Season's Greetings December 2008
Happy Holidays from the NYS Concrete Masonry Association $Account.OrganizationName
In This Issue
Seasons Greetings!

Once again, we find ourselves near the end of another year. The holidays are fast approaching, and we now find the time to turn our attention towards family gatherings and sharing holiday traditions. It's also a good time to reflect on the accomplishments of your Association from the previous twelve months, and to look forward towards new challenges and goals for the coming year.

We can proudly state that 2008 was another year of progress and growth for the NYSCMA. The Association continued to expand its program offerings and member events thanks to the participation of several key members. Here are just a few examples of the year in review:

Block Producer Safety Workshops


We conducted four Block Producer Safety Workshops, continuing the tradition begun in 2005 when we initially signed the alliance with OSHA and New York State On-Site Consultation. The workshops continue to be the consistently best attended events the Association sponsors, proving conclusively that NYSCMA members are committed to providing the safest, healthiest workplaces in the industry. We will carry on the practice in 2008 with a new series of seminars.




F'm2000, the NYSCMA Assurance of Quality Program is gaining traction. Reports from participating producers indicate a progressively growing impact on masonry design throughout the state. The number of projects which specify either the program itself, or an increased specified compressive strength of masonry as a result of the program, has steadily increased, resulting in a three-fold increase in F'm2000 8" equivalent concrete masonry units over 2007. A new spreadsheet created for the purpose of accurately tracking F'm2000 projects will be ready for distribution to producer members on a monthly basis beginning in January 2009.


Spring Conference and Masonry Tech Day


Our annual Spring Meeting and Technical Conference was once again conducted in Saratoga Springs, but at a different venue - Longfellows Hotel and Conference Center. The first day began with a meeting of the Board of Directors, followed by the Block Producer Safety Workshop. The weather cooperated and allowed the group to conduct part of the workshop outdoors, where we enjoyed a demonstration of the truck mounted fork lift provided by new Associate Member Hiab, Inc. Our annual Members' Banquet closed the first day, and provided a relaxed social setting where all members could unwind and enjoy a beverage and a delicious meal with friends and colleagues.

Day Two brought our Masonry Tech Conference and Trade Show, which was once again very well attended. More than 120 members and design professionals from private architectural and engineering firms as well as several New York State agencies filled the seats. All were treated to informative presentations by NCMA's Jason Thompson ("Masonry Design - Effective Compliance To New Code Provisions" and "Design & Installation Of Moisture Resistant Concrete Masonry Structures") and Precast Concrete Association of N.Y. Executive Director Carl Buckman (" Safe & Sustainable - Hollow Core Concrete Plank & Concrete Masonry Design"). Many thanks to our exhibitors (Conproco, NE Solite, Kingston Block & Masonry Supply, Duke Concrete Products, Solomon Colors, Inc., Souhegan Valley Engineering, Inc., Sandell Manufacturing, and Oldcastle Precast) who contributed greatly to the success of the Tech Day. For 2009 we will once again return to Saratoga Springs, at an entirely new venue.


Fall Member Development Conference


Like our Spring Conference, our annual Fall Member Development Conference continues to grow. Due to the popularity of the facility, we returned to the Turning Stone Resort in Verona for the third consecutive year. For 2008, fourteen of sixteen Producer Members were in attendance for all or some part of the 11/2 day conference, and were supported by a similar number of Associate Members. Also similar to the Spring Conference, the Fall MDC began with a Board of Directors meeting, followed by a Safety Workshop. Our focus for this workshop was Electrical Hazards, both inside and outside the block plant, and featured presentations by National Grid, OSHA, and NYSCMA Member Ralph Viola. That evening, members attending the annual banquet were treated to a very special presentation by Lifetime Member Norbert Rappl. The dinner was a reunion, intended to bring retired founders of the NYSCMA together with current members. Norbert's presentation, illustrated with several photos and documents from years gone by traced the history of the NYSCMA from its inception, and was delivered with Norbert's characteristic flair.

Day Two is always dedicated to member development, and this year was no disappointment. NYSCMA Chairman Rick Roach arranged an impressive line up of speakers and presentations to address a problem that we've all faced at one time or another in our careers - "Integral Water Repellent Block: A Block Producer's Responsibilities & Liability". This series of three presentations followed the breakfast Member Meeting, and included talks by Victoria McCrie, ACM Chemistries ("How to Handle the Call - Your Water Repellent Block Are Leaking!"), Walter Breakell, Breakell Law Firm ("Block Producers Legal Responsibility for Integral Water Repellent Specification Compliance"), and Jamie K. Davis, P.E., Ryan-Biggs Associates, ("Elements of a Masonry Forensic Investigation"). After lunch, the day was completed with presentations by Jeremy Douglas, Sandell/Diedrich Chemicals ("Diedrich Chemicals Block Tag Program") and Terry Resnick, Resnick Associates ("Keeping It In The Family: A Survival Guide For Concrete Masonry Businesses Owners"). We will return to Turning Stone Resort for our 2009 Fall MDC.


Architectural Sales Seminars


The Architectural Sales Seminars represented an entirely new venture for the NYSCMA. These classes were targeted directly to the membership - principals, sales managers and sales people who want to execute effective sales calls to this important market segment. Our inaugural sales seminar in May was taught by two highly respected experts in their respective fields. David Biggs P.E., Principal, Ryan- Biggs Associates, and Bob Frare, Sales and Business Development Consultant to such companies as IBM and Mercedes Benz North America were engaged to convey the knowledge and skills necessary to confidently call on and build positive relationships with design professionals, resulting in a "bigger pie" for everyone. Bob and David joined forces to teach us how to present ourselves, our companies and our industry in a way that will give us the greatest chance of success. Response from Producer and Associate Member attendees was overwhelmingly positive, and indicated a strong desire for the continuation of the series.


Presentation Skills Seminar


The Presentation Skills Seminar was the follow up to the initial seminar, and was conducted in September. Two new PowerPoint presentations were developed and rolled out at this workshop: "Effective Building Designs with Concrete Masonry", and "Sustainable Building Projects with Concrete Masonry". Both PowerPoints were presented at the seminar by myself, then critiqued by the members in attendance. The presentations are registered with the American Institute of Architects for Continuing Professional Education HSW credit, and are available for download at the Association website for exclusive use by NYSCMA members. If a member prefers, arrangements can be made through the Association office for a presentation to a design professional. Check my online calendar for available dates, then contact me to make arrangements.


NECSA Investment Review


The NYSCMA is one of a very few fortunate Associations to receive an increase in funding for 2009 from our Partners in Promotion, the Northeast Cement Shippers Association. NECSA recognizes that NYSCMA and its members are working hard on meaningful projects that produce positive results, the effect of which is an increased investment in our promotion and market development efforts.




As you can see, the Association and its members have been very busy over the past twelve months, and our plate is full for 2009. Our Board of Directors has approved a realistic budget for the coming year, one that will allow us to promote concrete masonry in the most efficient way possible. The promotion plan for the coming year includes work to be performed by several task groups, including Basement, NYSDOT, and Industry Impact. So don't just sit on the sidelines - participate! Volunteer for a task group, participate in our meetings and workshops, or simply contact me to find out how you can contribute to the NYSCMA.

We face uncertain economic times, but one thing is certain - together, as an Association, we have a stronger voice and can have greater influence on the direction our industry takes than any single company can on its own. Now, it is more important than ever to participate in and support the association that best represents the overall interest of the concrete masonry industry in the Empire State - the New York State Concrete Masonry Association.

Happy Holidays,

Nick Carparelli
voice: 315 254 0518