Bet on it

NRCA returns to Las Vegas for its 130th Annual Convention and the 2017 International Roofing Expo®

NRCA is headed for the bright lights of Las Vegas to hold its 130th annual convention Feb. 27-March 3 to continue a tradition that is older than the host city itself. The convention will be held in conjunction with Irving, Texas-based Informa's 2017 International Roofing Expo® (IRE) at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino's Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Featuring a variety of educational offerings, opportunities to interact with exhibitors and peers on the expo floor, and endless entertainment options in and around the convention center, you can bet this year's show will have many things for everyone to enjoy.

"Las Vegas historically has drawn large crowds for NRCA's annual conventions and the IRE, so NRCA is excited to return to the city for this year's show," says Reid Ribble, NRCA's CEO. "We hope our members and other roofing professionals join us for a fulfilling week of learning, networking and fun. Are you in?"

Convention kickoff

NRCA events begin Monday, Feb. 27, with NRCA's Executive Committee meeting and lunch from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. and NRCA's Affiliate Executives Council meeting and lunch from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. NRCA's board of directors will meet from 1-4 p.m. The meetings will be held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

Take time to learn

More educational offerings have been made available this year; roofing professionals can participate in a variety of programs and classes during the convention and expo.

On Tuesday, Feb. 28, NRCA's CERTA Train-the-trainer Authorization Program will be held from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. at Commercial Roofers Inc.'s facility (participants provide their own transportation). Through classroom instruction and hands-on torching activities, students will learn about the latest best safety practices for torch-applied roof systems and develop the teaching skills necessary to train others about torch safety. Participants must have some experience training others, be proficient in the use of a roofing torch, and be able to speak and read English. Upon completing the program, participants will be authorized to conduct CERTA certification training for roofing workers.

On the same day, an NRCA Roofing Industry Fall Protection from A to Z class will be held from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The class will be offered in English and Spanish; participants can register for the option they prefer. Students will learn about fall-protection systems and the most recent Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety requirements and observe demonstrations of fall-protection equipment and self-rescue techniques. By the end of the class, participants will be able to recognize fall hazards present during roof system installations and repairs; use appropriate controls for fall hazards on low- and steep-slope projects; and identify strategies for self-rescue and the rescue of others while on job sites.

Also on Feb. 28, NRCA Rooftop Solar 101: A Roofing Contractor's Guide for Entering the Solar PV Market will be held from 1-4 p.m. The class offers the tools and knowledge roofing professionals need to assess whether adding rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) services to their companies' offerings would be beneficial. Upon completing the course, participants will be able to assess the strength and growth potential of their local solar markets; analyze options for integrating solar PV into their companies; and conduct solar PV system payback calculations and profitability analyses, among other skills.

An NRCA Enterprise Risk Management: Leveraging Risk for Profit in Your Company course also will be held Feb. 28 from 1-4 p.m. Roofing professionals who attend the course will learn how to identify a company's risks, develop a company risk profile and implement steps to manage risks. Participants also will hear success stories from a panel of roofing contractors who have integrated enterprise risk management strategies into their businesses and participate in a workshop to learn how to set up an enterprise risk management program at their own companies.

Also on Feb. 28, NRCA is hosting a reception from 5-6:30 p.m. for members who are attending the convention and IRE for the first time. NRCA wants to make sure members new to the event can ask questions, meet fellow members and make the most of their experience.

On Thursday, March 2, Partnership, Education, Recruitment and Retention: Keys to Success, a program for contractors only, will be held from 7-9:15 a.m. Breakfast will be served, and a panel of speakers will discuss the importance of recruiting, educating and retaining industry workers to create a better workforce. Panel speakers will include Bill McHugh, executive director of the Chicago Roofing Contractors Association; Kinsey Robinson, president of the International Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers; and Keith Vitkovich, executive director of the Roofers & Waterproofers Research and Education Joint Trust Fund.

NRCA will hold its For Foremen Only, Level 1 program Friday, March 3, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. The program is offered in English and Spanish. Participating field managers and foremen will engage in interactive exercises designed to help them develop strong communication skills and management abilities to lead more effectively.

Also on March 3, Roof Integrated Solar Energy™ Inc. will hold its Certified Solar Roofing Professional™ exam from 8-11 a.m.

Community service day

Everyone is welcome to participate in the IRE's eighth annual Community Service Day Tuesday, Feb. 28, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. For this event, sponsored by Sika Sarnafil, Canton, Mass., volunteers are needed to assist with a home renovation project using materials donated by ABC Supply Co. Inc., Beloit, Wis. Breakfast will be provided by Georgia-Pacific, Atlanta, and lunch will be provided by OMG Roofing Products, Agawam, Mass.

Roofing contractors, general contractors, project managers, home inspectors, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, painters, masons, drywall contractors, HVAC technicians, tilers and anyone else possessing amateur to expert construction skills can volunteer to help with the project. Volunteers will work under the direction of a crew chief. Financial donations also are needed, and all donors will receive receipts as donations are tax-deductible. To participate in Community Service Day or make a donation, contact Brandi McElhaney, Informa's senior conference manager, at (972) 536-6392 or

Expo info

NRCA's Young Contractors Committee will hold a roundtable discussion, "Emerging Business Technology in the Roofing Industry," Wednesday, March 1, from 7:45-9:15 a.m. Program participants will engage in discussions about the latest technology trends and learn how fellow industry professionals are using technology effectively. Designed to benefit people who are new to the roofing industry or have new management responsibilities within their companies, the program aims to provide participants with valuable ideas that can be immediately implemented upon each participant's return to his or her office. In addition, NRCA's Emerging Professionals, a group open to young roofing industry professionals, will meet from 2-3 p.m. at NRCA's Booth 1741.

On March 1 from 9:45-10:50 a.m., Retired Lt. Col. Rob "Waldo" Waldman will deliver his keynote address, "Never Fly Solo! The Power of Partnership." Waldman overcame a lifelong battle with claustrophobia and a fear of heights to become a combat-decorated U.S. Air Force fighter pilot. Now a successful entrepreneur, Waldman will share his stories about overcoming adversity and explain why he believes the key to building a culture of trust depends on supportive wingmen—the people who help us overcome obstacles and achieve success.

There will be a welcome party at LIGHT Nightclub March 1 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sponsored by Tremco Inc., Beachwood, Ohio, the party will feature state-of-the-art visual effects and music produced by world-renowned DJs. Guests are invited to mingle with friends and industry professionals while enjoying music, hors d'oeuvres, wine, beer and soda.

NRCA is unveiling a new, larger booth featuring additional interactive space and an attached member lounge on the expo floor. Visit NRCA's Booth 1741 to learn about the benefits of NRCA membership and NRCA's latest resources, including updated NRCA and Professional Roofing apps that enable users to access NRCA information and magazine articles on the go. Visitors also will find information about the newest edition to The NRCA Roofing Manual; NRCA University's upcoming educational opportunities; the NRCA Bookstore's valuable technical resources and publications; Professional Roofing magazine; and more.

Visitors to NRCA's booth are invited to "Spin to Win" prizes, such as an iPad and free NRCA membership for a year, and take photos to bring home as keepsakes. Expo attendees are encouraged to take advantage of special show discounts, including $100 off NRCA membership dues (new members only), 20 percent off an entire NRCA Bookstore purchase, and 10 percent off NRCA University public and customized training programs. And NRCA members can stop by the NRCA member lounge to enjoy snacks, water and a complimentary massage.

NRLRC luncheon

Immediately following Waldman's keynote address, the National Roofing Legal Resource Center (NRLRC) will host a luncheon program for roofing contractors Wednesday, March 1, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Luncheon guests will learn about technical issues and hear perspectives from the field from industry experts Dane Bradford, president of Bradford Roof Management Inc., Billings, Mont.; Mark Graham, NRCA's vice president of technical services; Rod Petrick, president of Ridgeworth Roofing Co. Inc., Frankfort, Ill.; and Stephen Phillips, a partner with Atlanta-based law firm Hendrick, Phillips, Salzman & Flatt.

Benefiting ROOFPAC

This year, ROOFPAC, NRCA's political action committee, will concurrently host two sporting events for convention guests to enjoy.

ROOFPAC's annual golf tournament, sponsored by Johns Manville, Denver, will take place Tuesday, Feb. 28, at Bali Hai Golf Club (participants provide their own transportation). The only championship golf course located on the Las Vegas strip, Bali Hai Golf Club stands out as a tropical oasis lush with palm trees against a backdrop of desert mountains. The tournament begins with a 9 a.m. shotgun start and follows a scramble format. Golf outing participants will enjoy a post-tournament scoring luncheon.

ROOFPAC also will host a sporting clays tournament, sponsored by Polyglass U.S.A. Inc., Deerfield Beach, Fla., the same day at the Pro Gun Club of Las Vegas. Participants can test their shooting skills on the Pro Gun Club's sporting clays course, a mile-long course that stretches over desert terrain and overlooks scenic Boulder City. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., and the shooting tournament starts at 8:30 a.m. Free transportation to and from Mandalay Bay Convention Center will be provided, with buses departing at 7 a.m. and returning to the hotel around 1:30 p.m.

ROOFPAC's annual silent auction, sponsored by GAF, Parsippany, N.J., will begin Wednesday, March 1, at 11 a.m. and continue through Thursday, March 2, at 4 p.m. Held in NRCA's Booth 1741, the ROOFPAC silent auction will feature jewelry, vacations and other auction items. Participants also can view and place bids on silent auction items via smartphone, tablet or laptop by accessing An open bar will be provided from 2-4 p.m. March 2. All proceeds benefit ROOFPAC's efforts in Washington, D.C. Auction winners will be announced at 4:30 p.m. March 2. Winning items may be picked up at that time or at Booth 1741 Friday, March 3, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

In addition, ROOFPAC will host an NRCA/ROOFPAC Reception sponsored by ABC Supply at the Skyfall Lounge at The Delano Hotel Thursday, March 2, from 7-9 p.m. Offering spectacular 180-degree views of the Las Vegas strip, the Skyfall Lounge welcomes participants with food, handcrafted drinks and fun entertainment in an inviting atmosphere. As part of the event, NRCA will be paying tribute to retired CEO Bill Good.

Alliance student competition

Six construction management schools will participate in The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress' third annual Alliance Construction Management Student Competition. The competition is designed to challenge the roofing knowledge, construction management skills, time management, and organizational and presentation skills of students pursuing careers in the roofing industry.

Student teams from Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.; Colorado State University, Fort Collins; Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge; Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Ala.; the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati; and the University of Florida, Gainesville, were tasked with developing written proposals containing bids for the installation of a roof system on the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. All teams will make their oral presentations at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center Thursday, March 2, from 7:45-11:15 a.m. Each team will make a 15-minute presentation to a panel of judges, followed by a 10-minute question-and-answer period. The winning team will be announced later that day during NRCA's Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception.

Honoring the best

NRCA's Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception honors top roofing industry professionals for their contributions, service and dedication to the industry. Held Thursday, March 2, from 5-7 p.m., the event will begin with recognition of NRCA's retiring officers and directors. Next, students from NRCA's Future Executives Institute—Class 7 formally will graduate, and the winning team from The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress' Construction Management Student Competition will be announced.

The award ceremony's highlights will be the roofing industry's most prestigious awards: the 2017 J.A. Piper Award; CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award; NRCA's Gold Circle Awards; The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress' Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards; and Charlie Raymond Award.

Established in 1947 to honor former NRCA President J.A. Piper's extraordinary efforts to keep the association alive during the Great Depression, the J.A. Piper Award annually is presented to a roofing professional who has demonstrated outstanding service to NRCA and the industry. The award is considered the most prestigious in the roofing industry. Previous winners have included NRCA presidents and committee members who have dedicated their lives to advancing the industry.

The annual CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award, a collaboration between NRCA and CNA Insurance Cos., Chicago, recognizes charitable acts completed by NRCA contractor members. Contractor member companies that performed charitable works between Jan. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2016, submitted information about their service work to win money for their charity. This year, the winning charity will receive $7,500, a second-place winner will receive $5,000, and a third-place winner will receive $2,500.

NRCA's Gold Circle Awards program honors members who have made outstanding contributions to the roofing industry in the form of unique roofing projects, programs and services completed between June 1, 2014, and May 31, 2016. The 2017 award categories include Outstanding Workmanship: Low-slope; Outstanding Workmanship: Steep-slope; Innovative Solutions: New Construction; Innovative Solutions: Reroofing; Service to the Community; and Service to the Industry. Fifteen finalists have been selected, and the winners will be announced during the ceremony.

This year, 54 nominations were submitted for The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress' MVP Awards. Employers working for roofing contracting, distributor and supplier firms can nominate an employee for an MVP Award in recognition of the employee's significant contributions in one or more of the following areas: outstanding on-the-job performance; on-the-job safety performance; contributions to a team effort; community service and volunteerism; and other noteworthy contributions and activities. Award recipients often are role models who demonstrate work-related and personal goals to which others can aspire. One MVP Award winner will be named Professional Roofing's Best of the Best and will be featured in the May edition of Professional Roofing magazine.

The Charlie Raymond Award is the most prestigious membership recruitment award NRCA bestows. Named for former NRCA President and J.A. Piper Award recipient Charlie Raymond, the award annually is given to one NRCA contractor member and/or one NRCA associate member who has recruited the most new NRCA members during the calendar year.

Attendees are invited to the ceremony to honor the winners and enjoy complimentary refreshments.


Everyone planning to attend NRCA's 130th Annual Convention and the 2017 IRE can look forward to the variety of educational offerings, expo events and entertainment opportunities available throughout the week. Together, this year's convention and IRE will serve as a roofing professional's jackpot for learning about industry issues and trends and networking with peers in a city that knows how to keep the good times rolling.

Sara Baldwin is Professional Roofing's editorial assistant.

Registration information:

For more information and to register for NRCA's 130th Annual Convention and the 2017 International Roofing Expo® (IRE), contact Cassandra Buckingham, IRE show coordinator, at (972) 536-6354 or, or Lisa Allen, IRE senior show manager, at (972) 536-6352 or You also can visit IRE's website,

For more information about NRCA events and classes, contact the following:

Did you know?

You can connect with the 2017 International Roofing Expo® (IRE) via the new IRE app available for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry devices, as well as all your favorite social media channels:

Did you know?

The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino is home to a variety of attractions:

  • The Shark Reef Aquarium has more than 2,000 animals, including giant rays, piranhas, endangered green sea turtles and a rare golden crocodile.
  • The Shoppes at Mandalay Place is a collection of unique boutiques and restaurants offering apparel and accessories, specialty products and excellent cuisine.
  • LIGHT Nightclub offers an upscale nightclub experience where headlining DJs, acrobatic performers, and innovative performance elements and visuals create an exciting atmosphere.

More information about the attractions is available at


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