Producers

Block companies and producers across the country are voicing their support for the CMU Checkoff Why? Because they believe checkoff investments will help them to achieve their visions for their members and in their markets. Here is just a small sample of producers that are speaking out on the impact a national checkoff will have on the block industry.

Rocky Fizzano, Fizzano Brothers

"The checkoff will create more strict building codes, better building codes.That's one thing that a checkoff will help us with, allow us to have a more national presence."

Heidi Jandris, Jandris Block

"I support the checkoff for two reasons. First, our competition is telling our story for us. We aren't out there as an industry with a cohesive marketing message. The second reason I support the checkoff is that we have virtually no presence in front of the decision makers of tomorrow. I went to school for architecture and there was very little class time dedicated to masonry and even less to concrete masonry."

Ryan Ross, Block-Lite

"The biggest reasons I support the checkoff program are: You can’t change codes and standards at the local level, you must have a national presence which you will have with a checkoff program. Also, if you look at the ROA of other checkoff programs it’s a no brainer from an investment standpoint."

Joe Longo, Barrasso & Sons, Inc

"People have asked me if the checkoff is a tax. It's not a tax. The money is not going to the government. It's going to a third-party accounting firm that the producers on the board choose. And then it goes to fund projects that we as producers decide will best impact our industry."

Rodney Ebeling, Featherlite Building Products

"I support the Concrete Masonry Checkoff program due to the unique opportunity it provides for our industry to speak with one voice, emphasizing the multitude of advantages our products provide. The program will give geographically diverse operations the ability to promote and educate with knowledge on how to apply our products to achieve sustainable, resilient, efficient, and safe building in their local area."

Charles Carson, Southeastern Concrete Products

"I think the CMU Checkoff Program is our industry's best chance to join forces and combat the well-established marketing campaign of the Wood Industry. I'm convinced that without the Checkoff, we'll continue to lose market share against wood and other products."

Joe Longo, Barrasso & Sons, Inc

"I support the checkoff 100 percent. Apartment buildings going up all over Long Island., some of them with zero masonry, not even elevator shafts. We're seeing three and four story buildings with no masonry. I've mentioned the checkoff to most of my customers and for a penny a block, they are completely behind it so we can promote the industry. And I think the checkoff is going to make all of our businesses worth more in the end."

Jason Garner, Antique Block & Brick

"We've been producing block since 2012 and I absolutely love the versatility and strength of masonry. We've got to make sure the construction industry knows that too. When an architect or an engineer is starting off a project, we have to make sure they are thinking about block out of the gate. But they have to know the value of masonry to do that and right now, no one is telling that story for us. That's the biggest potential I see for our checkoff."

Derek Lloyd, Duke Concrete

“I support CMU Checkoff because I’m tired of losing our market share to wood and other building materials. The only way I can see us regaining that lost ground is through the coordinated promotion of masonry construction on the regional and national levels. Individually our voices are drowned out by our competitors, but CMU Checkoff will give our industry a pulpit from which we can be heard. We know block is better and it’s time we let everyone else know too."

Tom Finch, RCP Block & Brick Inc

"Since the concept of a concrete masonry industry check-off program began in 2008 I have been a strong proponent. With large marketing budgets and the funding that is needed to influence the building codes, our competitors with check-off programs in place have increasingly convinced decision makers that their products are a cheaper and faster method of construction."

Jim Gendron, Fendt Builder's Supply, Inc

"The checkoff is our way to get the piece of the pie back that we used to have. And then some. This program isn't going to just benefit the big producers in the big cities. It's going to benefit small producers in the rural areas. Maybe even more."

Brent Gleason, Boxley

"In today’s competitive landscape, promoting our industry has become more important than ever. The CMU checkoff program is the only clear path forward to compete with other building systems."

Pat Sauter, King's Materials

"We're a third generation producer. We have three plants in Iowa and unfortunately, that used to be seven plants. I think that's a consistent story you'll find all over the country. There used to be 30 plants in Iowa. Now there's six. That's why I've been involved in making this checkoff happen. We have to do something different. And we have to take back market share."

Dana Morse, Jandris Block

"We just need to promote our product and get back some of the market share we've lost. A checkoff is only going to benefit ourselves. The numbers have been dwindling for years and if we don't want to see more extinction, we have to turn things around. Our checkoff is the way to do that."

Kurt Zink, VanderWall Brothers

"VanderWall Brothers will be celebrating our 100th anniversary next year as a producer of concrete masonry products. We believe the checkoff program is overdue and while our industry has suffered, the pace and needs of construction professionals continue to evolve. We believe the checkoff program can provide needed help from a demand side, new technologies, product innovation and the next generation of masons and producers. We hope the checkoff passes to help the masonry industry."

Zach Stuart, Midland Concrete Products

"This a great opportunity created for our industry producers that will enable us to work together toward winning back market share as well as positioning concrete block as the superior building product in the market. Other benefits of this program will be the improved building safety and durability while also providing more job opportunities to our skilled tradesmen and women.”

Sam Finney, Tidewater Block

"I support the checkoff because for small businesses like mine, we don’t have the resources to promote block to architects, engineers and retailers. If we join together like other competing products have, we can tell our story and get more blocks in the walls."

Mark Polyock, Lakes Brick & Block

“Big and small producers alike need this checkoff to help our industry grow market share.”

J Bruce Blair, Consumers Concrete

"I think the checkoff program will be great for the industry, helping to restore the market share that we have forfeited to competing construction materials. Working together we will be able to achieve continual growth, profitability and longevity of the masonry industry."

Jeannine Swisher, Swisher Concrete Products

"Every year we are losing producers and seeing them close their doors. We have a superior product which offers safety and longevity. We need to get the word out there to educate people on the benefits of using masonry to design and build with."

Rich O'Connor, Taylor Concrete Products

"I'm tired of it. I'm tired of the decline in cavities and companies. I'm tired of being outpromoted. Years ago we were the people doing the apartments, the hotels, barracks and schools. Now we're even fighting to get stair towers. I don't want the future of my business to be competing for stair towers and elevator shafts. We know our product is as strong as ever. We've just been outmarketed and with our checkoff we can turn that around."

Joe Bowen, Mutual Materials

"Mutual Materials is a strong supporter of the proposed CMU Checkoff. We believe that the checkoff will allow our industry to make needed investments to protect and grow the market for concrete masonry. We need to have the industry resources to promote and educate important influencers on the strengths and benefits of concrete masonry. The CMU Checkoff will generate those resources for us, and will be directed by your fellow CMU producers."

Garen Graves, Jewell, an Oldcastle Company

"I believe that this program is going to be what allows our industry to have consistency for the long term. We've turned somewhat to a world of disposable buildings that will deteriorate in 10-15 years. With our product we can have buildings that will be here for our children, our children's children and beyond. Our checkoff can get us there."

Constance Cincotta, Glenwood Mason Supply

"The Glenwood Mason Supply strongly supports the CMU Checkoff. Even though we are well aware it will increase our investment in block products, the value we will all experience quickly outweighs that. We cannot afford as an industry to continue to sit on the sidelines while our competitors are regularly signing purchase orders for walls that should be built with CMU. We are encouraging all producers to vote yes on the CMU Checkoff."

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Design Escapes
The CMU Checkoff Initiative was created by producers frustrated with continual loss of market share. That frustration was compounded when program ideas surfaced that could drive demand, but there was no way to fund multi-year, well-funded programs that would change outdated perceptions of CMU.

© Concrete Masonry Checkoff Initiative