February 2015: Chairman's Message

Words: Mark KempFebruary 2015

An Exciting Year Ahead

Because of the timing of this article, I will summarize the 2015 MCAA Convention in my March column. On Jan. 22, I flew to St. Louis to speak with a small group of contractors about the Masonry Foundation. I would like to thank past-chairman John Smith Jr. and John Spencer for their hospitality and for all the contractors who were there. The St. Louis chapter is a strong supporter of MCAA and the Masonry Foundation. Another past-president who has stepped up to help with the foundation is Bill Dentinger, who is heading up the past-presidents committee to inform them about our Masonry Foundation. Bill was also our Hall of Fame recipient for 2015.

If you are a past-president and want to get involved with the Foundation contact Bill, or give the MCAA office a call. Speaking of chapters supporting MCAA and the Masonry Foundation, Gary Joyner from North Carolina has raised an impressive number in his state. Thanks to those contractors and all the contractors who have made pledges to the Masonry Foundation.

In March, we are having our second Regional Meeting in Baltimore to bring MCAA to its members. It is just another way for the MCAA to provide education and value to its members. If you have an interest in attending this event, contact the MCAA office. The classroom portion will be held on March 27 at the Maritime Institute, and the hands-on demos will be held at the Center of Applied Technology – North.

It’s also time to start thinking about the Legislative Conference being held May 11 through 14 in D.C. We have a limited number of rooms this year, so I suggest you register early. This yearly conference is our time to go to D.C. and speak our minds on the issues that affect our companies’ bottom lines. It is a time when the masonry industry unites for the common good of our industry. We need your support, so please make every effort to attend this year’s Legislative Conference.

Don’t worry about how to approach or what to say to your Senator or Representative – we will coach you and team you up with someone who has done this before. Our lobbyist group, the Keelen Group, does an unbelievable job of setting up the agenda and meetings. We also need your financial support for our PAC fund, so please consider a donation. If you want to make a donation, contact the MCAA office. One important item still on our list is the Check-Off Bill, which we are confident will hit the floor the first part of this year. Another reason to attend is for the personal relationships you’ll develop with not only your representatives, but your fellow MCAA members.

As I attend MCAA and industry meetings across the United States, one thing is really standing out: We are an industry that truly is in transition. Our youths are starting to take the reins, and that is a good and normal thing if we are to survive as an industry. Whether it is MCAA or your own personal company, you have to start preparing the next generation to take control.

With MCAA, that happens through the South of 40 group as they end up becoming committee chairmen for many of our committees and regional VPs. If you have a young person who wants to get involved with the industry, why not encourage him to get active with MCAA South of 40 group? I think you will be amazed with what they will learn and bring back to help your company become even stronger. If you’re north of 40, you can still help your industry by getting involved and supporting it both financially and with your personal time. We have numerous committees, which could use a helping hand. Don’t sit back and wait for others to make your industry stronger. Again, feel free to contact me or the MCAA office if you want to get more involved with your industry.

In closing, I leave you with this: “If you want to travel fast go alone, but if you want to travel far, travel together.” You will get a lot further in life and business if you travel together, sharing each other’s successes and failures along the way. Safe travels!

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