MCAA Annual Convention Highlights

Words: Dan Kamys

2013 MCAA Annual Convention

The 2013 MCAA Annual Convention drew an enthusiastic crowd of attendees. All spent time networking and learning during a busy week at World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas in February. The week began with Committee Meetings and an opening dinner. A MAC PAC reception took place as well, along with a South of 40 fundraising event that brought lots of smiles and laughter. Masonry Madness Day was a hit – invigorating for the hundreds in attendance. The MCAA assures many events take place throughout the week, and there’s always something for everyone.

Masonry Skills Challenge

The 14th Annual Masonry Skills Challenge showcased skills training in the masonry industry. Contestants only had three hours to construct the project based on the materials provided and a project drawing. First Year, 1st Place winner was Jeffrey Price, Mike Coates Construction. Second Year, 1st Place winner was Jeremiah Holland, Mosser Construction Inc. Third Year, 1st Place winner was Noah Spray, Central Masonry Inc.

Masonry Hall of Fame

Donald C. Grant was inducted into the Masonry Hall of Fame. Grant has dedicated his entire professional life to advancing the use and quality of masonry for more than 50 years. His many volunteer responsibilities and significant accomplishments exemplify Grant’s tireless dedication and his impact on the masonry industry.

Masonry Certifications

Maverick Masonry Inc. of El Mirage, Ariz., and P.C.M. Inc. of Savannah, Ga., have earned certification through the Masonry Certification program. The MCAA developed the national Masonry Certification program to provide customers with a tool to select mason contractors committed to quality and end-user satisfaction. Visit www.mason

Bounds Awarded Leadman Award

The MCAA 2013 C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award went to Mackie Bounds of Brazos Masonry Inc. in Waco, Texas. The Leadman Award goes to an individual who has provided exemplary leadership in advancing the masonry industry.

Bounds came in contact with the masonry world at age 16, while working as a laborer. Since that time, he has always worked in some phase of construction. Since 1997, Bounds has served on the Board of Directors of the MCAA including serving as president, when he worked to lead the industry back to where it once stood. Bounds’ energy, excitement and excellent leadership skills have taken Brazos Masonry Inc. to the top of the masonry industry.

A proud group of 2013 Fastest Trowel on the Block winners. A proud group of 2013 Fastest Trowel on the Block winners.

Fastest Trowel Competition

Masons and their tenders were highlighted through the 2013 Fastest Trowel on the Block competition. Each contestant’s goal was to complete as much of an 18-block-long wall as possible, with the 20-minute time limit. Winners were presented with trophies, plus 1st Place took home $6,000 and a special trophy from Marshalltown; 2nd Place received $2,500; and $1,500 was awarded to 3rd Place. All winners received a level from Johnson Level, a Marshalltown tool bag and tools, a gift certificate from STIHL, and additional prizes.

First Place went to Arcadio Armenta with Sutter Masonry Inc. in El Mirage, Ariz., Tenders: Guadalupe Aragon, Carlos Chacaj. Second Place went to Alfredo Cardenas of Pioneer Masonry Inc. in Glendale, Ariz., Tenders: Humberto Cardenas, Gaciel Flores. Third Place went to Raul Reyes of Sutter Masonry Inc. in El Mirage, Ariz., Tenders: Luis F. Pacheco, Gerardo Patlan.

Committee Meetings

Workforce Development Committee Chair Moroni Mejia updated attendees on a relationship between the MCAA and the National Center for Construction Education and Research, Skills USA and Workforce Development, and World of Concrete MCAA Competitions, the Fastest Trowel on the Block and International Masonry Skills Challenge.Team Awards Committee Chair Elizabeth Beber provided a report on the TEAM Awards, the Vision Awards and the year ahead for this committee.

David K. Peloke, chair of the South of 40 Committee, discussed the current South of 40 Membership, 2012 Focus Points, the 3rd Annual South of 40 fundraising event that would be held Feb. 5 at El Segundo Sol in Las Vegas, and a South of 40 Mini Convention that will be held in Washington, D.C., in May.

Zach Everett, Safety Committee chair, updated the audience on MCAA Safety Forum Webinars, the MCAA Safety Awards Program, the Safety Advantage, and the process of growing a National Safety Committee. Don McCauley Jr., Membership Committee chair, delivered updates about recruitment. A big membership push took place, with the help of Spec Mix during the Convention. An update was given on dues numbers as well. Committee Chair Imani Brodie addressed the audience with a progress report, introduced the new website design, and discussed the budget, marketing and sponsorship, and goals for 2013. Marketing Committee Chair Damian Lang talked about the Building Information Modeling (BIM) effort in the masonry industry, as well as education programs, competitive product studies, and the MCAA Website.

Education Committee Chair Andy Sneed delivered updates on the MCAA Live Webinar Series, new programs, a standard practice for bracing masonry walls, and a review of the MQI. Certification Committee Chair Bobby Gladu outlined proposed changes to the Masonry Certification Program along with the reasons for the proposed changes.

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