August 2016: Chairman’s Message

Words: Michael Sutter

Get Ready for MCAA’s Midyear Meeting

Michael SutterMichael Sutter Chairman Mason Contractors Association of America

Jeff Buczkiewicz and I just left Las Vegas after a full day of reviewing venues for the World of Concrete/World of Masonry (WOC/WOM) and MCAA Convention in January. MCAA is planning some new events at new venues that I promise will be a shake-up from what we have done in the past. Registration will be opening soon at Be sure to sign up for our MAC PAC and PEC events we are holding at Top Golf. You don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy these events. We have put together different packages that you can purchase for the convention, as was requested by members last year. This will make registering a lot easier. [caption id="attachment_13372" align="alignleft" width="300"]A bagpiper at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. A bagpiper at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa.[/caption] Although we are still fighting for changes in the new OSHA rule regarding silica, we are also preparing for when the rule takes effect in June 2017. We already know that we will need a written plan for dealing with silica exposure on each jobsite once the rule is in place. MCAA will be providing a template for these written silica plans to all of our members free of charge. We will all also be required to have a competent person on all of our jobsites — a person who is trained in silica exposure. This means that basically all of our foremen must be competent regarding the new silica rule. It would be very expensive to send all of our foremen to training or to bring instructors to our places of business. Therefore, MCAA will be offering Train the Trainer classes at WOC/WOM in Vegas. That way, you can send one person for this training, and that person can then provide training for all of your foremen. Our Workforce Development initiative is continuing with vigor. We are urging our legislators to continue and expand funding for the Perkins Program, which is used for high school education and training in the construction industry. Many of these students can be career-ready upon graduation, and we all know how much we can use these students in our workforce. Whenever you get a chance to talk to your representatives, let them know how important this is to our industry! [caption id="attachment_13373" align="alignright" width="300"]The Kierland FlowRider at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. The Kierland FlowRider at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa.[/caption] Only a couple months remain until MCAA’s Midyear Meeting at the beautiful Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Oct. 2–4, 2016. We have lots of activities planned that will give you a taste of the Wild West out here in Arizona. From golf in the lush, green landscape to UTV riding on desert trails, we will offer it all. We will even be serenaded by bagpipes as the sun sets over the nearby mountains. You can go to the resort’s website,, and look at all of their amenities, including pools, a lazy river, a 110-foot water slide and a golf course, not to mention numerous restaurants and shops within walking distance. If you have never attended a Midyear event before, I urge you to give it a try. It is at our Midyear Meeting that we set the agenda for our committees for the coming year. Be sure to attend these meetings to learn where your MCAA committees are headed. Unlike the convention in Vegas where we are all too busy to really have an in-depth conversation, the Midyear Meeting is much more relaxed and intimate. This is where all the networking takes place. Strike up a conversation with another mason contractor or a supplier who is not in your market, and you can share ideas that work and those that haven’t worked so well. I can’t begin to tell you the benefits I have received by sharing ideas with other contractors. This is where long-lasting friendships are born every year. Registration is available online, so please take advantage of this awesome event.
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