This Years Convention Exhibited A New Excitement
It was rewarding to see the level of energy and excitement exhibited by our members at the MCAA Convention just completed in Las Vegas. Our annual convention is a time for our industry's mason contractors to come together and to discuss the issues that affect our industry and how, collectively, we will deal with those issues.
I was pleased to see that each of our committee meetings were well attended and each committee tackling full agendas. Our Education Committee continued dialogue on developing a national Certification Program for our industry's contractors which we believe will set our industry's quality mason contractors far apart from less scrupulous contractors that continue to give our industry a bad name. I am hopeful that we will be able to convince construction customers to truly specify a certified mason contractor and to resist the temptation to chase an unqualified bid from an unqualified contractor. Our Legislative Committee is looking to build our associations political efforts and raising significant campaign resources which can be used to help elect pro-masonry federal officials that would be sympathetic to the issues that we face as mason contractors. We heard a major presentation from the Masonry Execs Council which outlined plans to expand their efforts, with the help of the MCAA, to promote the greater use of masonry systems. I believe that the marketing campaign that was presented to our Annual Meeting will have a far reaching impact on our markets and the expanded use of our materials.
A highlight of the convention was our two skills competitions which have been very instrumental over the years in peaking the interest our industry's mason contractors in becoming active in workforce development. We haven't seen crowds in years like those that came out to watch both the Masonry Skills Challenge and the Fastest Trowel. I was glad to see such a great turnout to root on the young men and women who competed hard in both of these competitions. Personally, I was glad to see that one of my employees, Elizabeth Cleckley, took second place as a first year contestant in the Masonry Skills Challenge. We can all be proud of these competitions and their success in spotlighting the level of quality training that exists in our industry. Each year our contests continue to grow along with the value of these competitions to our industry. I would urge all of you to support your local contests and make sure that your area is represented at next years competitions in Orlando in February.
While we cannot compete with a concrete show and the more than 50,000 concrete contractors that attend the concrete show that we are often compared to, many of our exhibitors were pleased with the level of enthusiasm our members exhibited to them. I would like to thank all of the mason contractors that visited the exhibits and who spoke with our exhibitors. I especially would like to that all of company's that exhibited with us at Masonry Showcase. Your support of our show helps that association provide many programs that advance our industry. We value your support.
In addition, to recognize those suppliers that help our association, we implemented the Premier Supplier Program which highlights those industry suppliers that help our association and our ability to work on your behalf. Suppliers earn a star for becoming a member, exhibiting, sponsoring association programs and advertising in our magazine. A four star supplier participates in everything that we offer and therefore supports you the most with the dollars that they provide to the association. This year we awarded a "Supplier of the Year" to the supplier who, through their financial support, supported the MCAA the most this past year. Although it was close between Fraco Scaffolding, Nonstop Scaffolding and QUIKRETE, we were pleased to award our first Supplier of the Year to QUIKRETE. I would urge all of our industry's contractors to support those suppliers in our Premier Supplier Program...they are the ones helping to build a stronger industry for each of us.
For those of you that attended this year's convention, you experienced the excitement of all of our programs and events. For those of you that did not attend, we urge you to attend next years convention in Orlando...it's sure to be a great convention!
About the Author
Frank Campitelli is the president and owner of Baltimore Masonry, Inc. Campitelli has volunteered countless hours for the masonry industry and spent eight years on the MCAA Executive Board, including two years as President from 2006-2008. He was presented with the C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award for exemplary leadership in advancing the masonry industry in 2009.