I have been writing a lot about change these days, and it occurred to me that though change is all around us, we often resist it. And the resistance no doubt is fueled by fear that change (though often good) also can be bad. For instance, it was good when change brought my wife to me. Or when change brought me to my new role at NRCA. But change also can mean we lose people we love and care about. That happened recently when the roofing industry lost former NRCA Chairman of the Board Billy Fort. Yet we deal with it, and as best we can, we move forward.
It's not often things change dramatically in an industry as mature and vast as the roofing industry. The roofing industry encompasses raw material suppliers, manufacturers of materials and the equipment to install them; it includes those that distribute the materials; and it includes, of course, those who install them.
But it also is composed of engineers, consultants, architects and designers. And let's not forget building owners, government agencies and households that are protected by our collective work. Without them, we have little purpose.
As a group, we need to be aware of threats to the industry and the opportunities they may present to us. These threats and opportunities can be mitigated or optimized, respectively, when we work smartly together. And historically as an industry, we haven't excelled in doing so.
Every component of the roofing industry plays a crucial role with respect to the others. We all need to rely on each other for our successes because we have so much more in common than we have differences.
For example, having spent three decades as a roofing contractor, 15 years as an owner of a roofing distribution company and six years in Congress, I have come to recognize influence in state and federal government and code agencies comes from strength and size. With a new government in Washington, D.C., the industry has a unique opportunity to speak with one voice about its concerns. We haven't yet presented a united front, and this needs to change. To achieve significant progress, we must choose to work together and, more important, use one loud voice to be heard.
To this end, NRCA is working toward creating its One Voice initiative to fully unite the roofing industry. Our goal is to involve all industry sectors, and you, as a roofing professional, will be an important part of the industry's message and voice. I look forward to telling you more about this initiative as we develop and implement it. Stay tuned.
Reid Ribble is NRCA's CEO.