MaSS Conference Topics & Speakers

MaSS Conference Topics and Speakers

The MaSS Conference is jam-packed with exciting speakers and topics to help influence decision makers and ultimately sell more block! Below are details on the topics, sessions, and breakouts included in the conference.

DAY 1 – Featured Speaker – Mark Mitchell, Whizard Strategy

Mark Mitchell is the author of Building Materials Channel Marketing and the lead strategist behind Whizard Strategy. He has been helping the building materials industry solve tough sales and marketing problems for over 30 years. Mark will kick-off the conference at the NCMA Business Lunch, and continue discussion on how to grow business and create a competitive advantage for concrete masonry the first afternoon of the conference. He will give attendees actionable, relevant strategies focused on the concrete masonry industry, as well as identify opportunities for sales growth you are missing. DON’T miss this amazing opportunity!

DAY 2 – Session and Breakout Topics

Session and Breakout Topics
7:00 am – 9:00 am

Changing Perceptions: Designers and Competing Systems

How does a designer choose a structural system? We’ll peel back the layers that drive perceptions and influence designers’ choices, consider how competing systems leverage these perceptions to advance their systems, and arm attendees with counter-arguments to educate designers to make informed decisions.

Presenter:  Jason Thompson, NCMA Vice President of Industry Advancement

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm


Making a Difference with Local Ordinances
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Around the country, groups are positively influencing their market through local ordinances. These can take various forms, but involve getting community leaders to recognize the benefits of masonry construction and to ensure use of masonry products through ordinances. Attendees will hear about experiences and best practices, as well as share their experiences working with their communities.

Presenter:  Tony Topping, Director of Public Policy & Government Affairs, Texas Masonry Council

Take Your Market Back! Working regionally to grow market share.
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Competition from other systems has reduced masonry’s market share across the nation. Perceptions of masonry’s weaknesses have impacted this, and we need to change the way we talk to designers and customers. A series of changes to codes and standards, along with development of new and improved tools and resources can support efforts. But, we cannot do it alone. Regional coalitions of producers, contractors and designers can influence perceptions and change projects back to masonry. Attendees will hear about success stories in using new resources and working collectively with local partners to “Take Your Market Back!”

Presenter: Rick Roach, President Barnes & Cone

Digital Tools and Building Information Modeling
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

The use of digital tools for building design and construction continues to grow. From software that performs structural design to full Building Information
Models (BIM), the masonry industry must continue to evolve to meet the needs of designers. This session will discuss the growing market of BIM technologies and tools, and provide valuable information on masonry-specific programs to aid designers in using masonry in digital environments.

Presenters: Tom Cuneio, President of 3DiQ and Russ Peterson President of Ensoltech


CMU Solutions and Dirty FAQs
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

We know concrete masonry is an ideal choice for a wide array of projects and applications. Not all architects and engineers, however, share this opinion. We’ll take a critical assessment of concrete masonry’s attributes, review established perceptions — good and bad — from a designer’s perspective, and address the common questions, concerns, and solutions designers seek when
specifying concrete masonry.

Presenter:  Jason Thompson, NCMA Vice President of Industry Advancement
Who’s More Expensive? Addressing First Cost
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

While initial cost of construction is not the only consideration for decision-makers, most times it is the primary driver. And many times masonry construction is seen as more expensive than competitors. Recent studies, however, have shown that concrete masonry systems are very cost-competitive, and come with the added advantage of providing better resiliency, safety, and lower insurance costs. Don’t miss this session to learn the truth about initial cost.

Presenter:  Jan Boyer, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Concrete Masonry Association and the Mid-Atlantic Concrete Masonry Association

ICON EXPO produced by

NCMA Annual Convention
February 6-8, 2018

ICON EXPO endorsed by

ICPI Annual Meeting
February 11-14, 2018