MIA 2014 Natural Stone Craftsman of the Year Winner
Stefano Follega, center, accepts the 2014 Craftsman of the Year Award from Tony Malisani, MIA's president and program sponsor Brenda Edwards of TexaStone Quarries.

Stefano Follega of Grazzini Brothers & Co. in Egan, Minn., was recently named the Marble Institute of America's (MIA) 2014 Natural Stone Craftsman of the Year.

Follega, a native of Rome, learned the craft from his father and uncle. He also worked with architects and designers in the historic city, home to some of the world’s most beautiful architecture. He credits his first teachers—his father, uncle and prominent architects—for his work ethic and simple philosophy: ask questions, be respectful and always be ready to do the job. He also admits he’s a perfectionist with a fervent passion for stone. “I like seeing a piece of stone, a rock or something change,” he said. “I always envision the finished product before I start.” 
Follega began working at Grazzini Brothers after relocating to Minnesota.
“Stefano walked into our office and spoke about 10 words of English,” recalls Guido Gliori, COO at Grazzini Brothers. “He showed up with his interpreter, who happened to be his wife. You knew immediately that he was a good man. He had the credentials. The rest is history.”
His work with the Lakewood Mausoleum Project in Minneapolis earned the Grazzini Brothers the 2012 MIA Grande Pinnacle Award.
“No project is beyond Stefano’s ability,” said Eugene Grazzini Jr., chairman at Grazzini Brothers. “His layout, his attention to detail and his creativity are superb. We are proud to have him as part of our team.”

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