Thanks for letting me give back
By Mark Kemp
It is hard to believe that my term as chairman of the MCAA has come to an end, and now a new chairman with fresh ideas will step in and begin his final two-year commitment as an executive officer. I assure you that Mike Sutter and his team of executive officers will do an outstanding job. Change can breathe new life and ideas. The MCAA still will remain a big part of my life, serving as past-chairman and chairman of the Masonry Foundation.
Two years ago, I stood before you and said I would be a leader who leads through action, because action speaks louder than words. I also said I believed in real change, not just promises, and that I believe in turning visions into results or reality. I feel I have lived up to what I said back then. Could I have done more? Absolutely; we should never be complaisant with what we have accomplished, we should always strive to do more.
The MCAA has had some real success during the last two years. We have taken on some tough issues for our industry, including Silica, an Energy Study, BIM, the Check-Off Program, Code Changes and the Masonry Foundation. We have strengthened our relationship with other masonry organization leaders like NCMA, IMI, PCA, BAC and the Laborers’ International Union. We have grown our membership by establishing MCAA chapters and by reaching out to mason contractors of all sizes. We started a Speed Dating Program and held several regional programs as well.
Yet, we cannot sit back and rest on our laurels. It has been said that, to strive for perfection, one needs to start with his imperfections. This is what we have been doing at MCAA, continuing to improve, so we can provide the highest level of services to our members.
I want to thank all of you who have not only supported me, but more important, the MCAA. Without this support, we would not have been able to accomplish our goals to make the masonry industry the best industry to be a part of. It has been an honor serving as your chairman for the MCAA.
We are in the building industry, and all buildings start with a strong foundation. Our MCAA members, both contractors and suppliers, make up this strong foundation. Along with a strong foundation, you need people to transform the visions and ideas into reality. This is made possible through the state chairs, regional VPs, committee chairs and members. You are the lifelines for the MCAA, so thank you for not only your financial support, but also your commitment of time. To all the past-chairman and presidents: Thank you for your guidance to get us here today.
Even with all this strong support, the MCAA’s existence would not be possible without a strong staff. Jeff, through his guidance, has maintained a steady path for growth and leadership. We are also lucky to have a great support staff for Jeff. Tim handles many fires when Jeff is out of town, along with Angie and Todd, our newest staff member. These are the people behind the scenes, making sure everything runs smoothly. Thank you for being a part of the MCAA family.
I need to give a big thank you to my executive officers; Mike Sutter, my wing man; Paul Odom; and Paul Oldham. I know you will continue to bring even more value to the members of the MCAA. It has been a pleasure serving with you. Mike will be an excellent chairman, so continue learning from him. Larry, this is the time for you to start your journey. I assure you, they will all be there to help you.
I never could have served as chairman without the support of my wife, Pauline, and the rest of my family. A special thanks to my son, Brian, who kept Superior Masonry running smoothly while I was not only away, but also making sure I had the time to devote to the MCAA.
As I have said in the past, no one individual makes an association or organization successful. We are all many different pieces working together to make the MCAA and the masonry industry such a great entity to be part of!
I sincerely thank all of you for what you have given to me, my family, the masonry industry, and the MCAA. Although my term is finished, you will always be a part of me. I leave you with this final thought: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
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.