I know we are living in some tough times in our country today. We can give up, or we can prepare for the future when things come back. I heard from a friend the other day who said, “I know one day it will come back, but I am not sure we are at the bottom yet.”
I don’t know anyone who does know, including those in Washington, D.C. I refuse to give up, and I am going to spend my time to prepare for the better days. What is your choice?
I can assure you at the MCAA, the staff, the board, and our committee chairs are not giving up but, rather, they are working for the mason contractors. I am writing this letter from Washington, D.C., where we are preparing for a meeting tomorrow at the Pentagon. Obviously, we are not experts at running our armed forces, but we are experts on the type of structures that should be built for our soldiers.
Paul Odom, our Legislative Committee chair; Region I Vice President Steve Borman; our executive director Jeff Buczkiewicz; and I will begin tomorrow reclaiming what was once ours. The masonry world at one time owned the Corp of Engineers’ work on our army bases, but we know we are being blocked out due to short-term costs in construction.
Our message is very simple: We have a product that is the most durable and green, and is the most cost-effective type of construction long term. Maybe more than that, masonry is the most protective when it comes to security. As I look at our Capital, the White House, the Senate and House office buildings, and the Supreme Court building, they are all constructed out of the greatest product, masonry. Those who protect our freedom deserve at least the same.
How can each of you help? First, if you are not a member, then you need to join the MCAA and help us reclaim our market. All of us as members can give to our PAC fund and grow it, so we can be a force on Capitol Hill. It is not an expense but, rather, it is an investment. Your biggest expense line in your financial statement is government.
We must control that cost, and we do that by working for the masonry industry at the Capitol and getting bills passed that will add money to our bottom line. Along with that, we must stand up against bills that will have a negative effect on our profit. My goal is to grow our PAC fund to $250,000, and then use every penny for the best interest of us as mason contractors.
Our technical committee is leading the charge concerning the changes that some in the brick industry want to make with ASTM 216 concerning brick void sizes. I have never seen the members of the MCAA so energized concerning technical matters. As we move forward, not only will we fight that which harms our industry, but also we will promote changes that will enable us to promote masonry as the product of choice in construction. Our safety committee is coming together and will soon be bringing us some opportunities to be safer and able to better manage our safety programs. They also will continue to be our voice with OSHA concerning matters that weaken us as we compete with other materials.
Our new committee, South Forty, is made up of our industry’s young folks. They are planning some exciting things for MCAA and our industry. The TEAM committee is planning a great award program that will take place at next year’s convention. You will be seeing brochures on this very soon. Our marketing committee is working on a new logo for MCAA that will re-introduce us as industry leaders.
I cannot close without mentioning VISION 20/20, a grassroots program that each of us can be part of and, together, we will reclaim our market one piece at a time across the United States. As you can tell, I am excited about our future! Until next time, this old cowboy says, shoot for the moon and, even if you miss, you will land among the stars.
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