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NRMCA Membership Approves Extending Build With Strength Funding

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The Board of Directors of NRMCA has overwhelming approved extending funding for the industry’s landmark campaign, Build With Strength (BWS), for an additional five years, viewing it as a critical tool in promoting ready mixed concrete as the building material of choice and increasing market share amidst increasingly visible competition.

The decision to extend funding occurred earlier this month in Florida at NRMCA’s ConcreteWorks where NRMCA staff and its public affairs firm offered a multimedia presentation for “Build With Strength 2.0,” an extension of the original campaign that began three years ago as “a multi-million dollar coordinated industry campaign to better educate the design/build and code communities about the benefits of concrete construction in the low to mid-rise sector and in general.”

“We’ve come a long way since the program began, but there is much more work to be done,” said NRMCA President Mike Philipps as part of the presentation. “Our advocacy on behalf of the concrete industry has contributed to a sea change in American construction. And though we have turned the ship, there remains a long way to go.”

A prime reason for the need to continue BWS is the continued efforts of the timber industry to portray the ready mixed concrete industry as harmful to the environment. It also has had measurable success in convincing state legislators to relax building codes and construction standards. BWS estimates that the wood industry spends about $15 million annually to promote wood-framed construction in structures up to 18 stories. Wood is still perceived by many as more sustainable than concrete, so BWS works to counter such false narratives across multiple media platforms while also reaching lawmakers at the local, state and national levels. In urging the need for continuing funding, Philipps, senior NRMCA staff and many Association members cited the initial BWS campaign’s success in changing hearts and minds, resulting in increases to concrete’s market share in low- to mid-rise building.

“Make no mistake, concrete is fighting back,” said Philipps. “And with the right promotion, the program is going places it has never been before.”

Build With Strength 2.0 will focus on four main areas: Communicate, Advocate, Promote and Connect. Board members were extensively briefed on each area during NRMCA’s ConcreteWorks, given multiple examples of past successes and a road map to future strategies. They heard from a cross section of industry executives who have been part of the Build With Strength message, including Caroline Sutton, executive vice president of the Carolinas Ready Mixed Concrete Association and Mark Wildsmith, vice president of the Philadelphia Plasters’ and Masons’ Local 592 who each spoke of the effectiveness of BWS’s Communications efforts. Craig Dauphinais, executive director of the Massachusetts Concrete & Aggregate Producers Association and Wayne DeAngelo, deputy speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly, District 14, discussed how Advocacy efforts have led to state-level victories on codes and standards legislation.

John Lee, director of business development for NRMCA producer member Cemstone, and David Azar, owner of Eastern Bay Management Corporation, spoke on how their respective companies have benefited from BWS’s Promotion and outreach efforts, and Joel Waters, executive director of the Mississippi Concrete Association, and Nolan Rollins of the Los Angeles Urban League spoke on how their organizations consider themselves Connected to BWS.

Over the past 3 ½ years, about 15 million cubic yards of concrete has been placed in buildings as a direct result of NRMCA members’ financial investment. Philipps and NRMCA staff assured members that their additional investment will be equally well spent and will result in continued gains in market share.

“Through significant brand awareness, this coalition has now been transformed into a bona fide movement that is educating, engaging and enacting meaningful change across the industry and beyond,” Philipps told NRMCA’s ConcreteWorks attendees. “In short, it’s time to go Bigger. Bolder. Broader. Stronger.”

Click here to view more details from the BWS e-magazine and here for the BWS promotional video. For more information, contact Gregg Lewis at or Lionel Lemay at


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