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A Day in the Life of a Leader

CFA Professional Awards


Cover from Concrete Contractor Magazine's June/July 2011 issue featuring the diversification efforts of Mary Wilson and Michel Concrete.

Cover from Concrete Contractor Magazine’s June/July 2011 issue featuring the diversification efforts of Mary Wilson and Michel Concrete.

Sonny Newman, president of contract manufacturer EE Technologies was quoted in Business News Daily in defining leadership as “influencing others by your character, humility, and example. It is recognizable when others follow in word and deed without obligation or coercion.” This quote is a perfect representation of the parameters considered when the CFA Board of Directors awarded Mary Wilson of Michel Concrete in Springfield, Illinois the Most Valuable Person award this past summer.

The CFA M.V.P. award was developed to recognize the significant contributions of specific individuals toward the advancement of the Association’s mission and purpose. This award was first presented in 2004 to Brad Barnes, P.E. for this leadership and authorship of the ‘CFA Cold Weather Research Study and Final Report’. Brad passed away this past year leaving behind a legacy of confidence in the performance of concrete walls during cold and freezing conditions. Current CFA President, David Martinson of Martinson Construction in Waterloo, IA states, “In short, this M.V.P. Award is presented to an individual who has given generously of their time and talent in helping the CFA become the successful organization that it is today.”

It is likely that Mary’s name is not unfamiliar to you. She has been extensively involved in much the CFA has been about over the past six years since joining in 2008. Nearly as soon as she brought her company into the CFA network, she began taking on the challenges presented to her. Much of this has come in the way of asking questions of interest and finding new ways to express or challenge both her answers and those of her peers. This has included becoming a Board member, a voting member of ACI Committee 332, chair of ACI 332-D for Footings and Foundations and much more.

Mary is perhaps most widely known and recognized for her work on the CFA’s interpretation for fall protection. At a time when OSHA was turning the entire residential construction industry toward one of six active fall protection systems (safety nets, lanyards, guardrails, ladders, aerial/mechanical lifts and scaffolds), she forged ahead with three months of extensive research recognizing the stress and risk these systems would place on her crew members, most notably scaffolding. Her efforts resulted in the CFA’s production of a draft alternate fall protection position, an educational program on how to determine the impact of fall protection systems and their feasibility and later sponsored the creation of an entire development program for contractors the CFA now offers to its members.

We congratulate and thank Mary Wilson for her unselfish, humble and dedicated leadership to carve a portion of a stronger future for this industry.

Mary can be reached at

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Concrete FACTS, a publication of the Concrete Foundations Association, is THE voice for residential concrete industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the cast-in-place concrete industry. Subscriptions to Concrete FACTS is available to anyone involved or interested in the residential concrete industry as a service to your industry. Please contact CFA Headquarters to find out more about your free subscription or Email Us