An Event-Packed MCAA Annual Convention

Words: Dan Kamys

MCAA Convention

An Event-Packed MCAA Annual Convention

Danny Tarkanian, who is running for the House of Representatives this year for Nevada’s 4th congressional district, was the guest speaker at the MAC/PAC event.

The MCAA Annual Convention kept attendees busy, from the MAC/PAC reception with guest speaker Danny Tarkanian, and an Opening Banquet, to daily committee meetings, and education and certification opportunities.?? The South of 40 group hosted a night of dueling pianos. And, a Closing Banquet ended the festivities on a super-high note, as members honored outgoing MCAA President Mackie Bounds, and welcomed new president, John Smith Jr. Here’s a rundown of some of the other stellar events that took place during the convention.

2012 Fastest Trowel on the Block, First Place - Mike Canez III

Fastest Trowel on the Block

The Fastest Trowel on the Block showcases the skill of masons and importance of teamwork. Each contestant’s goal was to complete as much of an 18-block-long wall as possible in 20 minutes. Winners were presented with trophies. First place took home $6,000 and a special trophy from Marshalltown; second place received $2,500; and $1,500 was awarded to third place. All contestants received a Marshalltown tool bag and tools, a Grout Grunt, and more. Sponsors and donors were SPEC MIX Inc., QUIKRETE, Angelus Block Co., Marshalltown, Gatorback, Grout Grunt and Linovation Corp.

  • The 1st Place winner was Mike Canez III of Triple M Masonry, Phoenix, Ariz. His tenders were Manuel Coronado and Issac Perez.
  • The 2nd Place winner was Bob Christensen of A.S.R. Constructors, Riverside, Calif. His tenders were Shawn Romano and Victor Lozono.
  • The 3rd Place winner was Kris Chee of Rhino Masonry Inc., Mesa, Ariz. His tenders were Luis Vargas and Ricky Esparza.

C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award Each year, the MCAA presents the C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award to an individual who has provided exemplary leadership in advancing the masonry industry. This year, the award went to Robert V. “Buddie” Barnes Jr. of Dee Brown Inc. in Dallas, Texas, during the Closing Banquet.

Barnes is the chairman of the board and CEO for Dee Brown Inc. He serves on numerous civic and trade association boards and is active in the community. Barnes has worked in the construction industry since 1964 and has been with the Dee Brown Co.s since 1969.

New MCAA President John Smith Jr. addresses guests at the Closing Banquet.


Masonry Hall of Fame

The Masonry Hall of Fame was created to recognize and award those individuals who have dedicated their lives to the masonry industry. All inductees are nominated by their peers and carefully reviewed by a panel of judges.

The MCAA inducted four mason contractors into the inaugural Masonry Hall of Fame class: C. DeWitt Brown, Richard Felice, Jerry Painter and Glenn Sipe. Please visit to read more about each of these fine recipients.

C. DeWitt Brown founded Dee Brown Masonry Inc. Oct. 31, 1955. The company expanded to a regional contractor Jan. 1, 1977, and a national contractor in February 1985. He established DBM/Hatch Inc. in 1989 and Kepco+DBI in 1998. C. DeWitt Brown passed away April 25, 2000.

Richard Felice started in the masonry industry as a laborer and advanced to journeyman bricklayer. He began his own company in 1959 with one truck and a mixer and incorporated Forrest & Associate Inc. in 1960 and joined the MCAA. Felice helped establish the Masonry Institute of Iowa.

Jerry Painter accepts the Masonry Hall of Fame award from Mackie Bounds.

Jerry Painter grew up in a family with masonry flowing through their veins, and was taught dedication to the trade at a young age. He has been in the masonry profession with over 48 years experience in all phases of the industry including journeyman mason, masonry contractor, masonry materials, masonry materials manufacturing, lecturing, instruction, promotion, inspection, estimating, consultation and restoration.

Glenn Sipe came from a farm family in Catawba County, N.C., where he has lived his whole life. Glen worked for Herman-Sipe Construction Co., which offered him a job helping as a laborer. He was promoted to the concrete gang, mixing and placing concrete by hand. Sipe was a regular mason by the end of 1940, and was in charge of a masonry crew by mid 1941. Glenn Sipe retired from the business in 1987 at age 67.

Two Companies Certified Pinnacle Masonry Inc. of Cary, N.C., and Stone Cold Masonry of Phoenix are the latest companies to have earned certification through the Masonry Certification program, sponsored by the MCAA. The MCAA has developed the national Masonry Certification program to provide customers with a tool to select mason contractors who are committed to quality and end-user satisfaction. Companies must earn 100 credit hours and pass an exam in order to become certified. To renew their certifications, companies must obtain 75 credits every three years.

Back row (left to right): Moroni Mejia, Rhino Masonry Inc.; Mike Sutter, Sutter Masonry Inc.; Wriston McGee, McGee Brothers Inc. – Second Year, First Place; Darren Tobolt, Studer-Obringer Inc. – Third Year, First Place; Oliver Snyder – First Year, First Place; Mackie Bounds, Brazos Masonry Inc. – MCAA Past President  First row (left to right): Filiberto Granados, G&G Enterprises – Third Year, Third Place; Tom Webster, Masonry Arts Inc. – First Year, Second Place; Justin Proch, Leidal & Hart/Dixon Inc. – First Year, Third Place; Justin Johnson, WASCO, Inc. – Second Year, Third Place; Jeremy Casey, Foti Construction Inc. – Second Year, Second Place; Kristopher Boyd, Masonry Specialist Corp. – Third Year, Second Place

Masonry Skills Challenge The Masonry Skills Challenge is a showcase for skills training in the masonry industry, challenging winning apprentices from regional United States and foreign competitions to determine the top masonry apprentice at three levels. The top-placing contestants for each skill level were:

  • First Year Apprentices: 1st Place – Oliver Snyder, Severn, Md.; 2nd Place – Tom Webster, Masonry Arts Inc., Bessemer, Ala.; and 3rd Place – Justin Proch, Leidal & Hart/Dixon Inc., Livonia, Mich.
  • Second Year Apprentices: 1st Place – Wriston McGee, McGee Brothers Inc., Monroe, N.C.; 2nd Place – Jeremy Casey, Foti Construction Inc., Wickliffe, Ohio; and 3rd Place – Justin Johnson , WASCO Inc., Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Third Year Apprentices: 1st Place – Darren Tobolt, Studer-Obringer Inc., New Washington, Ohio; 2nd Place – Kristopher Boyd, Masonry Specialist Corp., Chattanooga, Tenn.; and 3rd Place – Filiberto Granados, G&G Enterprises, Glendale, Ariz.
Contributors were Angelus Block Co., Boral Bricks Inc., GATORBACK Inc., QUIKRETE, and SPEC MIX Inc. Prize donations were from Boral Bricks Inc., Calculated Industries, GATORBACK Inc., Grout Grunt, Johnson Level, Linovation Corp., Marshalltown Co., Mortar Net Inc., and Vatne Concrete Systems. Shown are the winners of the Fastest Trowel on the Block competition, MCAA officers and industry sponsors. The blocks are ready for the Fastest Trowel on the Block to begin.
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