July 2011: President's Message

Words: Dan Kamys President's Message Mackie BoundsUpdate From the President

The MCAA Board of Directors and the Committee Chairs are working every day for our industry. Do not forget that the MCAA is the only national association that works for us, the mason contractors, looking out for our best interest.

As I have traveled around the country, it has amazed me how many mason contractors are not members of MCAA, but are associate members of other associations, such as the Associated General Contractors (AGC) or Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). I have a lot of respect for each of these, and my company is an associate member of AGC. I am not telling you or encouraging you to drop your membership with AGC, but MCAA stands for Mason Contractors Association of America!

The MCAA, along with our friends at the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) and the Brick Industry Association (BIA), is marching forward with Vision 20/20. This is a marketing plan that mason contractors, suppliers and employees can work on together. It is a grassroots effort to regain our market that we have lost during the years.

Masonry is and should be the product of choice for every structure. The problem is that we have sat on the sidelines and watched building ordinances change in our cities, and masonry gradually has shrunk. Our competitors have done a great job of convincing our customers that our product should not be the choice and, typically, have mislead them with false characterizations and out-and-out lies.

Can you remember when a building was at least 75 percent masonry? Today, on average, we are below 30 percent. Not only is that trend astonishing, but also it is going the wrong way!

I am working on a presentation to make Vision 20/20 easy to understand, and so all can participate in the program, rather than letting others do it for us. It is time we ask what we can do for our industry, rather than what the industry do for us. Let us start our march, and do our work to change the building ordinances, city by city, and grow our industry. The MCAA is working for you and me, the mason contractors.

What about our educational needs? I am a firm believer that a big part of having fun in life is continuing to learn and refresh what we think we know. We have great education programming, and it continues to improve. Go to our website, www.masoncontractors.org, and look at all the different webinars available to take. Each one is designed to make us better business folks.

Some outstanding educational programs will be offered at our upcoming Mid-Year Meeting, Sept. 14-16 in San Antonio. We are striving to make our mid-year meeting a place to come and learn in the classroom and from each other. I am talking about ways to improve our business in a tough economic time. Go to our website and check out our offerings. If we are missing something, contact our staff, and they will get with our Education Committee to address it. The MCAA is working for you and me, the mason contractors.

Our hearts go out to all the areas of our country where tragedy has struck. We are all aware of massive destruction in Joplin, Mo. It made me proud when a clip was sent to me of Brian Williams’ Nightly News, and he was commenting on the fact that masonry still was standing. I believe that was a great tribute. I believe we have an opportunity in our industry today. My heart hurts when I see the destruction, but most of all, the loss of life and the injuries and the pain of mental images.

We have turned to our friends at the NCMA and the BIA to see if their members would be willing to donate materials, and we, the contractors, would send folks to Joplin to build safe rooms in the new homes and existing homes. We also are interested in building a couple of all-masonry homes. The response has been outstanding. The suppliers have stepped up, and many contractors are ready for action. What better way can we promote masonry, than by helping our fellow man re-build after their losses?

As this develops we will let you know. In the mean time, all will remain in my prayers.

I hope that, if you are not a member of the MCAA, you will change that now! There are many more things that the MCAA is doing for you and me. In the mean time, we need each of you to be a part of the only national association that looks out for the good of the mason contractor.

I need your membership, energy, wisdom, ideas and, most of all, your heart! I want you as a member, so much so, that am willing to split the cost with 50-50 for your first year’s dues. That’s right; I will foot 50 percent of your dues, if you have never been a member before. The MCAA will keep a tally, and I will cover up to the first $10,000 if you take me up on this offer. That is how important it is to me, as a fellow mason contractor, that you join us in our battle to make our industry stronger and better for future generations. Exciting things are happening, and we need you.

There is much work for us to do, and I want you to be a part of the future. Until next time, this ole cowboy says, “Shoot for the moon and, even if you miss, you will land among the stars!”

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