together. The monument can be found in Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church Cemetery in Boonville, North Carolina. Southern Mausoleums, a division of Keystone Memorials, Inc., produced this beautiful six-crypt walk-in mausoleum for Patten Monument Company in Comstock Park, Michigan. The Mausoleum is located in a small church cemetery belonging to Trinity Lutheran Church in Monroe, Michigan. The Sieb family has a long line of ancestors that belonged to and are interred at the church. On the back of the mausoleum is sandblasted a large family tree with Mr. and Mrs. Sieb in the center. This mausoleum will be the final resting place to Mr. & Mrs. Sieb along with their three children, which will make seven generations of this family interred at this particular cemetery. Mausoleums have become extremely popular in today’s culture. They are the perfect solution for family entombment. They allow for burial of everybody in one place where future generations can come and reflect in remembrance of them. Southern Mausoleum did a great job building this all steeled mausoleum. River Edge Granite Company created these three monuments for three brothers (one set of twins and an older brother). The monuments are each made almost identical and placed in the Botsford Baptist Church Cemetery located in Waynesboro, Georgia. Each monument features an all steeled finish with an apex top and scotia. There are shape carved bands on wrapped around the top of each monument creating a beautiful visual effect of unity. Each sub base is steeled with another rounded scotia leading to the steeled top base with the balance rock pitched. Keystone Memorials, Inc. crafted this beautiful monument for Cycadia Monument Company located in Palm Harbor, Florida. The monument and base is made from Missouri Red granite and features a 12-inch tall CNC sculpted recessed relief carving of Jesus. The family name is carved using frosted outline lettering on both front and back of the monument. The frosted outline lettering was chosen to minimize a heavy calcium buildup known in that particular area to be an issue on monuments. Keystone crafted the base with a polished top with the balance rock pitched. This monument can be found in Calvary Catholic Cemetery located in Clearwater, Florida. This outstanding family monument was created by Dixie Granite Company for Preferred Memorials in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. The monument is made from Morning Rose granite. The tablets are polished serpentine top with custom panels one the fronts for inscriptions along with the family name and a custom design for each. The spacers are each steeled with sunk flutes on the front. All of this sits atop a base that features a 2” polished margin with the remainder rock pitched on all four sides. Leave it to Dixie Granite Company to create such a beautifully-made monument! The excelled art of hand etching never gets old writing about and Jenson Etching never disappoints in the quality and craftsmanship that they work so hard to send out. This beautiful work of art was hand etched by one of Jenson’s talented artists. The art of etching into stone goes all the way back to the caveman days. It is an excellent way to embody the life of a loved one into a timeless work of art. Jenson can take a photograph and depict that person into whatever scene of life brought them peace and happiness. This hand etched scene began as a blank piece of granite and with hours of artistic flair, was turned into this beautiful scene of a man fishing. From the look on the deer’s face to the sun reflecting in the still water, Jenson didn’t miss a single detail. Keystone Memorials and Glass Art Imaging worked together to create this stunning memorial for Giles Monument in Waxahachie, Texas. The monument can be found inside the Ennis Veterans Memorial Park in Ennis, Texas. Keystone created the monument from American Black granite with a 3 1/2” shell rock border with polished front and back. The top and sides are rock pitched. The base features a polished top and front with the balance rock pitched with tapered ends. Once Keystone completed their portion of the monument it was sent to Glass Art Imaging where the stone was given the long-lasting bright color of the ribbon and verbiage. This outstanding tribute to the 3rd Armored Division was created by Keystone Memorials, Inc. The monument can be found standing proud at the National Infantry Museum Memorial in Patton’s Park outside of the Benning Road Gate in Fort Benning, Georgia. Keystone crafted this monument with four sides cut to form a rounded apex at the top. Each side features a full color carved 3-D armored insignia. The recessed area on each side was tool cleaned with a 1.5” polished black border and painted using bright colors of the insignia. Each side of the monument features double process, deluxe carving. Three sides are sandblasted with the names of wars while the final side states who the monument is honoring and who is responsible for providing this amazing memorial. This year’s Catholic Cemetery Conference’s Annual Convention and Exposition was held at the Hilton Chicago in Chicago, Illinois on the first week of October 2019. Any person wanting to improve, develop or learn about what is involved in running a Catholic Cemetery or provide services or product to a Catholic Cemetery should attend this conference. Regardless of your years in the business, there is always something new and exciting to learn. Kevin Brown, Eagle Granite Company and Leonardo Vargus, Miami, FL Kevin Brown, Eagle Granite Company and Mary Jo Frick, Miami, FL This year’s combined Carolinas, Kentucky, & Tennessee Convention was held in the beautiful city of Louisville, Kentucky. The Hilton Garden Inn made the perfect backdrop for such a gathering of talent as the room was full of merchandisers and business owners all looking for the same thing.... connections. Such conventions are vital to the granite industry as they are the perfect opportunity for networking between granite manufacturers and customers and business owners. There are opportunities to review new product and capabilities and just meet up with old and new friends. (L-R) Brain Hayes, Louisville, KY; Jason Edwards, Southern Monument Company; Judy & Don Bentley, Mt. Eden, KY; Mark & Vicky McKinley, Campbellsville, KY; Melissa Dias, Southern Monument Company; Andy, Bradley & Diane Futrell and Barry Morris, Louisville, KY. (L-R) Mitch & Rhonda Williams, L & M Granite Company; Kathie & Robbie Bell, A.Q. Stone Design Company; Connie Mills, L & M Granite Company; Richard & Pam Schultz, Madison, TN and Tony Mills, L & M Granite Company (L-R) Ben Martin, Asheville, NC; Michael Hughes, Bicknell Supply Company; Pam & Richard Schultz, Madison, TN; Penny McGuire & Derwin Merion, Martin, KY; Steve & Beth Carroll, King, NC; Mike Beri, Bicknell Supply Company and Joseph Timms, Conway, SC (L-R) John Andrews, Miles Supply of Elberton; Gara Andrews, Pyramid Materials and Vicky & Mark McKinley, Campbellsville, KY Kevin & Kassie Strong with Granite Sales & Supply speak with customers passing by. (L-R) Joseph Timms, Conway, SC; Steve & Beth Carroll, King, NC; Brandi & Kenneth Brown, Childs & Childs Granite Company; Ben Martin, Asheville, NC and Joshua Johnson, Conway, SC (L-R) Mitch & Rhonda Williams and Connie & Tony Mills, L & M Granite Company and Vickie & Anthony Rowland, Bethel Springs, TN (L-R) Marty Walker, Walker Granite Company; Anthony & Vickie Rowland, Bethel Springs, TN; Rose Walker, Walker Granite Company; Donna, Steve & Michael Anderson, Somerville, TN; Margaret & Earnest Hillman and Brittnie & Warren Eskridge, Memphis, TN (L-R) Verna Todd, Covington, TN; Billy & Charlotte Fox, Henry and Henry; Richard & Pam Schultz, Madison, TN; CJ, Kent, Darrin & Mandy Curnel and Joan Fox, Henry and Henry; and Emily & Mike Wade with baby Indie, Covington TN (L-R) Greg Gunter, Matthews Granite; Penny & Bev McGuire and Derwin & Brenda Merion, Martin, KY; and Jeremy Owens, Matthews Granite (L-R) Joseph Timms, Conway, SC; Ben Martin, Asheville, NC; Ben Gaines and Brady Tuner, Miles Supply of Elberton; Charlotte & Billy Fox, CJ, Kent, Darrin & Mandy Curnel, Henry & Henry, Inc. Patsy Watlington Tyler May 7, 1934 - September 28, 2019 Mrs. Hazel Holmes “Patsy” Watlington Tyler entered into rest peacefully on Saturday, September 28, 2019 at Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital with her husband of 49 years, George B. Tyler, at her side. Pasty was 85 years old. Mrs. Tyler was born in Birmingham, AL on May 7, 1934, daughter of the late Harry Eugene Watlington, Jr. and Hazel Holmes Watlington. Patsy was a graduate of Auburn University where she received a Major in Elementary Education and a Minor in English. During her time at Auburn, she was a Sister in the Phi Mu Sorority. Following graduation, Mrs. Tyler served as an educator in the Atlanta Public School System for three years and the Elbert County School System of two years. Patsy, along with her husband, owned and operated Century Granite Company, a member-firm of the EGA, where she served on the Board of Directors. She was a beloved friend to all who knew her, and her cooking abilities rivaled those of great chefs. In addition to her husband, George, she is survived by her children and their spouses: Susan Tyler Haas and her husband Kenneth of Charlotte, NC, Johanna Tyler Anderson of Rockville, MD, and Louis Eugene Tyler and his wife Elizabeth of Elberton; grandchildren: Kali Milner, Kasey Haas, Hannah Haas, Lexi Haas, Tucker Haas, Sasha Anderson, Sintija Anderson, Habtamu Anderson, and Alex Anderson; great-grandchild: Ren Milner; and the past and present employees of Century Granite Company, whom she always held dear to her heart. Patsy was preceded in death by son Phillip Wolfe Tyler. Henry Dietz October 23, 1917 - August 27, 2019 Henry Dietz told his two sons, John and Bill, and his grandson, Kyle, that he was happy, and that he would soon be going, as they sat talking with him on the afternoon of August 26th. He departed this evanescent world early the following morning, August 27, 2019, at the age of 101. Born on October 23, 1917, in San Antonio to parents, Walter Dietz and Helen Maaz Dietz, he moved to his beloved Waco at the age of 3 and enjoyed the rest of his life as a Wacoan. He graduated from Waco High School and attended the University of Texas, where he studied architectural engineering. After serving in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II, Henry joined his father at the business he had started in 1903, Dietz Memorial Company. Under Henry’s leadership, Dietz Memorial became one of the largest monument dealerships in Texas. Mr. Dietz once owned Pine Creek Quarries in Elberton, Georgia, a former member-firm of the EGA. May 17, 1991 Mr. Dietz received the title “Honorary Mayor” of Elberton Georgia by Former Mayor Joe Hendley, Sr. for his contributions to humanities and the cause of good government. His memory will live strongly with his surviving family, sons, John and wife, Mary, and Bill and wife, Cindy; grandchildren, Stephen and Christy Dietz Holze, Bill and Elizabeth Dietz, Walter and Robin Dietz, USAF Technical Sergeant Steven Dietz, Kyle and Charis Dietz; and five great-grandchildren.
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