The World of Masonry/World of Concrete attracted nearly 85,000 attendees to Las Vegas. Those making the trip had the opportunity to check out the newest products and technologies from about 1700 exhibiting companies, and learn the latest productivity and profitability enhancing ideas during 150+ educational sessions.

Beyond the traditional venues of a trade show, World of Masonry also provided four special events for masonry contractors. The SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500, Pettibone Telehandler Skills, Hanley Wood LLC's Most Innovative Products, and Mason Contractors Association of America's Fastest Trowel on the Block added an extra layer of excitement to an already action-packed schedule.

SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500

The “World's Best Bricklayer” has been determined! Garrett Hood, McGee Brothers, Monroe, N.C., placed 791 bricks, according to strictly defined quality standards, during the 60-minute event to best 17 others masons from around the country, plus entrants from Great Britain and Canada, to earn the title. Hood drove home in a 2008 Ford truck containing thousands of dollars in sponsor prizes and a king-size $5000 check for winning the event.

Mike Boll, G. Porter & Co., St. Charles, Ill., the 2007 winner, placed second with 780 bricks; and Jeff Neely, Advanced Masonry, Oklahoma City, Okla., was third with 729 bricks. The “Top Craftsman” award was given to Dave Moyle, Steve Moyle Masonry, Manchester, Iowa, who laid 652 bricks and built the wall judged “most sellable.” Shane Barclay, Rice Lake Construction, Deerwood, Minn., set up his mason's predefined work area in 17 minutes, 40 seconds to earn the “Toughest Tender” title.

Winners sharing the awards platform with just a few of the many prizes were (from left) Neely, Moyle, Hood, Boll, and Barclay.

Pettibone Telehandler Skills

Jason Hershberger, Hershberger Steel Erectors, Abbeville, S.C., bested 35 other competitors in an event designed to test the skill, accuracy, and finesse of telehandler operators. He won a $15,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

The first-stage of the competition spread across three days involved picking and placing planks on three sawhorses. Stage-two simulated picking up and placing a load resting on a scaffold 35-ft up. The five operators from the first two days with the highest scores returned on the third day and repeated the course to determine the champion.

Chris Yeghoian, R.E. Serrano, Martinez, Calif., finished second. The remaining semi-finalists were Len Mackowiak, Midwest Masonry, Alsip, Ill.; Chris Hartman, Hartman Construction, Unityville, Pa.; and James Hendricks, also of R.E. Serrano.