In November, representatives of the Texas Masonry Council were in North Carolina to compare notes on workforce development and observe NCMCA Workforce Development & Training Coordinator Ryan Shaver at work with students in several local high schools as Texas prepares to reinvigorate their own workforce development efforts. NCMCA hosted a dinner for the Texas visitors that included several NCMCA senior members. Pictured, top left to right, Lynn Nash, NCMCA; Past Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) President and MCAA Masonry Hall of Fame member Mackie Bounds/Waco; Ryan Shaver; MCAA Chairman-Elect Paul Oldham; Michelle Weyant, Brazos Masonry/Waco; Melvin Smith, Smith Custom Masonry/Arlington; Past-NCMCA President and current Vice President Doug Burton; and Lindsey Geeslin, Executive Director and Tony Topping of the Texas Masonry Council. Bottom, left to right, NCMCA Past President and North Carolina MCAA State Representative Calvin Brodie; Reggie Wilson WDP Masonry/Ft. Worth; NCMCA President-Elect Danks Burton; Liz Graves, Spec Rents/Hamilton; and NCMCA President Kent Huntley. Photo courtesy of 73 & Main Restaurant     

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE TEXAS MASONRY COUNCIL VIDEO OF THE NC VISIT

NCMCA Masonry Contractor Certification Program classes resumed in November with Module One “Occupational Safety Management” presented at McGee Brothers Company in Greensboro. Forty individuals participated in the class taught by Bill Parsons (left,) recently retired as Chief of Occupational Safety for the United States Air Force, and Mike Rosser of Corporate Safety Services of Colorado. The November class is the first of the eleven certification class modules that will be presented though the end of 2020. The 2019-2020 class series is the ninth time the class series has been provided since the NCMCA certification program began in 2006. Mr. Parsons has been instructing the Module One class since the program began.  For the schedule for future classes, CLICK HERE.  For additional information about the NCMCA Masonry Contractor Certification Program, CLICK HERE.

Chet Huntley (left) and Matt Cash will be making a return trip to Las Vegas in February 2020 to compete in the SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500 at the World of Concrete. With Chet tending, Matt won the November SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500 Carolina Qualifier held at Statlite’s Ben Ketchie Park in Gold Hill. Matt’s adjusted brick count was 702, compared to 2019 World Champion Mario Alves’ 760 winning adjusted count. The event was part of the Fourth Annual North Carolina Masonry Education Day where almost five hundred high school students from across the state competed in competitions, enjoyed lunch, participated in demonstrations, viewed exhibits, and watched the pros compete in the SPEC MIX qualifier. Matt Cash’s wall also won the “Best Craftsman” award for fewest point deductions. Finishing in second place was Pendleton, South Carolina’s Kelly Masonry team of David Kelly and tender Mathew Kelly. (490) The Greenville, Tennessee Creative Masonry team of Jose Louis Perez and tender Diego Perez finished in third place. (468) Seven teams competed, including 2019 National High School SkillsUSA Champion Grant Helms of Helms Masonry. Matt Cash won the Las Vegas Bricklayer 500 in 2016, taking home over $10,000 in cash and prizes and a new Ford truck. The Carolina Qualifier was one of twenty-four regional competitions held around the country to select the field of twenty-eight teams that will compete in February. Photo by Judy Johnson  

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North Stanly High School masonry student Austin Shue (left) along with his tender Nathaniel Myers (right) won the 2019 Junior SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500 in November. Their instructor is Matt Almond. Ten teams competed is the Junior event held in mid-November at Stalite’s Ben Ketchie Park in Gold Hill. The West Rowan High School team of Michael Bostian and tender Damian Hernandez finished in second followed by the West Stanly High School team of Jakob Eudy and tender Caleb Feree in third place. Some five hundred students from twenty-seven high schools across the state participated in the Fourth Annual North Carolina Masonry Education Day and enjoyed hands-on masonry industry demonstrations, a hot dog lunch, and competitions including the Carolina Qualifier for the SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500. Each school group was assigned a NCMCA masonry contractor member as their host for the day, answering questions and encouraging students to consider careers in construction and masonry. Photo by Carl Moser  

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The team of (left to right) Brian Nelson, Tracy Townsend, Larry Kirby and Ron Sanders are the winners of the 2019 NCMCA Metrolina Chapter Annual Golf Tournament played at the Mooresville Municipal Golf Club in November. Chapter President Brandon Hartsell reports the team of Ricky Taylor, Scott Wilson, Mike Carlisto and Alex Hunter finished in second place followed by the team of Chris Liner, Todd Greer, Chris Wood and Ken Burns in third place. Alex Kiser had “the longest drive” and Jeremy Eudy was “closest to the pin.” President Brandon expressed the Chapter’s appreciation to the event sponsors: ADAMS, GATES, JOHNSON, BARBARA JONES; CAROLINAS FIRESTOP, THAD SKINNER; EZG, GREG BREEZE; P&D PRECAST, JJ DIXON; BLUE DOT, GENERAL SHALE, FAY BLOCK, BILL MARSH; HYDRORENTS, CAROLINA MASONRY UNLIMITED, EDDIE CAIN; WET O WASH, JIM YOST; GIANT, MARK NELSON; ACT, METROLINA CHAPTER, MIKE DOANE - CAROLINA MASONRY & CONCRETE, PALMETTO BRICK, PHIL FRANCHINO - HOHMANN & BARNARD, TED ECHOLS; CSS, TAYLOR CLAY, TERRY WARD; TUCKER KIRBY, SOUTHEASTERN CONTRACTING, TIM GABOSCH;BRIXMENT, ARGOS, L&D KIRBY INVESTMENTS, NEW SOUTH, BRAND SAFWAY, and RAM TOOL.

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NCMCA Past President (1989-1991) Danny Batten passed away November 2, 2019 after a battle with cancer. He was 72. In 2001, he became the sixth person to receive the NCMCA Eleanor Upton Award for outstanding and ongoing service to the Association and to the masonry industry by an associate member of NCMCA. He was a life member of the Southeast Concrete Masonry Association. When Danny was a boy, his father, Avery, was a partner in the firm of Batten & Elrod Masonry. Danny said he started laying brick at age eight, adding, “I didn’t have a lot of choice in the matter.” By the time Danny graduated from Glendale High School in Johnston County, his father was “the head masonry guy” for Davidson-Jones Construction of Raleigh and Danny had been running his father’s masonry firm “on the side” for a number of years while a high school student. At age nineteen, he took over his father’s business, managing the firm as his own until he became partners with his uncle, Donald Braswell in 1988 to form Consolidated Masonry, Inc. In addition to Consolidated Masonry, Batten also owned and operated Masonry Systems, Inc. a general contracting firm specializing in light commercial and residential construction. Danny was recruited by Blue Circle Cement as Eastern North Carolina Masonry Sales and Technical Service representative and after several mergers and acquisitions, retired from Argos Cement. Danny’s main hobby was cooking and operating his very sophisticated mobile kitchen, a skill he utilized extensively to feed contractors, masons, masonry students and apprentices at masonry and building industry functions around both Carolinas. “As I’ve always said,” Batten explained, “we started the Association to improve the professionalism of masonry contractors. (NCMCA) has done more to bring the masonry contractors together than anything I’ve seen or experienced since I’ve been in the trade... and we’ve never lost sight of the little guy. All (of our members) were little guys at one time. One of the reasons we’ve been successful is because everyone in the Association is like family, big and small alike.” Batten was born in Johnston County but lived in Wake County ever since he was eighteen. He was married to Beverly and they have two children, Kelli and Collin. Danny is pictured competing in NCMCA’s 1988 Raleigh Journeyman Contest. Photograph by Burnie Batchelor Studio.   READ DANNY'S OBITUARY, CLICK HERE

The NCMCA Metrolina Chapter celebrated its “Annual Recognition Night” at the end of October. Students, apprentices, and instructors from the Charlotte area who have achieved masonry competition success in the past year, along with their guests, were hosted for dinner and awards. Pictured top, left to right, Rodney Harrington, instructor at West Rowan High School, the school that received the Douglas Drye Overall Best Program Award for the 2019 NC SkillsUSA State Masonry Competitions and instructor for two 2019 National Champions; Drew Huntley, Huntley Brothers Company, second place at both the 2019 Sam McGee Memorial and the Annual State Fair Contests; Jace Huntley, Huntley Brother Company, First Place/David R. Sigmon Award, Sam McGee Contest; Wade Taylor, Huntley Brothers Company, First Place 66th Annual NC State Fair Masonry Apprentice Contest; Grant Helms, Helms Masonry/West Rowan High School, 2019 National High School SkillsUSA Masonry Champion and Second Place at the Las Vegas MCAA International Skills Challenge; Justice Isenhour, Helms Masonry, Fifth Place in both the Sam McGee Memorial and the Annual State Fair Contests; Todd Hartsell, Central Cabarrus High School and USA Team WorldSkills Masonry Expert; NCMCA President Kent Huntley who accepted the “David R. Sigmon” traveling plaque on behalf of Huntley Brothers Company for the fourth consecutive year for having the winning apprentice at the Sam McGee Memorial Contest; and Metrolina Chapter President Brandon Hartsell. Bottom, left to right, Reese Hallman, Third Place, Sam McGee Memorial Contest and Zachary Smith, Fourth Place, Annual NC State Fair Contest, both of McGee Brothers Company; the new Southeast Concrete Masonry Association (SCMA) NC SkillsUSA traveling Championship Trophy, presented to West Rowan High School for 2019; Ashton White, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2019 National Post-Secondary SkillsUSA Masonry Champion (for the second consecutive year;) JK Huntley, Huntley Brothers Company, Winner Third Year Division, MCAA International Masonry Skills Competition, Las Vegas; Kelby Thornton, USA Team/Masonry, 2019 Russia WorldSkills Competition; and NCMCA Workforce Development & Training Coordinator, Ryan Shaver.

ADDITIONAL PICTURES AT THIS LINK

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PO Box 3463
Hickory, NC 28603-3463
United States of America