Chairman’s Message: Looking Forward To The New Year and World Of Concrete

Paul Odom, MCAA Chairman

Today I’m gearing up for the first CMU check-off meetings here in Dallas. As I said in my previous Chairman’s message, I’m very excited that we have an opportunity to use this funding to implement, develop, and manage programs desperately needed to reclaim and grow our market share in today’s competitive environment. If you have not already read about this program, please do so either in last month’s message or at www.cmucheckoff.com. I gave you a homework assignment last time, to do everything you can to push this into effect by talking to your block suppliers, manufactures, and fellow members and associations.  

Your other homework assignment was to sign up for the World of Masonry/World of Concrete. There are so many opportunities that the convention has to offer this year. I’m going to highlight just a few that I’m excited about:  

  • MCAA Committee Meetings  

You don’t have to be a committee chair to come to these meetings. It’s an opportunity for all in attendance to ask questions and also give recommendations. A lot comes from these meetings and I encourage members to attend.   

  • MCAA Annual Meeting  

If you’ve gone to the committee meetings, you may as well stay for the Annual Meeting. This gives us an opportunity to discuss where the association is headed and get feedback. We also will get an update on the Masonry Foundation.  

  • Walk the Floor/Walk the Masonry Innovations & Workforce Development Zone  

I try to take at least half a day to check out the new products/equipment/developments that are out there. Almost every year I find something that will help us improve. Plus, you may even find some great deals on equipment while you’re out there.  

  • MASONRY MADNESS  

It’s the “superbowl of masonry.” Don’t miss out on the opportunity to come cheer on the apprentices at MCAA’s Masonry Skills Challenge, the SPEC MIX TOUGHEST TENDER, MCAA’S Fastest Trowel on the Block, and the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500. It’s always fun to find out who will be the “World’s Best Bricklayer” and walk away with a brand-new Ford Truck. 

  • Networking Roundtables  

This is one big open roundtable. I find this to be one of the most beneficial events there. It gives me an opportunity to learn how other masons do things. I get to know these contractors and build relationships that allow me to call on them in the future for advice or opinions on a challenge, and they do the same with me. Take advantage of this, it’s one of the biggest benefits of being a member in a national association.  

There are a ton of other opportunities from the fun times at the South of 40 Party at Drai’s After Hours, the Closing Banquet, to classes on wall-bracing, and silica train the trainer courses. There’s something for everyone! I look forward to getting to see you there.   

In the meantime, we are all preparing for the holiday season and the New Year. I challenge each of you to make sure that you spend quality time with your family. We never know when we may not have that opportunity. I also challenge you to ensure that each of your team members know how much they mean to you and how thankful you are for the hard work and dedication they put in all year. Lastly, I challenge you to start setting some goals for the New Year, if you haven’t already, start considering that. We often get so wrapped up in closing the year out and the holidays that we fail to plan or set goals for the coming year.   

Until next month… Merry Christmas and I’ll see you at the World of Concrete/Masonry!  

Paul