2009 MCAA Convention
The 2009 MCAA Convention was held during the World of Concrete/World of Masonry show in Las Vegas last month. Mason contractors, suppliers and allied industry representatives from across the United States met to discuss their experiences and best business practices. The convention was successful and upbeat, leaving attendees on a positive note as we move through this tough economy.
The convention kicked off with an Opening Session on Tuesday, Feb. 3, during which MCAA President Tom Daniel officially welcomed attendees to the annual event. Special guest and keynote speaker, Alan Thicke, fired up the crowd with an amusing and motivational presentation.
The Tenth-Annual International Masonry Skills Challenge took place on Tuesday afternoon. This is a competition of masonry apprentices in first-, second- and third-year skill levels to showcase skills training in the masonry industry. Winning apprentices from regions of the United States and foreign competitions were challenged, to determine the top masonry apprentice at each level. They weren’t able to practice, and they weren’t allowed to consult their instructors, employers or anyone else during the competition. They had three hours to complete their projects with the given materials.
The top-placing contestants for each skill level were:
Yuvini Funes Ramero, United Masonry Inc., Alexandria, Va.
Juan Cazares, P & S Masonry Inc., Hamilton, Texas
Jesus Castaneda, R & R Masonry Inc., Hollywood, Calif.
Mike Momeyer, Huff & Sons Construction, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Nick Sapp, Adams Masonry, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Marcelo Lopez, Pengilly Masonry Inc., Stockton, Calif.
Alvaro Landaverde, Sutter Masonry, El Mirage, Ariz.
Wielman Gasper, Gentry & Painter Inc., Chattanooga, Tenn.
Ryan R. Stone, Rick Stone Masonry Inc., Helotes, Texas
All winners were presented with trophies. First-place winners took home $1,000, second-place winners received $500, and third-place winners received $250. All contestants were provided with a Marshalltown tool bag.
Convention partners were Hydro Mobile Inc., Mortar Net USA, and QUIKRETE. Competition Gold sponsors were EZ Scaffold, Non-Stop Scaffolding, and SPEC MIX. Skills Challenge sponsor was Lafarge North America Inc. Competition Donor sponsors were Tradesmen’s Software Inc. and South Atlantic Lintels. Material and Service sponsors were Angelus Block Co., Crick Tool, EZ Grout Corp., GATORBACK, Marshalltown, MK Diamond Products Inc., and Wasco Inc.
On Tuesday night, a Mason Contractors Political Action Committee (MAC PAC) Reception was held at the Venetian Hotel. MAC PAC allows contractors the opportunity to have a national impact on federal elections. Former Nevada Republican Congressman Jon Porter addressed a full room about the country, economy and masonry industry.
|Former Nevada Republican Congressman Jon Porter addressed the group about the country, economy and masonry industry during the MAC PAC reception.|
On Wednesday, Feb. 4, “Expert’s Pairing Advice” was presented at the Venetian Hotel. Joachim Splichal showcased his culinary artistry at the Pinot Brasserie. California-French cuisine was paired with an award-winning wine list.
The MCAA Annual Meeting was held Wednesday afternoon, with the main topic of discussion being Vision 2020, a joint grassroots marketing initiative between the MCAA and the National Concrete Masonry Association to promote the use of masonry. MCAA Past-president Frank Campitelli was awarded the 2009 C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award during the meeting. Each year, the award is given to an individual who has provided exemplary leadership in advancing the masonry industry. Campitelli has been involved with the MCAA for more than 35 years. He spent eight years on the MCAA Executive Board, including two years as president from 2006 to 2008.
On Wednesday night, the MCAA Second-Annual Contractor Appreciation Party was in full swing. Hundreds of mason contractors attending the World of Concrete gathered for a night of food, drinks and fun at the Palazzo Hotel, sponsored by industry suppliers. Titanium Trowel sponsors were the Arizona Masonry Contractors Association, Bennu, EZ Grout Corp., EZ Scaffold, Hydro Mobile, the Mason Contractors Association of Greater Chicago, Mortar Net USA, Peninsula Products, QUIKRETE, SPEC MIX, and TNT Equipment Co. The Golden Grout sponsor was Solomon Colors Inc. Bronze Bucket sponsors were the Mason Contractors Association of St. Louis, Chemical Lime, Prism Pigments, Western Lime, and Basalite Concrete Products. An additional sponsor was the California Conference of Mason Contractors Associations, and a prize donator was Grout Grunt.
|The MCAA Contractor Party drew a crowd ready to relax, mingle and talk shop.|
The MCAA Fastest Trowel on the Block Competition was held on Thursday, Feb. 5. The competition is a showcase of both the speed and skill of our industry’s workforce. Journeyman masons, accompanied by their two favorite tenders, competed in a show of both speed and craftsmanship. Each contestant’s goal is to complete as much of an 18-block-long wall as possible, using 8-inch X 8-inch X 16-inch CMU and the provided mortar in a 20-minute heat. The contest promotes quality training and pride in workmanship among journeymen and contractors, as well as promotes the craftsmanship, speed and versatility of masonry systems and the masonry workforce.
This year, Pascal Robertson repeated as the Fastest Trowel champion, winning for the second year in a row. The contest was suspenseful and exciting, as each mason worked quickly to build a quality wall as the crowd cheered them on during the 20-minute competition. All winners were presented with trophies. The first-place winner took home $7,000, a BX-4 saw from MK Diamond Products, and a plaque from Marshalltown. The second-place winner received $2,500, and the third-place winner received $1,000. All contestants received a Marshalltown tool bag, a level from Crick Tool, a Grout Grunt, and additional prizes from Mortar Net and QUIKRETE.
Pascal Robertson, Robertson Masonry, Sorrento, Fla.
Tenders: Tyler Robertson, Jesse Fullen
Ray Robinson, J.A.M. Construction Inc., Gainesville, Fla.
Tenders: Lynette Darby, James Allen
Kriston B. Chee, Maverick Masonry Inc., Glendale, Ariz.
Tenders: Enrique Esparza, Gilberto Palacios Aguero
Judges of the competition were Mike Sutter, head judge, Sutter Masonry in El Mirage, Ariz.; Shawn Belander, P and S Masonry Inc. in Hamiton, Texas; Calvin Brodie, Brodie Contractors Inc. in Raleigh, N.C.; Kerry Gagnon, K.M. Gagnon Inc. in Claremont, N.H.; Curtis Hoover, Center of Applied Technology in Stevensville, Md.; Darrell McMillian, P.E., Masonry Institute of St. Louis in St. Louis, Mo.; Doug Nichols, Dough Nichols Masonry Inc. in St. Peters, Mo.; Roy Swindal, Masonry Arts Inc. in Bessemer, Ala.; Jim Zuidema, Jimmy’Z Masonry Corp. in Crystal Lake, Ill.
Convention partners were Hydro Mobile, Mortar Net USA and QUIKRETE. Competition Gold sponsors were EZ Scaffold, Non-Stop Scaffolding and SPEC MIX. Competition Donor sponsors were Tradesmen’s Software and South Atlantic Lintels. Material and Service sponsors were Angelus Block Co., Crick Tool, EZ Grout Corp., GATORBACK, Grout Grunt, Marshalltown, MK Diamond Products and Wasco Inc.
MCAA VP Mackie Bounds addresses the group to discuss Vision 2020 during the Annual Meeting.
NCMA Chairman Bill Holden speaks to the crowd during the Annual Meeting about Vision 2020.
A Closing Reception was held Thursday, Feb. 5, at the Palazzo Hotel. Before attendees said goodbye to Las Vegas, they enjoyed dinner followed by an evening with “The Jersey Boys,” the Tony Award-winning Best Musical of 2006.
MCAA Marketing Committee Chair Damien Lang addresses the group during the Annual Meeting.
Other MCAA events that kept attendees busy and learning included: Masonry Foreman Development; Masonry Quality Institute; Understanding Codes & Standards; and Basic Masonry Estimating. All were for Certification credit, and more than 70 Hanley Wood seminars were offered for Certification credit as well. Four contractors passed the Certification exam on Wednesday to become certified: Doyle Hatfield Masonry of Salem, Utah; G2 Masonry Corp. of Lehi, Utah; IMI Masonry of Orem, Utah; and Midwestern Masonry of Olathe, Kan.