My American dream

I have been thinking about diversity a lot lately. When I served in Congress, we spoke often of diversity. There, the conversations usually went the direction of marriage equality, Black Lives Matter and similar issues. Although these are important topics of discussion, they are not really what I think about when I use the word diversity.

I remember the first time I walked into the House chamber as a new member of Congress. I was struck by what I saw. I saw young people and old people. I saw men and women. I saw people of all faiths and no faith at all. I saw people of every race. The U.S. House of Representatives looked like all of us. It looked like America.

Now as NRCA's CEO, my mind pivots to the roofing industry. In February, I spoke at my first board of directors meeting as CEO and looked at the faces before me. Although there were some female and Latino directors, the board didn't look much different than it did 30 years ago when I first joined NRCA. It struck me that NRCA's leadership does not entirely reflect the roofing industry it serves.

The roofing industry our customers see when they purchase our products and services looks quite different. There are way more women involved. The crew that delivers the products most likely consists of Latino workers or other immigrant populations such as Polish, Korean, Vietnamese or Eastern European depending on where you do business. All these hardworking men and women are looking for is their version of the American dream.