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Robert V. “Buddie” Barnes, Jr.

Robert V. “Buddie” Barnes, Jr.

Inducted 2016

In 1969 Robert V. "Buddie" Barnes, Jr. began his career in the masonry industry working in the yard, working on equipment and working on the trash truck helping to do job cleanup. During that period, he was approached about learning estimating for the company by doing plan takeoff work at night. By the end of the first six months, he had developed his takeoff skills to the point that he moved from the field operations into the office to become a full time estimator. Buddie worked during the day estimating for the company and attending Texas A&M University - Commerce to finish his college degree in Architecture and Business Management in the evenings. Buddie had also gotten involved with the local chapter of the Mason Contractors Association of Dallas and the American Subcontractors Association serving in various positions with both organizations. Buddie also developed a training and resource manual Dee Brown, Inc. that included NCMA and BIA tech notes.

After receiving his Bachelor's Degree in 1976, Buddie was assigned the role of establishing Cost to Completes on numerous projects which were being constructed by two firms that Texas Industries had acquired over the past few years. Upon successful completion of the estimates, Dee Brown Masonry and Texas Industries reached an agreement to allow Dee Brown Masonry to take over both companies.

In late 1976, Buddie was promoted to Vice President and he moved to Houston, Texas to take over Cardinal Masonry Company which would become Dee Brown Masonry, Inc. - Houston Division. Buddie was in Houston from late 1976 through mid-year 1985. During that time Buddie was involved locally as a Committee Chairman, Director and two-time President of the Associated Masonry Contractors of Houston. Buddie also served as a Director and Chairman of the Bricklayers Pension and Health and Welfare Funds during that same period. Regionally Buddie was elected in 1980 to the Associated Masonry Contractors of Texas Board of Directors serving as their Secretary/Treasurer for 1980 - 1983 and President 1983-1984. He was also recognized by the Brick Institute of Texas for his contributions to the industry in 1984.

During 1980-1985, Buddie represented the Masonry Industry as a Director and Vice President of the Houston Chapter of the American Subcontractors Association. He taught classes for these local organizations on how to review and modify subcontracts to protect themselves from overbearing General Contractors.

In 1983, Buddie represented the Masonry Institute of Houston and Galveston doing presentations at the University of Houston and University of Texas at Arlington on "Cost Options for Masonry Construction".

In 1985, Buddie was promoted to Executive Vice President of Dee Brown Inc. which required him to return to the corporate office in Dallas, Texas. His first assignment was the reorganization from a Regional Contractor to a National Contractor. Locally in Dallas, Buddie began to get reacquainted with the local masonry group serving as a Director and President of the Mason Contractors Association of Dallas which would eventually shut down. Buddie was promoted to President and COO of Dee Brown, Inc. in January of 1990 as he completed the company reorganization.

In 1985, Dee Brown and Buddie Barnes helped Dolphus Youngblood establish Youngblood Masonry, Inc. and Buddie worked with Dolphus as his mentor. From 1985, YMI moved from a startup company to the largest minority masonry company in our region. During the first few years, Dolphus received his minority certification, his HUD certification and was performing work throughout the state of Texas. Due to Dolphus' untimely death in 1995, Buddie was asked by the Youngblood family to step in to complete the work YMI had under contract at the time of his death and close the company down.

During this same period, Buddie became a member of ASTM C-12, C-15 and C-18 main committees along with several subcommittees related to the Masonry and Stone Industry. Since it had been about 10 years since he had developed an original Training and Resource Manual, he published an updated version of the manual with new details and additional technical information.

During the 1980's, Buddie began serving on numerous MCAA Committees and making presentations for the industry. Listed below are a few of the seminars Buddie taught for MCAA or as a representative of MCAA:

  • MCAA Convention at the Hotel Anatole in March 1987 "Stone Panels I"
  • MCAA Convention in Nashville March 1988 "Stone Panels II - Stone Estimating and Design"
  • MCAA Convention in Las Vegas March 1989 "Stone Panels III - Design and Anchorage Issues"
  • 12th Annual Federal Officials Seminar - Presented at NCMA Headquarters, Herndon, Virginia "Constructability of Reinforced Concrete Masonry"
  • MCAA / Masonry Expo in Houston February 1990 - "Selling Masonry As A System In A Competitive Market Place"
  • AIA Presentation - AIA Dallas Headquarters October 1995 - "Masonry Codes , ACI 530, ASCE 5"
  • The Masonry Society - Professor's Workshop @University of Utah in Salt Lake City - March 1997 - "Masonry Construction"
  • 6th Building Professional Institute @ University of Texas at Arlington - January 1998 - "Masonry Failures - Incompatibility of Construction Materials"
  • NCMA / CSI - Post Graduate Training Program - November 1998 - "Winning the Bid - What it Takes"
  • 7th Building Professional Institute @ University of Texas at Arlington - January 1999 - "Masonry Design and Failures"
  • The Masonry Society - 8th North American Masonry Conference - June 1999 - "Masonry: Engineering, Architecture and Construction"

Buddie was appointed the first Technical Committee Chairman by President Felice and was also asked to serve as the MCAA representative to the Masonry Alliance for Codes and Standards. Buddie was a founding member of MACS and served as their Secretary Treasurer through 2000.

Buddie has served as the Region F Vice President since 2002 and also serves on the Technical and Certification Committees. In 2012, Buddie was recognized with the MCAA C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award.

Back locally, Buddie has remained active. From 2003 - 2009, Buddie served as a Director of the United Masonry Contractor Association of Dallas. During his time on the board, he helped to develop the Golden Trowel Awards Program, serving as committee chairman from 2003 through 2006. Buddie was recognized as Contractor of the year in 2004 and served as Chairman of UMCA for 2007 - 2008. In 2009, Buddie was recognized by UMCA with a Special Award for his work leading the development of the Golden Trowel Program.

In January of 2000, Buddie was elected Chairman of the Board, President & CEO of Dee Brown, Inc. and has represented the Masonry and Stone Industry directly and indirectly with his time, talent and treasure for 46 years. He served as a Director and as Chairman of the Construction Research Center at the University of Texas at Arlington. As a Board Member of one of the largest chapters of Associated General Contractors, Buddie served as their Chairman in 2005-2006. Buddie was also elected to the six person National Specialty Contractor Board of the AGC from 1998 - 2000.

Buddie served as a Director for the Building Stone Institute. As a founding Board Member of the Construction Education Foundation, he pushed to get the Bricklaying School set up through CEF at North Lake Community College where it is held to this date.

Civically, Buddie has served his community as a Board Member and Chairman of the Baylor Institute of Rehabilitation, as a Board Member for Circle Ten Council Boy Scouts of America, Visiting Nurses Association, Salesmanship Club of Dallas, Salesmanship Club Charitable Golf of Dallas, Inc., Baylor Health Care System Foundation, and Episcopal Foundation of Dallas. His University has also kept him involved by serving as a Board member and Chairman of the Texas A&M University - Commerce Foundation, Chairman of the Distinguished Alumni Association, and currently serves as Vice Chairman of the TAMU-C Lions Athletic Club. Buddie also represents our industry annually lecturing to Construction and Engineering students at TAMU-C about "Masonry Construction", "Masonry and Stone Materials", and "The Proper Use of Masonry". Buddie is currently the only contractor member on the Executive Committee of the Texas Association of Business and the Dallas Arboretum Board.

The DBI Training and Resource Manual that Buddie originally developed during the early 1970's was updated in the early 1980's and again in the early 1990's. Today the manuals have grown to three volumes that are used by all Estimators, Project Managers, Field Operations, Superintendents and Foremen. The manuals are titled:

  • FACE BRICK; STRUCTURAL GLAZED BRICK AND TILE
    2006 - 4th edition - Volume 1 - RVBJR
  • CONCRETE MASONRY UNITS AND ARCHITECTURAL MASONRY UNITS
    2006 - 4th edition - Volume 2 - RVBJR
  • DIMENSIONAL STONE; CAST STONE; ROCK AND TERRA COTTA
    2008 - 1st edition - Volume 3 - RVBJR

As a new development, DBI has begun the transition from the hard copy books to computer files which will allow access from desk top computers and the iPads we now are using. This decision will allow us to update these books easily and at a lower cost.

As you can see, Buddie has truly dedicated his life to Dee Brown, Inc. and the Masonry Industry. It is our honor and distinct privilege to recommend Robert V. "Buddie" Barnes, Jr. for induction into the Mason Contractors Association of America Hall of Fame.

Plaque Engraving

Began his career in the masonry industry in 1969. Has served in various roles with the Mason Contractors Association of Dallas and the American Subcontractors Association (ASA). Represented the industry as a Director and Vice President of the Houston Chapter of the ASA. Member of ASTM C-12, C-15 and C-18 and several subcommittees related to masonry and stone. Appointed first MCAA Technical Committee Chairman. Has served as MCAA Region F Vice President and Certification Committee member. Served as a Director of the United Masonry Contractor Association of Dallas including Chairman (2007-2008). Awarded C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award (2012).

Return to the Masonry Hall of Fame

“The opportunity to ‘talk shop’ with other mason contractors is extremely valuable.”

Joe Bonifate
Arch Masonry & Restoration
MCAA member since 2012

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