Botzek Finally Retires from the MC&MCA!

June 30 will mark the end of a long run for me! It all started on January 5, 1987 when Larry Hines, Manford Bakke, Ebbie Bulach, and Mark Peck visited me in the small conference room at the old Metro Square Office Building in downtown St. Paul. They wanted to check out this new guy that the Aggregate & Ready Mix Association (ARM) had hired in December of 1986 to serve as their executive director. I remember Mark Peck, owner of Henning & Peck, Inc., was president of the MC&MCA at the time and was serving his second term. He wore his best light blue suit in the middle of winter. I remember Ebbie’s smile!
 
I had been hired by ARM at to the strong suggestion of Ray Lappegaard, former Commissioner of Highways of Minnesota and upper management at Shiely. Ray and I had worked on a couple of projects at the State Capitol when I worked for the Senate and Governor Quie. Not only had I been hired to manage ARM, but also to lobby for them and the Minnesota Concrete Producers Association (MCPA).
 
The contractor boys were a tough sell, but we worked out a deal with a reasonable monthly retainer arrangement based on a one-year contract. The monthly rate would be worth millions today! Oh yes and they mentioned the need to get a convention organized for the following month! 

I remember the ARM board meetings were held at the Decathlon and the MC&MCA board meetings were at the Ambassador in those early days.
 
Over the course of the next 33 years the MC&MCA has stayed the course and remains a “player” in the concrete and masonry construction industry in Minnesota and the region. Some of our member companies have grown into large businesses and some are no longer with us. Many are still family owned and operated. But the people involved with these companies, both big and small, remain active, interested, and great to be around.


  

We have held a convention every year, done an Excellence Awards contest for construction projects every year, held an annual golf outing, and added/tried new membership activities like the annual bird hunt in December and craft beer socials in the warmer months!
 
We moved the office several times over the years but never lost the phone number (651-293-0892). We have had several great administrative assistants that have made me look better then I am. Rosemary, Renae, and Rudy are three of the best! Note that my wife Luci helped a lot, as well.
 
I am proud of the work we have done in growing the marketing portion of the industry. Working with IMI, the unions, the AIA, and other partners we have opened doors of opportunity for MC&MCA contractor members and suppliers that provide the goods and services the contractors need to get the job and get the job done on time, on schedule, and on budget.

Congratulations on your retirement!
Thank you for your years of service to the MC&MCA!

 
I am also proud of the strong relationships that the MC&MCA has built over the last 33 years with labor. Working with the bricklayers, the cement masons, the laborers, the carpenters, the operating engineers, and others we have negotiated good contracts for the workers and for the contractors. We can all be proud of the strong apprenticeship programs that exist today that are supervised by the co-sponsorship of management and labor.
 
I am most proud of the contractors and the associates that gave us their time and talents again and again, year after year, to get the job done. Whether it was labor negotiations or driving to judge the Excellence Awards contest, our members stepped forward project after project to work for the association and for the industry. This is especially true of the board members and committee members that served their industry and their association for a term or two or three or who is counting! Thank you to you all!
 
I turned 70 on May 21. Luci says it is time to slow down a bit and try new things? So, at the end of June Capitol Connections will be closing its doors in Roseville. We will be communicating via email at least for awhile.
 
Mark Severson is the new ED. He is ready and already in charge. The team at Management Guidance LLP is also experienced and skilled in the areas that MC&MCA needs to remain a player in the concrete and masonry construction arena and grow our market share. I wish the new team success in their efforts.
 
The concrete and masonry construction industry are a great business made up of wonderful people who work hard and enjoy life. That is what I have done all my life and that is why I believe this 33 year “working” relationship worked so well! Stay well and stay safe!
 
It has been a pleasure to work with you.
Gary Botzek