Chairman's Message: WOC 2023 Recap

Words: Larry Vacala

World of Concrete 2023 turned in another great MCAA convention. Very good meetings with an overflow of positive energy. We covered a lot of business.  Seminars, meetings, networking, brainstorming, along with the latest and greatest products in our industry. It was great to see so many members in attendance. As always, it’s a pleasure meeting new members and first-time attendees. We hope first time attendees witnessed the value in attending MCAA events. It should not only help you personally, but the knowledge you obtain gives your company that edge on your competition.  A special thank you to all the sponsors that participated!

Resorts World was a great host hotel for our meetings. Very conveniently located to the convention center along with many great amenities. The Vegas Loop was a great option for getting to and from the convention center.

Our first event kicked off Sunday morning with the Foreman Development class.  Presenters, (the three amigos), for this highly acclaimed class are Tom Vacala, Jameel Ervin and Donnie Williams. They provide attendees with extremely valuable information.  This class will educate your current or future foreman, which in turn develops real company assets.  

Jeff Buczkiewicz and the Executive Board met Sunday afternoon to go over details for the convention. We also agreed to terms for an additional 4 years to Jeff’s current contract. We are excited and blessed to have Jeff signed through June of 2028. Jeff truly shows passion for the future success of this association, and we are very fortunate to have him.  

The MCAA Board meeting kicked off early Monday morning. With a large crowd in attendance, all were brought up to date on the state of our association.  The MCAA is in great shape. The Board meets monthly on zoom meetings to stay current on all relevant business. All other committees meet quarterly via zoom. 

The South of 40 committee members voted in a prior meeting, to change the committee’s name to Generation Next. This committee is building a solid core of young industry professionals. Generation Next will be offering quarterly educational webinars soon. The first webinar will be succession planning.

Masonry Foundation chairman Gary Joyner reported The Foundation being in a good financial position. This was great news as the Foundation is very important to the future of our industry. Several Foundation Board members terms were up. Later in the Foundation meeting, new members were elected to the vacated positions. Those positions are, Buddy Barnes (Chairman), Dick Dentinger (Treasurer), and Pete Groetziner (Secretary). 

Each year the MCAA presents the C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award. This award is presented to the person most deserving for their tireless dedication and exemplary leadership to advance our industry.  This year’s recipient was Paul Oldham. Paul served on the executive board for 8 years. Most recently he spearheaded the MCAA as Chairman during a very difficult time, (COVID). Paul is also the first Chairman to come from the South 40 Group. I had the honor to serve as Paul’s wingman for 6 years. Paul showed me how to be a true professional on our executive board. He has dedicated his life to the advancement and progress of our industry.  Congratulations Paul! Well deserved!  

In attendance there were special guest speakers that gave updates on their respective associations. David Stubbs of the Canadian Masonry Contractors Association, Bob Thomas of NCMA/ ICPA and Ray Leonhard of Brick Industry Association. It was terrific having them join us.  We have committed working together to strengthen our industry.

The contractor round table meeting was led by James Hoskinson (Hoss). As always there was good interaction on current issues affecting most in our industry.  Supply chain issues, workforce, and current backlog.

Our contractor lunch, keynote speaker was Zeb Hering from Brazos Masonry. Zeb described simple and easy Business Development ideas. The tactics Zeb shared were well thought out and proven to be very successful for their company. Business Development is key to being successful and Zeb did a fantastic job laying it out! Thank you Brazos Masonry for sharing your talent and your success strategies! 

To close out the day, Monday evening’s South of 40 event was held at Top Golf. It turned out to be a great event with record attendance. Great venue, food, drinks, and friends! 

Tuesday morning was the PAC meeting at the Palazzo Hotel restaurant. It’s helpful receiving up to date information on the politics effecting our industry. Steve Borg does a great job keeping us all informed.

Wednesday’s Masonry Madness Day competitions were exciting to watch. The weather was perfect. The contestants showed why they belonged there competing for the title, best in the world. Congratulations to the winners of each event! 

Kudos to Jeff and the MCAA staff for doing an excellent job organizing this convention!  

Attending this convention has many values. It gives you first look at what’s new in our industry. It's amazing how much technology and tools improve each year. It should give you an upper hand. The knowledge gained from meetings and seminars is priceless. 

Las Vegas is in business because most visitors do not come home winners. But if you attended the MCAA events you most likely picked up valuable information to help you and your company. You my friend, returned home a winner!

Stay Safe, Stay Strong!
Larry Vacala

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