Chee Repeats as Fastest Trowel Champion
Kris Chee is the 2011 Fastest Trowel on the Block Champion
By Tim O’Toole
Masons and their tenders were highlighted at the 2011 MCAA Convention in Las Vegas, Nev. at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry on January 20, 2011. The annual Fastest Trowel on the Block competition presented by QUIKRETE drew a big audience to catch the action and see who would win the $6,000 grand prize.
The Fastest Trowel on the Block showcases the skill of masons and how important teamwork is in accomplishing a final product. The competition pitted the masons from across the United States and Canada 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 top-placing contestants in this year’s competition were:
First PlaceKris Chee
Sutter Masonry, Inc.
El Mirage, Ariz.
Tenders: Enrique Esparza, Gilberto Palacios Aguero
Kris Chee has worked in the masonry industry for over ten years. He placed 3rd in the 2009 Fastest Trowel on the Block and won the 2010 and 2011 competitions.
Second PlaceKeith White
North Highlands, Calif.
Tenders: Frankie White, Charlie Weger
Over twenty-five years ago Keith helped a neighbor build houses in Phoenix, Ariz. and has been in the masonry industry ever since. He placed 4th in the 2009 and 2010 Fastest Trowel on the Block competitions.
Third PlaceRay Robinson
J.A.M. Construction, Inc.
Tenders: Lynette Darby, James Allen
Ray Robinson has worked in the masonry industry for more than 25 years. He was the 2007 Fastest Trowel on the Block competition champion and placed second in the 2008, 2009, and 2010 competitions.
Winners were presented with trophies, plus first place took home $6,000 and a plaque from Marshalltown, second place received $2,500, and $1,500 was awarded to third place. All contestants received a Marshalltown tool bag and tools, a Grout Grunt, and additional prizes.
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.
- Don Borchert, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College; Fennimore, Wis.
- Dave Endres, Superlite Block; Phoenix, Ariz.
- Brett Hales, IMS Masonry, Inc.; Lindon, Utah
- Curtis Hoover, Center of Applied Technology; Severn, Md.
- Bud Johnson, Fort Scott Community College; Fort Scott, Kan.
- Eugene Johnson, Lake Marion High School; Santee, S.C.
- Paul Odom, P and S Masonry; Hamilton, Texas
- Paul Tomek, Tomek Masonry & Concrete, Inc.; Hunlock Creek, Pa.
- Don Walker, District Council Training Center; Addison, Ill.
- SPEC MIX, Inc.
- Angelus Block Co.
- EZ Grout Corporation
- Grout Grunt
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.