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Gala Celebration and Special Sessions

The NCMA Midyear Meeting and 100-Year Anniversary Celebration will truly be a special event. Check out details on the Gala Celebration and special sessions and speakers below.


Gala Celebration

Wednesday, August 1 – 6:30 – 11:00 PM

NCMA’s 100-Year Anniversary Celebration will culminate with a black-tie optional gala celebration.

This special event will include:

  • Cocktail reception
  • Live Entertainment from Leslie Hunt
  • 100-Year Anniversary Toast
  • Dinner
  • Group panoramic photograph recreating NCMA’s 1945 banquet photo
  • Special presentations
  • Dancing
  • and more!

Find information on the Gala celebration dress code and tuxedo rentals here.

 black tie 

100-Year Anniversary Special Sessions

To commemorate this milestone, we are taking a break from some of our normal committee meetings to have special speakers and sessions. These sessions will look both back into our history as well as forward into the next 1oo years. Session include:

Wednesday August 1 – 1:30-2:30 pm

Frank Lloyd Wright – Concrete Masonry Visionary

While FLW was not the concrete block’s most ardent supporter, he had a vision of what was possible with concrete masonry: “What about the concrete block? It was the cheapest (and ugliest) thing in the building world. It lived mostly in the architectural gutter as an imitation of rock-faced stone. Why not see what could be done with that gutter rat? Steel rods cast inside the joints of the blocks themselves and the whole brought into some broad, practical scheme of general treatment, why would it not be fit for a new phase of our modern architecture? It might be permanent, noble beautiful.”

A representative from the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust will inspire our industry audience by sharing the life and accomplishments of perhaps the most influential American architect.



 Top 10

Wednesday August 1 – 2:45-3:45 pm

Top 10 Notable Developments in the Use of Concrete Masonry

We have come a long way, baby! Concrete masonry’s production and use have seen many notable advancements in the last 100 years. Our panel of industry experts will share and debate those most noteworthy in shaping the way concrete masonry is used. 


Wednesday August 1 – 2:45-3:45 pm

Policy and Politics

New ideas for federal policies seem to be flying out of Washington as a rapid pace. We have invited a dynamic speaker to help us make sense of them all – especially as it relates to their impact on YOUR business. Example: Tariffs and Trade Wars – how will they affect the construction industry and your ability to compete?




Thursday August 2 – 8:00 – 9:00 am

Reminiscing! Coffee Hour 
It is the morning after our big gala, but the memories are just starting to come back to you! Come share or listen to stories about the people we have known and the times we have shared over the years. Grab a cup of coffee and ease into the day! 



Thursday August 2 - 9:00-10:00 am

Cement and Concrete Economic Outlook 

Economic volatility? You can bet that this will be a recurring theme in the presentation of one of our favorite speakers. It’s time to put the past behind us and look ahead. Ed Sullivan, Portland Cement Association’s economic strategist, will help us make sense of the external factors that could push us toward significant growth and competitiveness, or threaten those opportunities for continued market expansion.

Speaker: Ed Sullivan, Portland Cement Association



Thursday August 2 – 9:00 – 10:00 AM

How Will the Next Generation Lead Your Company? 

Are you doing what you can and should be doing to attract, identify and develop diversified talent to support both their current growth and their future leadership in your company? NCMA’s Young Professional Group hosts this session to provide insights and facilitate discussion on what companies in our industry are doing right and where they need to improve to understand, inspire and leverage the capabilities of a new workforce.

Speaker: Amelie Karam 


Thursday August 2 – 10:15-11:00 am

Build With Strength

The common building market threat is wood construction!  The Build with StrengthTM initiative has aggressively promoted the value of durable and resilient construction that does not burn, rot, mold or decay.  Can concrete masonry join other concrete segments under this banner to challenge wood industry messaging?  This session will explore how progress has been made by Build with StrengthTM and how more progress is possible through adaptation and increased investment.

Speaker: Lionel Lemay, Executive Vice President, Structures and Sustainability, National Ready Mix Concrete Association

 BWS Square Logo 


Thursday August 2 – 11:00-11:45 am

Building IN the Future

“The construction industry is slow to change.” Heard that before?  It looks like those dynamics may be set to change as new companies are looking to employ new technologies to become disruptors in the construction economy.  Robotics, prefabrication, virtual reality, lidar scanning, drones, and other developments are already enabling and challenging contractors.  This session will review these trends and enable the audience to consider opportunities for masonry and hardscape construction.



Thursday August 2-  10:15-11:45 am

Manufacturing Futures

Manufacturing in North America is going through dramatic changes for many reasons.  Demand continues to surge both domestically and in emerging world markets, but that demand is also resulting fueling consumer expectations of increased choice and customization.  New technologies are impacting human-machine interactions, and the availability of data and analytics are driving better plant decisions. Internet of Things sensors are becoming integrated.  Which of these futures do you need to be focusing on?