NCMCA President Ashlee Moore
As the first female president of the North Carolina Masonry Contractors Association, Ashlee Moore has a full plate. But all indications are that she’ll do a fantastic job leading the masonry contractors of North Carolina. Ashlee, a manager at Koontz Masonry Inc. (KMI), is a spit fire – both smart and capable. Masonry wanted to get to know Ashlee a little better, and here’s what we learned:
Masonry: Explain how masonry infiltrated your family.
Ashlee Moore: My papaw, Belton Koontz, started KMI in 1949. Belton and Virginia (my grandmaw) had three sons – Stanley, Freddy (my daddy) and Roger.
I graduated from UNC-Charlotte in 1995 and started working in the family business at our sales and rental store, Triad Supply and Rental. I learned about the tools and equipment needed for the trade of masonry at TSR. I learned about business and management. I learned that, for the most part, people wanted to help me. So I asked countless questions, and I listened.
I grew up in this industry. It was part and still is part of our everyday lives. My family works together, we eat together, and we go on vacations together. I think it is wonderful to be able to work with family.
Masonry: What's it like to be a woman in such a male-dominated field?
Ashlee Moore: I think there is plenty of room for women in this industry. It is a male-dominated field, but I never felt that I had to prove myself. Everyone is accepting and actually helped push me into leadership roles in our local CPMCA (Central Piedmont) chapter. I have respect for the men I work with in this field. They are all accomplished, hard-working men.
Masonry: Women in leadership roles have a special job as they lead others, but still keep their families going day to day. How do you manage that, and what is your advice for women trying to achieve a work/life balance?
Ashlee Moore: The discipline of a schedule is an absolute necessity. I find I am more efficient the more I have to do. I also try not to bring my work home – which is hard to do in a family business – so I can be engaged with my family at the end of the day.
Masonry: What are your goals during your tenure as president of NCMCA?
Ashlee Moore: I hope to see in increase in business over the next two years. I am excited about NCMCA and MCAA working together on issues that affect our industry across the states. We are at a critical time of changes in masonry as a system. We will likely get to see BIM-Masonry and the CMU Check-off program become a reality.
Masonry: Do you feel like the masonry industry is behind some other materials in marketing itself, and are we addressing it now?
Ashlee Moore: I have been concerned for years now that we need to be marketing ourselves better. I hope to see that happen over the next couple of years. BIM-Masonry and the CMU Check-off program are a necessity. We do not want to get left behind or left out of construction. I am not concerned though about these tests. Our industry is resilient and resourceful. We are up to the challenge.
Masonry: Any thoughts about the Mason Contractors Association of America?
Ashlee Moore: Yes, KMI is a member of the MCAA. NCMCA also supports MCAA. We see the fundamental value of our associations to this industry. I recommend others consider joining MCAA, because like NCMCA, if we join forces and work together, we can accomplish more.
Masonry: Any comments on the OSHA proposed silica rule and how the masonry industry has united to fight this proposed rule?
Ashlee Moore: While in Washington, D.C., in May at the MCAA Legislative Conference, we spoke to senators and representatives about the issue of silica and how it could negatively impact our industry. My hope is OSHA will not make a sweeping declaration that could cripple our industry at a time when we have not fully recovered from the economic downturn. We, as associations, are being proactive about the issue of silica, instead of reactive.
Masonry: Why is the NCMCA such a strong, successful association?
Ashlee Moore: NCMCA is strong and successful because of the dedicated associate and masonry members’ personal involvement and investment into our association. We are like family, and we are friends. Yes, we bid against each other, but we see the importance of working together. Many of these companies began as small family businesses, so we are alike in that respect.
We try to keep our local chapters strong by having monthly meetings, we offer training and we have an excellent certification program. We have golf tournaments, build Habitat houses, have brick and block laying competitions, and we strongly support our local high school masonry programs.
Lynn Nash, our executive VP at NCMCA, is one of the major reasons we have such a strong association. He keeps everything running smoothly and keeps all of us informed of issues affecting our industry.
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 www.masonrymagazine.com.