As I write this, I have spent the past two days participating in orientation meetings for new members of our board of directors. It’s always energizing to me and the NRCA staff to engage with our volunteers. NRCA is a volunteer-directed association, and seeing the work being accomplished in real time is fun and rewarding.
This also marks the time of year when there is a leadership change at NRCA. We say thank you to former Chairman of the Board Kent Schwickert, senior vice president, national business unit for Tecta America® Corp., Rosemont, Ill., and welcome new Chairman of the Board Nick Sabino, president and founder of Deer Park Roofing Inc., Cincinnati. It was my distinct privilege to work and travel with both of these leaders during the 2018-19 fiscal year, and Kent led the association through a year of significant change.
During the past year, Kent oversaw the hiring of McKay Daniels who joined NRCA as its chief operations officer. This was a new senior staff position the association had needed for years. Kent also oversaw the launch of the first three roofing worker certifications for NRCA ProCertification.™ We now have certifications available for workers installing thermoplastic and asphalt shingle roof systems, as well as a certification for roofing foremen. After years of hard work and dedication from volunteers and staff, NRCA ProCertification has the potential to change the roofing industry in significant ways.
During the past year, we also saw nearly unprecedented membership growth at NRCA—636 new members joined the association during the past 12 months. This level of growth has not been seen in nearly two decades. If that weren’t enough, we also experienced 50% growth in new One Voice members. The industry is unifying and coming together like never before.
Speaking of unity, 430 roofing stakeholders converged on Washington, D.C., to speak with one voice about the issues that affect our industry. Contractors, consultants, manufacturers, distributors and raw materials suppliers all showed up and put a positive face on the industry during the largest Roofing Day in D.C. yet.
But Kent didn’t stop there. He oversaw NRCA fully launch its new Qualified Trainer program. At press time, 100 companies have sent employees to a two-day course to learn how to direct and facilitate a training program. Just as the industry made the move to in-house safety directors, we are witnessing a shift of companies taking training more seriously than ever.
Finally, Kent led the association in a year where NRCA exceeded its budget on revenue and reduced expenses to be under budget. On balance, all we can do is offer a heartfelt thanks to a leader who left it all on the field and, more important, left NRCA better off than when he started. What more can we ask for? Next time you see him, make sure you express your appreciation for the countless hours he spent representing you throughout the world.
As we enter our next fiscal year, we also welcome our new Chairman of the Board-elect Rod Petrick, president of Ridgeworth Roofing Co. Inc., Frankfort, Ill.
In watching Nick work this past year, I do not expect to slow down. In fact, we are likely to move even faster with more urgency and even more excitement. Already, he is engaging with members and staff alike, bringing his enthusiasm for the trade to the front of our efforts.
It’s an honor to be the CEO of such a wonderful enterprise as NRCA. It’s a pleasure to follow the lead of such great people. To the future we go!
This column is part of News + Views. Click here to read additional stories from this section.