Growing From What I’ve Learned In 2020

Words: Todd Fredrick

Bronzella Brown, Editor -

It is so surreal to be writing the first note of 2021, first and foremost Happy New Year everyone! I am sure everyone is just as excited as I am to be in the New Year, some of us half expected to wake up to a “groundhog day” experience on January 1st and have to do 2020 all over again. But I am happy to say we all made it! I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful Holiday Season and New Year celebration, whether you had virtual celebrations or social-distanced gatherings with your family and friends. Personally, virtual celebrations have grown on me because that means I do not have to bundle up and face the cold temperatures Illinois produces during this time. 

Aside from the different ways we celebrated the New Year and Christmas, we were able to reflect on how 2020 changed our lives for the better (staying on the bright side here). Broken record sayings aside, we have entered a new year and a fresh start. So if you make New Year resolutions, goals, or just want to do better than you did last year, now is the perfect time to do so. Last year I wanted to stay more focused on my goals and tasks that were given to me at the start of the year. I can honestly say I did not stray too far from those goals and ideas, however, I did have to play catch up. It is something about working from home that can just mess up my flow every time. 

Thankfully we had what I am considering a trial run in 2020 to know what not to do in 2021. For instance, I will not shop online as much as I did last year. You would not believe the quarantine purchases that were made just because I could not go outside like I was accustomed to. This year I plan to stay focused on the goals my husband and I have set for ourselves. Along with continuing to work out in my living room, because youtube’s workout videos are so much more fun than going to the gym. Who would have thought I would be saying that in 2021: not me, that is for sure. As long as we keep positive attitudes and remember the goals you may have set at the start of this month, we can take things one day at a time. 

This January issue has so many different and interesting stories for you to read. Following my note, you will find a chemical safety talk for you to brush up on the techniques for handling chemicals on a jobsite and the proper way to read SDS’s. There are articles on lasers, brick matching, and an update from FBR. Paul Potts is back with another legal article on delay disputes, there is an informative business management article on building a winning team from our Columnist George Hedley and a GEN NXT interview with masonry student Jennifer Key. 

Our cover story features an interview with industry professionals Ryan Shaver, Curtis Hoover, and Corey Adams, we discussed working across the generations in the masonry industry. It’s a really interesting interview you won’t want to miss. You will also find a historic renovation article on the Coca-Cola factory in the Bottleworks district in Indianapolis, IN, the second installment of our retirement series from Artie Bernaducci, and a work/life balance article to help you maintain a good balance between your personal and professional life. We also have our monthly columns, and you can find more at We’re looking forward to sharing more stories with you in the magazine and digitally so be sure to stay in the know by following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more stories and daily updates. 

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