Enter the MCAA Safety Advantage Awards

Draw attention to the need and benefits of performing safely

Words: Zach Evertt

Submissions are now open for the 2018 MCAA Safety Advantage Awards, sponsored by Federated Insurance.

Safety is overlooked by some contractors for several reasons: cost, time, resources, compounded focus on production, simple ignorance, or possibly many other things. Our goal is for the MCAA safety awards to help draw attention to the need and benefits of performing safely.

The MCAA Safety Advantage

The safety awards are just one part of a larger plan: The MCAA Safety Advantage program. There are mammoth benefits to working safely. From moral to money and from workers comp premiums to OSHA penalties. The MCAA safety awards program is being rolled out with the MCAA Safety Advantage Newsletter, the weekly safety meetings, the written safety program, the monthly safety forum webinars, and several other Safety Advantage benefits not to mention joining a network of safety professionals working in the masonry industry. All this is free to members of the MCAA.

Safety Award Judging

The awards will be presented based on a company’s Incident Rate. This seemed to be the most equitable and best way to judge between contractors. The Incident Rate will be the only criteria at the present. There could be many other guidelines thrown into the mix; OSHA citations, comprehensiveness of safety policy, superseding of OSHA compliance by company policy, peer review of policies, job site inspections, volunteer safety work, using biodegradable earplugs, non-concrete block, utilizing anti-alien abduction hardhats or a gamut of other qualifiers and disqualifiers, but we thought that starting simple would be best for the moment. Someone will now ask for specifics, so here it is:

OSHA Recordkeeping

The Incident Rate, by which the safety awards will be judged, is calculated off of the OSHA logs. ALL OSHA recordable injuries and illnesses are logged for that year. The number of illnesses and injuries are multiplied by 200,000 then divided into the total number of hours worked by all employees for the year. This equation gives you the company’s Incident Rate. This should not be confused with the DART Incident Rate which only takes into account the incidents that result in days away from work.

Get in the Hunt

To get your company considered for the MCAA Safety Advantage Awards simply go to www.masoncontractors.org/safety/awards and fill out the sign up form and return it with your 2017 OSHA 300 form. MCAA Safety Advantage Awards submissions are due by June 30, 2018. All entries will be tabulated and the awards will be presented at the 2018 MCAA Midyear Meeting.

We look forward to this event and hope that there is huge participation. Safety is extremely important! It’s important to help get more work, to keep WC cost down, but most importantly, because families need their parents and spouse to come home healthy! Join with us in this small way to reach that goal.


MCAA Announces 2018-20 Board Members

Paul Odom Elected Chairman of the MCAA

Words: Tim O’Toole

(Algonquin, Ill.) Feb. 9, 2018 – The Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) announced the election of of cers to the MCAA Board during the MCAA Annual Meeting on January 25, 2018 during the MCAA Convention at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas.

Paul started his masonry career in 1980 as a laborer for Lee Masonry, based out of Hamilton, Texas. He quickly advanced in the company, going through his apprenticeship and becoming a journeyman mason. He left the company in 1986 before of cially starting P and S Masonry in 1987, alongside his wife, Susie, who is still active in the company. Their business started small, concentrating on military construction and has grown throughout the last 25 years to excel in school, university, commercial, and industrial construction.

Additionally, Paul has been active in promoting the masonry industry over the years. He was one of the founders of the Central Texas Masonry Contractors Association and has twice served as president of this association. He has been on the board of the Texas Masonry Contractors for several years, serving as vice president and president during that time. At the national level, he has been active with the MCAA serving on committees and the Executive Board for twenty years.

Serving as Vice Chairman is Paul Oldham, President and Co-owner of Ollier Masonry Inc. Paul attended the University of Evansville and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering Management. Paul started his career in the construction industry as an assistant carpenter for a small construction company that was owned by an architect. Knowing Paul was pursuing an Engineering Degree, he brought Paul into the design of ce as a draftsman. Paul was able to experience the different phases of design and the interaction with clients and the development of their projects.

From here, Paul felt it was necessary to go back to the eld and connect the dots between schooling, design and the reality of building a project. He went to work for a large general contractor and experienced the site management of a project, starting with the basic RFI process with subcontractors through the competition of a 100 million dollar plus project. Paul had the desire to get married and have a family and decided the life style of a large general contractor traveling the world wouldn’t provide the home life he was after.

Paul went to work for a smaller general contractor/mason contractor in the Midwest. Here he was given the opportunity to work in the capacity of a General Contractor and a Specialty Contractor, this is where he was introduced to the masonry industry. He was also able to nd and marry his best friend and build the family he was after.

Over the years he has experienced many different types and sizes of masonry projects. One of his highlights was the opportunity to manage the masonry contract for a Major League Baseball team.

Paul was taught by many that being involved in what you believe in is important and you have to give back. One way of doing this is to be involved in the organizations of your industry. Over the years he has been involved in the AGC, ABC, Indiana Masonry Contractors Association, Tri-State Masonry Association, Ohio Masonry Association and the Mason Contractors Association of America starting with serving on committees and then serving on the Executive Boards. He currently is on the Board of TMI in Cincinnati, Chairman of the OMA for the state of Ohio and Secretary for the MCAA. The relationships he has developed here are priceless and have provided the avenue to continue to learn.

Paul has been fortunate to experience working for an architect and engineer, developers, owners, general contractors and Ollier Masonry Inc. to provide him with perspectives from all sides of the construction process.

The Treasurer for the MCAA is Larry Vacala, founder of Restore Masonry LLC & Tyler Lane  Construction Inc. Larry has over 45 years of construction experience. Prior to founding Restore Masonry LLC & Tyler Lane Construction Inc., he owned and operated a masonry restoration company that performed work on historical landmark buildings in the Northern suburbs of Chicago. “Transitioning large residential homes to commercial properties was easy. The commitment was to keep the same eye for detail and quality, just on a larger scale.” His responsibilities include, involvement in day-to-day business decisions, overseeing all upper management personnel, managing all professional business relationships, marketing and providing a vision for future direction of the company.

A retired Evanston Fire Fighter with 20 years of service, Larry brought with him the 20 years of re ghting and life safety skills he experienced to the forefront in running a safe company for all.

Larry has served in leadership roles for several construction industry organizations such as President of the Mason Contractors Association of Greater Chicago (MCAGC), Board Member of the Mid-American Regional Bargaining Association (MARBA), Executive Board Member of the Administrative District Council (ADC), Executive Board Member of the Illinois Masonry Advisory Council (IMAC), Board Member of IL ADC #1 MCAGC Labor-Management Cooperative Committee (LMCC), and voting member of ASTM International C-12 and C15. He is also a member of the American Sub-Contractors Association (ASA Chicago), the Chicago Building Congress (CBC), and the Fox Valley Contractors Association (FVC).

Larry also volunteers for and supports many charitable organizations. He serves as President of the Julia Vacala Foundation, established May 9, 2002 to honor the Vacala family’s late mother. The Foundation works to continue her legacy and help those in need.

Joining the MCAA Board as Secretary is Dick Dentinger of B&D Associates, Inc. in St. Paul, Minn. Dick Dentinger and his brother Bill operate their masonry business specializing in institutional, municipal, and commercial masonry. Bill oversees eld operations while Dick handles the administrative aspects of their business.

The Dentinger family has a long history in masonry. Dick’s parents, Bill and Shirley Dentinger, built a highly respected masonry rm in Milwaukee. Bill Dentinger, Jr. served as MCAA Chairman in the 1980’s and was inducted in the Masonry Hall of Fame following a career of service to the industry.

Having been taught that each of us is obligated to give back to the industry in which we choose to earn a living, Dick and his brother always make time for volunteering. In addition to serving the industry, these efforts provide personal and professional growth from working alongside talented leaders in our industry.

Throughout his career, Dick has been active with the Minnesota Concrete and Masonry Contractors Association from committees on up to president. He endured nearly two decades on the negotiations teams for the local union agreements, held various fringe fund trustee posts, is currently Secretary of the B.A.C. Local #1 Pension Fund, and served on the board of AGC – Minnesota.

He has been active on MCAA committees for 20 years including two separate terms as Membership Committee Chair, and a long run as Minnesota State Chair.

Dick grew up in Milwaukee and attended the University of Minnesota. He spent a few years selling advertising for a popular Minneapolis radio station. It was during this era that Dick achieved his most impressive success, when against
all odds, he tap-danced his way into convincing his college crush to marry him. Thirty plus years later, Dick and Sheryl work in the same of ce and have two impressive and beautiful adult daughters, and dream of someday being one of those lucky MCAA couples who bring their adorable grandchildren to conventions.

The MCAA also elected nine Regional Vice Presidents to the board:

  • Region A: Joe Bonifate, Arch Masonry & Restoration; Pittsburgh
  • Region B: Gary Joyner, Joyner Masonry Works; Greenville, N.C.
  • Region C: John Jacob, J. Construction Company; Cincinnati
  • Region D: Lynn Vasquez, MAV Masonry, Inc.; Marissa, Ill.
  • Region E: Brian Grant, Grant Contracting Co., Inc.; Fenton, Mo.
  • Region F: Robert “Buddie” Barnes, Dee Brown, Inc.; Dallas
  • Region G: Glenn Hottmann, G & G Enterprises; Glendale, Ariz.
  • Region H: Dennis Withsosky, New Dimension Masonry, Inc.; San Diego
  • Region I: Jed Olafson, Johnston Construction Co., Inc.; Tacoma, Wash.All of cers serve for a period of two years. The of cers began their two-year terms on January 25, 2018.

2018-2019 MC&MCA Officers and Directors Elected

Words: Gary Botzek

Dan Francois, Project Manager for Kraus-Anderson Construction Company, was elected the 2018- 2019 president of the Minnesota Concrete & Masonry Contractors Association at its annual meeting held January 18 in Roseville.

Francois has worked for Kraus-Anderson for 13 years. He is a 2005 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a degree in Civil Engineering. Francois has performed preconstruction planning and estimating, as well as construction project management in a variety of market sectors.

Francois has led construction projects ranging from the Milwaukee, WI and Brooklyn Center, MN FBI Field Offices, the International Market Square Lofts in Minneapolis, the Black Bear Casino & Hotel in Cloquet, and the Edgewater Senior Housing Campus West in Des Moines, Iowa.

Kraus-Anderson is a longtime member of the MC&MCA. The company was established in 1897 and operates under the motto of “building enduring relationships and strong communities.”

The new MC&MCA board of directors and officers for 2018-2019 include:

President: President-Elect: Secretary: Treasurer:
General Contractors:

Masonry & Concrete Contractors: Associates:

Dan Francois, Kraus-Anderson Construction Co. Patrick Vogt, Donald R. Frantz Concrete Const. Kirt O’Konek, Stoneworks Architectural Precast Steve Brock, Construction Midwest, Inc.

Dan Brenteson, McGough Companies, Inc. Dylan VanAvery, Mortenson Construction
Chad Grazzini, Carciofini
Michael Lapensky, Twin City Tile & Marble Co. Tom Miller, Advanced Masonry Restoration

John Haupt, American Engineering Testing
John Thomas, TCC Materials
Larry Thompson, American Artstone Company Denver O’Brien, Amcon Concrete Products, LLC Zach Quinn, Brock White Company

The MC&MCA, a non-profit trade association established in 1964, is committed and dedicated to the production and delivery of quality concrete and masonry goods and services. There are close to 100 member companies in the association.