Be a voice in your industry
By Mark Kemp
I received an email in March on updating the membership on several items. One of the things talked about was supporting the MCAA PAC fund, and then it listed the members who pledged and donated.
First I would like to thank all of the members who have donated and, secondly, apologize because one name was not on the list. That's right: My name was not listed. At first, I thought Jeff had made a mistake. But, no, he was correct; I hate when he is right. The point is, we all get so busy between our personal lives and running our business, we often forget to follow through on some very important things.
I assure you I will be making my contribution by the time you read this. Like all the special interest groups spending huge dollars to fight their battles, the MCAA must arm its war chest to fight for the masonry industry. If you have not yet donated, please do so soon.
One battle we are fighting presently is OSHA’s proposed new rule on silica. This rule, if passed, would cut the PEL in half. I spent a day in Washington, D.C., listening to the arguments from both sides. The MCAA, along with our coalition partners, is spending significant dollars and resources. We believe the present ASTM standard on silica should be part of the specification in building projects.
OSHA would be better served by educating the contractors on silica, rather than trying to enforce something that is unattainable. Contractors realize the most valuable asset they have is their employees, and that their safety must come first. We are blessed to have The Keelen Group guiding our effort.
On May 20 - 22, you as members can voice your concern on silica, the Check Off Program and other important issues facing your business. As I have stated in the past, the time is now for both the Check Off and silica. I cannot remember two bigger issues, ever. Please make every effort to attend the MCAA Legislative Fly-In. Help yourself by being a voice in your industry. You can register online at www.masoncontractors.org/legconf. I look forward to seeing you at this very important event.
After spending a day in D.C. for the silica hearings, I returned home for one day only, and then left for Tampa to meet with Canadian Contractors. It was an interesting meeting with the CMCA, and I was grateful for the invitation. They made us feel very comfortable.
Jeff and I had dinner the first night with John Blair, the executive director, Kerry Donaghey, the president and the rest of the staff. During our meetings, it was interesting to hear their concerns about what has happened to the United States and how they view our political system. We shared ideas about our two organizations and talked about the future of the masonry industry.
One of the big concerns they have is the lack of increased productivity and the effects this has against competing systems. We attended their board meeting the next day, and gave them an update on what the MCAA was working on. I invited them to attend our annual convention in Las Vegas and to attend our Masonry Symposium of Ideas.
I spent the next Monday through Wednesday in Las Vegas with the rest of the MCAA. Monday night, we had a great meeting with Extreme Forklift, who not only have decided to be a partner, but also want to get involved with the MCAA. We had our wrap-up meeting with Hanley Wood for the 2014 convention. We then discussed Masonry Madness and attaining more space out in the Gold Lot.
Lastly, I want to give you a quick update on the MCAA Masonry Foundation. We have finalized the key regional people who will go out and promote the five-year pledges needed. Eventually, someone will contact you to discuss making a five-year pledge; please dig deep into those pockets. There is a saying it is better to give than receive, but in this case, you get both. By giving you are getting a return on your future.
About the Author
Mark Kemp is the President and CEO of Superior Masonry Builders, Inc. in Butler, Wisc. He has served as an officer on the Executive Board and Region D Vice President for the Mason Contractors Association of America.