Chairman's Message: Looking Forward to What Comes Next

Words: Paul Oldham

Paul Oldham, MCAA Chairman

Well, I have struggled a lot this month with what to write. Our lives are consumed with so much uncertainty this year that it is hard to focus and anticipate what lies in front of us. I am sure many of you are also taking a look at what work will be like in the next six months to a year, and where to position your company while knowing that we will probably see somewhat of a dry spell. However,  I will say in talking to some friends on the design side of things, they are consumed with work again, so maybe we won’t see a hole. I have spent some time consulting with our bonding agent and bankers as to what they are seeing and feeling, and they were in the same mindset as I have been for a few weeks: not really sure. Is it safer to bet with public work, as we usually do when the economy is down?  Our agent did not feel that would necessarily be the case, so no real concrete advice on that front. It was good to talk to them and our banking partners, however, and to hear they are also on the fence. We are all in the same sandpile right now, digging to find the answers. What is MCAA up to during all this? Your organization continues to change with the environment we are currently working in. As this article is published, we should be hosting our Midyear Meeting in French Lick, Indiana. The MCAA team has been hard at work with the French Lick Resort staff to plan and host a safe and enjoyable event for everyone. I think we, as members, can take the amount of work required to host an event like our Midyear Meeting for granted at times, and we are fortunate to have a great team to do it.  At the end of July and the beginning of August, we hosted a Virtual Masonry Instructors Conference with the NMIA (National Masonry Instructors Association) and we had 51 instructors register for the conference. These instructors will gain membership into MCAA and the NMIA by attending these conferences to further that relationship for workforce development and provide additional resources to them. Mr. Ryan Shaver has been an integral part of this conference and we thank him and the North Carolina Mason Contractors Of America (NCMCA) for their continued commitment to Workforce Development.  It may seem hard to think about, but work for the 2021 Convention is hot and heavy. I know our industry partners Spec Mix/Quikrete have also been hard at work. They have been kicking off their qualification events, and are figuring out how to host a safe event for everyone- all the way up to, and including the final event in Vegas. I hope everyone is finding a way to turn off the issues of 2020 sometimes to relax and enjoy the things you enjoy doing. I have made it a point to do some things with my kids that we have not made time for the past few years, simpler things, and I hope you can do the same. See you at the Midyear Meeting!  
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