February 2014: From the Editor


February 2014

From the Editor

What a ‘World’

Jennifer Morrell

It’s back, baby. World of Concrete is back. And that’s good news for all of us in the masonry industry. We are smack in the middle of the “new normal,” and for many, it’s a pretty good place to be.

I recently returned from the World of Concrete/World of Masonry show in Las Vegas, and the word down the aisles and out on the lots was that business still is picking up, strengthening and showing promise for the future.
I talked at length with several mason contractors and many manufacturers of the materials used every day on the jobsite, and one thing became clear. The Great Recession taught everyone a few lessons about working smarter, operating leaner, and keeping a nest egg tucked away for unexpected economy crashes. And, instead of missing the “good ole days” of the early-2000s, most people seemed resolute in that they are wiser and have a greater appreciation for what they have, for their employees who stuck with them, and for their own abilities to thrive and survive.

As per usual, I was blown away by the continuing innovation across the construction industry. A reoccurring theme for masonry was energy efficiency through insulation, wraps and envelopes. Moisture management and furthered sustainability are paramount to the life of masonry buildings, and industry R&D is on top of it.

On another exciting note, the MCAA ushered in a new chairman, Mark Kemp, during the Annual Meeting held during World of Concrete. John Smith Jr. joins the ranks of MCAA’s group of outstanding past-presidents. John has served us well, and I will miss hounding him for his Chairman’s Message every month. Now I get to work closely with Mark, who is one of the funniest, smartest and most positive people I know. What a great group we have in the MCAA.

So, another World of Concrete trip is behind us. We learned a lot, saw a lot and enjoyed one another, as always.

Did you attend this year? I would love to post your photos on our Facebook page, so everyone can see the high-energy, invigorated environment at World of Concrete. Send them to, include a caption to i.d. the images, and I’ll post them proudly.

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