Former General Shale Executive Vice President

May 7, 2021 | General Shale

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — General Shale, a leading U.S. producer of building material solutions, announces that former Executive Vice President Mark Kinser has been recognized by the Brick Industry Association (BIA) as the recipient of its 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award. 

The award, which honors outstanding individuals who have given substantially of themselves throughout their careers to the advancement and betterment of the clay brick industry, was presented during the BIA’s spring meetings, held May 4 – 6 in Miramar, Florida.

“The entire General Shale family couldn’t be more pleased that Mark was selected as this year’s recipient of BIA’s most prestigious annual award,” says Charles Smith, president and CEO of Johnson City, Tennessee-based General Shale and chairman of the BIA board of directors. “For more than four decades, Mark provided unparalleled leadership, vision and positivity to our company, and represented General Shale in the utmost fashion through his involvement on numerous industry, non-profit and community boards.

“Mark has been highly involved in the recent successes of our company, providing unwavering advice and stewardship in navigating a successful path after the Great Recession, and solid strategy that helped guide General Shale from a regional brick manufacturer to its current position as an established leader in the North American construction materials market,” Smith said.

Kinser began his 41-year career with General Shale immediately following his graduation from the University of Tennessee (UT), starting out as a supervisor trainee at the company’s Louisville, Kentucky, manufacturing plant. In the years that followed, his career accelerated through all levels of manufacturing management, including supervision, plant management and regional-level manufacturing management. He retired from General Shale in early 2020 after serving as the company’s executive vice president since 2013. In this role, he provided governance and oversight to a variety of corporate functions, including marketing, human resources, information technology and corporate development.

During his tenure at General Shale, Kinser was a strong advocate for the BIA, serving on multiple BIA task forces, committees, councils and boards, including eight years on the organization’s board of directors. He was equally involved in community service, serving on multiple regional boards of directors and committees. As a member of the University of Tennessee’s School of Architecture for nearly two decades, he was instrumental in bringing broader masonry construction education to generations of architectural students, and in contributing to innovative, award-winning sustainable projects through the university’s nationally ranked design/build program.

Kinser currently serves as chair of the Foundation Board of Directors for the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce, and on the advisory council serving the Tri-Cities (Tennessee) branches of SunTrust Bank. He also chairs the steering committee of East Tennessee State University’s Roan Scholars Leadership Program.


Founded in 1928, General Shale offers an endless array of sizes, colors and textures in a wide variety of masonry materials to complete any residential, commercial or specialty architectural project. These materials include brick, thin masonry, stone, outdoor living products, concrete block and various building materials, which include Arriscraft Stone and Jet Stream pipes division products. 

In 1999, the company joined Wienerberger AG of Vienna, Austria, the world’s largest brick manufacturer. With a life cycle of more than 100 years, the sustainability of brick is General Shale’s commitment to responsible stewardship.

General Shale is headquartered in Johnson City, Tennessee. For more information, visit



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