South of 40 Video Series

Words: Brandon Hartsell

Words: Brandon Hartsell and Mason Hill
Photo: ljubaphoto

The mission of the South of 40 Committee is to provide members the opportunity to learn, to become more involved, and introduce a youthful voice into the masonry industry. We will accomplish this by fostering lasting relationships, encouraging new ideas, and educating the leaders of tomorrow with the objective of increasing the masonry market share and ensuring our industry is as solid as the products we promote. Excited with the growth of the committee, Chairmen Brandon Hartsell and Mason Hill are working hard to expand the reach of the group.  Our committee members are connecting on local, national, and international levels with social media posts, events, and magazine articles.  Our members are here to spread the word that Masonry is not just a Trade, but a Career choice in which can be very rewarding.

How can South of 40 do this? The South of 40 committee has several events throughout the year in which mason contractors can take part in.  We are so very lucky to be in a Country where Masonry is promoted the way it is. 2020 has been an odd year for many. Even if we do not agree as a society, we all have one thing in common. This Pandemic has affected us all. No matter our Race, Gender, Political Affiliation, Spiritual Belief, or area of work. We all have been affected. We are all fighting as a Nation and World to put this mess behind us. If the Pandemic has taught us nothing else, it has shown we can work together to make a better Nation and World for us all. Will we all agree? No. This is what makes us stronger. We disagree respectfully and build from our differences. It sounds like I am running for office I know. The point is this. If we will simply keep our mouth closed and listen to our neighbor, and receive the same return gesture, this Nation and World would be a better place. Now, let us talk reality.

Correct, I just slammed on the brakes…. I had your attention there for a minute, didn’t I? Well, this current deal we are all going through…. You know, the “Elephant” in the room so to speak, is limiting our interaction both on the State and National level. We held our first virtual NCMCA Board Meeting back in September. NCMCA Metrolina Chapter held two virtual meetings just to see everyone and to wish our own Ryan Shaver best of luck prior to his kicking Cancer in the rear! What does this all mean? What is the point? Whether you know it or not or accept the facts or opinions, this whole Corona / COVID / China Virus Pandemic (whatever your flavor), has really dealt our Nation and World a Full House. Events canceled. Events pushed back. Local and National Chapters are learning to deal with not being able to host the big events which bring folks together. What can we do to make sure the Masonry Industry does not lose the “GREAT” traction and “FOLLOWING” we have worked so hard to achieve and maintain? Hang tight! If you cannot see the people face to face, use technology to make it happen.

Self-Help Videos / Clips:

MCAA has done a very effective job of making sure the Industry stays up to date on training by posting so many videos on the website. Follow the link On-demand education when you need it. How smart is this? It pretty much sets the industry standard. These videos are great ways to extend and build knowledge. The issue is how do we keep the Younger folks interested without a “Hands-On” event? We need to provide short and I do mean very short videos which provide ample information but do not take an hour to process. Personally, anything much past 5-10 minutes, and your viewer crowd usually disappears. Example – At the 2020 WOC/WOM, MCAA recorded both Mason and me in short videos, which were to be used to promote South of 40. It took all of five minutes to make it happen. 

Below is a list of proposed “Short” Self-Help Videos.

  1. Posting on Twitter 
  2. Posting on Facebook 
  3. Posting on LinkedIn 
  4. What Social Media platform should be used for which post? Etiquette. 
  5. Masonry Training Videos
    1. These would vary 
    2. Ryan Shaver has led the way in NC with his video series. 
      1. I would like to Sof40 to link to his videos and help promote
  6. How to create a Transmittal 
  7. Project management snapshot 
  8. Purpose of the purchase order 
  9. Organizational ideas to help ease stress levels 
  10. How to plan for daily success 
  11. Desk exercises to lower stress and clear your mind 
  12. Texting etiquette 
  13. Lowering incorrect/ hasty responses 
  14. Email organization 
  15. BOX tutorial 
  16. Dropbox tutorial 
  17. Planswift tutorial 
  18. Tradesmen tutorial 
  19. Proper PPE and how it should be worn 
  20. Bluebeam tutorial 
  21. Adobe tutorial 
  22. On Screen Takeoff tutorial 
  23. Procore tutorial 
  24. AutoCAD tutorial 
  25. Word; getting started 
  26. Excel; getting started 
  27. Outlook basics 
  28. OneNote; getting started 
  29. PowerPoint basics 
  30. Editing PDF document tutorial 
  31. Folder and document management for the construction professional tutorial

Obviously, we need “You” to help with other ideas. These ideas will not be a fit for everyone. The only way we will remain a strong organization is to work together! Communication is key. Please reach out to Mason & I with any ideas you may have. All the contact information can be found below.

Sof40 – Who is Welcome?

Even though the name of the committee says South of 40, we welcome all no matter the age.  The focus of the group is to promote the industry through relationships forged by the connections made within this exciting group.  The people you will meet in the MCAA and South of 40 can definitely make not only Masonry stronger, but you and your company as well. You can do this through the encouragement of new ideas, speaking with industry leaders and possibly becoming one of them by implementing the ideas shared. Please do not hesitate to join us today. We may not be together, but we can still shape the industry one unit at a time. 

Looking Ahead:

We all need to remember; the Future of our Industry lies within the minds and hands of the Next Generation. It is “Our” responsibility to make sure we develop and promote the Next Generation. We must take the time to visit schools, attend trade events, and make ourselves available for the Next Generation. I believe we need to develop lasting relationships with younger people, encourage their new ideas, and educate the leaders of tomorrow. In this way, the masonry industry will be as solid as the products we promote. I hope you will join us!

Brandon Hartsell is a Project Manager with Gates Construction Company, Inc. (Mooresville, NC). He is Chairman of the MCAA South 40, Central Region Vice President of the North Carolina Masonry Contractors Association and President of the Local NCMCA Metrolina Chapter. Brandon lives in the Charlotte Area with his Wife (Meredith) and their Two Children (Braxton & Mckinley). He is the Third Generation in his Family to be involved in the Masonry Industry. He can be reached at or 704-310-1674.

Mason Hill is VP of Hill Masonry, Inc. (Billings, MT). He is Co Chairman of the MCAA South 40. Mason lives in Montana with his Wife (Ruth) and their Two Children (Kason & Kambria). He is a Third Generation Mason and has a lifetime involvement in the masonry Industry. He can be reached at or 406.656.5955.

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