Chee Wins 2010 Fastest Trowel
Kris Chee is the 2010 Fastest Trowel on the Block Champion
By Tim O’Toole
Masons and their tenders were highlighted at the 2010 MCAA Convention in Las Vegas, Nev. at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry on February 4, 2010. The annual Fastest Trowel on the Block Competition drew a big audience to catch the action and see who would win the $6,000 grand prize. Contestants from across the country came to compete against each other to build the biggest and best block wall.
The Fastest Trowel showcases the skill of the industry's masons and how important teamwork is in accomplishing a final product. The competition pitted the masons against one another in a show of both speed and craftsmanship. Each contestant's goal was to complete as much of an 18-block-long wall as possible. With the 20-minute time limit that was placed on the contestants, they had to make split-second decisions based on the judging criteria.
Each mason worked quickly to build a quality wall while the crowd cheered them on through the twenty minute competition. After the judges completed their scoring, the results were announced. The contest was one of the best ever, with the top three contestants finishing within one point of one another.
The top-placing contestants in this year's competition were:
First PlaceKris Chee
Maverick Masonry, Inc.
El Mirage, Ariz.
Tenders: Enrique Esparza, Gilberto Palacios Aguero
Kris Chee has worked in the masonry industry for ten years. He won the 2008 Arizona Regional Fastest Trowel competition and placed 3rd in the 2009 national Fastest Trowel on the Block.
Second PlaceRay Robinson
J.A.M. Construction, Inc.
Tenders: Lynette Darby, James Allen
Ray Robinson has worked in the masonry industry for 25 years. He was the 2007 Fastest Trowel on the Block competition champion and placed second in the 2008 and 2009 competitions.
Third PlaceBob Christensen
Tenders: Shawn Ramano, Gabino Berrera
Bob Christensen joined the masonry industry in 1979. He earned his contractor license and currently works for ASR Constructors.
Winners were presented with trophies, plus first place took home $6,000, a BX-4 saw from MK Diamond Products, Inc. and a plaque from Marshalltown, second place received $2,000, and $1,000 was awarded to third place. Each winning team also received a tool bag with tools from Marshalltown and concrete calculators from Calculated Industries. All contestants received a Marshalltown tool bag and trowel, a Grout Grunt, and additional prizes from Grout Grunt and Mortar Net.
The Mason Contractors Association of America would like to thank the judges from across the country for donating their time and expertise:
- Mike Sutter (Head Judge), Sutter Masonry; El Mirage, Ariz.
- Kenny Allen, Wallace Community College; Selma, Ala.
- Brad Clay, Brazos Masonry, Inc.; Waco, Texas
- Ron Drain, JDC Masonry; Knoxville, Tenn.
- Kerry Gagnon, K.M. Gagnon, Inc.; Claremont, N.H.
- Robert Gladu, Artisan Masonry, Inc.; Garland, Texas
- Heath Holdaway, IMS Masonry, Inc.; Lindon, Utah
- Curtis Hoover, Center of Applied Technology; Severn, Md.
- Eugene Johnson, Lake Marion High School; Santee, S.C.
- Mike Radosa, Boettcher Masonry; Bay City, Mich.
- Roy Swindal, Masonry Arts, Inc.; Bessemer, Ala.
- EZ Scaffold
- Mortar Net USA, Ltd.
- Non-Stop Scaffolding
- SPEC MIX
- Angelus Block Co.
- Calculated Industries
- EZ Grout Corporation
- Grout Grunt
- Masonry Construction
- MK Diamond Products, Inc.
About the Author
Tim O’Toole is the Director of Marketing, Education, and Information Technology for the MCAA. He has a Masters in Business Administration from Webster University and has worked in the masonry industry since 2003.
The Fastest Trowel on the Block Competition, hosted by the MCAA, is a showcase of industry craftsmanship and a testament of both the speed and skill of our industry's workforce. For more information about the competition, please visit www.fastesttrowel.com.