With an adjusted total of 745 brick layed, the McGee Brothers Company team of mason Wriston McGee (right) and tender/brother Haran McGee have earned the opportunity to compete in the Las Vegas SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500 in January 2022 at the World of Concrete by winning the North Carolina qualifier at Stalite’s Ben Ketchie Park in Gold Hill October 29th. 2021 marks Wriston’s third time qualifying for the World Championship. Twelve local teams competed. The SPEC MIX TOP CRAFTSMAN award, which goes to the mason with the “most sellable” wall, went to mason David Kelly and mason tender Nick Campbell of Kelly Masonry in Pendleton, SC. Second place went to the brother team of mason Zach McGee and tender Grayson McGee, also with McGee Brothers Company with 598 total brick. Third place went to mason Grant Helms and tender Justice Isenhour of Helms Masonry of Mt. Pleasant with a brick count of 571. As an apprentice, Wriston McGee won what is now known as the Sam McGee Memorial Contest in 2011 and 2012. He won the Annual North Carolina State Fair Contest in 2010. His brother and tender Haran won the state fair contest in 2017. The 20th annual SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 World Championship will be held January 19th, 2022 at the World of Concrete expo in Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of SPEC MIX. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ABOUT THE COMPETITION

The West Rowan High School Team of Peyton Summerall, tender (left) and Anderson Pruitt, mason, won the October 29th SPEC MIX Jr. Bricklayer 500 regional contest at the Fifth Annual Masonry Education Day held at Stalite’s Ben Ketchie Park in Gold Hill. The North Stanly High School Team of mason Nathaniel Myers and tender Tad Johnson finished in second place and third place went to the Columbus Career & College Academy team of mason Annayeli Dioniso and tender Leslie Maldonado.  Photo courtesy of SPEC MIX.  CLICK HERE FOR MORE ABOUT THE CAROLINA EVENT

At an October recognition dinner held in Asheville, NCMCA announced David Bass as the recipient of the 2020 NCMCA Eleanor Flowers Upton Award for long-term distinguished and exceptional service and dedication to the Association and the masonry industry by an associate member. The Upton Award selection committee approved David Bass's nomination in early 2020 and had planned to announce and present the award at the 2020 annual NCMCA spring convention that was canceled because of the pandemic. A video announcement was prepared in the summer of 2021 and was debuted at the Asheville dinner. Pictured left to right, the most recent previous Upton Award recipient from 2018, David McQueen; 2020 honoree David Bass, his wife Kim, and their son JD.  David Bass is retired from Adams/Oldcastle, Asheville.   CLICK HERE TO WATCH NCMCA'S PRERECORDED ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE AWARD

Full head joints and proper mortaring techniques are essential for building high-performance masonry walls. In this new video, NCMCA Workforce Development & Training Coordinator Ryan Shaver demonstrates best practices for properly mortaring and installing masonry units: CLICK HERE

Twenty-year-old Mason Saunders, an apprentice with Huntley Brothers Company in Mint Hill, is the Champion of the 2021 Annual ApprenticeshipNC North Carolina State Fair Masonry Apprentice Masonry Skills Contest held October 18th in Raleigh. He is the son of Scotty and Margaret Saunders and lives in Mount Pleasant. Mason is a graduate of Mount Pleasant High School where he studied masonry with instructors Ryan Shaver and Cody Alward. As a Mount Pleasant High School masonry student, he brought home the National SkillsUSA Masonry Championship in 2018 after finishing First Place in the North Caroline SkillsUSA State Masonry Contest earlier that year. Mason says, “Hard work does pay off. Learning how to lay brick is a learning curve and you can’t just wake up one morning and lay brick like a regular mason does. If that were so, everyone would be laying brick. One thing I like about masonry, you can always look back on and reflect on what you’ve done. You can point and say, ‘I laid those brick or block.’ This industry is growing tremendously and I love the fact I can see something go up from the bottom to the top.” In addition to cash and tool prizes, Mason’s win earns him the opportunity to represent NCMCA at the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) Masonry Skills Challenge in January at Las Vegas. CLICK HERE FOR MORE PICTURES FROM THE FAIR CONTEST

The apprentices earning top scores at the October Annual North Carolina ApprenticeshipNC State Fair Masonry Apprentice Skills Contest gathered for a group picture with contest officials when results were announced. Top, left to right, Fifth Place finisher Carter McGee, McGee Brothers Company; Contest Vice-Chairman and Master of Ceremonies Doug Burton; Fourth Place finisher Ovel Hernandez, Carolina Masonry Unlimited; Third Place finisher Grant Haney, McGee Brothers Company; North Carolina Masonry Contractors Association President Danks Burton; Second Place Finisher Bayden Huntley and 2021's New Champion Mason Saunders, both of Huntley Brothers Company; Contest Chairman Calvin Brodie; North Carolina Community Colleges President Thomas Stith; and Kathryn Castelloes, Director, ApprenticshipNC. Bottom, left to right: Sixth Place finisher Colter McGee, McGee Brothers Company; Seventh Place finisher Anderson Pruett, Harrington Masonry; Eighth Place finisher Joshua Queen, McGee Brothers Company; Ninth Place finisher Levi Desjardins, Carolina Masonry & Concrete; and Tenth Place finisher Blaize Myers, McGee Brothers Company. Thirty-nine apprentices from eleven NCMCA member firms competed.  CLICK HERE FOR MORE CONTEST PICTURES

Congratulations to Mark and Mike Simmons on their retirement and as they begin winding down their company, LPS Enterprises. The brothers started LPS Enterprises in 1994 and have been active members of the NCMCA Raleigh Chapter. Mark and Mike both hold "Certified Masonry Executive" (CME) status in the NCMCA Masonry Contractor Certification Program. Friends and family gathered for a retirement celebration on Friday afternoon in Raleigh. Photo provided by LPS Enterprises.

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