2019 Natural Stone Scholarships Awarded

2019 Natural Stone Scholarships Awarded


Women In Stone Empowerment Scholarship

Jennifer Burlak  NorthWoods Granite

Sponsored by Natural Stone Foundation

Jennifer Burlak 
NorthWoods Granite

When her husband announced that he wanted to open a stone countertop company, Jennifer was skeptical. NorthWoods Granite opened in 2015 with a rented shop space, a rail saw, and a few hand polishers. Nearly five years later, the rural family business has become a success, and natural stone has quite litrally become Jennifer’s life.

Jennifer admits that in the beginning, she knew very little about the stone industry. She couldn’t tell the difference between granite and quartz, didn’t know what a bridge saw was, and didn’t know where a single stone distribution company in Minnesota was located. She now handles the company’s marketing, managing social media and creating TV and radio content and promotions.

Jennifer’s future career goals include learning more about digital fabrication, running a safe and efficient shop, and gaining more insight into stone-related customer service. She says: “I want to know the product I sell inside and out.” 

Natural Stone Scholarship

Nadia Grogan Fraserview Masonry

Sponsored by Coldspring Natural Stone Foundation

Nadia Grogan
Fraserview Masonry

Nadia has had a passion for stone since childhood. She combined an enthusiasm for geology and a keen interest in architecture and heritage buildings into a career in masonry.

Her experience has been multifaceted, and she remains committed to learning. She soon plans to begin an online master’s program on World Heritage Conservation. 

Alan Lisle, Foreman and Manager at Fraserview Masonry is impressed by Nadia’s hands-on capabilities and extensive understanding of stone. He says: “Nadia is a mentor to new staff, an inspiration to current staff, a confidant and advisor to peers. I can see her becoming a key part of the stone industry.”

As a Women in Stone mentee, Nadia has enjoyed gaining new perspective and insight into the industry. She explains, “I have been fortunate to have encountered some very supportive people during my career who have patiently passed on their knowledge of stone. I know my future is in the natural stone industry.”

Natural Stone Scholarship

Cody Pfeiffer Genesee Cut Stone & Marble

Sponsored by Coldspring Natural Stone Foundation

Cody Pfeiffer
Genesee Cut Stone & Marble

Cody credits the stone industry for giving him a new life and injecting energy and passion back into his job. After his first tour of a slab warehouse he knew this was where he wanted to be. Entering into a field he knew nothing about was risky, but it was the best career and life choice he has ever made. 

Bob Paul, Managing Partner at Genesee Cut Stone, describes Cody as a rare find at his age and a natural in sales who immediately took on duties servicing their biggest customer. He says, “Cody has a great eye for color and movement and has in a short time become invaluable in the material selection process.”

Cody’s future is bright. He says: “I now work in an industry that requires commitment to self-improvement and education. My excitement for my career is what inspires me, and I picture myself forever working in the natural stone industry.”