Coming together for our industry
By Mark Kemp
Wow! It was nice to see so many of you at the Midyear Meeting in Milwaukee. My wife and I thank you for coming and, if you get up this way again, don’t be afraid to drop in. We had some great meetings, starting with the TEAM Awards Dinner held at the Harley-Davidson Museum. There were some great masonry projects, and I am sure the judges had a tough time selecting winners. Before and after the meeting, it was nice to be able to socialize with so many members. Plus we all had time to have a picture taken on some really nice Harleys.
The committee meetings went very well, with lots of great input from just about everyone there. This is why the Midyear Meeting is so important – to get the input from members about the how their association can best serve them. The goals and direction of each committee have been redefined for the next year. A special “thank you” goes out to all the committee chairs, co-chairs and active committee members. Something new for the Certification Committee is the starting of a Certificate Program on key masonry educational topics. You will be able to get certificates on a variety of topics. Look for more to come on this. MCAA also will be putting together a program for certification on the proper way to build Storm Shelters, which will be required in school construction starting in 2015.
Pauline and I truly enjoyed having attendees at our home for the Open House Reception. What made it special was how everyone helped out without being asked. The catering people showed up at the same time as the first bus load of attendees. But everyone pitched in to help. I have said it before, but this is what MCAA is all about, everyone helping everybody.
On the third day, we had our board meeting ratifying some minor changes to The Masonry Foundation, and then went right into the Roundtable Discussions. The discussions are a great opportunity to find out how other contractors handle different situations. Later, we had our closing dinner. The first stop was Barnacle Buds on the river, followed by dinner at The Horney Goat. Congressman Reid Ribble was there to greet us and told us all to contact our representatives about moving the Check-Off Bill forward. Rep. Ribble is a true friend to our Industry.
The next morning, our first-ever Speed Dating event took place. This event connected contractors to vendors, so they could tell us what is new with their products and how we could save money. All walked away with something positive. We are already being asked to do it again at the next Midyear, which will be in Key West, Fla.
The Midyear Meeting gave The Masonry Foundation a nice push, and we are excited about the support contractors have provided to the foundation. We will be opening up the pledge opportunities to everyone soon. We have developed a regional committee that will be asking contractors to make a pledge as well.
I am excited about our first Regional Masonrypaloozo to be held November 14th and 15th in Phoenix, Arizona. There will be lots of education classes and also serves as a great way for us to reach out personally to our members. We have several other regional events planned for this year and will keep you updated.
In closing I leave you with this thought, let no one come to you without leaving better and happier.
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.