The Marble Institute of America, Inc. (MIA) has named Jeff Lassiter, a machine operator for the International Flooring and Protective Coatings Company of Norfolk, VA, as the 2008 recipient of the Natural Stone Scholarship Award.

The scholarship was established by the Marble Institute of America to provide educational opportunities for aspiring fabricators, installers or administrative apprentices interested in furthering their careers in the stone industry. Lassiter’s selection was based on a 500-word essay explaining why he desires a career in the industry. “If this past year is any kind of an indicator, I’m sure my future in the natural stone industry is very promising,” said Lassiter in his essay. “Honestly, I believe I have found something I will be happy doing for many years to come.”

In a letter of recommendation from Roy Wells, stone division manager of International Flooring and Protective Coatings said, “Jeff has incredible potential and exhibits all of the qualities necessary to succeed in this business. He has advanced very rapidly and earned my trust and confidence. I can assign Jeff complex jobs and he has yet to disappoint us.”

“The Marble Institute of America is excited to recognize Mr. Lassiter’s commitment to the natural stone industry,” stated Gary Distelhorst, executive vice president of MIA. “The intent of the MIA Natural Stone Scholarship Award is to provide educational opportunities for aspiring natural stone professionals, and the opportunity to expand one’s knowledge.”

The award was presented to Lassiter at the MIA annual Awards Luncheon at StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas in Las Vegas on October 17, 2008.