July 2014: Chairman's Message

Words: Mark KempJuly 2014 Chairman's Message

MCAA Midyear Meeting Approaching

When I took over as chairman in January, one of my greatest fears was writing this monthly Chairman’s Message. Then I remembered: One should not fear something you have not experienced. So with that in mind, I wrote the first column. I was concerned about what I’d address each month, and whether I could fill a page. I realize now that the problem is limiting the column to one page, when so much is happening. So, let’s get going with an update on the Check-Off Program.

We are now up to 195 co-sponsors in the House and 20 co-sponsors in the Senate as of June 6, 2014. By the time you read this, I would expect more to have signed on. We are expecting the bill to hit the House floor sometime between now and Aug. 1, 2014. It is not too late for you to contact your representatives in Washington to show your support for this bill. If you have questions or concerns, just contact MCAA for help. I am pleased to report the Florida group got their State Check-Off passed, and the Florida governor will be at their state convention to address them on their program. Congratulations to the Florida group. Jeff and I look forward to seeing you at your convention.

Silica still looms over our heads, but after our Fly-In in Washington, D.C., in May, we seem to have picked up some support both in the House and Senate. We continue to work with our Coalition on this silica issue and will keep you updated as things develop. I think it would be wise to do some monitoring at your jobsites, so we are prepared with new data if it is needed.

The second phase of our membership survey was completed and reviewed recently with the executive officers and the Membership Committee. We will start implementing what we learned from the survey during this next month. The survey mentioned lots of good things about MCAA, like it is the most recognized leader in the masonry industry, and we are passionate about our industry. It also showed we need to do a better job getting the word out about what MCAA has to offer contractors. The officers and the membership committee are excited to start rolling out the fresh ideas.

The Foundation continues to move along with the final key Regional people signing on. We had a conference call in June and will meet in mid-July for training. Thanks to those who are taking a key role in the Foundation and guaranteeing a brighter future for the masonry industry.

It’s time to mark your calendars for MCAA’s Midyear Meeting, Sept. 10-12, in my hometown of Milwaukee. We have some great things planned for not only you, but also your significant other. My wife, Pauline, and I are excited to roll out the cheese carpet for you all. Following is a brief outline of some of the events.


  • Special significant other event – can’t tell you yet
  • Opening Reception and Dinner/Team Awards at the Harley Davidson Museum – you will be able to visit the museum, which is very interesting.


  • Special spouse event at the Milwaukee Public Market, located in the Historic Third Ward
  • Chairman Reception- It is Pauline’s and my intention to invite you to our home.


  • Closing banquet to be held at the one and only Horney Goat – I cannot give away what’s happening at this event, other than to say it will be a lot of fun and laughs.

We contractors will have our planning meeting for the committee chairs, board meeting, and round table discussions, during which you can sit down with your peers and talk openly about problems or ask questions on things that relate to your company. So watch for more information about the Midyear Meeting in September. We would love to show you a good time.

In closing, I ask all of you to think about how fortunate we are to live in a country where you can still live the dream. Enjoy life and remember to have a good laugh!

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