CLEVELAND, OH -- Ronald Alan Busse, who spent over 50 years in the natural stone industry, has been awarded the 2011 Migliore Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Marble Institute of America (MIA). Busse accepted the award at the annual MIA Awards Luncheon held during StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas 2012 in Las Vegas, NV.
Busse began his career in the stone industry in 1951 when he started working for Tennessee Marble. Busse recalls his first days in our industry, “When I started at Tennessee Marble, I was about as low as you can get in the business; I did a little janitorial work. I was what they called a mill clerk. I was mainly a runner from the main office to the mill office. And, then as things progressed, I got into shipping and a lot of other things.”
He learned the rudiments of drafting, which he more fully developed when Tennessee Marble sent him to night school at the University of Tennessee to learn architectural drafting.
Eventually promoted to plant superintendent, Busse stayed with Tennessee Marble, which had been acquired by the Georgia Marble Company until 1962. He then joined the Ultra Marble Company (now New Mexico Travertine, Inc.) which is just outside of Albuquerque, NM. From 1967 to 1970 he worked for Vermont Marble in Texas, as well as Vermont, and in 1970 he joined McHarg Tile and Marble; a Fort Worth fabricator. In 1975, Busse started his own fabricating company, Busse Marble Company, in Smithfield, Texas. Beginning with just two guys in the shop, Busse Marble eventually grew into a firm of 75 fabricators and installers.
Busse first became involved in MIA in 1960, and later in his career put the same passion into his work for the association as he did learning the business itself. Ron first became a member of the MIA Board of Directors in 1979, and served as secretary in 1980. In 1986, he was elected treasurer and in 1987 moved up to vice president. He assumed the position of MIA President in 1988.
Busse was very involved in the creation and publication of both volumes of MIA’s Dimension Stones of the World; a major association undertaking to organize, secure, test, photograph and then publish examples of available dimension stones. The reference books were made available to the stone industry, to architects, and others in the design community. The “color plate books” as they became known, are still being sold through the MIA bookstore. By serving as an author and technical advisor, he played an important role in the updating of MIA’s Dimension Stone Design Manual, Volume IV. He served the MIA in the additional capacity of Technical Director from 1990 to 1995, and when Vince Migliore, for whom MIA’s lifetime achievement award is named, passed away suddenly in 2003, Ron Busse was pressed into service in January 2004 until a permanent replacement was hired.
In looking back at a career that spanned more than 60 years in the stone business, Busse, simply says, “I wanted to be better all the time.” The MIA Board of Directors, over 1600 members from around the world, and executive staff salute Ronald Alan Busse for his tremendous career and thank him for his years of service to the natural stone industry and the MIA.