MCAA staying busy and making progress
By Mark Kemp
It is June, and things are starting to be a little more like spring. Those of us who live in the cooler areas of the country are finally able to put our crews back to work after a long harsh winter and a cold and wet spring.
I was invited to Virginia by the North Carolina Mason Contractors Association to be one of a five-guest panel. The discussion was “Masonry Contracting: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Headed.” Gary Joyner, NCMCA president, did an outstanding job as moderator. It was great to have live discussions on the pre-picked topics and, at the end, contractors had a chance to ask the panelists additional questions.
The next day, I attended NCMCA’s annual board meeting and gave an update on what MCAA is doing for contractors and the masonry industry. At the board meeting, Ashlee Moore became president, replacing Gary. People often talk about masonry being a family business; well, Ashlee is proof. Not only is she the first female president of NCMCA, she is also the first third-generation to serve as president behind her father and grandfather. My wife, Pauline, accompanied me on this trip. We both had a great time meeting contractors and their wives. Again, a big thank you to NCMCA and all their members for showing us true southern hospitality. If you have a chapter event, let Jeff or me know. If we can make it, we would love to meet your members.
Last month, May 19-22, was our Legislative Fly-In and, as always, I left feeling our voices had been heard. You have no right to sit and complain if you are not actively voicing your opinion. We hammered home things like the Check-Off Program, the Silica Issue, Pension Reform, Independent Contractors and other issues that affect our businesses.
Speaking of the Check-Off, it has cleared a major Senate committee and will hopefully be headed for the House and Senate floor soon. We have, to date, 178 House co-sponsors and 18 Senate co-sponsors. Never before have two associations, NCMA and MCAA, come to together and worked so closely for the good of the masonry industry.
As for silica, I feel we have gained support in the House and Senate to act on our behalf before this proposed new OSHA rule can take effect. It is important that we remind ourselves that, although we might not win all the battles we encounter, we win nothing if we do not try.
Our South of 40 group put together a very special private tour of the Capitol Building remodeling, and we also learned about the future of robotics in our industry. I truly appreciate all of you who took the time away from your business to better our industry and to The Keelen Group, Matt, Steve and the rest of the group for doing such a great job setting up all our appointments and for being our watch dog in D.C.
In June the chosen regional Masonry Foundation leaders will be meeting in Dallas for training on our Masonry Foundation. Once their training is completed, they will go out and spread the word about what they have learned about the Masonry Foundation and the future it brings to our industry. We should all be very excited about what this Foundation can and will do for our industry’s future. Bluntly put, it is our future.
I would like to thank all our bidders during our recent auction. It was one of our most successful auctions in MCAA history, raising more than $58,000. Thank you to all our generous suppliers who donated.
As I close this message, I ask you to ask yourself if you are doing all you can to make sure the future is bright, not only for you but also for those who will follow in your footsteps. Get involved and get active with MCAA. We have your back!
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.