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

 

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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

As part of the Annual North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's Annual Trade & Industrial Education Summer Conference, masonry instructors spent a day gaining continuing education in July from representatives from the masonry industry, the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER,) and from NC SkillsUSA. In the photograph, instructors experienced an opportunity for hands-on demonstrations of semi-automated block laying equipment. The instructors were hosted at McGee Brothers Company’s Greensboro location, co-hosted by NCMCA and Adams/Oldcastle. Some 35 instructors participated in the event coordinated by NCMCA’s Ryan Shaver. During the session the North Carolina Masonry Instructors Association elected new officers for the upcoming two-year term. Rodney Harrington, West Rowan High School was re-elected for another term as president; Matt Almond, North Stanly High School will be vice president; Rufus Terry, J. F. Webb High School will be second vice president; Dean Bagnoni, John F. Kennedy High School will serve as treasurer; and Cody Alward, Mt. Pleasant High School will be the new secretary.   CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL CONFERENCE PICTURES

In July, NCMCA gathered several of our more “senior” industry leaders for a session to record their thoughts and recollections about the evolution of the industry and their stories about the larger-than-life personalities masonry has produced here in the Carolinas. Participants included, left to right, NCMCA’s Ryan Shaver; Charles Newsome (82,) past-president of both the Southeast Concrete Masonry Association (CCMA) and the National Concrete Masonry Association, recently retired from Johnson Concrete Products/Carolina Stalite after fifty years with the firm; Jimmy Harrell (80,) journeyman mason, respected material supplier, masonry consultant and a past president of the Southeast Concrete Masonry Association, who hosted the meeting at his home in Stoneville; NCMCA President Kent Huntley; and NC State University School of Architecture Professor Patrick Rand, who worked with both Harrell and Newsome when they all served together on the board of the NC State Design Guild. Curtis Laughlin (89,) retired from Carolina Quality Block and a member of the National Concrete Masonry Association’s Hall-of-Fame joined in the session via speakerphone. An edited version of the recording session will soon be available as part of the NCMCA archive collection.

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