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From the Editor

Throughout the year, we often discuss giving back to our communities, making contributions to local organizations, and donating our time or materials for industry events. December is decidedly the month of giving, and it often reminds us that there is more to life than our typical day of work and play.

As part of our December issue, we pay tribute to the many members of the masonry industry who rise to the call and donate their time, expertise and efforts to their communities.

First, we would like to honor J. David Holt of Holt Marketing Group Inc. in Kansas City, Mo. For several years, Holt has taken the time to write the monthly "Making the Grade" article, which highlights the achievements of the next generation of masons and mason contractors (see page 10). Holt's articles are not only a testament to the hard work and determination of each apprentice, but also show the care and dedication of the masonry instructors, employers and families behind the scenes.

Next, freelance author Brett Martin has written a wonderful feature article describing the work of several distinguished mason contractor, mason and manufacturer volunteers (see page 34). This article illustrates that, year round, members of the masonry industry are an invested part of their communities.

Finally, our "Masonry Around the World" column tells of the National Association of Women in Masonry (NAWM) and their amazing journey to Chile in an effort to help raise the quality of that nation's masonry craft (see page 38). Traveling roundtrip over 12,800 miles, five members of NAWM offered their care and expertise to assist in the genesis of a new era of Chilean masonry tradesmen and women.

After reading this month's articles, you may feel especially inspired to increase your own philanthropic activities. If so, we certainly would be remiss in not pointing out one particularly worthy industry cause: MasonrySystems.org.

Twenty-six local, state and national masonry organizations have donated their time, energy and money for the creation of MasonrySystems.org, the future website of the masonry industry. This "one-stop shop" will provide architects, specifiers, builders and end users with inspiration, information and interaction, such as photographs of award-winning masonry construction, a plethora of useful product and design information, and an avenue to discuss questions and concerns. The endless list of website features will help enhance understanding of masonry systems and promote increased market share.

To find out more about this amazing masonry industry promotional project, visit the MasonrySystems.org website, where you can view a slideshow and video presentation that explains the great importance of this marketing initiative. Get involved today!

Have a safe and pleasant holiday and New Year, everyone!



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