The Masonry Industry is “Strong in North Carolina!” Our State truly is a wonderful place to live and work. North Carolina “Excels” on many levels, but the Masonry Industry is our crown jewel. North Carolina is home to some of the “Best Masons” in the World. There is no better way to say “Thank You” for all they do than to Honor everyone at our 2017 NCMCA Masonry Recognition Night. The NCMCA Metrolina Chapter (Greater Charlotte), hosted area masons, apprentices, and masonry students who won awards and contests over the last year. Honorees were recognized at a dinner in their honor along with their invited guests. Honorees received checks and hardware along with official greetings from Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) President Jeff Buczkiewicz, NCMCA President Bob Gates, and Billy Constangy from NC Eighth District Congressman Richard Hudson’s office. More than 75 members and guests attended the September event in Charlotte.

In the photograph: Top row, left to right- Todd Hartsell, Central Cabarrus High School – SkillsUSA National Champion Kelby Thornton’s instructor and Masonry Expert for the USA WorldSkills Team; Kent Huntley, NCMCA President-Elect and Apprenticeship and Training Committee Chairman, and a partner in Huntley Brother’s Company, the firm with the 2017 NCMCA Annual Samuel A. McGee Apprentice Contest winner; Luke Dutton, McGee Brothers – Luke will represent the United States at the bi-annual 2017 WorldSkills Competition this October in Abu Dhabi, UAE. He is a former National NCMCA SkillsUSA Winner; Bob Gates, NCMCA President; Jeff Buczkiewicz, Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) President; Kelby Thornton, Central Cabarrus High School – 2017 NC SkillsUSA Masonry Champion, 2017 National SkillsUSA Masonry Champion (Kelby has won both competitions for two years in a row.); Luis Marquez, Huntley Brothers Company – First Place MCAA Second Year Apprentice Contest, World of Concrete 2017; Brandon Hartsell, MCAA South of 40 Chairman, NCMCA Regional Vice President & Metrolina Chapter President; Chet Huntley, Huntley Brothers – 2017 “Toughest Tender” SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500. Bottom row, left to right- Cory Huneycutt, Gates Construction Company – Fourth Place in the 2017 Samuel A. McGee Apprentice Masonry Skills Contest; Eric Kee, McGee Brothers – Fifth Place, in the 2017 Samuel A. McGee Apprentice Masonry Skills Contest; Zackary McGee, McGee Brothers – Winner of the 2016 State Fair Apprentice Contest; Matt Cash, Huntley Brothers – 2017 Champion SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500 “The World’s Best Bricklayer”; Jamison “JK” Huntley, Huntley Brothers – David R. Sigmon Award for First Place in the 2017 Samuel A. McGee Apprentice Masonry Skills Contest; Ellis Baucom, McGee Brothers – Second Place in the 2017 Samuel A. McGee Apprentice Masonry Skills Contest; Kaleb McGee, McGee Brothers – Third Place in the 2017 Samuel A. McGee Apprentice Masonry Skills Contest.

The future of our Industry lies within the minds and hands of the Next Generation. It is “Our” responsibility to make sure we develop and promote to the Next Generation. We must take the time to visit schools, attend trade events, and make ourselves available for the Next Generation. I believe we need to develop lasting relationships with younger people, encourage their new ideas, and educate the leaders of tomorrow. In this way, the masonry industry will be as solid as the products we promote.

 

Words: Brandon Hartsell
Photos: NCMCA
Brandon Hartsell is a Project Manager with Gates Construction Company, Inc. (Mooresville, NC). He is Chairman of the MCAA South 40, Central Region Vice President of the North Carolina Masonry Contractors Association and President of the Local NCMCA Metrolina Chapter.