How To Get Involved With South Of 40
By Mason Hill
Getting involved with South of 40 is very easy. Show up, yes it's that simple! South of 40 hosts a variety of events throughout the year, you can be sure to find one at major MCAA events. Every South of 40 event is designed for you to feel welcome, network, exchange your business challenges and successes, and life stories if you want. If showing up just isn’t for you then sign up and be a part of the committee. Contact MCAA, Brandon or Mason, their contact info is at the end of this article.
Being a part of the committee gives you access and the opportunity to volunteer at all the events hosted by South of 40, and connects you to what is currently being planned by the committee. Don’t forget the South of 40 committee throws the best party the MCAA has to offer at the World of Concrete each year. Our swag bags are filled with tons of sponsored goodies that will have everyone talking on the job sites.
You might wonder what South of 40 is, believe us we are asked that a lot. In a nutshell, it is a group of masonry professionals both young and young at heart, meeting up and reaching out to others to foster lasting relationships. The committee gives members the opportunity to learn, become more involved, and introduce a youthful voice into the masonry industry. All through educating the leaders of tomorrow with the knowledge each has to share. No one is limited by age, as your age is only a number.
“Remember, how old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” - Satchel Paige. We truly believe that is the most important part of this group and its ability to network with professionals around the world expanding our network of knowledge. Far better that one could ever find in a book or on the internet. The true ability to connect pier to pier.
This year at World of Concrete we were getting the same questions: what does South of 40 do for me, my business, and the industry? All great questions. Honestly, it really depends on your current level of commitment, and your willingness to get and stay involved. On an individual level, the South of 40 can improve many aspects: public speaking, networking, social media skills, leadership skills, etc.
When it comes to your business, the South of 40 allows you to sponsor, advertise, and promote your business and its products at certain MCAA events. It is very much like the Givers Gain philosophy, which is based on the law of reciprocity. Members who adopt this ideology dedicate themselves to bettering business and the industry for their fellow members rather than making their foremost goal themselves. One can do this by being a part of the South of 40 Committee and by helping members be better mason contractors, masons, and industry partners. Better trade partners only lead to one outcome, and that is better masonry.
Believe me when I say, the South of 40 Committee is great. My first ever MCAA event was the Legislative Conference in Washington D.C. Upon arriving all attending members greeted my father (Scott) and I, but two members really stood out and made sure we felt welcome. They helped make sure we knew what to expect, where to go, and how to present the information to our congressmen. After presenting the prepared information to the members of congress, I felt like I was part of something bigger. Almost like I had actually made an impact on future change in policy.
Upon leaving, many of us MCAA members exchanged contact information and said we would contact one another at some point. Soon after these two members reached out to me and asked if I would be coming to the Midyear Meeting and after some discussion with my wife Ruth, we decided to come and check out the event. I had no idea what to expect. Ruth and I had a great time, learned so much and made so many new friends. I was even asked to Co-Chair the South of 40 Committee with my new friend Brandon Hartsell.
A choice that has brought on a new set of welcomed challenges to my life, all good I will add. Being a part of the South of 40 is a great platform for Brandon and myself to help get a youthful voice out into the masonry world, and I think we are just breaking the surface. All of which I owe to the two members I mentioned above, they are Chairman Paul Oldham, and Region C Vice President John Jacob, both of whom I call friends today. I believe that without the South of 40’s mission, influence, and involvement of members like these, my role in the MCAA would probably be from the grandstands like before. With that being said, how do you get involved, you show up, ask questions, listen, and share your thoughts.
We all need to remember, the future of our industry lies within the minds and hands of the next generation. It is “our” responsibility to make sure we develop and promote the next generation. We must take the time to visit schools, attend trade events, and make ourselves available for the next generation. I believe we need to develop lasting relationships with younger people, encourage their new ideas, and educate the leaders of tomorrow. In this way, the masonry industry will be as solid as the products we promote. I hope you will join us!
Mason Hill is VP of Hill Masonry, Inc. (Billings, MT). He is Co-Chairman of the MCAA South 40. Mason lives in Montana with his wife (Ruth) and their Two Children (Kason & Kambria). He is a Third-Generation Mason and has a lifetime involvement in the masonry Industry. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 406.656.5955 or 406.698.4455
Brandon Hartsell is a Project Manager with Gates Construction Company, Inc. (Mooresville, NC). He is Chairman of the MCAA South 40, Central Region Vice President of the North Carolina Masonry Contractors Association and President of the Local NCMCA Metrolina Chapter. Brandon lives in the Charlotte Area with his Wife (Meredith) and their Two Children (Braxton & Mckinley). He is the Third-Generation in his Family to be involved in the Masonry Industry. He can be reached at email@example.com or 704-310-1674.
About the Author
Mason Hill is the Vice President of Hill Masonry, Inc. He has served as South of 40 Committee Chairman for the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA).