Charles Newsome, retired vice president of Johnson Concrete and Carolina Stalite, in Salisbury, NC, was inducted into The National Concrete Masonry Association’s Hall of Fame at the association’s annual Midyear Meeting in Seattle, WA.

The individuals enshrined into NCMA’s Hall of Fame are those who have demonstrated exemplary leadership and service to the association and industry through a distinguished career. Inductees also become Honorary Members of NCMA.

“Charles is a visionary,” said Starling Johnson, Vice President of Sales for Johnson Concrete Products and close friend (and mentored apprentice) of Newsome and the growth he directed in his decades at Johnson Concrete and Stalite.

A leading voice in the industry, Newsome was not only NCMA’s Chair of the Board in 2013 (in addition to serving on countless committees throughout the years), he also chaired the Carolinas Concrete Masonry Association, the Expanded Clay Shale and Slate Institute and was instrumental in establishing NCMA’s Young Professional Group (YPG).

He has been an ardent champion of the checkoff program for concrete masonry and actively supported both NCMA and the Mason Contractors Association of America political action committees. He has made numerous trips to Capitol Hill seeking congressional authorization and traveled extensively across the country to generate industry support for the checkoff program.

In addition to the milestones he’s achieved in business, his role as a philanthropist is just as exemplary. Newsome has completed more than 30 missionary trips to Africa, most of those times to the Zambian village of Mwandi. He personally led efforts to raise necessary funding and implement project to bring improved and more reliable electricity to the village, remodel a hospital, construct a church, and other projects.

“A place in the NCMA Hall of Fame is an honor bestowed upon the finest individuals who have come through for our industry. It shines a light on a lifetime of service, leadership, and excellence. It recalls milestones achieved by deserving honorees that have benefited all of us,” said Robert Thomas, NCMA president. “Charles has been such a vital member of the association for so long, having served in a variety of capacities and we really could not be more proud to have this opportunity to celebrate his career.”

Virginia Masonry Association Launches Apprenticeship Training Program

The Virginia Masonry Association (VMA) has announced its new Masonry Apprenticeship Training Program. In July, members of VMA met with representatives from the Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) who approved VMA’s proposal for its apprenticeship program curriculum.

The Virginia Masonry Association is composed of masonry contractors and manufacturers who promote masonry construction in central Virginia by providing education for trade school programs, architects, contractors and homeowners.

Workforce development is a growing concern for all building trades, including masonry. With the average age of masons increasing each year, the industry needs to increase recruitment and training efforts substantially. VMA partnered with DOLI to create a certificate program that is expected to draw and excite potential masons for its attainability and financial reward.

The VMA Masonry Apprenticeship Training Program can be completed in 2.5 years, while working full-time for a qualified masonry contractor. Apprentices with previous masonry education or experience may have the opportunity to bypass some of the classroom related instruction. This competency-based program allows for a heavier focus to be placed on hands-on training while on-the-job (OJT) rather than hours in the classroom.

Upon completion, Apprentices will receive Masonry Certification from the Department of Labor and Industry, which is recognized nationally, as well as certification from the Virginia Masonry Association, and will begin earning a Journeyman Bricklayer’s full wage.

13th North American Masonry Conference

Held in June at Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City UT, the 13th North American Masonry Conference (NAMC) drew more than 220 individuals from more than 20 countries.

Chaired by Dr. Fernando Fonseca, the conference provided excellent technical content resulting from more than 150 presentations, effective networking opportunities, and a friendly and inviting atmosphere. In addition, exhibitors and Innovative Technology Sessions allowed industry partners to interact with attendees and share their products. Dr. Patrick B. Dillon of WDP and Associates led the technical program, coordinating reviews and presentations of technical content. Jason J. Thompson of the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) served as the Industry Liaison Chair and helped procure sponsorships in excess of the conference’s goal, helping to ensure its financial success.

Lynn Donahue DiPetta She was the first female bricklayer in the area, joining the local union of which she is still a member today. She eventually opened her own masonry company, wrote a book, started the Brick by Brick foundation, did motivational speaking & continues to be huge resource for the industry as a brick rep for Consolidated Brick in Avon. She is locally known as "The Brick Lady" & knows everything about brick! She was even featured here a few years ago: Anywho, She's getting her 40 year chip for being in the local bricklayers union

Andrew Dunlap Promoted to What at SmithGroup

Dunlap joined SmithGroup in 1999 and possesses nearly 20 years of experience in architecture and construction. A recognized authority in the field of exterior building envelopes and thermal analysis, his expertise has helped to resolve complex technical issues at historic architectural gems like the Smithsonian Institution’s Arts & Industries Building, Washington, DC; the Eliel Saarinen-designed Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; and the Kennedy Federal Building, Boston, Massachusetts. His knowledge has also shaped newly constructed facilities such as Alameda County Highland Hospital’s Acute Tower Replacement, Oakland, California and Emory University Hospital’s Expansion, Atlanta, Georgia.

In his new role, Dunlap will serve in a leadership capacity for key projects and will be responsible for managing the studio’s daily operations. He will also identify opportunities to grow the group’s portfolio, cultivating relationships with SmithGroup’s existing client base and engaging strategic new client targets across the country.

"Andrew exemplifies our commitment to offering highly technical skills within fully integrated services to solve complex, exterior enclosure challenges across our entire firm,” said Jeff Hausman, director of SmithGroup’s Detroit office. “He understands that when we seamlessly engage expertise across disciplines and offices, our clients receive the highest value. There’s no doubt he will work tirelessly to ensure that his team reflects this mindset on every project.”

Dunlap has been honored for his contributions to the profession, having received national recognition from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 2015 as recipient of the organization’s Young Architects Award. In 2014 and 2013 he was celebrated as Young Architect of the Year by AIA’s Michigan and Detroit chapters, respectively.

Dunlap graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy with a Master of Architecture degree and is an adjunct professor at the institution’s school of architecture. He is active within the design and construction community, serving as a founding member, former board member and chairman of the Building Enclosure Council’s Greater Detroit Chapter, and vice president of the Detroit Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He also sits on the board of directors for the Air Barrier Association of America, serving as co-chair of the organization’s research committee, and holds positions on multiple committees for the American Society for Testing and Materials.

A licensed architect in Michigan, Maryland and New York, Dunlap has also obtained certification as a Construction Documents Technologist.