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From the Editor

Having just returned from the Mason Contractors Association of America's (MCAA) Masonry Showcase, I feel refreshed and ready to take on the rest of the year. It was great to finally meet many of the mason contractors and vendors that I've gotten to know over the phone. Speaking to these individuals in-person has really given me a new perspective on not only the magazine, but the industry as well. I have heard members say that you walk away from the convention with new ideas and a positive outlook — they really weren't kidding.

In fact, the whole convention had that positive spark surrounding it. The talk wasn't on a down-and-out industry, but energized by hope and many plans for the future.

As you will see in our coverage of the convention (see pages 12-17), the Masonry Showcase wasn't just about a small niche in the industry, but about the bigger picture. It wasn't about individuals, but what groups of us can do together. The word "we" was heard throughout the convention in discussions on cross-industry initiatives, promotions and collaborations.

At the time of this writing, I am now getting prepared to attend the Construction Specification Institute's (CSI) Construct America show in April. I have to admit, the Masonry Showcase has really gotten me pumped up for this event. Armed with the April issue of Masonry magazine, I feel energized and ready to promote the greatest building system in the world to the architects and specifiers in attendance.

I hope you all have received the April issue and taken note of the special "CSI: Design with Masonry" section (see the April issue). Organizations across the industry — the International Masonry Institute, MCAA, Masonry Institute of St. Louis, Masonry Institute of Washington, National Concrete Masonry Association, and Portland Cement Association — have done a wonderful job in pulling together and writing some fantastic articles specifically aimed at architects and specifiers on the benefits of masonry. And thanks to MCAA's additional hard work, 10,000 copies of this issue will be distributed at the CSI Construct America event. But that's just a start.

Masonry magazine has 17,000+ mason contractor readers. If all of our readers were to make an effort to show just two architects or specifiers in their area the special section of the April issue, that would be at least 34,000 more people who have that much more understanding of the masonry system. If you make the effort to show it to two people in the industry, why not three and make it 51,000? How much effort would it be to keep a copy of the April special issue in your office for visitors to read? Or how much more to get some extra copies and mail them out with an introductory letter? I guarantee the investment will pay back tenfold.

The joint, industry-wide collaboration on this special issue shows that it's going to take teamwork and cooperation across the board to get masonry back to being the pinnacle of building systems. Mason contractors need to do the same. Take a stand, take part and take an interest in your industry.






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