A recipe for success

A mix of Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress members improves the industry

Mix 95 leading roofing contractors, 19 manufacturers, and seven distributors and suppliers of roofing materials, and sprinkle generously with $10 million. What do you get? The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress—a powerhouse of roofing professionals dedicated to bettering the roofing industry and addressing critical industry issues.

Although the alliance is relatively new, Alliance Chairman Johnny Zamrzla, president of Western Pacific Roofing Corp., Palmdale, Calif., says the alliance is poised to embark on noteworthy studies that will benefit the roofing industry and excited to see its previous endeavors pay off.

He explains: "The alliance investment portfolio is coming back with the turnaround of the stock market and general economic improvements. Its recent expenditure to study nonresidential roof system longevity for possible revision of the Internal Revenue Service depreciation rule is complete, and the bill is moving through Congress. And the alliance has begun its study about the future of the roofing industry. Keep your eyes on the alliance as it continues to move forward."


Established in 1996, the alliance was formed to provide an endowment fund and framework within the National Roofing Foundation (NRF) to create dynamic programs that contribute to the roofing industry's professionalism and satisfaction of the customers and public the industry serves.

At the outset and with the assistance of resource development consultant Fazio International Ltd., Boca Raton, Fla., NRF's leadership established a $7 million endowment fund, a target commitment that it anticipated would take 18 months to 24 months to achieve. The goal was reached in 11 months, and endowment commitments now exceed $10 million—more than $8 million of which has been collected to date.

To what can this overwhelming response be attributed? The answer is active participation and involvement by donors and the opportunity for donors to decide what projects the endowment will fund.

Donors are told they will set the alliance's agenda—and indeed they do.

Meeting twice annually, alliance members analyze, select, recommend and provide oversight for projects that advance the ability of roofing professionals to meet current demands and prepare the roofing industry for the challenges of the 21st century.

Guided by a 15-member Steering Committee, the alliance organizational structure also includes Fund-raising, as well as Finance and Investment, committees.


During its seven-year history, the alliance has undertaken numerous significant projects. Most recently, it funded a study about roof system longevity and replacement activity conducted by Ducker Worldwide, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. The study's results were cited by Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) in his Sept. 30, 2003, statement introducing The Realistic Roofing Tax Treatment Act of 2003 (S 1679), which would amend the Internal Revenue Code to provide a more realistic depreciation schedule for commercial roof systems. (The Ducker Worldwide study concluded a commercial roof system's life span is 17 years. The current depreciation period is 39 years. See "Evidence of depreciation," November 2003 issue, page 28, for more information.)

Previous alliance projects concentrated on work force issues. These include the following:

  • A study of worker satisfaction in the roofing industry. Conducted by The Gallup Organization, Princeton, N.J., the study documents workers' motivations for entering, remaining in and leaving the roofing industry. It also provides data about job and employee characteristics, professional relationships and training.

  • The development, in cooperation with NRCA, of Roof Application Training Programs. Sixteen modules that include a video, instructors guide, workbook and learning guide were produced addressing low- and steep-slope roof systems, various system applications, specialized applications, safety and equipment. Six of the 16 modules also were created in Spanish.

  • A media/communications program geared toward potential roofing workers and those who influence them. The program provided national and local media, vocational and technical institutions, and prospective workers with information about roofing careers and employment opportunities. Program elements include a roofing career/job opportunity hotline that has responded to more than 4,000 telephone calls; roofing careers brochure; recruiting guide for roofing contractors; the Roofing Industry Most Valuable Player Awards, which annually recognize and honor outstanding roofing workers; and roofing career video for vocational, educational and governmental institutions. In addition, as a result of the media program, a pilot roofing training program was established at a Job Corps center in Callicoon, N.Y. Ultimately, the alliance hopes the training program will be expanded to additional Job Corps centers throughout the United States.

  • A best practices study about the successful efforts of roofing contractors to recruit, train and retain workers. The documentation provides contractors with benchmarks to assess their own employment practices.

These noted programs amply illustrate the alliance's contributions to the roofing industry to date. But what about the future?

The future

At their meeting held Oct. 3, 2003, alliance members authorized two new projects. The first is a study of best practices to prevent repetitive-stress and -strain injuries in the roofing industry. The study will focus on reducing injuries through the redesign of work activities and improved design of tools and equipment. It will show how firms have improved work processes and serve as a blueprint to assist roofing contractors in developing their own ergonomics programs. Tom Glavinich, chairman and associate professor of architectural engineering at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, will spearhead the study. A study completion date is not yet known.

The second project is a study of the roofing industry's future. Undertaken to enable the roofing industry to think more strategically and proactively about the future, the study will address trends in the construction industry; emerging business opportunities; and threats and opportunities so the industry can prepare to succeed during the next 20 years. It also will formulate a research agenda for the alliance, addressing important ideas, issues and trends that need further study and exploration for the betterment of the roofing industry. Atul Dighe, senior futurist with the Institute for Alternative Futures, Alexandria, Va., will guide the study, which is expected to be completed this fall or winter.

Alliance members should be proud of their accomplishments—the group's future bodes well.

Perhaps it is best summarized by the alliance's first chairman, Melvin Kruger, chief executive officer of L.E. Schwartz & Son Inc., Macon, Ga., who says: "It's gratifying to see the continuing commitment of all segments of the industry. Much has been accomplished, but I believe those who have been closely involved recognize we have just seen the tip of the iceberg. The Ducker Worldwide study can be the catalyst to benefit every discipline in our industry, as well as provide significant job creation across the country. Other exciting programming is on the horizon. All in all, the investments that have been made are beginning to pay off. With the talent around our meeting tables, we can look toward a bright future."

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress is open to all roofing contractors and industry partners, such as manufacturers, distributors, etc. Roofing contractors commit a minimum of $50,000, and industry partners commit a minimum of $100,000, typically paid during a five-year period. Additional members and, therefore, additional participation and funding can only improve the alliance's already successful recipe.

For additional information about the alliance, contact me at (847) 299-9070, Ext. 7564, or cseidel@nrca.net.

Christopher W. Seidel is executive director of NRF.

Alliance members

Visionary Founders—Manufacturers $1 million

  • Firestone Building Products Co., Carmel, Ind.

Founders—Manufacturers $500,000

  • Johns Manville Roofing Systems, Denver

Guarantors—Manufacturers $250,000

  • Carlisle SynTec Inc., Carlisle, Pa.
  • GAF Materials Corp., Wayne, N.J.
  • Owens Corning, Toledo, Ohio
  • TAMKO Roofing Products Inc., Joplin, Mo.

Guarantors—Suppliers $250,000

  • Bradco Supply Corp., Avenel, N.J.

Regents—Contractors $100,000

  • Centimark Corp., West Chicago, Ill.

Regents—Manufacturers $100,000

  • Atlas Roofing Corp., Meridian, Miss.
  • Fields Corp., Tacoma, Wash.
  • Garlock Equipment Co., Plymouth, Minn.
  • GenFlex Roofing Systems, Maumee, Ohio
  • JPS Elastomerics Corp./Stevens Roofing Systems, Holyoke, Mass.
  • Kirby Fiberglass Inc., Pueblo West, Colo.
  • Koppers Industries Inc., Pittsburgh
  • Olympic Fasteners, Agawam, Mass.
  • Performance Roof Systems Inc., Kansas City, Mo.
  • Petersen Aluminum Corp., Elk Grove Village, Ill.
  • Sarnafil Inc., Canton, Mass.
  • Siplast, Irving, Texas
  • Soprema Inc., Wadsworth, Ohio

Regents—Suppliers $100,000

  • ABC Supply Co. Inc., Beloit, Wis.
  • Allied Building Products, East Rutherford, N.J.
  • Beacon Sales Co., Somerville, Mass.
  • CNA Insurance Cos., Chicago
  • Cameron Ashley Building Products, Dallas
  • CRS Inc., Atlanta

Charter Governors—Contractors $50,000

  • Al Melanson Co., Keene, N.H.
  • A.W. Farrell & Son, Dunkirk, N.Y.
  • B & M Roofing of Colorado Inc., Boulder
  • B & R Roofing Co., Fresno, Calif.
  • Baker Roofing Co., Raleigh, N.C.
  • Beldon Roofing Co., San Antonio
  • Best Roofing, Pompano Beach, Fla.
  • B.L. Dalsin Roofing Co., Minneapolis
  • Bosnick Roofing Inc., Tacoma, Wash.
  • Bradford Roof Management, Billings, Mont.
  • Buckaroo-Thermoseal Inc., Portland, Ore.
  • Carriere-Stumm Inc., New Orleans
  • Chamberlin Waterproofing & Roofing Systems Inc., Houston
  • Clark Roofing Co., Broadview, Ill.
  • Commercial Roofers Inc., Las Vegas
  • Construction Services, Humble, Texas
  • Crowther Roofing & Sheet Metal of Florida, Fort Myers
  • Cyclone Roofing, Indian Trail, N.C.
  • D.C. Taylor Co., Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Dixie Roofing Inc., LaFollette, Tenn.
  • Douglass Roofing Co., Commerce City, Colo.
  • DRI Commercial, Irvine, Calif.
  • Eberhard Roofing, Van Nuys, Calif.
  • Edward J. Laperouse Metal Works Inc., Houma, La.
  • Empire Roofing Inc., Fort Worth, Texas
  • Enterprise Roofing Service Inc., Concord, Calif.
  • Evans Service Co. Inc., Elmira, N.Y.
  • F.J.A. Christiansen Roofing Co. Inc., Milwaukee
  • F.J. Dahill Co. Inc., New Haven, Conn.
  • Fort Roofing & Sheet Metal Works, Sumter, S.C.
  • Garlock-French Roofing Corp., Minneapolis
  • generalRoofing Services Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • Gooding Delaware Inc., Newark, Del.
  • Gooding, Simpson & Mackes Inc., Ephrata, Pa.
  • Greenberg Roofing Co., Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Hamlin Roofing Co. Inc., Garner, N.C.
  • Harold J. Becker Co. Inc., Dayton, Ohio
  • The Hartford Roofing Co. Inc., Glastonbury, Conn.
  • Holland Roofing Inc., Florence, Ky.
  • Houck Services Inc., Harrisburg, Pa.
  • J & R Roofing Co. Inc., Jessup, Md.
  • James Mansfield & Sons Co. Inc., Lyons, Ill.
  • James Myers Co. Inc., Beltsville, Md.
  • J.A. Piper Roofing Co., Greenville, S.C.
  • J.D. Miles & Sons Inc., Chesapeake, Va.
  • J.E. Wood & Sons Co. Inc., Upper Marlboro, Md.
  • John A. Dalsin & Son Inc., Minneapolis
  • John J. Campbell Co. Inc., Memphis, Tenn.
  • Kalkreuth Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., Wheeling, W.Va.
  • Kiker Corp., Mobile, Ala.
  • King of Texas Roofing Co., Grand Prairie
  • Kirberg Roofing Inc., St. Louis
  • Langer Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., Milwaukee
  • Latite Roofing & Sheet Metal Co. Inc., Pompano Beach, Fla.
  • The Lawson Roofing Co. Inc., San Francisco
  • L.E. Schwartz & Son Inc., Macon, Ga.
  • L. Marshall Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., Glenview, Ill.
  • MAGCO Inc., Jessup, Md.
  • Marton Roofing Industries Ltd., Houston
  • Membrane Systems Inc., Atlanta
  • Midland Engineering Co. Inc., South Bend, Ind.
  • The Mountain Co., Vienna, W.Va.
  • Olsson Roofing Co. Inc., Aurora, Ill.
  • Orndorff & Spaid Inc., Beltsville, Md.
  • Pioneer Roofing Co., Phoenix
  • Potteiger-Raintree Inc., Glen Rock, Pa.
  • Premium Roofing Service Inc., Avondale Estates, Ga.
  • Rain Proof Roofing LLC, Anchorage, Alaska
  • R.D. Herbert & Sons Co., Nashville, Tenn.
  • Roof Decks of Puerto Rico Inc., San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Scholten Roofing Service Co., Mission Viejo, Calif.
  • Schwickert Inc., Mankato, Minn.
  • Snyder Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., Tigard, Ore.
  • South Side Roofing & Sheet Metal Co. Inc., St. Louis
  • Specialty Roofing Inc., Peoria, Ariz.
  • Springer-Peterson Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., Lakeland, Fla.
  • Star Roofing Co. Inc., Oakland, Calif.
  • Supreme Systems Inc., Dallas
  • Sutter Roofing Co. of Florida, Sarasota
  • T & K Roofing Co. Inc., Ely, Iowa
  • T.F. Beck Co., Rochester Hills, Mich.
  • Therrel-Kizer Roofing Inc., Smyrna, Ga.
  • Thomas Roofing Co. Inc., Mobile
  • Tip Top Roofers Inc., Atlanta
  • United Materials Inc., Denver
  • United States Roofing Corp., Norristown, Pa.
  • Van Dijk & Associates Inc., Irvine, Calif.
  • Western Pacific Roofing Corp., Palmdale, Calif.
  • Western Roofing Service, San Francisco
  • Wolfe Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., Reading, Pa.
  • Wolkow-Braker Roofing Corp., Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Wright-Brown Roofing Co., Detroit
  • W.R. Kelso Co. Inc., Indianapolis


  • Chris Jurin—Jurin Roofing Services Inc., Quakertown, Pa.

Charter Governors—Individuals $50,000

  • William Collins—GAF Materials Corp., Wayne, N.J.
  • John Gooding—Gooding, Simpson & Mackes Inc., Ephrata, Pa.
  • Daniel P. Murphy Jr.—Olympic Fasteners, Agawam, Mass.


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