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President's Message

William McConnell - President, MCAA

Two months ago our industry met in Tampa for the MCAA's Masonry Showcase. Attending the exhibits, educational sessions, general sessions, committee discussions, our two skills competitions and even our Annual Board Meeting, one thought kept running through my mind. Our industry's best is at the Masonry Showcase. Our industry's best apprentices and journeymen came to compete at the Masonry Skills Challenge and the Fastest Trowel. Our most dedicated suppliers exhibited on the Showcase exhibit floor. Our industry's most knowledgeable speakers taught our workshops. Our industry's most supportive chapters attended our Committee and Board meetings. And our industry's best mason contractors attended, all making your Masonry Showcase so successful.

As I traveled the exhibit floor, I found that the overall mood of both the attendees and exhibitors was good. Our partner exhibitors came away with vital orders for products and equipment, indicating to me that, although the economy is slow, MCAA members and Showcase attendees are active and building. As one exhibitor told me while we walked the floor, "Masonry Showcase may not have the turn-style, but we have the money and the people who buy the product...it's the best show to make a sale." After all, we are the end-users who guarantee the workmanship, the products and our customers' satisfaction.

While our competition was in Las Vegas, the serious contractors were in Tampa. What was so rewarding to me was the fact that the success of the Masonry Showcase is found in our exhibitors and attendees who are dedicated to building the future of the masonry industry. It is that dedication that keeps them coming back, year after year.

Among all of the exhibits, networking programs, educational sessions and competitions, the Mason Contractors Association of America conducts our most important meeting of the year: our Annual Board Meeting. This year was no exception.

At this year's meeting, the Association approved two promotional and informational initiatives to build the masonry industry. The first initiative is the development of a national cost book that will be instrumental in educating our customers on the real cost benefits of designing with masonry, something that our Board believes is desperately needed by our customers. The second initiative is to dramatically expand the MCAA's web site, providing greater information to contractors, our future labor force and mostly our customers. Our web site will become a one-stop place for architects and specifiers who seek design and cost information on our systems.

The work of our Association and the industry does not stop with this year's Showcase. The MCAA is already preparing for next year's Masonry Showcase that will take place March 21-24, 2004, in Las Vegas, Nev. You have a choice of shows to attend. If you are serious about masonry, building your future, and staying on the cutting edge as a business owner, come to the Masonry Showcase — the only masonry show that will be in Las Vegas March 21-24, 2004.



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