Category: Columns

Contractor Tip Of The Month: A Lifestyle Change

A Lifestyle Change! Damian Lang I write this article to help fellow managers, contractors and business owners avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made in my 30+ years of business ownership. If I help just one person avoid some of the same pitfalls, I think I’ve made a difference and the time devoted every month to writing is worth it. The greatest satisfaction I get from writing is when an article resonates with my audience, strikes a chord, rings a bell, to such a degree that the sheer number of responses received requires I write a follow-up. This is my follow-up to the August 2017 article. Here are some of the responses I received: I lost 15 pounds and hardly did anything but avoid bread and potatoes, and I don’t miss them at all. After reading the article and just changing a few of my eating habits, the weight is naturally coming off. I lost 25 pounds just by limiting bread and potatoes. I follow all your contractor tips and this is my all-time favorite. Can you share your plan with me? Thank you everyone who took the time to share your thoughts. This follow-up is for you. I discussed in August how too much of a good thing isn’t always good. I said your body is your best asset. When you’re in good health, your mind is sharper...

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A New Beginning

  Paul Odom, MCAA Chairman As I sit and write my introductory message for the magazine, I can’t help but think: “Wow! I have some big shoes to fill!” I thank all the former Chairmen. They have done an outstanding job of making this organization what it is today. I thank all members for your trust in me to lead the organization. I will strive to work hard as we go through the next two years. I want you to always feel welcome to contact me with any concerns, thoughts, or suggestions so we can together continue to improve our organization. I feel fortunate to have a great MCAA staff that does a superb job making everything happen! Thanks to Jeff, Tim, Angie, Todd, Lorra, Dan, Bronzella, Brian, Ryan, Jenny and Gail. After returning from the MCAA Annual Convention in Las Vegas last month, I am always rejuvenated and ready to try new things and to improve our business. Walking through the convention floor and visiting with suppliers/vendors always gives me opportunities to try new methods and use new equipment. Wednesday’s MASONRY MADNESS is always exciting as we see the Skills Challenge, Fastest Trowel on the Block, Toughest Tender, and BRICKLAYER 500. These competitors are the heart of our industry. Without great masons and tenders, where would our industry be? If you have missed attending this part of the...

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MCAA Gateway: February 2018

Grant Named MCAA Region E Vice President Brian Grant Elected to MCAA Board Brian Grant, President of Grant Contracting Company in Fenton, Mo., was elected to the position of MCAA Region E Vice President at the MCAA Annual Meeting on January 25, 2018 during the MCAA Convention at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas. Brian is currently in his thirty-fifth year in the masonry industry. He is a Professional Engineer, holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Brian is past president of the Mason Contractors Association of St. Louis, and the American Subcontractors Association-Midwest Council. Brian is also past Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Masonry Institute of St. Louis. He currently serves as Management Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Bricklayer’s Union Local 1 of Missouri Pension and Welfare Funds. Brian currently sits on the Mason Contractors Association of St. Louis’ Arbitration Board and is on the Board of Trustees for the Masonry Institute of St. Louis. In addition to the Mason Contractors Association of St. Louis and the American Subcontractors Association Midwest Council, Brian is currently a member of the Mason Contractors Association of America, The Masonry Society and the American Society of Civil Engineers. Grant Contracting Company, a certified masonry construction firm with an over seventy year history, specializes...

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Business Building: Provide Excellent Customer Service And Watch Your Company Grow!

Is Providing Excellent Customer Service Important In Today’s Competitive Marketplace? Winning more work seems to be everyone’s top priority today. Most construction business owners and managers use every waking moment trying to figure out how to lower their bids, reduce their costs, cut their overhead, and trim their margins to get more work. Is this the only solution? Several years ago, I got a call from Jim Didas, the CEO and co-owner of Range and Civil Construction, LLC (RACC) with their main construction office located near the rural town of Junction City, Kansas. He wanted to meet with me and his two business partners for a few days to update their business plan. RACC is a heavy civil construction company specializing in military projects. As I got to know them better during our phone calls in preparation for the coaching and strategic planning retreat, I began to question their business strategy. Their company mission statement is: “No Problems – Just Solutions!” The mission of Range and Civil Construction, LLC is to provide unparalleled construction services with efficiency and effectiveness. RACC is committed to 100% customer satisfaction through a partnered approach with our dedicated management team, experienced employees, comprehensive safety program, quality control systems, schedule-driven commitment, and cutting-edge methodologies. Their number one company key success factor is to “Please and satisfy our customers to obtain excellent evaluations, build with excellence,...

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Full Swing

Full Swing Dan Kamys, Editor – dkamys@masonrymagazine.com One of the things that’s fun about working on MASONRY is all the opportunities for content that are available. With our primary goal being to provide information contractors will actually find useful, Bronzella and I have had a plethora of ideas to draw from. In this issue, you’ll start to see some topics that we’ve touched on before, but these stories are always worth a read. Here, we’re proud of the stories in this issue. Following up our historic January 2018 issue wasn’t easy, but there’s a bunch of useful and entertaining stories in this issue. How about our cover shot? The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is our first American Treasure of the year, and is absolutely impressive. While I had the chance to visit and photograph the Washington National Cathedral in the summer of last year, it’s interesting to see how the same type of building can look so different. Arguably the largest Anglican cathedral and church, this Cathedral is also the fifth largest Christian church in the world. The photos taken by our photographer are absolutely amazing. Additionally, you’ll see an interesting story on workforce development in this issue. ProBlock, one of our advertisers, found an interesting way to work with other companies to leverage the power of the regional Fastest Trowel on the Block competition. By inviting...

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