Concrete Products

JUN 2017

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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26 • June 2017 The National Concrete Masonry Association is poised for a robust centennial anniversary celebration in 2018, thanks to a long track record of building and hardscape market pro- motion, standards development and technical support, coupled with more recent priori- ties highlighting this year's agenda: Board realignment; execution of strategic plans emphasizing industry strength and unit masonry shipment growth; and, continued build out of digital offerings for members and their customers. The NCMA Board approved a reduction from 37 to 25 directors at the NCMA Annual Convention earlier this year in Phoenix. "Members will see more board engagement in association management. The new struc- ture will help us focus on accomplishing our marketing goals and improving membership value," says 2017 NCMA Chairman and Oldcas- tle APG Eastern Region President Steve Berry. Board directors' first order of business, he adds, involves a 2017-2020 strategic plan focused on two major outcomes: increase the market share of member's products and increase association value. To support these outcomes, the plan contains six objectives: Influence codes, standards, and government regulations through effective advocacy efforts; increase the impact of NCMA resources to facilitate dissemination and use; influence and support decision makers to encourage choice of members' products; education of industry professionals creating a network of industry resources and qualified workforce; increase membership and member engage- ment and grow the association; and improve NCMA's strength through fiscal, operational and industry leadership. Concurrent with 2017 board actions, Berry observes, NCMA committees have a renewed focus on communications efforts to high- light resources supporting member producers in the association's Hardscape Products, Masonry and Stone Veneer market segments. A strategic plan introduced in 2016 for Hard- scape Products guides members and staff to increase their emphasis on communications and innovative technologies to advance the industry. The segment promotes a variety of dry-cast concrete products for hardscape applications, including segmental retaining wall (SRW), articulating concrete block, and fence wall units. The strategic plan points center on improving SRW quality, optimiz- ing dry-cast concrete product durability, plus installer education and certification. The Masonry market segment strategic plan calls for educating NCMA producer mem- bers and their customers of the economy and performance inherent in conventional and architectural concrete block—with the ulti- mate goal of selling, positioning and utilizing concrete masonry as a building system. The Manufactured Stone Veneer market segment, which promotes non-structural, lightweight units cast to simulate a variety of natural stone and hard surface textures, will focus on improving unit and finished wall qual- ity. Specific action areas include influencing ASTM standards and code provisions, coupled with advancing proper adhered-stone instal- lation methods. MILESTONE YEAR Activities supporting communications, edu- cation and market development goals in the NCMA Board and market segment strategic plans coincide with planning for two events promising a banner 2018, starting with the International Concrete Exposition Machinery & Equipment Show in Indianapolis. NCMA is programming ICON EXPO 2018 as the only machinery and equipment venue completely dedicated to the manufactured concrete masonry and hardscape industry, with 15 hours of show and exhibit area activity over a February 9-10 schedule. "ICON EXPO 2018 will be our first equip- ment show since 2013, and the first we have done totally on our own," notes Berry. "With exhibits, demonstrations, education sessions, boot camp for production personnel and a celebrity speaker, it is shaping up as a big event with a lot of support and excitement." Similar to the schedule for the 2015– 2017 ICON-Xchange and B2B Marketplace programs, next year's gathering will be held in conjunction with the NCMA Annual Con- vention (February 6-8) and Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute Annual Meeting (February 11-14). After Indianapolis, NCMA members and staff will finalize the 100-year anniversary celebration. Anchoring the 2018 Midyear Meeting, July 31–August 3, festivi- ties will take place in Chicago, where NCMA was founded in 1918. A 100-Year Anniver- sary task force has coordinated activities and enlisted sponsorships since 2015. "We are developing a historical timeline for the centennial anniversary," observes Berry. "It will give a us a platform to look forward. The first of four videos featuring 25-year segments, covering 1918–1943, was presented at this year's convention. A second video on the 1944–1969 period is in the works to unveil at the NCMA Midyear Meeting in Toronto. It's pretty impressive to look at old photos and footage in the timelines; amazing how you can recognize people and equipment from longtime association members." CHAIRMAN'S REPORT BY DON MARSH COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT A visit with 2017 National Concrete Masonry Association Chairman Steve Berry Steve Berry

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