Chairman's Message: A Look Forward

Words: Larry Vacala

Larry Vacala, MCAA Chairman

At this time, there is much to report on.  First off, the Mid-year meeting is set for August 14th through August 17th, 2022. It will take place in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin at the historic Grand Geneva Resort & Spa.   The Resort is approximately a 45-to-60-minute drive from two major airports, 65 miles from Chicago O’Hare International Airport and 45 miles from General Mitchell International Airport. Personally, I recommend General Mitchell Airport if you like less congestion. If you are fortunate enough to have your own plane, there is an on-site runway & airport at The Resort.   As chairman, one of the expectations is to choose locations for 2 mid-year meetings. In the past, chairman would select a hometown and away location. For me, Lake Geneva will be my hometown choice. Lake Geneva is a short distance north of Chicago. Being from Chicago, many have asked, why not a Chicago meeting. Truth be told; I was excited about having a Mid-year in Chicago, but much has changed these past couple years.  Too many mandates and restrictions in place to hold a Chicago meeting.  Sadly, as the political landscape in our country has changed, so has downtown Chicago. It has become less desirable to visit due to safety concerns. It’s not easy finding that perfect venue worthy of an MCAA mid-year meeting.  The Grand Geneva Resort features over 1,300 acres of scenic land and has much to offer. To name a few; WELL Spa & Salon, fitness center, Adventure center, 3 restaurants, outdoor pool, and indoor water park.  It is home to two championship golf courses. The historic downtown shopping district, great restaurants and Lake Geneva are just a short drive from the resort.  I’ve been coming to Lake Geneva since I was 16. Lauren and I still frequent the area with family and friends. It’s one of our favorite places to have dinner or just walk one of our dogs along the lake.  As I mentioned before, if you’ve never been to a mid-year meeting, you’re truly missing out. It’s our best meeting and networking event of the year. You will meet masonry legends in our industry willing to share their knowledge, experience, and insight for your future success. View some new equipment and products in our industry. Be there to honor our Hall Of Fame Inductees at the closing dinner.  There is much more to do besides meetings and networking. The schedule is set, registration is open, and you can view the full program on the MCAA website. I look forward to seeing you all in Wisconsin! Jeff, Dick, Kent, Paul, and I took a trip to Kansas City for the ICPI - NCMA convention. Together we attended the Town Hall and Government Affairs meetings.  We also met with their Executive Board to discuss ongoing initiatives that support both our organizations. Being our industry partner, we all want to promote masonry.  Check-Off was the biggest topic of discussion. I can report it’s all positive but moving forward slowly. Next step, the Department of Commerce will choose the Check-Off Board members.  Once the Board is selected, they will likely move quickly to establish Regional Boards and rules of operation. We will be informed on any new developments.  While in K.C., our Board had time to meet and discuss MCAA business and strategies. I really enjoyed our time brainstorming!  You find out interesting new facts about people when you travel and spend time with them. I always knew Dick was going to be a great wingman, and in K.C., he proved it. Breaking news, Jeff paid for an Uber ride, twice, and asked us to not tell anyone. Thank you, Jeff, but I'll tell. Paul found out a lot about the group and belly laughed most of the trip. Kent kept talking about the big winter storm in N.C., getting upwards of an inch of snow and 39-degree temperatures. He seemed very concerned. He also discovered a new dish in the Austrian restaurant we dined at. When Kent told the waiter “The schnouzzer dish was fantastic”, the waiter lost it and told Kent, “you just made my day.”  I’m still not sure what he ate but apparently, he loved it.  He made our day also.  As Dick would say, “He’s really not a bad guy.” Don’t forget, the Annual Online Auction is back for its eighteenth year. The auction is a great way to support our association and win great items such as tools, material, sporting events and get aways. All proceeds support the MCAA's mission to empower business owners and strengthen the industry. Don’t miss out!      Until next time, Stay Healthy, Stay Safe! 
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