Amerimix
BMJ Stone
EZG Manufacturing
Federated Insurance
Fraco USA, Inc.
Hohmann and Barnard, Inc.
Hydro Mobile, Inc.
iQ Power Tools
Kennison Forest Products, Inc.
Mortar Net Solutions
Non-Stop Scaffolding
Pullman Ermator
SPEC MIX LLC
Stabila
Tradesmen's Software, Inc.
MCAA Chairman Mike Sutter (left) with MCAA’s Masonry Skills Challenge winners Lane Mullis (left, center) and Chaz Tomberlin (right, Center), and MCAA Past Chairman Mark Kemp (right) at MASONRY MADNESS.
March 2016

Let’s share our passion!

Chairman’s Message


By

After just returning from Las Vegas and the World of Concrete/World of Masonry, I can tell you I am re-energized. How could I not be after all the productive meetings, social events, and of course MASONRY MADNESS on Wednesday — from the Apprentice Skills contest to the MCAA Fastest Trowel on the Block, and finally the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500?

We were able to see the best contestants from around the country in all three events. It was also the largest crowd I have seen in quite a few years. I was particularly proud to watch the apprentices, as nervous as they were, as they are the future of our industry and most of us began our careers in the masonry industry in the same way.

We have a shortage of workers in our industry. In fact, the number of those retiring after many years in the industry is outpacing those entering the workforce. The MCAA will continue to do everything we can to recruit workers for our industry. It is one of the top priorities we will focus on during my term as chairman.

Over the years, I have heard bricklayers say they wouldn’t recommend the trade to a young person just graduating and about to enter the workforce. I have never understood that statement from someone who has made his living and provided for a family through the trade. Sure, it is hard work, and we sometimes have to work in the cold or heat when others are working in a climate-controlled environment. But our chosen career is incredibly rewarding. We all need to share the fulfillment we receive when completing a project or driving by it years later and saying to our family and friends, “I helped build that building!” We need to share the passion we have for our industry whenever possible.

Years ago when I started in the trade, I was sent to a jobsite for a large commercial mason contractor in northern Ohio, where a friend of my father’s was a foreman. His name was Pete Shymske, and he was a short Polish man with biceps bigger than my thighs. Hanging out of his mouth was a cigar that he never lit but chewed on all day. I was scared to death, to say the least. He told me that my father asked him to “take me under his wing,” and that is what he intended to do. He taught me everything I know about the trade, but more than that, he taught me a lot about life. He showed me the importance of saving money, buying real estate, and that family and faith are more important than anything else. But the most significant thing I got from Pete was his passion for the masonry industry. Everything he had achieved and the way he supported his family was from the trade, and I’m sure he would not exchange his experience for anything. I spoke to Pete just before Christmas, and he was celebrating his 91st birthday. After reminiscing for a while, he told me that none of his six children ever got into the trade, but they were all successful and he was very proud of them.

When we are out recruiting and training our workers of the future, we need to “take them under our wing” and share our passion for the industry. We all have it, so let’s share it!

I am fortunate that Pete shared his passion with me. Even when I would occasionally make a mistake and he yelled at me at the top of his lungs with cigar tobacco flying out of his mouth, I could see that passion! For that I am grateful to him!

Please follow me on Twitter @AZMason1, and come along with me on my two-year journey as MCAA chairman.


Chairman’s Message Archive

A New Beginning

February 2018
A New Beginning

Givers Gain

January 2018
Givers Gain

Things to Remember

March 2017
Things to Remember

Looking Forward

February 2017
Looking Forward

A Fresh Start

January 2017
A Fresh Start

Who Moved My Cheese?

September 2016
Who Moved My Cheese?

Giving back

December 2015
Giving back

An exciting year ahead

February 2015
An exciting year ahead

Defining success

December 2014
Defining success

Staying busy for you

August 2014
Staying busy for you

Ready for action

February 2014
Ready for action

Thanks

January 2014
Thanks

Happy holidays

December 2013
Happy holidays

MCAA Midyear update

November 2013
MCAA Midyear update

The MCAA in D.C.

August 2013
The MCAA in D.C.

A Lot Happening

July 2013
A Lot Happening

Eye opening

June 2013
Eye opening

Positive movement

March 2013
Positive movement

Headed to Vegas

February 2013
Headed to Vegas

New beginning

January 2013
New beginning

It’s finally over

December 2012
It’s finally over

My trip to the Rockies

November 2012
My trip to the Rockies

The 2012 election

October 2012
The 2012 election

Stay involved

September 2012
Stay involved

Networking

August 2012
Networking

Summer time

July 2012
Summer time

Exciting time

June 2012
Exciting time

Working for you

May 2012
Working for you

New beginnings

March 2012
New beginnings

Farewell!

February 2012
Farewell!

One more to go!

January 2012
One more to go!

Join us in Vegas

November 2011
Join us in Vegas

As the world turns

August 2011
As the world turns

A Bright Future

May 2011
A Bright Future

Tidbits From MCAA

March 2011
Tidbits From MCAA

Time Flies By

February 2011
Time Flies By

The End of the Year

December 2010
The End of the Year

Busy Times!

November 2010
Busy Times!

South of 40

October 2010
South of 40

What Are We Doing?

August 2010
What Are We Doing?

Moving Forward

March 2010
Moving Forward

A Fond Farewell

February 2010
A Fond Farewell

A New Year

January 2010
A New Year

Start the Year Strong

December 2009
Start the Year Strong

MCAA in D.C.

September 2009
MCAA in D.C.

Brick Voids

August 2009
Brick Voids

Vision 2020

February 2009
Vision 2020

State of the Association

February 2009
State of the Association

The Silver Lining

January 2009
The Silver Lining

Impact on the Hill

June 2008
Impact on the Hill

New Horizons

February 2008
New Horizons

Wrapping up Another Year

December 2007
Wrapping up Another Year

Greetings From Italy!

November 2007
Greetings From Italy!

We Need Your Help!

January 2005
We Need Your Help!

The Strength of Unity

November 2003
The Strength of Unity

Changing of the Guard

February 2002
Changing of the Guard

“Being a member of MCAA says that you care about the future of the industry.”

Gary Arkin
Premier Stoneworks, LLC
MCAA member since 2015

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