Message from the PresidentMike Reynolds

I would like to thank all the sponsors, exhibitors and attendees that made this year’s conference one of the best ever. Sasha and the Conference committee did a fabulous job. On behalf of the MBCEA, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the MBMA. The decision to co-locate with our conference really contributed to our success. Tom Gilligan’s opening remarks are always great and being able to share award ceremonies and general networking was fantastic. Click here to see some pictures from this year’s conference.

Building of the Year awards and Pioneers are highlighted in our June newsletter and will be featured in the upcoming edition of Metal Construction News. I applaud those of you who take the time to submit an entry. We work on some pretty amazing projects and it its nice to be recognized for our efforts. Congratulations to all winners!

Tim Pendley, of Bay Insulation received the Bob and Beverly Ketenbrink Oil Can Award for his many contributions to industry. While at Span, Tim created the “Span University”, an in house building training facility so his erectors and employees could have first-hand knowledge and hands on training of field conditions for assembling metal buildings. So, it was easy for Tim to contribute his expertise and knowledge of safety and training processes for the Quality and Craftsmanship Training Video Series. For years Tim has interacted with contractors and erectors at MBCEA’s regional and national meetings providing input and knowledge of safety, training and erection techniques. While at Bay, Tim has been a proud supporter of MBCEA’s Conference golf tournaments and the new IMP video.

In his exit interview with Bay’s Human Resources Manager, Tim commented, “I just wanted to make a little difference”, and indeed he has. On behalf of Bev Ketenbrink and in honor of Bob, we were happy to present this year’s Oil Can.


In other News, we announced next year’s Conference will be in San Antonio in early May. In celebration of our 50th Anniversary, attendees will receive a 50% discount off the regular price. Stay-tuned for more information.

Since it’s such a highlight of the Conference,  I would like to share some highlights from the roundtable. We had a great panel. Joining me were Jennifer Heimburger (Heimburger Construction), Justin Waller (RedIron Construction), Arnold Corbin (MetlSpan), and Josh Quinter (Offit Kurman). Keith Wentworth (Dutton and Garfield) moderated. Much of the conversation centered on use of Technology but we also covered many other topics.

Keith led off the discussion with a request for sample Temporary Bracing plans. Temp Bracing will the focus of two new tools for our trade (see article below). The development of Site Specific Plans to include temporary bracing and erection sequencing are vital for safety. We are encouraging members to send sample plans to Jackie for consideration by the project team.

Justin reminded us how easy it is to Face Time. What a time-saver over taking and texting a picture; only to call back and the employee is now out of cell phone range. With face time when there is an issue, you can immediately be brought in to the conversation. The phone can be turned so you can see exactly what your crew sees.

Our Florida member, Dean Davids, of CMBSC, has an Iphone App called CrewKeeper that allows crew leaders to document time, issues, safety meetings, site safety audits, expenses and more. Real time entry with location aware shortcuts, defaults remote notifications of arrivals and departures.

Arnold suggested Erectors invest in an Infrared app for their phones (approx $300) that would aid in leak investigations.

Josh pointed out that use of smartphones on the job site could be great but companies should have a social media policy. Also recommended is that contracts  address who has the right to take/post pictures.

Affix bar codes to your equipment and tools and scan them out to the employee. Then when you are looking for something, you know who had it last. Another suggestion is GPS trackers for your heavy equipment so you always know where they are.

Green lasers provide better visibility in the daylight than Ruby.

Time-keeping should be done by type of activity. This not only will aid in your understanding of job productivity but could influence how much you pay in workman’s comp as certain activities carry higher/lower rates.

Offer job bonuses. Tie things like care of tools/equipment to the bonus.

One old school tip for managing change orders is equip your foreman with a simple memo form with a carbon copy (you know the top sheet is white, second sheet is yellow; anything you print on the top sheet appears on the second sheet). As change orders are discussed/agreed, the foreman quickly writes up a summary of the conversation and has the project manager sign it. A copy goes to the PM and a copy stays with the foreman to be returned to the office for billing.

Tom Frahm and Arnold Corbin led a Tips of the Trade class during the Friday educational sessions. At the roundtable he was asked to re-share his grease gun technique. So here it is: Every project will have a leak or two usually in the first couple of years after assembly.  So if you have a roof panel lap that is 2′- 3′ wide with only a pin hole type leak, why tear apart a 95% good lap just to fix a portion of it?

“My grease gun trick uses a butyl sealant that is mixed with Mineral Spirits (20%) of the volume, poured into the grease gun that has an 18 ga gasket needle inserted at the hose.  To fix a leak on a panel, closure plug etc, inject the needle in the suspected area and pump the sealant.  The mineral spirits will evaporate in about 24-36 hours and the sealant will return to normal consistency.  All of this can be done in any weather condition. Suggest using a pistol grip gun. Purchase needles at any NAPA or Auto Zone store. Sealant comes in a one (1) gallon pail that will last a long time.  For the sealant call: Sealtech, Floyd  Young, 816-916-8389 or

Every year, we emphasize the power of the PRE-Installation meeting. If you are not doing one, you should be!

Immediately following the Conference, we sent out a post-conference survey to all exhibitors and attendees. We would like to thank everyone who responded. This is great feedback as we plan for next year.  In general, most liked the schedule and location, but more importantly offered real ideas for improvement. The personalized folio was a hit. A few comments that sum up some running themes are:

  • Our team would like to thank the MBCEA for the quality of the event. We found the networking strategic, the educational breakouts informative and look ahead to 2018.
  • Sasha (and Jenny-MBMA) made the challenge of registering both the MBCEA and MBMA seamless
  • Only drawback is deciding which breakouts to go to on Friday.
  • Idea of both organizations together sharing information is GREAT!
  • Would like to had a longer round table discussion. The round table should not be at the end. That meeting brings so much energy to the room that it should be earlier.
  • Speakers did a great job.  From takeover by robots to Gary’s passion – you had it all!

In closing, there was one question frequently asked that I would like to answer. This year was our 48th Annual Conference, yet we announced that next year is our 50th Anniversary – What’s up with that? The SBA which became the MBCEA organized as an association in 1968. Since then we have hosted 48 Conferences so next year will be our 49th Conference during our 50th Anniversary year.

Thanks to everyone who participated. It was great to see you all.



Mike Reynolds
President, MBCEA

P.S. Please update your records to reflect a new PO box for the MBCEA.  Our mailing address is: MBCEA, P.O. Box 3429, Bethlehem PA 18017.


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