I don’t know that I ever thought much about checkoffs until we started our journey to create a national checkoff for the masonry industry. I’m not even sure I knew they existed. But I know for certain I had no idea what goes into putting a program into place. There’s no doubt this has been a long journey. And one that has required patience, determination and time from each of us.

CMU Checkoff
Campaign Chair

I’ve talked with many of you who are ready to make this checkoff go—you see the vision and the potential of where our industry can go, powered by a national checkoff. And yes, the inevitable asks of “is this going to happen?”

I’m happy to share a few updates that have me encouraged we are indeed making progress. Conversations with the Department of Commerce (DOC) are underway to support the drafting of the Order and preparing for a future industry referendum. We have a full-time liaison at the DOC assigned to our checkoff. We had a team from DOC in Seattle to attend NCMA’s Midyear Meeting, tour a block plant and visit a concrete masonry construction site. We expect they will continue outreach efforts to better understand our challenges and opportunities, possibly in coordination with state and regional associations. We also have a growing number of resolutions from our states and our industry partners, all supporting the formation of a national CMU checkoff.

So, as we move closer to a referendum in 2020 and as we have this time available before that happens, here’s my challenge to each of us: what can we do between now and when we go a vote? Can we continue building on our original program ideas, imagining the possibilities of a concentrated national and regional promotion of the benefits of concrete masonry? How can our state programs and national efforts be leveraged? And how can we start exchanging these ideas more and more? The power of our checkoff will be our programs and the return back to each of our contributors.

That’s my challenge to each of you. We’ve got extra time on this play. Let’s take advantage of that and make this checkoff even stronger when it comes to fruition.