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August 23, 2004 9:44 AM CDT

Seventh Annual Masonry Association of Florida Convention


The seventh annual Masonry Association of Florida Convention was held May 20-22 at the Registry Hotel in Naples, Fla. Over 300 mason contractors, suppliers and guests attended the event.

One of the highlights of the convention is the Florida State Apprentice Skills Contest, held this year at the Naples Concrete & Masonry facilities. Twenty participants from six of the 10 apprenticeship training programs around the state competed. The nine judges had their tasks cut out for them, as the competition was fierce. The contest, covered by the Naples Tribune, was the featured article on the front page of the following day's business section.

Over 130 people attended the awards ceremony banquet that followed the contest. The Florida Masonry Apprentice & Educational Foundation's Executive Director, Pat McLaughlin, facilitated the ceremony. Al Herndon, Joyce Rivas and Wendy Goins, the Foundation's three state coordinators, handed out the awards. All of the winners received medals and tools for their accomplishments.

The winners were:

First Year
First place - Esteban Rodriguez, Falcon Masonry, Naples
Second place - Filberto Ramos, Brixnstonz Masonry, Tampa
Third place - George Hill, Brookshire Masonry, Tampa

Second Year
First place - Fedenico Saurez, Bishop Masonry, Tampa
Second place - Cruz Guerrero, Pyramid Masonry, Orlando
Third place - Keith Brandel, Brandel Masonry, Fort Lauderdale

Third Year
First place - Rolando Prieto, GBL Construction of Naples
Second place - Cruz Cervantes, Bickey Masonry, Tampa
Third place - Juan Flores, Falcon Masonry, Naples

The first- and second-place finishers of each year will represent Florida at the Manpower Forum Apprentice Contest to be held in Sandestin, Fla., Sept. 25, 2004. This is the Southeast regional competition for apprentices sponsored by the Southern Brick Institute. The regional winners will compete at the MCAA International Masonry Skills Challenge in Chicago next year.

The "Chris Sutherland Trophy" is given annually to the third-year, first-place winner, the top masonry apprentice in the state. Rolando Prieto of GBL Construction of Naples received this coveted honor. Congratulations, Rolando!

Other awards given at the Florida banquet were: Instructor of the Year ? Michael Faulconer, Sr., Naples Concrete & Masonry; Apprentice Committee Chairperson of the Year ? Keith Sommer, Pyramid Masonry, Orlando; and Participating Contractor in Apprenticeship Training ? Dennis Neal, Advanced Masonry Systems, Sarasota.

For more information about the Masonry Association of Florida, call (407) 682-2622 or visit

About the Author

Masonry, the official publication of the Mason Contractors Association of America, covers every aspect of the mason contractor profession - equipment and techniques, building codes and standards, business planning, promoting your business, legal issues and more. Read or subscribe to Masonry magazine at


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