Industry News


David Biggs and Richard M Bennett

Biggs and Bennett NCMA Champions

David Biggs, principal of Biggs Consulting Engineering in Saratoga Springs NY, and Richard M Bennett, PE, PhD, professor and director at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville were presented with NCMA’s Champion Award at the association’s Midyear Meeting in Seattle WA.

The NCMA Industry Champion Award recognizes individuals who make significant contributions in roles beyond what can be accomplished by the association alone. It honors these meritorious contributions that support the advancement of the use of concrete products.

The first individual not employed by a member company to be appointed to the NCMA Education and Research Foundation Board of Trustees, Biggs was recognized for his vision, leadership and passion for advancing concrete masonry design and construction.

Since selling his interests in Ryan-Biggs in 2010 after 33 years, he has worked to develop building codes and to preserve historic structures around the world.

An adjunct professor and educator over the course of his accomplished career, Biggs helped develop the Hybrid Masonry Structural Building Concept, a precursor to a project funded by the National Science Foundation to research seismic response of such structures.

Following September 11, 2001, Biggs was a member of the Building Assessment Team assigned to investigate the World Trade Center disaster for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) where he helped assess and investigate performance of structures in and around Ground Zero.

A mason’s engineer, he’s been instrumental in several turning points for the industry including serving as program coordinator for the Building Information Modeling for Masonry Initiative.

An award recipient already many times over – including the The Masonry Society’s (TMS) President’s Award in 2016 – Bennett was nominated by ten different individuals who collectively demonstrated the highest admiration for both the career and work he has put forward. As peers, they have also recognized his legacy for the vision, leadership and passion that have contributed to advancing concrete masonry design and construction.

Bennett chaired multiple TMS subcommittees and served as chair during some of the most important cycles. He is recognized by many as the most prolific developer and reviewer of code change proposals, integrating some of the latest and greatest practices into TMS 402/602. He is also active in ASTM Committees C12 and C15, bringing these practical and material-based procedures back to his classroom.

Charles Newsome

Newsome Inducted into NCMA HoF

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

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

A leading voice and visionary in the industry, Newsome was 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.

In addition to the milestones he’s achieved in business, his role as a philanthropist is just as exemplary. He personally led efforts to raise necessary funding and implement project to bring improved and more reliable electricity to the Zambian village of Mwandi, 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. “We really could not be more proud to have this opportunity to celebrate his career.”

Charles Smith

BIA Annouces New Chairman

General Shale CEO Charles Smith succeeds former BIA Chairman Davis Henry, president, Henry Brick, Selma AL, who will remain as past chair. Smith is a 28-year veteran of Johnson City TN-based General Shale, a top clay brick manufacturer in the US and Canada. General Shale is the North American subsidiary of Wienerberger AG, the world’s largest brick manufacturer.

BIA’s membership also elected Joe Rice, CEO of Belden Tri-State Building Materials, New York NY as vice chair; Jim Stradley, president of Cincinnati OH-based Division 4, as treasurer; and Mark Ellenor, president of Glen-Gery, Wyomissing PA as new secretary.

Christine (Tina) Subasic

TMS Names New President, Honors Members

The Masonry Society (TMS), the educational, scientific and technical society dedicated to the advancement of scientific, engineering, architectural and construction knowledge of masonry, made several announcements at their fall meetings in Scottsdale AZ. Among them: Christine (Tina) Subasic, PE, LEED AP, consulting architectural engineer in Raleigh NC was named TMS President. Subasic has been a member of TMS for more than 25 years and has served in numerous leadership roles including Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, Board Member, Chair of the Sustainability Committee and Editor of the Society’s Sustainability E-Newsletter. She was introduced by Past-President, Darrell McMillian as the Society’s first female President. McMillian thanked Subasic for her tremendous leadership and support to date. He was pleased to turn over the Presidency to Subasic due to her knowledge, expertise and vision. 919.845.2683 |

Dr Fernando Fonseca

Dr Fernando Fonseca, Professor at Brigham Young University, was presented with the 2019 President’s Award. TMS President Darrell McMillian selected Fonseca for his excellent leadership of the recent 13th North American Masonry Conference (NAMC) and his continued service as a Committee Chair, and most recently as an Associate Editor of TMS Journal. Fonseca has been teaching and conducting research in structural engineering for 20 years including several recent masonry research projects. He is Chair of the Structural Members Subcommittee of TMS 402. The President’s Award is to recognize an individual who has made exceptional contributions to the Society. 801.422.6329 | fonseca@byuedu

Scott Walkowicz

TMS Board of Directors, based on recommendation from its Awards Committee and a strong nomination package, has named Scott Walkowicz, PE, owner of Walkowicz Consulting Engineers, as a Fellow of the Society. Walkowicz was nominated based on his significant contributions to the Society and the design of masonry. He is a Past President of TMS, leading the Society to grow and expand its focus. He is current Member of the Technical Activities Committee, a Member of TMS 402/602 Main Committee, as well as the Design and the Reinforcement and Connectors Subcommittees for the TMS 402/602 Committee. He served on the Administrative Committee Team, continues service on the Awards Committee and Meetings Committee. To qualify for Fellow status, a TMS member must have made outstanding contributions to the Society and have been a member for no less than 10 consecutive years. 517.648.9319 |

Thomas Gangel

The 2019 Paul Haller Structural Design Award was presented to Thomas Gangel, of Wallace Engineering Structural Consultants. The Haller Award is given to an individual engineer or firm that has enhanced the knowledge of masonry in practice. This award recognizes the beauty, elegance and economy of structural masonry. Gangel’s experience has included all types of masonry construction throughout the US in areas of high wind loading and high seismic loading. His practical approach to design has been noted by other designers. He readily shares that knowledge with students and young designers. He is the current Secretary for the Design of Masonry Infills Subcommittee. 800.364.5858 |

Kurt Siggard

The TMS Service Award was presented to Kurt Siggard, Director of the Concrete Masonry Association of California and Nevada, past Board Member and Fellow of TMS. Siggard volunteered to lead Membership Recruitment Task Group formed by TMS Board of Directors to develop new innovative ways to encourage new and renewing memberships. He led this group through the early 2019, offering ideas and insights to promote TMS Membership. 916.722.1700 |

Redland Brick and Sioux City Brick Acquired

Brickworks NA, parent company of Glen-Gery since 2018, recently acquired substantially all of Redland Brick’s assets related to its Cushwa, Harmar, Rocky Ridge, Lawrenceville Brick and Tru-Brix product lines. These well respected products will join the Glen-Gery family of brands.

Taking a leading role within the brick industry, Brickworks continues to drive its strategic plan for expansion and industry consolidation. The Redland Brick acquisition comes on the heels of Brickworks’ August 2019 acquisition of Iowa’s Sioux City Brick. According to Brickworks NA President Mark Ellenor, “We are seeing strong growth in the demand for high-quality, innovative brick products for broad commercial and residential applications. To meet this demand, investment in modernized brick plants and robust R&D efforts are essential. Consolidation of brands and facilities is the key to strengthening the market and securing the future. Brickworks is pleased to lead the industry in innovation and promotion of brick.”

Headquartered in Williamsport MD, Redland Brick operates four manufacturing plants and produces a complete line of handmade, molded and extruded face brick, pavers and thin brick for the architectural and residential markets.

Philippe Ledent

Ledent Named MIM Executive Director

Philippe Ledent joined Masonry Institute of Michigan as the next Executive Director and Structural Engineer. Current Assistant Executive Director Dan Zechmeister will be retiring at the end of 2020. In the meantime, he will mentor Phil during 2020 on the various programs and activities of the robust MIM agenda with 134 members including mason contractors, masonry material and accessory suppliers, as well as architects, engineers and general contractors as informational members. Ledent is already out actively recruiting new members. Dedicated to promotion and advancement of the masonry industry, MIM launched theStoryPole educational magazine and marketing tool in 2001, predecessor of SMART | dynamics of masonry, to promote the unparalleled structural wall system initiative that MIM began some 15 years ago. The magazine educated architects and structural engineers on the benefits and added value of designing masonry for all its worth using its myriad intrinsic benefits and its inherent beauty.

Next was the structural masonry wall system design software distribution launch, when the Michigan Masonry Coalition (MMC) was formed to further promote the value of this initiative through Lunch & Learn presentations and software training sessions for architects, structural engineers and general contractors/ construction managers. As a result, Michigan has hundreds of cost effective structural masonry buildings with great added value. Ledent looks forward to following in the footsteps of his predecessor and shares his passion for masonry. MIM provides generic wall details online for all to benefit from. These include new energy code requirements, dew point analysis and best practices. This year will be the 45th annual Excellence in Masonry awards recognition. Funds raised from 43 annual golf outings have sponsored 196 annual scholarship awards to local architectural, structural engineering and construction management students. Through the MMC, MIM works with the local Michigan IMI and BAC.

Ledent serves on The Masonry Society (TMS) 402/602 Masonry Code and Specification as a voting member on the Design and Structural Elements Subcommittees. He is new chairperson of the TMS BIM-M Subcommittee. Previously, he was one of two structural engineering consultants promoting masonry design through the MMC.

Most recently, Ledent worked at Fishbeck in Grand Rapids as a Senior Structural Engineer. Previously, he was the Discipline Leader of Structural Engineering at Bergmann in Lansing.

He earned both Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Civil Engineering from Lawrence Technological University. Ledent is registered in seven states as Professional Engineer (PE) including Michigan. He is also registered in Illinois and Hawaii as a Structural Engineer (SE). 248.663.0415 |

Brian Scanlon

Scanlon Leads New England

Coming from the hardscape segment of the industry, Brian Scanlon, executive director, brings a fresh attitude and perspectives to the New England Concrete Manufacturers Association | Reinvesting in the Industry.

Scanlon looks forward to bringing these industries together in collaboration with designers and contractors. “Designers today like to meld buildings into their landscapes, opening new and classic materials into their environments,” states Scanlon. “We plan to bring new ideas and innovations to develop new markets for masonry materials such as outdoor gathering spaces for commercial and institutional venues repurposing harmony with buildings as vessels to improve what is surrounding. We want to wake up architects to ideas for new possibilities to create outdoor gathering and working spaces defined by masonry with dazzling aesthetics. Working together. The NECMA can present these new concepts through marketing to readily develop new markets for masonry.

“We look forward to investing CHECKOFF funding when it becomes available in a significant marketing initiative to help us grow market share. We want to make masonry cool again. And to keep the traditional masonry resilient local flavor throughout New England. SMART| dynamics of masonry will be an important educational tool to help us reach and influence designers in Boston and the entire New England area.” 774.402.0653 |

Barbara Stallone

Utah Masonry Council Announces Stallone as New Executive Director

Barbara Stallone brings a broad background in nonprofit development, business development, public relations and public policy. She creates an environment for motivated and enthusiastic participants. Currently, she is engrossed in obtaining grants from the Utah legislature for bricklayer apprenticeship funding.

Stallone holds both an MBA and a Master of Management and Leadership from Western Governors University and Bachelor Degrees from the University of Utah. Previously, Barbara served as Development Director at the Family Support Center. Before that, she ran her own consulting company, working on social policy issues and helping several candidates win seats in the Utah Legislature. Before her consulting work, Barbara was the Director of Policy and Public Relations for the Utah Housing Coalition and Grants Manager and Public Policy Analyst for Volunteers of America, Utah. 801.638.1494 |

Cassie Mejia

Cassie Mejia is new program director for the Arizona Masonry Council. Mejia was born into the masonry industry as her family’s 4th generation. She has grown to love the permanence and the art of masonry as her favorite toys during childhood were colorful and textural clay brick. While most children were learning about building with Legos, Cassie practiced stacking real brick into small enclosures gracing her front yard.

Growing up on jobsites learning safety first hand, she quickly became safety coordinator when she officially began as a project coordinator for Rhino Masonry, and later Hobbs Masonry. Her first assignment was McCord Hall, home to the WP Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, an amazing project. Mejia is now enjoying her new role as Arizona Masonry Council program director. 602.262.0510 |

Andrea McChesney

Andrea McChesney New Executive Director at Canada Concrete Masonry Producers Association during summer of 2019 after leadership development, sales and management background at Lafarge Aggregates and Honeywell Building Solutions in Ontario. McChesney inherited a very strong program advertising the sustainability of concrete masonry continuously projecting facts on fire, winds and floods. CCMPA will see a crystallized strategic plan in 2020 that is a robust process being designed collaborativelywith members and across industry. McChesney holds degrees from The University of Western Ontario (BA) and Wilfrid Laurier University, (MA). 365.323.5024 |

Vince DiPofi

SSOE Elevates DiPofi SSOE Group announced Vince DiPofi, PE, as its new President and CEO in December. He replaces Bob Howell, who has retired. Throughout his more than 35-year AEC industry career, 19 of which were at SSOE, DiPofi has demonstrated his leadership with a get-things-done mindset.

DiPofi brings to the position an inspiring vision, challenging the organization to use technology to dramatically increase flow efficiency – re-thinking design and construction and daring the firm to improve how they do the work. 419.255.3830 |

Andrew Dunlap

Andrew Dunlap Named Building Technology Studio Leader at SmithGroup

Dunlap joined SmithGroup in 1999 and has built 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 MI; and the Kennedy Federal Building, Boston MA.

Dunlap will now serve in a leadership capacity for key projects and managing studio 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. 313.442.8186

Lynn Donahue DiPetta

Lynn Donahue DiPetta Celebrates 40 Years in the Brick Industry

DiPetta was the first female bricklayer in Central MA, joining the Bricklayers Local 39 in 1979. In December, DiPetta received her 40-year pin from the Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen Local 3 Boston.

Over the years, she has run her own masonry company, written a memoir, created the Brick by Brick Foundation to inspire young people to reach higher through building trades and construction and she continues to be a huge resource for the industry as a brick sales representative for Consolidated Brick and motivational speaker. She is locally known as The Brick Lady and knows everything about brick!


Billy Wauhop

Billy Wauhop Remembered President of Billy Wauhop & Associates and industry leader, Wauhop died peacefully January 5, 2020. He was an inventor who designed and built block plants and equipment used in block production in North America and Europe. He was active in promoting the use and advancing the technology of concrete masonry with more than 45 years of involvement in the concrete masonry and hardscape industry. In 2018, he wrote a history of concrete masonry unit production for SMART|dynamics of masonry’s v4.2 commemorative issue for NCMA’s 100-year anniversary.

As a NCMA member he chaired and was active on numerous NCMA committees including Freeze-Thaw Durability, Production Technology and Operations, Recycled Materials, Codes and Standards, Masonry Technical and SRW Technical. Within NCMA, he may be best remembered for his leadership of the Political Action Committee. He most recently chaired the task group organizing NCMA’s 100-Year Anniversary Celebration in 2018, when he was inducted into the NCMA Hall of Fame and presented with NCMA’s highest recognition, the Lifetime Achievement Award.