Commerce Secretary seats inaugural CMU Checkoff Board of Directors

The Department of Commerce named 21 block producers to two-, three- or four-year terms on the CMU Checkoff Board of Directors. A planned, mid-November meeting in Chicago will see the launch of initial operations; appointment of chairs and vice chairs for five Regional Advisory Committees (RAC); and, determination of when checkoff assessments begin. Charter directors, 15 voting and six alternate(*), represent independent and major operators across regions mapped in federal legislation—the Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education and Promotion Act of 2018—spawning the CMU Checkoff:

Brendan Quinn, Ernest Maier, Inc. (2024)
Heidi Jandris, Jandris Block (2025)
Richard O’Connor, Taylor Concrete Products, Inc. (2026)
Rocky Fizzano, Fizzano Brothers Concrete Products, Inc. (2025)*

Major Ogilvie, Cemex/Ready-Mix USA (2024)
Preston Sparkman, Quality Block & Supply (2025)
Greg Gibbel, Best Block, a Quikrete Company (2026)
Sam Finney, Tidewater Block (2025)*
Gary Hensley, Oldcastle APG, a CRH Company (2026)*

North Central
Melissa Kline, Consumers Concrete Corp. (2024)
Patrick Sauter, King’s Material, Inc. (2025)
Sean Rustad, Lee Building Products (2026)
Jim Gendron, Fendt Builder’s Supply, Inc. (2026)*

South Central
Ryan Ross, Block-Lite (2024)
Dwayne Aucoin, State Block, Inc. (2025)
Mark Wilhelms, Midwest Block & Brick, a Quikrete Company (2026)
Mike Littrell, ABC Block & Brick (2024)*

Erik Absalon, Basalite Building Products, LLC (2024)
Kendall Anderegg, Mutual Materials (2025)
Edward Antonini, Angelus Block Company, Inc. (2026)
Michael Finch, RCP Block & Brick, Inc. (2024)*

“I am thrilled to appoint a highly talented slate of industry leaders from across the country to pioneer the National Concrete Masonry Products Board,” said Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. “Concrete masonry is a proud American tradition, and strengthening this important industry will expand markets, create jobs, and lead to higher quality outputs.”

One of the CMU Checkoff Board’s first steps, adds CMU Checkoff Interim CEO Ray McVeigh, will be identifying individuals to serve on the RACs, which are tasked with submitting local and regional program proposals to the Board for investment consideration, and likely to meet two to four times per year. They will especially focus on projects unique to their region and its specific needs. RAC participation eligibility is deliberately broad, notes McVeigh: Masonry contractors, material suppliers, architects, engineers, labor specialists, members of academia and association personnel are all welcome and needed. —