During this holiday season, we all reflect back on what we have been thankful for this past year. I for one, go well beyond that this year and I challenge each of you to do the same thing. I personally have a lot to be thankful for. There was a time in my life where I was a professional laborer, yet today, I am fortunate enough to say that I moved well beyond that. I am a proud owner of a successful masonry contracting firm in North Carolina. I have been successful beyond my dreams and I owe it to a lot of hard work, a lot of sweat and tears and the occasional sleepless nights worrying about my business and the struggles associated with it.
The one thing I can say as I reflect back this year is that I have an awful lot today as a result of our great industry we call masonry. This great industry has provided so much for me and my family over the years that I have been working tirelessly over the past 3 years to give back. When I say give back, I mean make sure that the folks who are coming up behind me have an industry to provide for them as ours has for me. Many of us will pass on our businesses to our children or potentially a faithful longtime employee. I for one, want to assure them that the industry will provide for them as it has done for me. One way to do that is to invest in that industry.
Our industry has come under fire that past few years from competitors who have made questionable claims about their products and have effectively gone after our market share. It is time we take responsibility for the future of our industry and give back in this season of giving.
The Masonry Foundation was created to do just that. On the next few pages you will read about the Foundation, where it is, where is has come from and why you should support it. I have personally made a pledge and have worked to get as many contractors as I can in North Carolina to give and be supportive of our future. We are serious about building our Foundation to help save our industry from our competitors.
I encourage you to think about where you started in your career and where you are now. I often think about how I used to be a professional wheelbarrow driver. Personally, I thrive on promoting my industry and its future. I know what it can provide and I want to be a part of preserving its future and I ask you to support that effort today.
Most in our industry had a very good 2017. It is a perfect time to think about making a charitable deduction to our Foundation as a nice year end tax write-off. It will help your future and the future of the people behind us. No pledge or donation is too little. Please consider pledging to The Masonry Foundation in this month of Thanksgiving.
The Masonry Foundation | www.masonryfoundation.org
What is the Masonry Foundation?
The Masonry Foundation was created to help provide perpetual funding for the masonry industry. The funding will be utilized to help support education programs, university programs, research and development and marketing efforts. All of these efforts will focus on the need to grow masonry markets.
Why a Masonry Foundation?
For many years the masonry industry has been a leading material in the construction markets. In recent years, competing materials have gone after masonry markets. Masonry markets have shrunk, not because of the material, but because the industry has been out spent by competitors making claims that often times are not accurate or misleading. Masonry has had a disadvantage without having a funding mechanism in place to battle those claims. The Foundation was created to battle those claims with factual information about our material.
“I AM SUPPORTING OUR FOUNDATION BECAUSE IT’S TIME FOR OUR INDUSTRY TO TAKE CHARGE OF ITS FUTURE.”
– Mark Kemp, Superior Masonry Builders, Inc.
How Does the Masonry Foundation Operate?
The goal of the Masonry Foundation was not to create another organization in the masonry industry, but rather an organization that would support efforts of existing groups in the industry. The Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable organization and as such gives donors the best possible tax deduction allowed by law. The Foundation has an independent Board of Directors who are all volunteers. In addition, staffing and operation of the Foundation is provided by the MCAA. There are no plans to have paid staff working for the Foundation. All proceeds will go directly back in to the industry.
Who Makes Up the Board of Directors?
Currently the Board is comprised of nine Directors. Those people are the following:
Mark Kemp, Superior Masonry Builders, Inc. Paul Odom, P and S Masonry, Inc.
Gary Joyner, Joyner Masonry Works, Inc. Mackie Bounds, Brazos Masonry, Inc.
John Jacob, J. Construction Co. Christian Stein, Arch Masonry & Restoration
Heath Holdaway, IMS Masonry, Inc. Brian Carney, SPEC MIX LLC
Steve Barry, Oldcastle Architectural
They all serve two year terms and are supported by volunteer committees. We encourage anyone in the industry to be a part of a Foundation committee.
What Has the Foundation Accomplished so Far?
The Foundation has been working on building a corpus. The corpus is the fund that will be placed in an investment account and never be touched. The Foundation will then utilize the interest off the fund to fund projects. The exception to this rule was the startup costs of the Foundation and the funding of the BIM for Masonry effort on behalf of the MCAA. Both those costs will be completely recovered by the corpus before full funding of other activities begin. So the Foundation has funded a portion of the investment by the industry in the BIM for masonry effort. This is already producing huge results for masonry markets and will continue to produce results for many years to come.
How Much Has the Foundation Raised to Date?
The Foundation has received close to $4 million in pledges to date. Those pledges are paid to the Foundation in general over a 5 year period, so those funds have begun to come into the Foundation. The Foundation has about $1.2 million in it’s corpus to date. We are pleased to announce that over $2.5 million in pledges have come from mason contractors. About 12 mason contractors have committed to a minimum pledge of $100,000.
Professional Investment Firm
The Foundation Board has a finance committee which initially extended a Request for Proposal (RFP) to three professional investment firms. Upon review and after interviewing three professional investment firms the Board selected DiMeo Schneider. DiMeo Schneider has over 70 billion under advisement and is a leading investment advisory firm to non-profits. With the advice of DiMeo Schneider an Investment Policy Statement (IPS) was prepared as a guide for our investment strategy. Our investments are actively managed by DiMeo Schneider and are invested in accordance with the IPS. All investment, while managed by DiMeo Schneider are held in the name of The Masonry Foundation in a Charles Schwab account. We encourage you to view the IPS that can be located online at www.masonryfoundation.org.
“THERE IS NOTHING AS IMPORTANT TO THIS INDUSTRY AS SECURING A HEALTHY AND STABLE FUTURE.”
– Mackie Bounds, Brazos Masonry, Inc.
How Can I Be Involved?
If you have not done so, please consider making a pledge to the Foundation. There is no such thing as a pledge too small. We have many lower tier pledges and welcome your participation at any level. We are a big industry comprised of many medium and small organizations, which makes gaining greater pledge support at all levels extremely important. For added perspective, consider the fact that Masonry magazine reaches over 15,000 people each month. If 50% of those people made a pledge today of $500 per year for the next 5 years, that would add $18,750,000 to the Foundation! Apply that to the Foundation’s investment account—which as of October 11, 2017 has been 11.87%—when the corpus is whole the investment would generate well over $2 million in funds used to grow the masonry market. In addition to pledges, supporting the Foundation includes encouraging others in our industry to make a pledge. Mason contractors as well as product manufacturers should ask their suppliers to support our industry by challenging them to match their pledge. It will go a long way to helping to build and secure our industry’s future.
THE MASONRY FOUNDATION
Click here to download the form to make a contribution.