Chairman’s Message: Here’s to Another Successful Midyear 2019

Paul Odom, MCAA Chairman

Midyear Meeting just finished up this week and, as I sit in the airport with my lovely bride, Susie, I’m reflecting on all the great things that happened this week. For starters, having Midyear Meeting in New Hampshire, basically in the middle of nowhere in the White Mountains, was fantastic. Coming from 102-degree weather, the weather alone was enough to bring a smile to our faces. But beyond that, it was truly beautiful and a great setting for members of MCAA from across the nation to gather to discuss changes and work we’re doing to improve our industry.  

Some of the highlights of the meetings for me included the discussions about: 

  • Workforce development. I know that I bring this up in almost every month’s message, but I feel very strongly about it because it holds the key to the future of our industry. If we don’t have masons, we won’t have masonry. The good news: We’ve got a lot of great regional associations that are doing amazing things to develop their workforce and many of the key players were at the committee meetings. If you haven’t already checked out Top 10 Reasons to Join the Masonry Team video, be sure to do that to help in your recruitment efforts. We’ve also have Top 10 Reason brochures you can get from MCAA to help you and your organization  
  • Masonry Foundation. There’s a good chance you’ve been asked to donate to the Masonry Foundation over the past few years. This foundation has been growing its funding and this is the first year that they’ve accepted grants. Out of the eight grant applications, six were funded. Please see the article in this issue on page 32 to learn about each of these. We are very excited that all this hard work is starting to pay off for our industry.   
  • South of 40 and Education. These guys are going to be busy this year. We’ve challenged them with the task of creating a leadership training program. If you’re like a lot of businesses, you are starting to have more and more “youngsters,” whether they come from college or homegrown through your ranks. There’s not a lot of easily accessible leadership courses out there so we are working to build one that can meet our members’ needs. Check out the education page at MCAA and be sure you’re taking advantage of it. 
  • Membership. We’ve got a great committee dedicated to continuing to bring in new members. Part of our membership committee’s goal this year is to meet the goal of 1,000 members. Together we are stronger so we want to continue to grow our organization.  
  • Safety. We continue to have great safety benefits for our members through our website and educational offerings thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Safety and Education team. A hot topic that the Safety Committee has their eye on is OSHA looking into standards for heatrelated safety. MCAA will keep you updated on this issue, which could greatly impact most of us as contractors and even producers. 
  • Networking and Round Tables. As always, we had a great opportunity while in the mountains to network and visit with other contractors across the nation. I learn so much at these events from talking to others to find out how they may be doing something better, easier, faster, more efficiently, etc. The Round Tables brought out some great ideas around recruitment, workforce development, leadership development, equipment tracking, and lots of other great things for the future of our industry.   

As if that all wasn’t enough, we still managed to play golf, zipline, hike, ride the cog train up Mt. Washington, eat way too much good food, and have plenty of drinks with friends. If you have not already attended a MCAA Midyear meeting, I strongly suggest going. Next year, Paul Oldham, our next Chairman, will be hosting the Midyear meeting in French Lick, Indiana. This place may have a funny name, but it looks like a great place, with plenty to do. 

Susie and I want to thank you all that came to this year’s Midyear meeting. We had a blast with you, and we look forward to seeing you out in Vegas in February for the World of Masonry!