That was then, this is now

Twenty-five years ago, NRCA celebrated its centennial convention; this year, the association marks yet another milestone: 125 years.

As I looked through some of NRCA's archival materials, I realized no one could have predicted many of the events of the past 25 years. To me, 1985, despite its challenges, was innocent and simple compared with the industry and world of 2012—the horrors of 9/11 and its aftermath notwithstanding.

There are the obvious technological advancements that have, for the most part, made business operations and communications easier, but these advances come with the price of decreasing privacy and increasing vulnerabilities to hackers and other electronic threats.

For the roofing industry in particular, there have been unprecedented changes during the past 25 years: solar roof systems, more efficient insulation and recyclable roofing materials, for example, emerged; widespread consolidation among manufacturers, distributors and contractors occurred; and building codes, government regulations and immigration policy affect the industry more than ever.