Paul Showalter


What is your position within your company?
I am chief financial officer for Showalter Roofing Service Inc., Naperville, Ill.

What is your favorite food?
The pineapple in Hawaii is like a dessert. Every now and then I buy pineapple here in Illinois, but it always pales in comparison. Does that make me a pineapple snob?

What is the most unusual roofing project of which you have been a part?
Holy Nativity Romanian Orthodox Church in Chicago—before the building started to sink and split in two, we installed multiple low-slope roof sections. We assembled metal domes on the ground and lifted them via crane to the roof.

What was your first roofing experience?
During a summer when I was in junior high school, I followed the person pushing a "dragon-wagon" covering the "bleed-outs" with granules. I wasn't officially on the payroll; instead, we kept track of how many hours I worked. When I reached a certain point, I was allowed to buy a Nintendo Entertainment System.

Why did you become involved in the roofing industry?
I joined the family business. As I worked for the company during high school summers, I fought the idea that I would eventually become a full-time employee. I committed to working full-time for one year after college, and now I've been here 17 years, so I must not have found something I'd rather be doing.

What was your first paying job?
My first paying job was when I was in high school. I delivered pizzas for Pizza Hut—I attribute that experience to making me a better tipper.

Big city or small town?
I enjoy visiting the city while living in a small town. I enjoy all the city activities and being able to walk everywhere, but I can only tolerate crowds of people for so long.

What is your favorite vacation?
In case my wife reads this, it's our honeymoon in Hawaii.

What is your roofing industry involvement?
I am a 2011 graduate of NRCA's Future Executives Institute, Class 4. After making a lot of connections with other quality roofing companies through the program, I learned the value of open dialogue and the exchange of ideas between roofing professionals.

What three condiments always are in your fridge?
Three types of hot sauces. Can one really have too many kinds of hot sauce? My taste buds might be broken.

What do you consider a waste of time?
I think complaining and whining are a waste of time. I wish people would do something about their problems instead of just sitting around talking about them, which also wastes other peoples' time.

What items can you never leave the house without?
I usually walk out the door patting my pockets and chanting, "Phone, wallet, keys. Phone, wallet, keys."

What's your favorite roofing material to work with? Why?
TPO really has made me appreciate that I grew up working with polymer-modified bitumen. With polymer-modified bitumen, if you saw a bleed-out, you could almost guarantee a good seam versus working with TPO, which requires probing, probing and more probing.

What is the most high-tech thing in your house?
Assuming the garage counts as an extension of the house, I would say my new 2015 Chevy Colorado. After driving a 1997 Dodge Dakota with almost 300,000 miles on it, my new truck seems high-tech.


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