Conference 2019

The MBCEA Annual Conference is fast approaching. We are looking forward to once again being co-located with the MBMA.  Last year was our 50th Anniversary. This year marks our 50th Conference. 50 years of contractors and erectors coming together to share best practice, to learn from each other, to bond and have fun.  Over the years our membership has had peaks and valleys but I am happy to report we are stronger than ever.

This means Conference 2019 will be bigger and better than ever. Our Vendor Exhibit Hall is your perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with suppliers and vendors, to see what is new and ask your questions.

We have a fabulous agenda that includes:

  • Educational sessions covering topics such as Change Orders, Basic Estimating Guidelines and Building Complexities of IMP’s, Air Leakage, Structuring Your Company for effective Leadership and Succession and Daylighting without Skylights.
  • A highly relevant keynote presentation from Gene Marks called the Road the 2020: Your People, Technology and Taxes
  • A three-hour Train the Trainer boot camp led by our very own Gary T. Smith

The conference is also home to our famous, or should I say infamous, Contractor and Erector Roundtable. This open mic format is your opportunity to speak up and be heard. We field a panel of experts and turn the floor over to membership. We ask questions, we discuss solutions, we solve problems. This practical hands-on advice would cost thousands from a consultant but is freely available to all who attend the conference. New this year is a second round-table that will be joint with the MBMA.  To be clear we have one scheduled for just contractors and erectors and a second that includes manufacturers and suppliers. It should be great!

I like to think the Contractor and Erector Roundtables are what we do best. They represent our members helping our members. No contractor or erector needs to struggle alone when they can call on the power of the association. You will always find someone a little smarter, a little bigger, a little greyer than you who has been where you are now. The MBCEA collectively has thousands of years of experience and best practice, and we freely share this knowledge with each other. This access to knowledge is perhaps the single most important reason for becoming a member.

As we continue to work and collaborate with the MBMA, as our conference continues to grow, it is perhaps fitting that this year we will host the Metal Construction Hall of Fame Awards Celebration. The Metal Construction Hall of Fame was founded in 2012. The goal was to recognize those individuals who have had a significant impact on the metal construction industry through their innovation, effort and leadership. Membership in the Hall of Fame is reserved for a select few, the best and brightest of us all. Consider these names from the MBCEA: Bob Ketenbrink, Rob Haddock, Mary Farrar, Gary Smith, Earl Raymond, Tom Frahm, Kelly Burk, Thad Strickland. There is no doubt of their impact!

We are thrilled to host the Hall of Fame at our Conference. We are humbled by the honorees. We are proud to share in their glory. Events such as this are so important for our industry. The Hall of Fame is a tangible sign to young contractors, erectors, and engineers that their efforts are worthwhile; that our industry has merit. The Hall of Fame imposes a gravitas on us all.

There is no doubt; the business world is spinning faster and faster. Your success and future depend on your ability to keep up.   Participation in events like our Conference, attending the Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony, and taking the time to read this magazine is how we improve ourselves and our business. It is how we stay inspired.

James Cash Penney was an American businessman and entrepreneur. He famously said “growth is never by chance, it is the result of forces working together.” I look forward to working together with you in Myrtle Beach in May.  

Please visit our new and improved website,, for additional information about the Conference and the MBCEA.

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