Brian Patrick Carney (The Dude)

Brian Carney's is Vice President at SPEC MIX LLC.
Brian Carney got his introduction to the masonry trade, working for local Rochester, MN mason contractor Trent Keller Masonry during the summers while attending college at Winona St. pursuing a marketing degree. Over three summers, Brian humped block into basements, mixed mortar and developed a love for the comradery and teamwork that is required to work on a masonry crew as well as a respect for the skill of the craftsman and love of the masonry industry that would carry Brian throughout his professional career.

Brian applied for his first job out of college to an upstart masonry product licensing business, SPEC MIX Inc. His summer mason tending job gave him a leg up on the interview and a career was launched. At SPEC MIX, Brian initially spent his time convincing privately owned packaged concrete producers to shift some production over to new SPEC MIX mortars and grouts products to service the masonry industry that at the time was literally "stuck on the shovel". Brian worked most of North America, training SPEC MIX sales representatives (Mudslingers) and educating countless contractors on the effects of "sand bulking" and "running the numbers" on field mixed mortar versus SPEC MIX mortars. Brian pioneered the development of preblended masonry products and silo delivery systems for the masonry industry.

When you think of Brian Carney, what comes to mind first is promotion, masonry promotion. Brian's passion for elevating the craftsman started with the Fastest Trowel on the Block competitions in the 1990's. SPEC MIX was the primary sponsor of the event and continued to be for many years, supplying mortar, manpower and prizes for the event at the Masonry Showcase.

As the World of Concrete continued to grow and expand, thoughts of how to promote masonry and our skilled craftsmen spun through Brian's head and the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 was born. The first competition was held at the World of Concrete in 2003 with only three open entrants from around America and a handful of local Las Vegas masons who were begged and bribed to show up. With only a couple of sponsors the first year and emceed by the infamous Jim O'Connor, the first ever SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 was off and running. As the competition began, more and more World of Concrete attendees kept coming to the competition and stayed, something special was happening for the industry. When the dust settled, thank god the winner laid just over 500 brick as the event almost had to be renamed the SPEC MIX Bricklayer 200...

After the first year, regional qualifying competitions began to take the excitement to local markets and feed stronger competitors into the championship event. Today there are 24 regional SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 events promoting masonry construction in the US and Canada that are followed by local, national and social media, drawing great interest and publicity to our industry year round.

The SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 by itself was not enough industry promotion for Brian. Add in a competition for the mason tender, The Toughest Tender, create an area to promote the feature masonry innovations, the Innovation Zone, combine it all the MCAA's Fastest Trowel and Skills Competition and new for this year, bring on the Jr. SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500. Rally some industry powerhouse brands like HydroMobile, Multiquip, Stabila, Hohmann & Barnard and QUIKRETE and super brands like Ford and Stihl to create a purse of over $100K in cash and prizes. Throw in a jumbo Tron or two, add professional actor Tom Clark for the emcee, broadcast everything live over the internet and you have an event that elevates the industry, MASONRY MADNESS!

Brian was awarded the 2018 C. DeWitt Brown Leadman for his continual support and leadership to the masonry industry. It's not just Brian's commitment and passion for all things masonry that makes him great, but it's his genuine compassion and concern for everyone he touches that makes him a great man. I am honored to induct Brian Carney's into MCAA Masonry Hall of Fame for his lifetime stewardship of the masonry industry.

A mason tender first, learning masonry in its purest form firsthand. Brian pioneered the development of SPEC MIX pre-blended masonry products and silo delivery systems. A key contributor to MCAA initiatives, Brian was also influential in VICA and SkillsUSA masonry competitions. He started the World's Largest Bricklaying Competition, The SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500. Established Gatorback, LLC with his wife Shelly, which won the Most Innovative Product Award at the World of Concrete. Awarded the 2018 C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award. It's not only Brian's commitment and passion for keeping the trade strong, but also his continued genuine compassion and concern for everyone he works alongside throughout the industry.



Employee 1980-2030

4444 W. 78th St.
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55435-5406 US

SPEC MIX® is your source for high quality factory produced cementitious products for the masonry industry. From mortars for brick, block, stone and restoration work to stucco to core-fill grouts mixes in 80 & 3,000 pound bags, our 60+ North American based plants utilize quality assurance batching equipment and the finest materials to ensure total product consistency and performance throughout your project. The SPEC MIX team has over 80 experienced technical representatives and dedicated lab personnel that work with designers and contractors to select the best suited product for the building application. When it comes to jobsite efficiency, safety productivity we provide mason contractors with numerous silo material mixing systems that maximize a contractor\'s cost savings and profitability…Every job! Visit for more information.

Foundation Board


1481 Merchant Drive
Algonquin, Illinois 60102 US

The Masonry Foundation awards grants once each year at the Association's annual Midyear Meeting. The grant submission process will open on June 15; applications are due by July 15 of each year for consideration at the MCAA Midyear Meeting.

MCAA Workforce Development Committee


1481 Merchant Drive
Algonquin, Illinois 60102 US

The Workforce Development Committee has jurisdiction over all MCAA related mason recruiting and training programs. Included in this committee's responsibilities is the marketing of the Masonry Career Days and other recruiting and career awareness efforts, developing and marketing training publications and videos as well as instructor training programs. Another area of the Workforce Development Committee's responsibilities is the mobilization of contractor and industry involvement in the recruiting and training efforts.

-Career path flow charts for use as part of recruitment materials.

-Work to get DOL to recognize internships for prevailing wage jobs. Would allow students who are seniors in high school to begin work on jobs as soon as they graduate from high school.

-Work with and manage day-to-day operations of the National Masonry Instructors Association (NMIA) in an effort to help grow and add value to the mission of the organization.

-Work with local chapters who are working successful development programs to create manuals on how to implement something similar elsewhere.
Support NCCER effort to get the Masonry manuals online for internet training.

-Develop a community group for schools and instructors utilizing the NCCER curriculum. The community group would share ideas and resources to help the teaching process. All instructors would be welcome to join the group.

Digital “baseball cards” featuring real people with job descriptions and “stats”. Work with Marketing on this. In particular the committees should develop categories of who will be featured.

When you want to take your membership to the next level, consider volunteering on the MCAA’s Workforce Development Committee. Member volunteers help drive the MCAA. With every new volunteer, the MCAA becomes better equipped to reach our goals.

The Masonry Foundation Board


By Mike Sutter
I have said many times and even written in this magazine in the past that the Masonry Foundation is the future of our Industry. It will allow us to fund organizations across the U.S. for initiatives such as workforce development, promotion, and building code and standards that can affect the masonry industry. We can be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to stopping code changes that are detrimental to us.

We are supporting apprenticeship programs and High School masonry programs to train and recruit these students into the masonry industry. We are educating structural engineers in the design of masonry structures. Without funds, we have either not been able to do these things or have had to reach out to industry supporters to provide funds.

As you are probably aware, and we are very proud of the fact that we were able to fund some grants from the Masonry Foundation for the very first time last year, but that is only the beginning of a very long process. So long, in fact, that it is never-ending as the corpus of our Foundation will live in perpetuity. Our initial goal was to raise $5 million in our corpus, and we are nearly there, with $4.3 million now pledged.

The funds in our account are conservatively invested, and the historical annual return for the investment model we have chosen is approximately 8%. This investment model is tested over 30 years to arrive at the expected annual return on our investments. However, our Investment Policy Statement (IPS) is Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 4%. As of the end of January 2020, the CPI was 2.5% for the previous 12 months. So at the current rate, our goal is to receive a 6.5% return.

While last year we earned over 18% on our investments, we can’t expect a return like that in the future. We will continue to project CPI plus 4% return and realize that some years we will exceed that amount, and other years we may experience a negative return.

The Foundation Board of Directors has guidelines in place that will allow total funding of grants not to exceed 5% of our corpus. While we received a great return last year, we only agreed to fund our grants at 2% of our corpus as we have not yet reached our $5 million initial goals. With over $52,000 given in grants last year, that was a nice start but with much more to come in the future.

While our initial goal is $5 million, our long-term goal is $10 million, which is very achievable in the next few years, especially in the booming market we have been experiencing in the last few years. Let’s play with some numbers for a minute. With our initial goal of $5 million and funding our grants at 3% of the corpus, it will allow us to fund $150,000 in grants each year while still growing our corpus at 3.5% (at the current CPI rate) or another $175,000. Once we reach our long-term goal of $10 million, we will be able to fund $300,000 in grants while also continuing to grow our corpus $350,000 at current rates! Once we reach these goals, the Foundation Board will likely increase the grant funding as well.

While viewing these numbers, you can see how important it is to grow our corpus to reach our long-term goal of $10 million. We may never see a market better than the one we are currently in, so now is the time to invest in our future. We can reach our goal, but it will require the commitment of all of us. If you have completed your pledge, please consider renewing it. If you have not yet pledged, please help us reach our goal and pledge today as you see how important it is to reach our long-term goal. Together we are stronger, and together we can do this!

MCAA The Masonry Hall of Fame Alumni

Hall of Fame 2020-2020

1481 Merchant Drive
Algonquin, Illinois 60102 US

Masonry Hall of Fame
The Masonry Hall of Fame was created by the Mason Contractors Association of America to recognize and award individuals who have dedicated their lives to the masonry industry.
Do you know someone who has dedicated their life to the masonry industry? If so, nominate them to be part of the Masonry Hall of Fame.

Individuals must have had a major impact on the masonry industry, not necessarily with just the MCAA.
Nominations must state the significant accomplishments of the individual nominee.
Individuals must have been or be in the industry for a minimum of 25 years.
Individuals cannot be a current executive officer of the MCAA.
Masonry instructors can only be submitted by the National Masonry Instructors Association.
Submissions will be reviewed and voted upon by the Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
Nominees must receive two-thirds of the eligible votes in order to be accepted into the Hall of Fame.
Involvement in the industry is open.
Nominees can be but are not limited to contractors, employees, instructors, architects, engineers, and association staff.
Each recipient will receive one plaque.
A high resolution photo must be provided for each inductee to be used on the Hall of Fame plaque.

Submit a Hall of Fame nominee


Alumni 2018-2018

Each year, the Mason Contractors Association of America presents the C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award to an individual who has provided exemplary leadership in advancing the masonry industry.

All of the individuals who have received this prestigious award have demonstrated a tireless dedication to our industry through years of volunteer support and hard work. They have helped to ensure that our industry remains vital for the nearly 500,000 people employed through masonry.