Despite some inclement weather, San Diego proved to be a beautiful backdrop to NRCA's 117th Annual Convention and Exhibit, which was held Feb. 22-25. Overlooking the San Diego Bay, the San Diego Convention Center, the site of NRCA's trade show, drew about 6,000 attendees and 320 exhibiting companies. During three days of visiting the trade show and four days of educational sessions and special events, convention attendees gained knowledge about how to improve their businesses. In addition, the trade show caught the attention of a local news station, which broadcast an interview with NRCA President John Gooding, chairman of the board for Gooding Simpson & Mackes, Ephrata, Pa., on the trade-show floor.
Following are some highlights from the convention.
During the Opening Luncheon sponsored by Johns Manville, Denver, on Feb. 23, NRCA honored some of the industry's best. First, winners of NRCA's 2004 Annual Gold Circle Awards were announced. NRCA created the Gold Circle Awards in 1995 to recognize industry professionals for outstanding contributions to the roofing industry in the following categories: workmanship—low-slope, workmanship—steep-slope, innovative solutions in new construction, innovative solutions in reroofing, service to the community and service to the industry.
The following companies received Gold Circle Awards for the corresponding categories: workmanship—low-slope—Western Roofing Service, San Francisco, for the Wells Fargo Bank Headquarters, San Francisco; workmanship–steep-slope—F.J.A. Christiansen Roofing Co. Inc., Milwaukee, for the Holy Hill Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians, Hubertus, Wis.; innovative solutions in new construction—Edward J. Laperouse Metal Works Inc., Houma, La., for the Terrebonne Parish Main Library, Houma; innovative solutions in reroofing—Titan Roofing Inc., Chicopee, Mass., for the New York State Capitol, Albany, N.Y.; and service to the industry—Miami-Dade County Building Department, Miami, for its E-Roofing Permitting Application System. No award was presented for service to the community.
Also during the Opening Luncheon, NRCA unveiled two new awards: Excellence in Design and Exhibitor Excellence.
Entrants for the Excellence in Design Award had to demonstrate the design of long-lasting, energy-efficient, environmentally friendly roof systems according to accepted industry practices. The award winner, Magco Inc., Jessup, Md., won for its design and installation of a green roof system for the Renaissance Center, South River Colony, Md.
Exhibiting companies were encouraged to submit entries for one or more of the following categories of Exhibitor Excellence Awards: most innovative new product, service or program; most effective marketing program; best product, service or program that contributes to safety in the roofing industry; and most customer-friendly product, service or program.
This year's winners were as follows: most innovative product—SR-2001 Solar Electric Roofing System by Sarnafil Inc., Canton, Mass.; most effective marketing program—Steep-slope Certified Contractor Program by GAF Materials Corp., Wayne, N.J.; Best product, service or program that contributes to safety in the roofing industry—Bil-Guard Hatch Railing System by The BILCO Co., New Haven, Conn.; and most customer-friendly product, service or program—RAS Touch-and-More CNC Control by RAS Systems LLC, Peachtree City, Ga.
In addition, Pat Keating, retiring executive director of the Chicago Roofing Contractors Association, received a plaque recognizing her 25 years of service to the industry.
More awards were announced Feb. 24 during the Member Breakfast sponsored by CNA Insurance Cos., Chicago. During the breakfast, The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress presented Most Valuable Player Awards to 10 roofing workers.
To qualify for the award, nominees could not hold positions higher than foreman. Roofing workers were nominated for outstanding on-the-job performance; attracting new roofing workers and helping retain existing ones; contributions to a team effort; community service and volunteerism; and other noteworthy contributions and activities.
Following are this year's winners:
Also during the breakfast, Victoria Sharples, president of Roofers Exchange, Yorba Linda, Calif., received NRCA's 2003 Charlie Raymond Award. The award, named after former NRCA President and J.A. Piper Award winner Charlie Raymond, is presented to the NRCA member who recruited the most members during the past year. Sharples recruited 16 members.
A fund-raising feat
NRCA's political action committee, ROOFPAC, raised about $180,000 through its biennial auction and its annual golf, tennis and sporting clays tournaments. The money will be used to support election campaigns of congressional candidates who support NRCA's legislative agenda and offset ROOFPAC's administrative expenses.
The Opening Luncheon and Member Breakfast also featured distinguished speakers.
Bill O'Reilly, host of Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor," shared his views about the current political landscape during the Opening Luncheon. O'Reilly, known to hold conservative political views, jabbed both political parties. He criticized what he calls President Bush's current "lack of leadership" and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry's hypocrisy. In addition, O'Reilly touched on Iraq ("a war of unintended consequences"); same-sex marriages (part of an ongoing "culture war" in the United States); and the upcoming presidential election ("you can't hold people accountable for what they did 30 years ago").
Harry Beckwith, author of the book Selling the Invisible, shared ways to grow businesses in the current competitive environment, as well as strategies companies can use, during the Member Breakfast.
The Piper Award
NRCA always saves its most prestigious award—the J.A. Piper Award—for its Final Banquet. First presented in 1948, the J.A. Piper Award is named for former NRCA President Joseph A. Piper, whose extraordinary efforts kept the association alive during the Great Depression.
The 2003 winner, Stephen Phillips, a partner with the Atlanta-based law firm Hendrick, Phillips, Salzman & Flatt, presented the 2004 award to former NRCA President Michael Beldon, former president of Beldon Roofing Co., San Antonio. A second-generation roofing contractor, Beldon is known throughout the San Antonio area as one who values his community.
"Mike has a long, continuous and extraordinarily impressive record of community service and leadership," Phillips says.
In addition to various involvement in community organizations, Beldon served as chairman of his local chamber of commerce and was elected chairman of the Edwards Aquifier Authority, a local regulatory agency, for 8 1/2 years.
His activities within the roofing industry have been equally extensive. Beldon has won the Charlie Raymond Award, was NRCA's liaison to several industry organizations and served on numerous committees, as well as being elected NRCA senior vice president and president.
Of winning the award, Beldon says: "I'm humbled and flattered by the award and will work hard to continue to be worthy of it. In my acceptance remarks, I, obviously, had no time to prepare. Thinking about it now, I wish I had quoted an expression my wife, Louise, has used over the years, 'Before I became involved in NRCA I was a roofer; after becoming involved, I became a roofing contractor.'"
Although San Diego's weather did not fully cooperate with attendees' hopes for sunshine, Orlando, the site of NRCA's 118th Annual Convention and Exhibit, may offer better odds for sunny weather. Next year's convention will be held Feb. 16-19 and is sure to offer attendees a myriad of activities and, with any luck, perfect weather.
Ambika Puniani is editor of Professional Roofing and NRCA's director of communications.
The new guard
NRCA's 2004-05 slate of officers was announced during the Opening Luncheon and approved during the Member Meeting and Election. The following were named to NRCA's Executive Committee; terms begin June 1:
Dane Bradford, president of Bradford Roof Management, Billings, Mont., was named NRCA president. Bradford served as senior vice president from 2003-04 and vice president from 1996-98 and 2000-02. In addition, he was a director from 1992-95 and 1998-2000. Bradford has served on several NRCA committees and task forces, such as the Technical Operations Committee, International Conference Task Force and North American Conference Task Force, among others.
Reid Ribble, president of The Ribble Group Inc., Kaukauna, Wis., was named senior vice president. Ribble has served as an NRCA vice president from 1994-95, 1996-99, 2000-03 and 2003-04. He was a director from 1990-93 and has been chairman of the Asphalt Shingle QC Document Task Force, ASTM Coordinating Committee and Government Relations Oversight Committee.
In addition, the following vice presidents were named to serve two-year terms: Robert Bueche, president of Pioneer Roofing Co., Phoenix; Larry Reardon, president of Enterprise Roofing Service Inc., Concord, Calif.; and Kent Schwickert, president of Schwickert Inc., Mankato, Minn.
NRCA's new directors, who will serve three-year terms, are as follows: