After Hurricane Katrina devistated New Orleans and the surrounding areas there was more granite countertop work going on in Louisiana than any other state in the country. Most of it being done by "fly by night" companies that had no idea how to properly fabricate and install stone countertops. It quickly became apparent by the vast amount of sub-standard work that was being performed that someone needed to make a "job standard" that would show the difference between a quality granite job and a sub-standard job to protect home owners and contractors from being taken advantage of. The Marble Institute of America decided to initiate a program by which fabricators could apply to become Certified and Accredited. This would allow customers, upon seeing the MIA logo, to know that they were dealing with a reputable company that knew what they were doing when it came to fabricating natural stone for countetops, tables, tubs, showers and any other areas in your home. Ricon Natural Stone was among the first 20 companies in the country to receive this qualification and since then has quickly become one of the top companies in Louisiana performing natural and man made stone fabrication and installation. The process in which a company becomes Certified and Accredited is a very rigorous and demanding process, unlike some programs in different industries where a company can send in a few hundred dollars and get a sticker saying that they are Certified by this or that no name organization. The process for a fabricator to become Certified and Accredited by the Marble Institute of America is, at its shortest a 3 year endeavor on the part of the fabricator. Also MIA requires many qualifications and job standards to be in place before you are even allowed to apply, such as, a company must perform at least 200 jobs per year, must have been in business at least 5 years, must be OSHA certified and have certain practices in place during their fabrication process that help to insure that you as a customer receive the highest quality job available in the industry. Also MIA sends out a representitive to interview several of your competitors to inquire about your business practices, visit several ongoing and previous jobs to inspect the quality of your work, and of course, reviews the fabrications practices that you have in place to insure that you are producing a top quality product for installation. Ricon is very proud that we have been displaying the MIA Certified logo for over 3 years now, and hope that in the near future it will become a strict requirement in Louisiana that any shop that is allowed to perform stone work in your new or existing home be Certified and Accredited by the Marble Institute of America.