SEATTLE, WA – Charles Newsome, retired vice president of Johnson Concrete and Stalite was inducted into The National Concrete Masonry Association’s Hall of Fame in August at the association’s annual Midyear Meeting in Seattle. Individuals inducted into NCMA's Hall of Fame “have demonstrated exemplary leadership and service to the association and industry through a distinguished career.” Born in Greenville, NC, Newsome attended the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. He was accepted to go to law school, but ultimately decided to pursue a career in business instead.  Newsome was working as a salesman for Giant Cement in 1968 when he was hired as general manager for Tufflite and Stalite, an expanded clay and shale company.  Fourteen years later he filled an additional role, as Executive Vice President of Johnson Concrete.  He helped guide a consolidation of two smaller plants into one larger one, in a successful effort that increased their business significantly.  He steered Johnson Concrete’s expansion throughout the southeast, supplying custom architectural block from Maryland to Florida.  “Charles is a visionary,” said Starling Johnson, Vice President of Sales for Johnson Concrete Products. “When you ask him what he’s proud of, Stalite is high on his list.  When he started, Stalite was made using sintering machines and its furthest customer was 125 miles away. Today, Stalite operates eight rotary kilns with patented technology, and ships material all over the world."  A leading voice in the industry, Newsome was NCMA’s Chair of the Board in 2013. He also chaired the Carolinas Concrete Masonry Association, and the Expanded Clay Shale and Slate Institute.  He continues to be an ardent champion of the pursuit to create a commodity checkoff program for concrete masonry and has actively supported both NCMA and the Mason Contractors Association of America political action committees. He has made numerous trips to Capitol Hill and traveled across the country to generate support for the checkoff program.  In addition to his business achievements, his role as a philanthropist is just as exemplary. Newsome completed more than 30 missionary trips to Africa, most of those to the Zambian village of Mwandi. He led efforts to fund and implement projects to bring more reliable electricity to the village, remodel a hospital, construct a church, and other charitable projects.  "A place in the NCMA Hall of Fame is an honor bestowed upon the finest individuals who have come through for our industry.  It shines a light on a lifetime of service, leadership, and excellence. It recalls milestones achieved by deserving honorees that have benefited all of us," said Robert Thomas, NCMA president. "Charles has been such a vital member of the association for so long, having served in a variety of capacities and we really could not be more proud to have this opportunity to celebrate his career."  Pictured left to right, NCMA President Robert Thomas, Newsome, and NCMA Chairman Darryl Winegar.  Content and photograph courtesy of the National Concrete Masonry Association.  CLICK HERE FOR A YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE PRESENTATION   


The NCMCA Central Piedmont Chapter once again enjoyed a baseball game outing as the Winston-Salem Dash took on the Salem Red Sox at BB&T Ballpark August 26th. Chapter members and guests enjoyed a private suite and all the ballpark food they could eat. Pictured, Koontz Masonry’s Fredrick Moore (Freddy’s grandson) throws out the “First Pitch” for the game. Photo courtesy of Brent and Ashlee Moore.


North Carolina’s Kelby Thornton, representing the USA, successfully competed in the August 2019 - 45th WorldSkills masonry competition in Kazan, Russia. He is pictured with his completed project along with USA Masonry Team Expert Todd Hartsell (right) of Central Cabarrus High School in Concord. As a student at Central Cabarrus High School, Kelby was a two-time National SkillsUSA Masonry Champion, having won the Masonry Gold Medal as a junior and as a senior in 2016 and 2017 respectively. In the Russia competition, Kelby placed 22nd out of thirty-one contestants.  Todd Hartsell says, " It was a very challenging competition, to say the least. Kelby did a fantastic job and was only nine points away from getting a medal."  The 2019 Gold Medal went to Zifeng Chen of China. Some 1,354 contestants representing sixty-three countries competed in fifty-six different skills. Photo courtesy of Leigh Roberts Thornton

In August, Jan Pelaez Garcia of McGee Brothers Company was recognized with a lunch and an award presentation at the McGee Brothers Company office in Greensboro as a noteworthy student masonry apprentice. Greg Skyta of Mortar Net Solutions says, “(We) worked with masonry instructors across the country, as well as the National Masonry Instructors Association, to select students who would benefit the most from a scholarship. The scholarships were presented to the students’ instructors by Mortar Net Solutions’ Steven Fechino. In addition to the scholarships, the recipients each received tool bags to help them as they work through their education and apprenticeships. Mortar Net Solutions is working on expanding this program for 2020, and details on how to nominate a student will be announced soon." Participating in the recognition, top left to right, Chris Grissom, Greg Huntley, and Cliff McGee of McGee Brothers Company; honoree Jan Pelaez Garcia; Steven Fechino; John F. Kennedy High School CDC Nancy Harris; and Greg Skyta. Bottom, left to right, NCMCA’s Ryan Shaver; John F. Kennedy High School masonry instructor Dean Bagnoni; and Nick Cardillo and Matt Mahoney, McGee Brothers Company.

In August, the North Carolina Masonry Instructors Association gathered for a fund raising event brick-veneering NCMCA’s Ryan Shaver’s new home near Mount Pleasant. Masonry instructors and friends came from all over the state to raise money for instructors association’s projects including the prize fund for the annual NC SkillUSA Masonry competition. Among the masons participating in the fund-raiser was Grant Helms of West Rowan High School, the National SkillsUSA High School Masonry Champion for 2019. Jerry Tally provided a barbecue chicken dinner for the crew. Ryan’s new home is “all masonry” with block framing and brick veneer. Photograph by Brandy Shaver



The new NCMCA Safety Services Committee presented their first workshop in July at McGee Brothers Company in Greensboro. The committee partnered with Malta Dynamics to present a sixteen-hour fall protection competent person class led by Malta Dynamics’ Ken Hebert. Committee Chair Sean Loftis says, “Mr. Hebert was a wonderful instructor and the course was very informative. We had seven masonry companies in attendance with a total of thirteen people participating.” The committee is discussing a scaffolding competent person workshop for the spring. Details to follow. Photo by Stacy Sizemore

At the July National Masonry Instructors Association meeting in Myrtle Beach, three new members were inducted into the association’s Hall-of-Fame including one from North Carolina. Inducted, left to right, were Tim Kidd, retired masonry instructor, Union County Career Center and West Stanly High School; Dana Martini, Superior Clay Corporation; and Eugene Johnson, retired from Lake Marion High School in South Carolina. Tim Kidd retired from West Stanly in 2013 after instructing masonry for twenty-three years. His programs produced two SkillsUSA National Masonry Champions; Brandon Tarlton in 1997 and Marcus Hefner in 2007. His program at West Stanly earned what is now called the Doug Drye Award for Overall Best Performance at the annual North Carolina SkillsUSA masonry competitions. NCMCA’s Ryan Shaver was a presenter at the meeting along with Southeast Concrete Masonry Association President James Cain and others.  Photograph by Curtis Hoover

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