Ed Fioroni, VP of Marketing
Ed Fioroni, VP of Marketing, Pavestone, Dallas, TX
How has ICPI helped to accelerate the acceptance and use of concrete pavers?
ICPI has been outstanding at providing technical support and standards that we all have to follow, which puts all manufacturers on equal footing.
Another major contribution in accelerating use of concrete pavers has been ICPI’s strong representation with government, to make sure that laws don’t affect the industry in a negative way. For example, keeping an eye on potential legal issues that might crop up from laws that mandate silica content in products.
Thirdly, the organization has come up with some strong marketing ideas that manufacturers can use, especially in getting architectural engineers and city planners to listen to us. That’s helped to get a foothold in the commercial and municipal arenas.
All of these are important because when you look at Europe, there’s such widespread use of segmental pavements there compared to North America, but they have the advantage of history. Pavements have been used there for centuries, and people are used to seeing roads and other surfaces with pavers, which leads them to want that same look for their homes or businesses.
We don’t have that kind of widespread use that inspires people to ask for pavers for their own projects, so ICPI efforts become incredibly helpful for creating awareness, and providing standards that advance the industry forward. Their efforts are an asset for all of us as we try to duplicate Europe’s success. The only way we can get anywhere close to their level — and I’d be happy with even half their square-foot-per-capita numbers — is to keep increasing awareness. I think we’re on the right track, with ICPI thinking strategically.
From a personal perspective, what are the main benefits of your ICPI participation?
Obviously being a professional research guy, I really enjoy the exchange of information that you can have as an ICPI member. You meet people in the same industry at events, meetings, dinners, and you have the chance to talk with top contractors and distributors. That creates benefits you can’t even explain. As a past chairman, I think it’s made me a better person. I learned to be a better leader through that experience.
What trends have you seen in the past few years that could contribute to the increased use of concrete pavers in North America?
The fact that we’re environmentally friendly will make permeable pavers major for us. The government will be mandating zero runoff and permeable pavers offer tremendous opportunity for meeting that goal. Residential should be important, since pavers are going into patios, pool decks, and outdoor living. What we need to do is help homeowners see pavers as an option for their driveways because that’s a big area where we can increase awareness.
Where do you see the industry in another 20 years?
Our goal will be to duplicate European success, and to go in that direction. The only way we can get that done is by increasing awareness in the commercial world, because once we do that, residential will follow. I think we’re on the right track, and that we’ve changed our way of thinking strategically. But pavers in the U.S. are still thought about in an aesthetic way, and in Europe, it’s considered functional. So, in the next 20 years, we need to be closer to getting people to think that way here.