An exciting year ahead
By Mark Kemp
Because of the timing of this news article I will summarize the 2015 Convention in my March Newsletter. On January 22, I flew to St. Louis to speak with a small group of contractors about The Masonry Foundation. I would like to thank Past Chairman John Smith, Jr. and John Spencer for their hospitality and for all the contractors who were there. The St. Louis chapter like many of our other chapters are strong supporters of the MCAA and The Masonry Foundation. Another Past President who has stepped up to help with the Foundation is Bill Dentinger, who is heading up the Past Presidents committee to inform them about The Masonry Foundation. Bill was also our Hall of Fame recipient for 2015. If you are a Past President and want to get involved with the Foundation get a hold of Bill or give the MCAA office a call. There will be more talk about the convention in my next column. Speaking of Chapters supporting the MCAA and The Masonry Foundation, Gary Joyner from NC has been working very hard and has raised a very impressive number in his state. Thanks to those contractors and all the contractors who have made pledges to the Masonry Foundation.
In March we are having our second Regional Meeting in Baltimore. The main purpose of these Regional Meetings is to bring the MCAA to its members. It is just another way for the MCAA to provide education and value to its members. Watch for more news on this upcoming event. If you have an interest in attending this event feel free to contact the MCAA office. The classroom portion will be held on March 27 at the Maritime Institute and the hands-on demos will be held at the Center of Applied Technology – North.
I know it is early but it is time to start thinking about the Legislative Conference being held May 11 through May 14 in D.C. We have a very limited number of rooms this year so I suggest you register early. This yearly conference is our time to go to D.C. and speak our minds on the issues that affect our company’s bottom lines. It is a time when the Masonry Industry unites for the common good of our Industry. We need your support, so please make every effort to attend this year’s Legislative Conference. Don’t worry about how to approach or what to say to your Senator or Representative, we will coach you and team you up with someone who has done this before. Our lobbyist group, the Keelen Group, does an unbelievable job of setting up the agenda and meetings. We also need your financial support for our PAC fund, please consider a donation. If you want to make a donation please feel free to contact the MCAA office. One important item still on our list is the Check Off bill which we are confident will hit the floor the first part of this year. Another reason to attend is the personal relationships you develop with not only your representatives but your fellow MCAA members as well. I look forward to seeing you in May.
As I attend MCAA and Industry meetings across the United States one thing is really standing out, we are an Industry that truly is in transition. Our youth is starting to take the reins and that is a good and normal thing if we are to survive as an industry. Whether it is the MCAA or your own personal company you have to start preparing the next generation to take control. With the MCAA it happens thru the South 40 group, they end up becoming committee chairman for many of our committees and Regional VP. If you have a young person who wants to get involved with the industry why not encourage him to get active with the MCAA South 40 group. I think you will be amazed on what they will learn and bring back to help your company become even stronger. Yes, there is a changing of the guard so to speak, so why not embrace it and help them to become the successful future leaders of our industry. If you’re North of 40 you can still help your industry by getting involved and supporting it both financially and with your personal time. We have numerous committees, which could use a helping hand. Don’t sit back and wait for others to make your industry stronger. Again feel free to contact me, or the MCAA office if you want to get more involved with your industry.
In closing I leave you with this, “If you want to travel fast go alone, but if you want to travel far travel together.” This is what I mean when I encourage you to get the young people and yourself involved in your industry. You will get a lot further in life and business if you travel together, sharing each other’s successes and failures along the way. Safe travels!
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.