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From the Editor

At the recent Magazine Publishers of America annual convention, Jack Kliger, president and CEO of Hachette Filipacchi Media Inc. and new chairman of the trade organization, spoke before the masses. Now, as Kliger probably is not a familiar name among the masonry crowd, let me introduce him a little further to you.

Kliger is president of the world's largest consumer publishing house. He has the distinguished honor of claiming ELLE, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Woman's Day, American Photo and a dozen other titles that reach more than 50 million consumers. His company is one of the top in its class and, through good times or bad, his company will most likely weather the storm.

At the annual convention, there was much talk about the questionable future of the magazine industry. With the overwhelming popularity of the Internet, how will magazines compete for subscribers and advertisers? With increasing paper costs, how will magazines endure? And to this, Kliger responded with a simple but strong statement, "Complacency is not an option."

The masonry industry can certainly relate to this scenario, and even though the two industries seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum, Kliger's response still rings true for mason contractors as well. You can sit on you heels and wait for tilt-up, EIFS or the smorgasbord of other building systems to steamroll their way right over your business, or you can join together with your fellow mason contractors and fight for your market share.

This month, the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) will meet in Las Vegas for its annual Masonry Showcase. Some of you will attend, lending your support, ideas and power to the Association, and some of you will sit on your heels at home.

One thousand of this magazine's readers are members of the MCAA and help finance the Association's goals to win back market share for every company, and 16,000 of you sit on your heels and complain about not having enough work.

Approximately one hundred of those MCAAA members will rally together at the joint Masonry Industry Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., April 24-25, and the rest will sit on their heels and moan about how their representatives just don't follow through on what's important to their masonry business.

Look around you, your company and your industry and tell me how the MCAA is not making strides to make your life and business better. Better yet, read Alan Griffin's "President's Message" on page 6 and tell me that these initiatives that MCAA has pursued over the last two years aren't going to increase your business down the road. Or read Rashod Johnson's article on page 8 describing MCAA's involvement in the OSHA Best Practices seminars and tell me that more educated OSHA field personnel won't decrease the possibility of an incorrect citation being written at your job site.

Or you can stick your head in the sand, claim that your business is in a bubble and couldn't possibly be helped by the Association and all of the benefits of being a member, and decide that complacency is the choice for you, whether it really is an option or not.

Complacency is not an option, folks. Get off your heels and make the right choice. Support your industry and your business, and join the MCAA today.






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