Reid Ribble in Talks to Become New NRCA CEO

I just returned from what easily could be described as the best International Roofing Expo in recent memory. Attendance at the 2016 IRE, held Feb. 17-19 in Orlando, Fla., was up, exhibitors were happy and conversations centered around very positive business conditions.

The show’s energy was not lost on me, especially because I’ve written many editor’s columns since 2010 wondering whether it’s yet the year the construction industry returns to positivity after the housing crisis. Instead of searching for economists to support a rebound this year, every meeting I had at IRE assured me roofing—and construction in general—is on an upswing.

This momentum was further underscored by an announcement made during the show by the Rosemont, Ill.-based National Roofing Contractors Association: Reid Ribble, a U.S. Congressman for Wisconsin’s 8th District, currently is in negotiations to take over for William A. Good, CAE, NRCA’s CEO, who will retire Dec. 31, 2016. Good has faithfully served NRCA and the industry, and he has a very loyal following. I personally am grateful to Good and members of his staff—Ambika Puniani Bailey and Carl Good. They gave me my first job in publishing back in 2000 and were integral in making me the editor I am today. Therefore, I certainly don’t want to take away from what Good has done for roofing, but I can’t help but be excited about the possibilities his successor could bring.

Ribble is a roofing contractor by trade. He joined his family’s business—Kaukauna, Wis.-based The Ribble Group—in 1975 and became its president in 1980. Ribble served as NRCA president in 2005-06 and NRCA senior vice president from 2004-05, as well as held a number of other leadership roles within the organization. He also was president of the Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress’ Board of Trustees from 2008-10.

Ribble was elected to Congress in 2010 and has been re-elected twice. It may be a bit difficult to see why I’m excited about a politician taking NRCA’s helm—especially when I would describe our country’s current presidential race as wackadoo. However, I can’t help but focus on the positive traits of (some) politicians and Ribble’s in particular: He obviously is a leader. He is dedicated to public service. He knows how to build a constituency. And, in January, when he announced he would resign from Congress, Ribble noted his commitment to his family. In addition, according to NRCA’s “RoofScoop” blog post, “In Congress, Ribble has earned the reputation of being honest and able to work with representatives from both sides of the aisle.”

I hope he brings these traits to his new role with NRCA. I hope he surrounds himself with construction experts—even those he disagrees with—who will provide new levels of insight about the issues facing the construction industry as a whole: durability, energy efficiency, materials transparency, renewable energy, resilience and sustainability. I think Ribble has a wonderful opportunity to make the roofing industry the leading construction voice on these matters. After all, we know a roof is a building’s first line of defense. Shouldn’t roofing be the first industry called upon to assist in meeting the current and future needs of our buildings?

BlueWater to Showcase Solar-powered Warning Light at IRE

A provider of modular guardrail systems and passive fall protection systems, BlueWater Manufacturing Inc., a Safety Products Group company, will be exhibiting at the 2016 International Roofing Expo (IRE), taking place Feb. 17-19, 2016, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

The International Roofing Expo is an annual trade show and educational conference where all segments of the roofing construction and maintenance industry come together for three days of face-to-face interaction, product review, education and networking.

BlueWater will be one of 1,100 booths exhibiting products, services and equipment for the roofing industry, including gutters, coatings/adhesives, built up, fasteners, machinery, metal, modified bitumen, roof pavers, renewable energy, walkways/ballast, shingles, slate, solar, spray polyurethane foam, tile, ventilation, waterproofing and more.

BlueWater will showcase its LumiGuard Solar-Powered Warning Light at IRE for the first time and promises to be an innovative and easy-to-install roofing safety product. The LumiGuard is a solar-powered warning light that can be easily installed onto current rooftop railings, gates, hatches, skylights and surrounding mechanicals.

“Our team is excited to offer this new and innovative product to the marketplace. LumiGuard adds a new dimension to roof safety during nighttime hours that just hasn’t existed until now,” says BlueWater’s vice president of Operations, Greg Kenton. “LumiGuard is easy to use and install for the end-user, and we’re proud to unveil it at IRE.”

For more information about BlueWater Manufacturing Inc. visit the company at booth No. 2407 at the 2016 International Roofing Expo, Feb. 17-19, 2016, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

ABC Supply to Host IndyCar Racing Drivers at IRE

ABC Supply will host IndyCar racing drivers Jack Hawksworth and Takuma Sato for an autograph session on Thursday, Feb. 18 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the ABC Supply booth, No. 1603, at the International Roofing Expo in Orlando.

ABC Supply, a longtime sponsor of A.J. Foyt Racing and supporter of the Verizon IndyCar series, finds a young star in Hawksworth, who is a native of England. In 2014 he received the Tony Renna Rising Star Award as a rookie. In 33 starts, he has earned 10 top-10 finishes, including a career best finish of third at the 2014 Grand Prix of Houston.

Ex-Formula One driver Takuma Sato enters his fourth season with Foyt’s racing team. In 102 IndyCar Series starts, Sato has earned 27 top-10 finishes, including 10 top-five spots and a victory in the prestigious Grand Prix of Long Beach. He has claimed five pole positions for setting the fastest speed in qualifications.

“ABC Supply is proud to be partnering with Foyt Racing for another year, especially with Takuma and Jack leading our team,” says Keith Rozolis, president and CEO of ABC Supply Co. Inc. “We look forward to everyone at IRE having the chance to meet these drivers.”

Register for 2016 IRE; Dr. Beck Weathers to Keynote

Online registration is now open for the 2016 International Roofing Expo (IRE), taking place Feb. 17-19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

“By registering early for the International Roofing Expo, attendees receive discounted registration rates and a better chance at securing availability in their preferred conference sessions,” says Tracy Garcia, CEM, IRE’s director. “In addition, attendees save time by not having to wait in long onsite registration lines.”

The Super Pass includes conference sessions on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, as well as admission to the expo, keynote and welcome party at Cuba Libre.

The Day Pass includes conference sessions on Wednesday only, Thursday only or Friday only, as well as admission to the expo, keynote and welcome party.

The Spouse Pass includes conference sessions on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, as well as admission to the expo, keynote and welcome party.

The Expo Only option includes expo admission on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, as well as admission to the keynote. Admission to the welcome party may be purchased separately in advance.

Taking place prior to the show, additional educational opportunities are available from NRCA. Details and prices can be found on IRE’s website.

Serving as keynote speaker is Dr. Beck Weathers, survivor of the 1996 Mount Everest tragedy. The keynote address will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 17, from 9:45 to 10:50 a.m.; it is sponsored by Malarkey Roofing Products, exhibiting in booth 1537.

The accomplished pathologist and amateur mountain climber will share how he was one of more than 30 climbers descending from Mount Everest’s summit in May 1996 when a violent storm hit the mountain with heavy snow, subzero temperatures and hurricane-force winds.

Universal Pictures has turned Weathers’ story into a biographical disaster drama and adventure thriller film, “Everest”, starring Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, Robin Wright and Keira Knightley.

“Dr. Beck Weathers’ incredible story of survival has all the elements of a great adventure: heroism, bravery, human struggle against the forces of nature, physical and psychological challenges, and a triumph of the human spirit,” says Bill Good, CEO of the Rosemont, Ill.-based National Roofing Contractors Association, the show’s official sponsor. “Attendees and exhibitors will be so inspired by his harrowing tale of survival.”

The keynote is included free of charge in all registration packages but advance registration is required.

Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress Is Accepting Entries for Its Construction Management Student Competition

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress is accepting entries for its second annual Construction Management Student Competition, a hallmark competition that promotes careers in roofing industry management that will culminate with presentations at the 2016 International Roofing Expo.

Teams from undergraduate colleges and universities wishing to participate in the competition must submit an Intent to Compete form and additional documentation via email by Nov. 13, 2015.

In addition to providing a significant learning opportunity, the alliance’s 2016 Construction Management Student Competition fosters an environment that is meant to bring out the best in each team; encourage dialogue among the students; and foster team spirit as students rise to meet the challenge.

Teams from each competing school will be presented with a problem statement—they will be asked to bid on installing a roof system on the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando. Each team must research the project, review the plans and specifications, and assemble a full estimate and proposal to a qualified bid package.

A roofing contractor company will be assigned to each team to serve as an industry mentor.

Oral presentations will take place Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016 from 7:45 to 11:15 a.m. at NRCA’s 129th Annual Convention and the 2016 International Roofing Expo (IRE) at the Orange County Convention Center.

The winning team will receive a $5,000 L.B. Conway scholarship for the winning school, a team trophy and individual awards; and recognition in a press release, in Professional Roofing magazine and on the alliance’s website.

IRE Housing Is Open for Booking

Attendees and exhibitors of the 2016 International Roofing Expo (IRE) can now make housing and travel reservations through the official hotel vendor, IRE Housing, powered by onPeak. Offering hotel, airline and car rental discounts through a variety of companies, IRE Housing offers the biggest savings and most valuable perks.

Taking place Feb. 17-19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., the show will offer roofing contractors of all sizes and specialties a comprehensive preview of the entire roofing construction and maintenance industry.

“We negotiated the lowest rates at the most popular and convenient hotels to the convention center,” says Tracy Garcia, Tracy Garcia, CEM, IRE show director. “Attendees and exhibitors are encouraged to book early as rates will increase as the show approaches.”

The Rosen Centre will serve as the headquarter hotel and will host most NRCA meetings and events.

The 12 hotels within the International Roofing Expo block include:

  • Rosen Centre – Headquarter Hotel
  • Avanti Resort Orlando
  • Castle Hotel
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Sea World
  • Embassy Suites Orlando – I-Drive/Convention Center
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites Orlando I-Drive
  • Hyatt Place Orlando Convention Center
  • Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando
  • Rosen Plaza
  • Sonesta ES Suites Orlando
  • Vista Cay Orlando Resort by Millennium
  • Westin Orlando Universal Blvd

As the only official housing provider for the International Roofing Expo, onPeak (formerly known as Travel Planners) is the only company that can sell rooms in the official housing block. Attendees and exhibitors are encouraged not to use other housing providers to secure rooms.

To secure the best rates, show participants must book through onPeak’s IRE Housing online reservation system. Reservations may be made online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or by calling (855) 992-3353 during the hours of 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.

“With the mix of convenience, accessibility and value, reserving rooms early is a breeze,” says Bill Good, executive vice president of NRCA, the show’s official sponsor. “Attendees and exhibitors will be pleased with the ease and simplicity of the online reservation system.”

IRE Draws Largest Crowd Since 2000

Industry professionals full of energy and excitement filled the halls of the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans to take part in three days of education, networking and a bustling trade-show floor at the 2015 International Roofing Expo. Taking place from Feb. 24-26, the annual trade show and conference drew a total attendance of 9,337 roofing construction professionals.

The International Roofing Expo, which took place in New Orleans in February, drew 9,337 roofing construction professionals.

The International Roofing Expo, which took place in New Orleans in February, drew 9,337 roofing construction professionals.

“The trade show floor was the largest since the 2000 show,” says Tracy Garcia, CEM, IRE show director. “Exhibitors enjoyed steady traffic as they introduced hundreds of new and innovative products to high-caliber decision-makers.”

Attendees represented all 50 states with the bulk of attendees from Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. The largest number of international attendees came from Canada; Mexico; and Seoul, Korea.

First-time registrants made up 42 percent of all attendees. “We had an awesome first year at the IRE. There were a lot of great vendors, great products and great people,” notes Cody Taylor of SupplyHog. “This is an exciting time to be in the industry, and we look forward to coming back next year!”

“This was my seventh year attending and I feel the IRE continues to improve yearly,” adds Robert Andreu of Hunter Warfield. “The location, vendors and show management each exceeded my expectations.”

EXHIBIT HALL

The trade-show floor was comprised of 1,178 booths, a 13 percent increase compared to the 2014 show. New, value-added services and innovative ideas in roofing materials and related products were displayed on the show floor, including metal, shingles, coatings/sealants/adhesives, flashing, waterproofing, underlayment, modified bitumen, bitumen/asphalt, gutters/roof drains and fasteners.

Exhibitors were pleased with the number of leads and inquiries generated during the show. “The IRE is the most important show of the year for us to engage our customers in person and showcase our new products and technologies,” observes Karen Edwards of EagleView Technologies. “We expect to see a great return on investment.”

Of the 465 exhibiting companies, 87 companies were first-time exhibitors. “We have attended many construction trade shows in the past and by far the IRE has been the most productive in terms of high attendance, which has generated a great source of leads to grow future business,” says Eric Velliquette of Lakeside Construction Fasteners. “If you haven’t attended or exhibited at the IRE, you should!”

“Business is strong within the roofing industry,” notes Bill Good, executive vice president of the Rosemont, Ill.-based National Roofing Contractors Association, the show’s official sponsor, which had an 800-square-foot booth at the event. “The enthusiasm was evident throughout the buying and selling activity on the show floor.”

EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE

In addition to the show floor’s buying and selling activity, the show’s educational conference offered 44 educational sessions addressing a variety of industry issues. Educational tracks included technical and workplace-safety classes, as well as business-related sessions, including leadership/management, green building, legal/HR, money matters, sales/service and general business.

“I come to the IRE each year to reconnect with friends in the industry while getting the best roofing-specific education from an extensive list of seminars offered each morning,” states Rob Therrien of The Melanson Co. “Each afternoon, I visit the show floor to see the latest new innovations to come into our industry, from materials to safety, to help our team and our customers.”

“The IRE show is extremely valuable to our company because the seminars are packed full of useful information that we can apply immediately and improve our bottom line in 2015,” adds Steve Pike of White Stone 1998. “We are very busy with our business, but this is time well spent; with what we learned, we are positioned to become a market leader.”

SPECIAL EVENTS

On the show floor, attendees found new products and ideas at the Metal Marketplace that featured 70 booths; the Business & Technology Pavilion with 49 booths; and Exhibitor Product Clinics from OMG, Equipter and Tremco.

Education was available on the show floor through The Roofing Institute. Sponsored by Johns Manville, these condensed classes covered topics from business strategies and leadership to increasing profits and more.

At the Product Showcase, attendees were able to see, try and compare the latest products in the following categories: new, sustainable and Made in the USA. Based on innovation, productivity and cost-effectiveness, a panel of industry experts awarded Leister Technologies’ UNIROOF E 40 MM – 120V/15A as “Best New Product,” while Tie Down Engineering’s Roof Zone – RZ Guardrail was awarded “Best Sustainable Product.”

Attendees had the opportunity to find new products and meet new exhibitors by playing the Treasure Quest game. Wesley Stienecker of Nitro Roofing & Construction was the winner of $2,000 after his name was drawn from a pool of attendees who visited each of the 10 participating Treasure Quest sponsors.

Giving back to the New Orleans community, a pre-show Community Service Day took place on Feb. 23, where 50 attendees and exhibitors enthusiastically volunteered to help renovate the homes of two families in need.

The show’s opening day featured a motivating Keynote Address by Ken Schmidt, the former brand visionary at Harley-Davidson, who shared his expertise on brand-building, corporate positioning and customer relations.

Attendees and exhibitors networked while enjoying complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks at the opening night Welcome Party on Tuesday, Feb. 24, at Generations Hall.

The 2016 International Roofing Expo will be held Feb. 17-19 at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla. Housing reservations can be made online beginning in May 2015 and online attendee registration will open in September. For more information, visit the expo’s website or call (800) 684-5761.

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress Secures the Future Excellence of the Roofing Industry

Maya Angelou once said, “To make a difference is not a matter of accident, a matter of casual occurrence of the tides. People choose to make a difference.” Since its inception, The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress, Rosemont, Ill., has not only made a difference within the roofing community, it has funded a number of critical industry initiatives, core programs and projects, and meaningful research that have contributed to securing the future excellence of the roofing industry.

At 144 members strong, the Alliance is a diverse and dedicated forum of roofing contractors, manufacturers, suppliers and industry professionals who have united to help preserve and enhance the performance of the U.S. roofing industry to support three primary objectives:

  • Supporting high-quality education programs.
  • Ensuring timely and forward-thinking industry responses to major economic and technological issues.
  • Enhancing the long-term viability and attractiveness of the roofing industry to current and future workers.

More than 105 members of the Alliance are professional roofing contractors and, with the help of more than 35 manufacturers and suppliers, the Alliance members have raised more than $11.5 million for a unique industry endowment fund in support of programs and research in four key areas: education and training, technology, sustainability and philanthropy.

During the past year alone, The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress developed partnerships with three of the leading schools of construction management; embarked on an innovative workforce program to create cultural and leadership training programs to educate Latino workers; and continued work on important roofing industry research projects, including RoofPoint, the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing’s comprehensive roof rating system for the assessment and selection of sustainable roof systems, and air retarder testing.

MEET THE ALLIANCE

The The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress was established in 1996 by the National Roofing Contractors Association, Rosemont, under the operations of the National Roofing Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization. A 16-member board of trustees manages the Alliance, overseeing existing projects and considering funding for projects addressing critical industry issues. The Alliance holds two member meetings each year, including its annual meeting, which will be held April 16-19 in San Francisco, and another held during NRCA’s Fall Committee Meetings.

Robert McNamara, president of F.J.A. Christiansen Roofing Co. Inc., a Tecta America company, Milwaukee, is the Alliance’s 2014-15 president; Ken Farrish, president of Atlas Roofing Corp., Atlanta, is vice president; and Jim Barr, president of Barr Roofing, Abilene, Texas, is secretary/treasurer.

Since June, the Alliance has welcomed eight new members: AAA Roofing Co. Inc., Indianapolis; Anderson and Shah Roofing Inc., Joliet, Ill.; Adler Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., Joliet; Blue’s Roofing Co., Milpitas, Calif.; Bone Dry Roofing Co., Bogart, Ga.; EagleView Technologies, Bothell, Wash.; Polyglass U.S.A. Inc., Deerfield Beach, Fla.; and Roofing Solutions LLC, Prairieville, La. View a list of all Alliance members on the Alliance’s website.

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress offers different levels of membership to encourage small-, medium- and large-sized firms to join and have a voice in determining the roofing industry’s future. Commitments to the Alliance can be pledged for three- to five-year periods. Public recognition is given in accordance with donors’ wishes and levels of commitment and include national public acknowledgement during NRCA’s annual convention and other special events and programs. Alliance members also are invited to participate in the project task forces established to guide the Alliance’s agenda and are invited to the semiannual meetings of the full Alliance.

“We decided to join the Alliance this year to support the industry at a higher level,” states Chad Collins, president of Bone Dry Roofing Co. “We have never measured the value of membership in dollars, so the financial commitment to support the Alliance was not perceived as an obstacle but rather as an opportunity. The enhanced avenues to further develop relationships and be a part of the advancements in this great industry moving forward are exciting.”

EDUCATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS

In 2014, The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress formed educational partnerships with the Department of Construction Management at Colorado State University, Fort Collins; McWhorter School of Building Science at Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.; and M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Building Construction at the University of Florida, Gainesville. The partnerships enhance college students’ experiences by exposing them academically and experientially to roofing as a career choice.

Through the partnerships, the universities have agreed to a three-pronged approach that includes incorporating more roofing-specific information and case studies into existing curricula; providing scholarships for construction management students and faculty; and developing industry internship programs with roofing contracting companies, manufacturers and distributors.

Three faculty members received scholarships of $5,000 each and were asked to collaborate as they developed their recommendations; the outcomes will serve as a model that can be used in other construction management schools throughout the U.S. Ultimately, the plan is to have roofing-specific materials incorporated in the construction management departments beginning in the fall of 2015.

Pages: 1 2 3

The Honest Roofing Industry

I attended the recent International Roofing Expo where I was reminded of what I love about the roofing industry. The people are so real! Manufacturers and contractors alike shared with me how their businesses are doing, the mistakes they made this past year, their plans for the coming years and how they really feel about where business is headed. I must say this was one of the most optimistic shows I have attended in quite awhile. (Read a post-show wrap-up about IRE in “New & Notable”.) Everyone I spoke to during the show was positive and full of energy for what’s to come—a welcome change from previous years when the construction industry struggled.

Gaining perspectives like these is a huge reason we structured the magazine as we have. Our tagline, “The Industry’s Voice”, is meant to clarify what types of articles you’ll find within the issue: Our authors are part of this industry and are willing to be honest with you—their peers—about their successes and failures in the hopes that you’ll learn from them just as you would if you were networking at IRE or another industry event.

For example, in “Business Sense” you’ll hear from Iain Fergusson, owner of Highland Roofing Co., Wilmington, N.C., who recently purchased the assets of his competitor, a 133-year-old roofing contracting company with almost 30 full-time roofers. Fergusson admits he made some mistakes during the merger but, he says, “You will learn way more from one mistake than you will from 10 good decisions.”

Meanwhile, Kaney O’Neill, who overcame a spinal-cord injury that ended her military career but launched her roofing profession, shares how she perseveres in a tough business climate. In “Business Sense”, O’Neill describes how she embraces lifelong learning for herself and her employees. “No matter where you are in business, you have to keep learning and growing to persevere,” she says.

O’Neill notes her military training has helped her stay “mission focused” and committed to excellence. Seeking employees with that sort of work ethic drew Chad Muth, president of Muth & Co. Roofing, Westerville, Ohio, to the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program. The program, which is covered in “Special Report”, helps veterans, active service members and their spouses transition back into the workforce through nationwide hiring fairs and an online process. Muth successfully hired and has since promoted Grant Smith, a former Marine, and hopes to hire more veterans. “We’re hoping we can … showcase what we have to offer [veterans] for the long-term future,” Muth notes.

Helping prospective employees recognize there is a long-term future in roofing is one of many goals of The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress, a 501(c)3 organization that was established by the National Roofing Contractors Association, Rosemont, Ill. In “Education”, Alison L. LaValley, CAE, NRCA’s associate executive director of Member Services, highlights the partnerships, training initiatives, technical and educational programs, and awards the Alliance funds as part of its mission. According to Tom Saeli, CEO of Duro-Last Roofing Inc., Saginaw, Mich., everyone should consider supporting the Alliance: “The organization funds important scholarships, sponsors innovative research to advance the roofing industry and partners with members from all walks of the industry who really care about what the future holds. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”

NRCA Announces Officers and Directors at IRE

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) announced its 2015-16 slate of officers and directors at its 128th annual convention held Feb. 24-26 in New Orleans.

Lindy Ryan, senior vice president of Tecta America Southeast LLC, Sanford, Fla., has been elected NRCA president, and Dennis Conway, principal and vice president of Commercial Roofers Inc., Las Vegas, was elected senior vice president. Jim Barr, president of Barr Roofing Co., Abilene, Texas; Chad Collins, president of Bone Dry Roofing Co., Bogart, Ga.; and Robert Morgan, chief operating officer of Upstate Roofing and Painting Inc., Rochester, N.Y., were elected vice presidents.

Additionally, the following were elected NRCA directors:

All 2015-16 officers and directors will assume their roles on June 1, 2015.