A time for thanks

As you read this, I hope you are looking forward to the holiday season. December is a great time to be thankful for all we have and hope to become. It's also a time of reflection. For me, it has been a year of extraordinary change.

I started this year in the U.S. House of Representatives. I retired Jan. 3 and immediately began my work at NRCA. I had the distinct privilege of working alongside former NRCA CEO Bill Good for six months. Bill always has been a soft-spoken mentor to me. During 2005-06, he helped me navigate the role of NRCA president when I still owned my roofing company. In 2009, he was the first person I called when I was considering my run for public office. As usual, his advice was thoughtful, comprehensive and impactful.

Then, in 2016 as I was considering taking the reins of NRCA as its new CEO, Bill was a strong supporter and wise friend. I will forever be indebted to him as will the entire industry. The roofing industry is as successful as it is in no small part because of him.

I also started the year with Dennis Conway, principal and vice president of Commercial Roofers Inc., Las Vegas, when he was chairman of NRCA's board of directors. Dennis was an incredible support for me as I began to usher in a season of change at NRCA. He facilitated and was a vocal advocate for the new, more inclusive NRCA operating model that is now coming to fruition. He, along with current Chairman of the Board Jim Barr, president of Barr Roofing Co., Abilene, Texas, and Chairman of the Board-Elect Kent Schwickert, senior vice president of Tecta America Corp., Rosemont, Ill., have worked tirelessly on your behalf and mine as we seek to move the industry forward in a more unified manner.

NRCA has more than 60 U.S. affiliates. There also are several other roofing industry organizations serving specialized segments: the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, SPRI, EPDM Roofing Association, Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance, Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association, Metal Construction Association, Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association and many others are all working hard to improve the lives and businesses of their members.

Specialization within industries is not uncommon, but with all the good work that happens, the divisions fragment us in unintended ways. We become less effective when working on building code changes or changes issued by ASTM International or FM Global. We are significantly hurt in Washington, D.C., as the industry presents a divided message to policymakers. NRCA's One Voice initiative was put in place to address this issue. Change sometimes can be hard to manage, but when change brings a unified message and positive results, it can be invigorating and exciting. That's exactly what's happening, and I am thankful.

I also am thankful for the dozens of volunteers working on the NRCA ProCertification worker training program. Although the program is desperately needed, it's more important we get it done right than to get it done fast. Real change will occur after full implementation, and I believe we will look back and ask why it took us so long to even start the initiative. This movement toward a certified workforce can serve as a transformational moment in our industry's history.

And finally, my family experienced change this year, too. In February, we welcomed my fourth grandson to the Ribble family. He is the second son of my youngest boy, Jared, and his wife, Krystal. His name is Ryman and what joy he brings to us this holiday season. Now, that's a change to be grateful for!

Happy Holidays everyone.

Reid Ribble is NRCA's CEO.


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