2016 MCAA Annual Convention Approaching

Words: Dan Kamys

By Jennifer Morrell

[caption id="attachment_11763" align="alignnone" width="600"]MCAA Chairman Mark Kemp (left) inducts Bill Dentinger into the 2015 Masonry Hall of Fame during the 2015 MCAA Closing Banquet. MCAA Chairman Mark Kemp (left) inducts Bill Dentinger into the 2015 Masonry Hall of Fame during the 2015 MCAA Closing Banquet.[/caption] You won’t want to miss the dynamic and exciting events during the MCAA’s Annual Convention and MASONRY MADNESS during World of Concrete. If you didn’t have a great reason to attend the 2016 World of Concrete show in Las Vegas, Feb. 1 – 5, 2016, now you do. World of Concrete is a vast show with about 1,450 exhibitors occupying more than 675,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibit space. A special World of Masonry pavilion will be home to many companies that supply our industry, but others will be scattered throughout the three halls and the outdoor lots as well. In the midst of the World of Concrete show will be the 2016 MCAA Annual Convention and the world-famous Masonry Madness Day. For anyone involved in the masonry industry, attendance at these events is a must.

2016 MCAA Annual Convention Events

Since developing our workforce and supporting continuing education are at the forefront of the MCAA’s mission, you can take part in several exciting educational opportunities. These include the Foreman Development Course, the Advanced Masonry Estimating Course, the Masonry Wall Bracing Seminar, and Networking Roundtables. For details, including credits and pricing, visit www.masoncontractors.org/convention/education. A Ladies Program will take place Tuesday, Feb. 2, from 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., beginning at Aria Café. Attendees will then attend a behind-the-scenes tour of the TV show, “Tanked.” For more information, contact Linda Cook at the MCAA office, 800-536-2225, or lcook@masoncontractors.org. The MCAA will hold Committee Meetings on Tuesday, Feb. 2, from 8 – 11 a.m. in the Convention Center, room N212. MCAA members can attend and hear a briefing of accomplishments from the last year as well as goals for the upcoming year. The following committees will give reports in order: Marketing, Membership, Legislative, Safety, South of 40, Education, Certification, Technical, and Workforce Development. [caption id="attachment_11771" align="alignnone" width="600"]Safety Committee member Kevin O’Shea addresses the crowd during 2015 Committee Meeting updates. Safety Committee member Kevin O’Shea addresses the crowd during 2015 Committee Meeting updates.[/caption] The annual South of 40 Event will take place Wednesday, Feb. 3, at Señor Frogs Restaurant & Bar at Treasure Island Hotel & Casino from 5:30 – 7 p.m. Learn more at www.masoncontractors.org/southof40/events. [caption id="attachment_11767" align="alignnone" width="600"]The South of 40 event promises fun, entertainment and networking. Shown is a magician who kept the guests guessing in 2015. The South of 40 event promises fun, entertainment and networking. Shown is a magician who kept the guests guessing in 2015.[/caption] The MCAA will hold its Annual Meeting on Thursday, Feb. 4, from 8 – 10 a.m. in the Convention Center, room N212. The MCAA says its members are asked to attend and take an active role in shaping the future of the association and the masonry industry. An update on activity of The Masonry Foundation will be given as well, says the association. A Union Committee Meeting will take place Thursday, Feb. 4, from 1 – 3 p.m. in the Convention Center, room N212. There, the MCAA will host all MCAA members who are signatory to union contracts. A Closing Dinner will be held Thursday, Feb. 4, from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Maggiano’s Little Italy. New members of the Masonry Hall of Fame will be inducted by the MCAA. The association also will say goodbye to outgoing MCAA Chairman Mark Kemp, and welcome Mike Sutter as the new Chairman. For more information on any of these events, you can visit www.masoncontractors.org/convention/events. [caption id="attachment_11764" align="alignnone" width="600"]Shown are attendees at the 2015 MCAA Closing Banquet. Shown are attendees at the 2015 MCAA Closing Banquet.[/caption]

MASONRY MADNESS

Upon arrival in Las Vegas during the week of World of Concrete/World of Masonry, you will most certainly hear the buzz about MASONRY MADNESS. Wednesday, Feb. 3, is a day that encompasses several riveting competitions all in one place: the Gold Lot at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Plan to spend your day watching the world’s best students and professional masons and tenders showcasing their skills and talents. [caption id="attachment_11765" align="alignright" width="258"]Shown is Kelton McGee, the Third Year, First Place winner in the 2015 MCAA Masonry Skills Challenge. Shown is Kelton McGee, the Third Year, First Place winner in the 2015 MCAA Masonry Skills Challenge.[/caption] Kicking off the day’s excitement is the MCAA’s Masonry Skills Challenge, which will begin at 9 a.m. and run through 12 p.m. This is a competition of masonry apprentices in first-, second- and third-year skill levels. Contestants are divided by experience level, with “First Year” contestants having just entered the trade, through to “Third Year” contestants, who are about to enter the workforce as journeymen. Contestants will be challenged with building a project without ever having seen the drawings. They will have three hours to complete their projects with the given materials. The projects given will be appropriate for the various skill levels. Awards will be presented to the top three apprentices in each skill level. You can learn more at www.masonryskillschallenge.com. Beginning at 10:45 a.m. is the Spec Mix Toughest Tender competition, which last for 45 minutes and allows mason tenders to show what they’ve got. The tenders will compete in setting up BRICKLAYER 500 workstations, entailing the transport of tons of brick and block, and materials and equipment. The time to beat is 11 minutes, seven seconds – a record that has stood for 10 years. Cash and prizes will total $2,500. [caption id="attachment_11766" align="alignleft" width="258"]Shown are Arcadio Armenta with Sutter Masonry, and his tender, Guadalupe Aragon, winners of the 2015 MCAA Fastest Trowel on the Block competition. Shown are Arcadio Armenta with Sutter Masonry, and his tender, Guadalupe Aragon, winners of the 2015 MCAA Fastest Trowel on the Block competition.[/caption] Block layers are in the spotlight from 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. in the MCAA’s Fastest Trowel on the Block competition, when they’ll give it all they’ve got in laying as much of a 30-foot-long wall as possible. The masons will lay eight- X eight- X 16-inch CMU and mortar in a 20-minute period. These are skilled journeymen and tenders, who will race against the clock to highlight their speed and block-laying talents. Moreover, this contest really shines a light on the teamwork involved between a mason and his tender. The contest promotes quality training and pride in workmanship among journeymen and contractors, as well as promoting the craftsmanship, speed and versatility of masonry systems and the masonry workforce, says the MCAA. Learn more at www.fastesttrowel.com. The last competition of the day is the Spec Mix BRICKLAYER 500, which takes place from 12 – 3 p.m. Each team is comprised of a mason and a mason tender, who together will build a 26-foot, eight-inch, double-wythe brick wall. The winner will lay the most bricks in a one-hour period, counted under the quality rules. Twenty industry-expert judges will check each mason’s wall for workmanship and production. The champion wins more than $100,000 in cash and prizes, along with a new Ford F-250 4x4 SuperDuty Truck – not too shabby for an hour’s work! Learn more at www.specmixbricklayer500.com.
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