Whether it was the draw of warm, sunny weather or the many events and networking opportunities taking place throughout the week, attendance at NRCA's 129th Annual Convention and Irving, Texas-based Informa's 2016 International Roofing Expo (IRE) was second only to the record-setting 9,568 attendees at the 2014 IRE in Las Vegas. Held Feb. 15-19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., this year's event attracted 9,493 visitors from around the world, surpassing the 9,337 people who attended the 2015 IRE in New Orleans.
This year's IRE had a record-breaking number of booths present on the show floor, with 462 companies exhibiting in 1,206 booths compared with 465 companies exhibiting in 1,178 booths at the 2015 IRE. The large number of attendees and exhibiting companies indicates NRCA's convention and the IRE continue to attract new crowds, as well as repeat visitors.
On Tuesday, Feb. 16, Informa partnered with Rebuilding Together® Orlando to host the IRE's seventh annual Community Service Day. Forty-five volunteers helped renovate the homes of Orlando residents Debra Davis, Johnnie Nieves and Erma Smith.
Davis, 51, has lived in her house for 25 years and works at a local Target store, but she has experienced difficulty maintaining her home since her husband's passing in 2012. Nieves, 78, recently was widowed and could not afford to repair her home of 13 years. Smith, 59, currently shares her home of 32 years with two family members, and the aging house desperately needed some pricey repairs.
Before the Community Service Day event, Springer-Peterson, Eaton Park, Fla., replaced the roof system on Davis' house, and Tecta America Southeast LLC, Sanford, Fla., and Drexel Metals, Louisville, Ky., teamed up to replace the roof system on Smith's house.
During the Community Service Day event, volunteers worked hard to complete a variety of tasks, including exterior painting; door replacements; termite treatments; landscaping; and air conditioning, soffit and fascia, and siding repairs.
Sika Sarnafil, Canton, Mass., sponsored the event and provided materials, and volunteers received lunch courtesy of OMG Roofing Products, Agawam, Mass. Damato Enterprises, Manchester, Conn., sponsored shuttle transportation for the volunteers.
"I was impressed with the way our members pitched in to give back to the local community," says Bill Good, NRCA's CEO. "Thanks to a major sponsorship from Sika Sarnafil, 45 volunteers were able to help rehabilitate three homes that desperately needed work done to them. The volunteers worked with the local chapter of Rebuilding Together to complete some really phenomenal work."
At the expo
On Wednesday, Feb. 17, NRCA's Young Contractors Committee held its "Emerging Business Technology in the Roofing Industry" roundtable discussion intended to help industry newcomers and emerging professionals learn about technologies being used in the roofing industry. Nearly 100 participants engaged in conversations facilitated by committee members addressing a variety of relevant topics, including technology being used in the office and the field, social media and predictions for future trends.
Later the same morning, the IRE kicked off with a keynote address given by Beck Weathers, an accomplished pathologist who survived a disastrous Mount Everest climbing attempt in May 1996. After the tragedy, he authored a book, Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest, describing his experience. Weathers continues to practice medicine and delivers motivational speeches. During his keynote address, Weathers shared his story of survival and discussed how getting a second chance at life has inspired him to cherish every moment.
A welcome party took place the same evening at Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar where guests enjoyed food, beverages and upbeat Latin music.
On the show floor, NRCA's booth was bustling with activity. Roofing professionals stopped by to learn about NRCA's latest offerings, ask questions and catch up with colleagues. The NRCA "Spin to Win" prize wheel was a popular feature at the booth, and a few lucky players out of the 950 attendees who gave the wheel a spin won iPads and one-year NRCA memberships. NRCA members enjoyed perks in the nearby member lounge, including free massages and snacks. And 16 companies joined NRCA during the show.
A variety of educational sessions were available for roofing professionals to attend during the IRE. Events included NRCA's CERTA Train-the-trainer Authorization Program; Meeting and Exceeding OSHA's Requirements; Rooftop Solar: Financial Modeling & Presentations; NRCA's For Foremen Only, Level 1 program; and Securing the Future of Union Contracting—We Need You Now!
The National Roofing Legal Resource Center (NRLRC) hosted its annual two-part luncheon program Feb. 17. The event drew a record crowd, with 220 roofing contractors gathering to hear presentations about two issues relevant to the roofing industry.
During the first half of the program, Steve Fox, CEO of Security Pursuit LLC, Denver, addressed the topic of cyber security, explaining to the audience how companies can plan ahead to assess and mitigate cyber security risks by using a layered approach to security protection. Contractors left with tools to develop their own security programs to further secure and mitigate their risks immediately.
The second half of the program featured a panel of experts who discussed technical issues and perspectives from the field. Panelists included Dane Bradford, president of Bradford Roof Management Inc., Billings, Mont.; Mark Graham, NRCA's vice president of technical services; and Stephen Phillips, a partner with Atlanta-based law firm Hendrick, Phillips, Salzman & Flatt. The presenters shared updated information about wind design for roof assemblies, results of NRCA's recent testing of materials and recent fine increases made by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
ROOFPAC hosted three events during the IRE to help raise funds to support pro-business congressional candidates. On Feb. 16, nearly 100 NRCA members participated in ROOFPAC's annual golf tournament sponsored by Johns Manville, Denver. The weather was perfect as participants enjoyed a round of golf at Tranquilo Golf Club at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando and partook in a networking luncheon afterward.
ROOFPAC conducted its annual silent auction Feb. 17-18 at its booth on the show floor. Participants had the opportunity to bid on vacations, jewelry and other unique items while enjoying an open bar during the popular event sponsored by GAF, Parsippany, N.J.
On Feb. 18, ROOFPAC's reception at Universal Studios sponsored by ABC Supply Co. Inc., Beloit, Wis., took place at The Red Coconut Club where more than 100 attendees enjoyed cocktails and a buffet dinner. The three events raised more than $50,000.
Alliance student competition
During the IRE, three teams of college students competed in The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress' second annual Construction Management Student Competition. The teams were tasked with developing a bid for the installation of a roof system on the Orange County Convention Center.
On Thursday, Feb. 18, teams from the McWhorter School of Building Science at Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.; the M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction at the University of Florida, Gainesville; and the Bert S. Turner Department of Construction Management at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, presented the final portion of their projects in the form of oral presentations given before a panel of judges.
The student team from the University of Florida was selected as the winner. The team received a $5,000 L.B. Conway scholarship for its school and a trophy, and team members Nick Loewenthal, Eddie San Juan (team captain), Caleb Strauss and Drew Winant also received individual trophies that were presented during NRCA's Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception Feb. 18. For more information about the competition, see "On your mark, get set, reroof!"
On Feb. 18, NRCA honored the best in the roofing industry during NRCA's Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception. The ceremony involved the presentation of the industry's most prestigious awards: the 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.
The 69th J.A. Piper Award, the roofing industry's highest honor, was awarded to John Gooding, chairman of the board of GSM Roofing, Ephrata, Pa. First presented in 1948, the award is named for former NRCA Chairman of the Board Joseph A. Piper, whose extraordinary efforts kept the association alive during the Great Depression. Each year, the award is presented to a roofing professional who has demonstrated constant, outstanding service to NRCA and the industry.
Gooding served as NRCA's chairman of the board from 2003-04 and currently serves on the association's National Roofing Council. He has served as NRCA's chairman of the board-elect, vice chairman and an NRCA director. Gooding also has served as chairman of the Affiliate Relations, Budget and Finance, Health and Safety, PAC Advisory and Strategic Planning committees, as well as the Insurance Advisory Board and Insurance Board of Governors.
The fourth annual CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award was presented to Straight Line Roofing & Construction, Shingle Springs, Calif. Sponsored by CNA, Chicago, and NRCA, the award honors charitable works performed by NRCA contractor members during the course of a year.
Straight Line Roofing & Construction was selected for its $16,330 donation to the Food Bank of El Dorado County, Cameron Park, Calif., raised during the company's Ninth Annual Thanks & Giving Customer Appreciation Event. During a 10-year period, Straight Line Roofing & Construction reroofed the food bank facility and raised more than $70,000 to help feed at-risk individuals. CNA awarded Straight Line Roofing & Construction $5,000 for the Food Bank of El Dorado County.
This year's CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award honorable mentions each will receive $1,000 from CNA for their charities. The following received honorable mentions: 7 Summits Roofing, Colorado Springs, Colo., for hosting the Brandon Schwartz Memorial Tournament; Aspenmark Roofing & Solar, Dallas, for its charity Roof Angels; and Jonesboro Roofing Co. Inc., Jonesboro, Ark., for its support of St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Memphis, Tenn.
The 2016 Gold Circle Awards were presented to NRCA contractor members for outstanding contributions to the roofing industry, including unique roofing-related jobs, programs and services. The winners are as follows:
The following received honorable mentions:
Additionally, two companies received a Gold Circle Safety Award for demonstrating superior safety measures: Castro Roofing of Texas for Southern Methodist University Owen Arts Center, and Chamberlin Roofing & Waterproofing for Dallas Love Field.
The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress announced the winners of its 16th annual MVP Awards during the ceremony. The awards recognize roofing workers for 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.
The followed were announced as 2016 MVP award winners: Isael Casas, foreman for Tecta America Southeast; Pedro Melendez, superintendent for Centimark Corp., Houston; and Curtis Purvis, superintendent for Chamberlin Roofing & Waterproofing. Purvis also was named the Best of the Best, a special honor co-sponsored by Professional Roofing and OMG Roofing Products (see "A team player").
The Charlie Raymond Award is the most prestigious membership award bestowed by NRCA. Named for former NRCA chairman of the board and J.A. Piper Award recipient Charlie Raymond, the Charlie Raymond Award honors members for their efforts to recruit NRCA members. The 2016 Charlie Raymond Award was presented to associate member GAF.
An international affair
NRCA's 129th Annual Convention and the 2016 IRE drew attendees from across the U.S. and around the world who took advantage of opportunities to learn and network. According to Good, the high turnout—including the ten percent of visitors who came from outside the U.S.—emphasizes how the convention and IRE have become an international affair.
"NRCA is delighted with the great turnout and with the amount of energy that was evident throughout the show," he says. "It truly has become an international event with 57 countries represented at Orlando. That's really impressive. We're very much looking forward to returning to Las Vegas for next year's show, where our all-time attendance record is in serious jeopardy."
Sara Baldwin is Professional Roofing's editorial assistant.
Did You Know
During the convention, NRCA members elected the 2016-17 NRCA slate of officers and directors. The officers and directors will begin their terms June 1. To view a full list of the new officers and directors, see Flashings, March 2016 issue.