The MCAA Midyear Meeting 2019: Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

Words: MASONRY Magazine 

Photos: MASONRY Magazine, Aimintang, Denis Tangney Jr., Maudi B  

The annual Mid-Year Meeting of the MCAA took place from September 8-11, 2019 in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, at the historic Omni Mount Washington Resort. This Midyear meeting marked the second and final meeting during Chairman Paul Odom’s term.  

The Omni Mount Washington Resort 

Bretton Woods is part of a land grant made in 1772 by Royal Governor John Wentworth. The area was named after Bretton Hall, Wentworth’s ancestral home in Yorkshire, England. 

The superstructure of The Mount Washington Hotel boasted a steel network, which was uncommon in its day. The Mount Washington Hotel was built by New Hampshire native Joseph Stickney, who made his fortune in coal mining and the Pennsylvania Railroad. Stickney spared no expense in building the imposing hotel. The latest design and construction methods were used; innovative and complicated heating and plumbing systems were installed. To this day, the Bretton Woods Hotel has its own private telephone system and Post Office. 

Ground was broken in 1900, and construction was completed in 1902. Two hundred and fifty Italian craftsmen, skilled in masonry and woodworking, were brought to Bretton Woods and housed on the grounds. A new type of power plant served reliably for over fifty years. 

Imported china, hand-colored postcards and playing cards, and a 1917 travel guide show genteel mementos of an elegant legacy. On July 28, 1902, the front doors of this Grand Hotel opened to the public with a staff of no less than 350. 

The most luxurious hotel of its day, The Mount Washington catered to wealthy guests from Boston, New York and Philadelphia. As many as fifty trains a day stopped at Bretton Woods’ three railroad stations. One of these stations, Fabyan’s, is now one of the Resort’s dining establishments. 

The hotel has been host to countless celebrities, including Thomas Edison and three U.S. presidents. 

In 1944, The Mount Washington hosted the Bretton Woods International Monetary Conference. Delegates from forty-four nations convened, establishing the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, setting the gold standard at $35 an ounce and designating the United States dollar as the backbone of international exchange. The signing of the formal documents took place in the Gold Room, located off the Hotel Lobby and now preserved as an historic site. (https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/bretton-woods-mount-washington/property-details/history)

The Midyear welcome bag was slightly more festive than usual, with a bear theme to play homage to the black bears known to visit the Omni Mount Washington from time to time. Thank you to Malta Dynamics and A-Roo, who chose to sponsor the welcome bags, and an additional thank you to the companies who contributed the items inside.  

The Masonry Foundation Meeting 

On Sunday, September 8, The Masonry Foundation met in order to formally approve the first grant requests. Several grant requests were received, and each was thoroughly evaluated by The Masonry Foundation Review Committee based on the relevance to the Foundation’s mission statement and the guidelines outlined in the grant application process. The committee submitted its recommendations for funding to The Masonry Foundation Board for final approval at the MCAA Midyear Meeting. 

For a comprehensive outline of the grant requests which received funding, please refer to MASONRY’s website, or our October print issue. Make sure to look for updates on the progress of the approved projects in our upcoming coverage.  

For more information on The Masonry Foundation, please visit www.masonryfoundation.org.  

MAC PEC Golf Outing 

On Monday, September 9, 2019 the annual MAC PEC Golf Outing took place at the Mount Washington Course. The 18-hole course was designed by Donald Ross and completed in 1915, surrounded by the Presidential Mountain Range. The Par 72, 7,004-yard course has played host to four New Hampshire Opens and the New England Open Championship in September 2010.  

The two top teams wound up tying, which forced a “putt-off” during the Closing Dinner. The team whose putt wound up closest to the hole wound up winning the tournament.  

Results  

First Place Team (-9): Ron Adams, Paul Cantarella, Adam Slattery, Robert Smith  

Second Place Team (-9): Danks Burton, Shawn Nelson, Paul Oldham, Kaleb Shumway 

Most Honest Team (+1): Buddie Barnes, Gary Joyner, Freddy Koontz, Terry Ward 

Longest Drive: Kent Bounds (Hole 6), Rachelle Lang/Steve Wheeler (Hole 17)  

Closest To The Pin: Kent Bounds (Hole 5), Thad Skinner (Hole 16) 

The first and second place teams both graciously donated their winnings to The Masonry Foundation.  

Speed Dating and Raffle  

Consistently a favorite at the annual MCAA Midyear Meeting, Speed Dating made another return. This event allows for suppliers to present small groups of contractors with their latest technology and offerings. As the meetings concluded, the groups of contractors were moved on to the next supplier’s room.  

The Speed Dating breakfast was sponsored by EZ Scaffold. The Speed Dating Lunch was sponsored by iQ Power Tools, and also included a raffle of prizes for contractor participants. Special thanks to CrewTracks for donating an iPad as a prize. Additional thanks to Klein Tools, who provided several Tradesmen Pro™ Organizers to give away as raffle prizes to speed dating participants.  

PHOTO CAPTION: Joe Bonifate of Arch Masonry was randomly selected to win $1,000 cash during the Speed Dating lunch and raffle.  

The Supplier companies who participated in Speed Dating were: CrewTracks, Echelon, Expanded Shale, Clay and Slate Institute (ESCSI), EZG Manufacturing, Husqvarna, Hydro Mobile, Non-Stop Scaffolding, Norton Clipper, SPEC MIX LLC, and Xtreme Manufacturing. 
 

Contractor Round Table Discussion 

The Contractor Round Table discussions are an event intended to allow company leaders to discuss challenges facing their respective businesses and the industry as a whole. The unique setting allows for contractors from across the country to openly discuss ways to find solutions and improve masonry.  

The topics discussed in the meeting will help us decide on some of the content we publish in the near future, and it’s our hope that the articles become useful to those trying to find solutions to the issues.  

Topic highlights for the Midyear 2019 Contractor Round Table Discussion included:  

  • Internships and bringing in office staff from other industries 
  • Using tech-savvy younger employees to automate and track workforce, and then move them into being estimators and superintendents 
  • Incentivizing older employees to train newer employees 
  • Using shop drawings and finding a detailer 
  • Language barrier for younger workforce that doesn’t speak Spanish 
  • Equipment tracking 
  • Grout delays from batch plants  

MCAA Safety Advantage Awards  

Additionally, the closing dinner also saw several companies win MCAA Safety Advantage Awards, sponsored by Federated Insurance. These awards are based on the incident rates of a mason contractor’s company. Awards go to the lowest number of incidents in two categories: fewer than 100,000 hours worked by all employees and more than 100,000 hours worked by all employees. 

Fewer Than 100,000 Hours Worked  

Six-Way Tie 

  • Cantarella & Son, Inc. (Pittsfield, MA) 
  • Grant Contracting Co., Inc. (Fenton, MO) 
  • Minahan Construction, Inc. (Uwchland, PA) 
  • Pinnacle Masonry, Inc. (Cary, NC) 
  • Stonelake Masonry, Inc. (Elk Grove, CA) 
  • Troianiello Masonry, Inc. (Scranton, PA)  

Greater Than 100,000 Hours Worked  

Three-Way Tie  

  • Gates Construction Company, Inc. (Mooresville, NC) 
  • John J. Smith Masonry Company (St. Louis, MO) 
  • Schiffer Mason Contractors, Inc. (Holt, MI) 

Next Year’s Midyear Meeting 

As part of the Annual Meeting and Closing Reception and Dinner, incoming MCAA Chairman Paul Oldham outlined next year’s meeting location. The place? French Lick, Indiana. Stay tuned for details on the 2020 Midyear Meeting.