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President's Message

Masonry Magazine

It was rewarding to see the level of energy and excitement exhibited by our members at the MCAA convention just completed in Las Vegas. Our annual convention is a time for mason contractors to come together and discuss the issues that affect our industry and how, collectively, we will deal with those issues.

I was pleased to see that each of our committee meetings were well attended, and each committee tackled full agendas. Our Education Committee continued dialogue on developing a national certification program for mason contractors, which we believe will set our industry's quality mason contractors far apart from less scrupulous contractors that give our industry a bad name. I am hopeful that we will be able to convince construction customers to specify a certified mason contractor, and to resist the temptation to chase a bid from an unqualified contractor.

Our Legislative Committee is looking to build the Association's political efforts and raise significant campaign resources that can be used to help elect pro-masonry federal officials who are sympathetic to the issues that we face as mason contractors.

At the Annual Meeting, we heard a major presentation from the Masonry Executives Council, which outlined plans to expand their efforts, with the help of the MCAA, to promote the increased use of masonry systems. I believe that the marketing campaign that was presented at this meeting will have a far-reaching impact on our markets and the expanded use of our materials.

A highlight of the convention was our two skills competitions. We haven't seen crowds like those that came out to watch both the Masonry Skills Challenge and the Fastest Trowel in years. I was glad to see such a great turnout to root on the young men and women who competed hard in both of these competitions. Personally, I was glad to see that one of my employees, Elizabeth Cleckley, took second place as a first-year contestant in the Masonry Skills Challenge. We can all be proud of these competitions and their success in spotlighting the level of quality training that exists in our industry. Every year our contests continue to grow along with the value that these competitions provide to our industry. I would urge all of you to support your local contests and make sure that your area is represented at next year's competitions in Orlando in February.

While we cannot compete with the more than 50,000 concrete contractors that attend the concrete show that we are often compared to, many of our exhibitors were pleased with the level of enthusiasm our members showed them. I would like to thank all of the mason contractors who visited the exhibits and spoke with our exhibitors. Also, I would especially like to thank all of companies that exhibited with us at Masonry Showcase. Your support of our show helps the Association provide many programs that advance our industry. We value your support.

In addition, to recognize those suppliers that help our Association, we implemented the Premier Supplier Program, which highlights those industry suppliers that assist our Association and our ability to work on your behalf. Suppliers earn a star for becoming a member, exhibiting, sponsoring Association programs, and advertising in our magazine. A four-star supplier participates in everything that we offer and therefore supports you the most with the dollars that they provide to the Association. Although it was close between Fraco, Non-Stop Scaffolding and The Quikrete Companies, we were pleased to award our first "Supplier of the Year" award to Quikrete. I would urge all mason contractors to support those suppliers in our Premier Supplier Program — they are the ones helping to build a stronger industry for each of us.

For those of you who attended this year's convention, you experienced the excitement of all of our programs and events. For those of you who did not attend, we urge you to attend next year's convention in Orlando. It's sure to be a great convention!



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