Concrete Products

JUN 2018

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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36 • June 2018 CHAIRMAN'S REPORT BY DON MARSH The National Concrete Masonry Association will trace the pivotal role members and staff have played in advancing one of the past century's indispensable building products, then take stock of a promising future as part of a 100-year anniversary celebration. Festiv- ities will run throughout the NCMA Midyear Meeting, July 30-August 3 in Chicago, home to the group's forerunner, Concrete Products Association. "In this highlight year, I hope to see NCMA ring out achievements of the past and look forward at how we can best take advan- tage of market opportunities and apply new technology to our industry," says 2018 Chair- man Kent Waide, president of Ruby Concrete Co., Madisonville, Ky. The NCMA Midyear Meeting will be staged at the Intercontinental Hotel, located about a mile up Michigan Ave. from the Congress Hotel, where the Concrete Products Associ- ation held its first meeting, January 1919, after formally chartering the prior year. "The 100-Year Anniversary task group has done a super job since 2015 planning the event. The Midyear Meeting will celebrate associa- tion history and accomplishments, and show what lies ahead," notes Waide. An August 1 black tie gala will be extra special, he adds, while other highlights— Town Hall, and Business Lunch, among them—will have a different flavor compared to other midyear gatherings. Leading the roster of special guests NCMA is assembling for the gala are numerous past chairs of the board and honorary members, some of whom have not been able to attend association events in recent years. LONG RUN Waide hails from a business embodying lon- gevity. Ruby Concrete bills itself as the oldest company in western Kentucky, and the fourth oldest in the Bluegrass State. It has produced block for nearly 75 years, and evolved from an entity founded almost 50 years prior to NCMA. The Ruby Lumber Co. operated as a supplier to railroads and home build- ers from 1869 through World War II. In the 1940s, returning G.I. Clyde Ruby, grandson of founder John Ruby, acquired used Besser equipment and established block production, along with precast and ready mixed, under the Ruby Concrete banner. Harry Waide joined Ruby Concrete in 1953, and became president of the company in the in the early 1970s and the majority share- holder in the 1980s. Kent Waide followed his father into the operation 25 years later, after a tour of duty in banking. "Although much as changed in banking since, I worked in commercial lending and dealt with a lot of businesses," he observes. "They taught me budgeting and how to operate in a given organizational structure. I have carried that to our concrete business. Commercial lending also helped me understand the different busi- ness and organizational structures of large, medium and small producers at NCMA. I can relate to all of them." As NCMA Chairman, he adds, "My focus is two fold: Getting our Young Professionals Group members fully engaged in the associ- ation and the Concrete Masonry Check-off to the finish line. We have some very tal- ented and energetic professionals in the industry and working at NCMA, and I want them involved, participating in commit- tees, and having their ideas filtering into the association." The NCMA YPG fosters development of the next generation of leaders in manu- factured concrete masonry and hardscape unit production. It provides networking opportunities, education and committee activities in an atmosphere focused on profes- sional development. YPG had a well-attended gathering during the 2018 NCMA Convention in Indianapolis, which was followed up by a members-only workshop in March. "It energized me to see participants eager to be active in NCMA and the industry," Waide recalls of the former gathering. "They have a lot of energy and great ideas. This a very positive part of our association and it is encouraging to see the growing number of YPG participants." He will call on members, young and old alike, to advance the Concrete Masonry Check-off, knowing: "It will be tough given the state of Congress, but it is up to us to usher the legislation through Capitol Hill. NCMA members and staff have alliances with Congresspersons across the board. We should have enough connections as an industry to get the program through." One of Waide's contacts, Representative Brett Guthrie (R-KY), has been the lead sponsor of the House version of the Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education, and Promotion Act, which would enable concrete block producers to pursue an industry-wide referendum authorizing a check-off program and collections from unit sales. True to the legislation title, the program would fund research, education and promotion support- ing concrete masonry building methods. It would operate under a board of indus- try stakeholders—producers, contractors, technical representatives—and with U.S. Department of Commerce oversight. NCMA Government Affairs Committee staff will track progress on companion House and Senate Concrete Masonry Research, Educa- tion and Promotion Act bills, and also look for meaningful moves on transportation and infrastructure funding by early 2019. NCMA and allied groups are likewise promoting durability, life cycle and other performance features common in cement-based product building methods as the federal government takes a hard look at resilient construction and related code developments. Continued on page 38 CENTURY IN THE MAKING A visit with 2018 National Concrete Masonry Association Chairman Kent Waide Kent Waide

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