MAPEI recently commemorated its 35th year of conducting business in Puerto Rico with a gala event that included dinner held at the Museo de Arte in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

With the exterior of the building lit in MAPEI blue, guests enjoyed dinner and entertainment at the Pikayo Restaurant housed in the museum. Dr. Giorgio Squinzi, MAPEI Group ceo, spoke with nostalgia about Puerto Rico as the site of MAPEI’s first efforts to distribute its products outside of Italy. He also acknowledged the many long-standing customer relationships that have been established in the 35 years MAPEI has done business on the island.

The company first began distributing ceramic tile installation products on the island in 1974. After operating with partners for more than 20 years, MAPEI established a wholly owned manufacturing plant in Dorado, Puerto Rico, in 1999. In November 2008, MAPEI Caribe acquired the important ISO 9001 certification.

In 2006, MAPEI Caribe, Inc., overcame the disaster of a plant fire that destroyed the manufacturing facilities, deciding immediately to rebuild in the same location. “We have a strong commitment to the Caribbean market, and we feel that our plant in Dorado ensures optimum customer service and makes MAPEI an essential element of the local community,” said Rainer Blair, president and ceo of MAPEI Americas.

Blair added, “Our customers provided strong support to us during this time, even offering warehouse space so that we could continue operations while our plant was rebuilt. Our customers also supported us with new business, allowing us to increase our sales by 30% that year.” During the rebuilding, Dorado, Puerto Rico, operations were supported by MAPEI’s Florida, Virginia, New Jersey and Texas plants so that customers did not experience any inconvenience.