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President's Message

Masonry Showcase, the Mason Contractors Association of America's (MCAA) flagship event, took on an even greater importance this year in Chicago. With the MCAA's Masonry Showcase being co-located alongside the Construction Specifications Institute show, our Showcase had the opportunity to literally showcase masonry to over 4,600 architect and specifier attendees. Thousands of our industry's customers were exposed to masonry. They attended masonry workshops, watched our Fastest Trowel and apprentice contest and the International Masonry Skills Challenge, and were exposed to "Masonry: It Makes A Village," which brought together teams of mason contractors and architects in a competition of designing and building unique masonry projects.

For three days, our industry cheered on our finest apprentices, journeymen and educational providers as our customers were exposed to the benefits of building with masonry systems. Village — new to Masonry Showcase this year — challenged our customers with one thought: "Why don't we specify more masonry?" We believe that the impact from this year's show will pay our industry dividends for months and years to come.

As I personally watched our Skills Challenge and the Fastest Trowel contest, I saw hundreds of CSI attendees watching in awe as our labor force put on a show of quality and speed. I couldn't help but think that those two events would go a long way to convince our customers that if they design with masonry, we have the skilled labor force to build it. What a tremendous benefit to our industry to have our customers be immersed in our products for three days! If just a fraction of those customers were to go home and specify and design just a few more projects each year, our industry could be inundated with new markets to compete in.

In addition to the events, there was a renewed excitement on the floor of this year's show that we have not seen for years. I would like to personally thank all who attended the show and visited the exhibits. Your excitement was contagious to the specifiers and architects who were there.

I would also like to thank all of the exhibitors, since many of you had crowds in your booth for three days straight. One exhibitor told me that he matched his sales from the much larger World of Concrete, and when the final orders come in during the weeks after Masonry Showcase, he expects to surpass this competitor's tradeshow. Not bad for our growing show!

Next year, both our show and our competitor's show will be in Las Vegas. Since we are partnered with the CSI again next year, I urge everyone to plan to attend our Masonry Showcase at the Las Vegas Convention Center, March 29-31, 2006. You can have your trip to Las Vegas and support our industry at the same time.

More information about next year's show is available on the MCAA web site at www.masoncontractors.org.



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