Associate Members Play a Key Role in Industry
Having been active in associations both locally and nationally, I understand the importance that associates play in building a stronger industry. As contractors, we often place a greater emphasis on the mason contractors and their leadership in our organizations. Too often, we overlook the role that the supplier associate members play in building our associations, supporting our programs and advancing the interest of the masonry industry. Unfortunately, not all suppliers and equipment manufacturers support our industry. Too many chose to be content with trying to sell us products and equipment and letting their bottom-line dictate whether or not they give back to the masonry industry. Lucky for us, there are manufacturers, material suppliers and distributors who do not fall into that category, There are many good friends who attend meetings, provide labor for events and contests, serve on local boards, and most importantly, provide financial assistance to help run our associations.
Unfortunately, as contractors we sometimes overlook the valuable support that our industry's associate members play when we make purchasing decisions. It would be easy to fall into the trap of buying the cheapest products and disregard those associate members that support our efforts. Now, I'm not advocating blindly paying higher prices for equipment and materials. After all, as contractors, we spend billions of dollars each year in both equipment and material supplies, and are used to having to be low bidders. But I am advocating, that we give our friends every chance to win our business, including giving our associate members a chance to match a lower priced nonmember.
I have heard our associations' associate members complain about contractors not supporting those companies that exhibit at Masonry Showcase or that are not members of the association. I agree that they have a legitimate complaint. We need to support those associate members who support our industry. And if a good supplier of yours is not a member, it's your obligation to get them into the association and start supporting the future of the masonry industry.
I would like to thank those national associate members who help to support the Mason Contractors Association of America and all of our programs. They are Spec Mix, EZ Grout, Dur-O-Wal, Tut Software, Fraco, Hydro Mobile, BilJax, Continental Cast Stone, Gradall, Dow Chemical, Gage, Target, Lafarge, Jesco, Marshalltown Trowel, W.R. Grace, Tovel, MK Diamond, Masonry Reinforcing Corp, Diamond Products, Masonry Technology Inc., Pettibone Michigan, Non-Stop Scaffolding, Multiquip, FOM Company, Eagle Picher, E & R Manufacturing, Cultured Stone Corp., EDCO, Expanded Shale Clay Slate Institute, Mortar Net, Putzmeister, Rockwell Lime, Schwing America, Slip Industries, Solomon Grind and PR Diamond.
These national manufacturers support the Mason Contractors Association of America through membership dues along with advertisements in Masonry Magazine and exhibiting at Masonry Showcase. They truly support your association and they deserve our special thanks for their service to the industry. I only hope that next year, we can boast a list twice the size.
About the Author
Richard M. Johnston is the co-founder of Johnston Construction Company, Inc. He is a past president of the Mason Contractors Association of America.