State of the Association
2008 Report of the President
Every year is filled with challenges in our businesses and personal lives, how we tackle those challenges will determine the future success or failure in our lives. If we respond in a positive way our challenges build success for the future. If our challenges overcome us, we have been set for failure. 2007 presented some monumental challenges for your association. I am pleased to report that we are meeting these challenges and have prepared to build a very bright future for our organization.
Our organization has experienced a change in our staff leadership for the first time in 14 years and only the second time in our history. As a result of this change, our entire staff has been re-organized and some positions eliminated to stream line our operations. In addition, our day to day expenses as an organization have been streamlined and the end result will be a significant savings for our organization. After having a difficult financial year in 2006-2007, I am also pleased to report a turn around and success in our restructuring plan. The results of our 2007-2008 budget will be exciting news later this year.
The Board of the MCAA committed to changing our tradeshow format after the 2007 show and the result was the sale of our tradeshow to Hanley Wood. In addition to the sale, MCAA has become the lead sponsor of World of Masonry and will be so for the next five years. Our new relationship with World of Masonry has eased the burden of multiple shows for our suppliers and has had a tremendous response from the supplier community. The Board also hopes to appeal to the masonry community that has been attending World of Masonry and present what the organization has to offer to the non-member attendee. World of Masonry will help the MCAA gain additional exposure to the masonry community. The sale also has additional benefits for the MCAA and our efforts to market to mason contractors. Through the sponsorship agreement, Hanley Wood has agreed to offer several opportunities for the MCAA to utilize their vast list of tradeshow attendees and prospects for membership promotion. Together, we are looking to help build the MCAA membership base.
We plan to kick off 2008 with the introduction of Masonry Design Magazine. Masonry Design will be an every other month publication specifically geared towards marketing masonry to the design community. About 40% of the dues increase the MCAA had last year is being utilized to help start this magazine. As a result, the MCAA will be a major sponsor of the magazine and will have a new resource to promote our activities such as certification and other marketing efforts today and far into the future. Our investment this year has bought us never ending exposure in this new designer focused magazine. The magazine's circulation start is set for over 15,000 designers.
In the Spring of 2008 the industry will see the roll out of MasonrySystems.org, a web-site developed by the industry to be the clearinghouse for everything related to masonry. An additional 50% of the dues increase last year is helping to fund this program. When complete, the web-site will become the design communities greatest tool for finding information related to masonry on-line. There is a clear tie between Masonry Design the magazine (the published promotion arm of the industry) and MasonrySystems.org the on-line promotion arm of the industry. Masonry Design will work closely with MasonrySystems.org to successfully cross market the two promotion tools. The masonry industry is going to have two powerful tools they have never had in the past to promote the use of masonry as a system.
This summer the MCAA will offer the first certification exam. Once the organization has a sizable certified group of contractors, the MCAA will utilize its resources to promote the use of certified contractors to the design community. We expect this to happen some time in 2009. Certification is something our industry needs. As an organization we need to recognize and promote the use of responsible contractors to the design community. All too often our industry gets a black eye from unqualified contractors bidding and poorly performing on a job. It is time to give the design community a tool to combat the selection of these unqualified contractors. Learn more about the certification program during a presentation and question and answer session at our annual meeting tomorrow at 4:00 pm.
The summer will also see the return of the MCAA to the CSI show. Our new trade show partner (Hanley Wood) recently acquired the CSI Show. The MCAA will certainly have a presence at the show and is currently discussing the possibility of bringing back the Masonry it Makes a Village program at the CSI Show. This program was quite popular among the specifiers who attended the CSI show in the past. We see it as a great opportunity for the MCAA to grow with the new CSI Show.
Together We Are Stronger is a theme you will see throughout 2008. This new theme was developed to help build a message for new member recruitment. Together We Are Stronger clearly paints the purpose for becoming a member of the MCAA. Four major sub-themes regarding what we do as an organization and how we become stronger with more members round out the campaign. Those sub-themes are: Advocacy in Washington, Code and Standards representation, professionalism and helping to create successful business people. You can get a look at the new campaign and an in depth look at the sub-themes at the MCAA booth on the show floor this week.
My past two years as President seem to have passed very quickly. I am very excited about the future of the MCAA, as a Board we have faced our challenges and have acted effectively to layout a very bright path for the future direction and growth of the organization. As I prepare to hand the gavel of the Presidency to the current Vice President Tom Daniel, I do so with great confidence and respect for not only the group of incoming Officers, but your entire Board. They are an extremely talented group of individuals who will move the MCAA forward on its path to success. I thank you for the opportunity to serve you and this great organization for the past 12 years.
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.