NRCA and Irving, Texas-based Informa put on a spectacular show during the 2020 IRE in Dallas Feb. 2-6, drawing a record number of roofing professionals to the biggest event in the IRE’s 16-year history. More than 17,000 professionals descended upon the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center to attend classes, network with peers, and learn about the latest industry news and trends. The expo floor was the largest ever with 541 companies displaying their products and services in 170,980 square feet of exhibit space.
“The enthusiasm and excitement of roofing professionals was unmatched at this year’s show,” says Reid Ribble, NRCA’s CEO. “It’s great to see the industry’s progress and success celebrated on the expo floor at the biggest roofing event in North America!”
The convention kicked off Sunday, Feb. 2, with NRCA’s Executive Committee meeting and NRCA’s board of directors meeting at the Omni Dallas Hotel. NRCA’s Affiliate Executives meeting was held at the hotel the following day.
National Women in Roofing Day, a full-day seminar for roofing professionals, was held Feb. 2. More than 300 participants at the sold-out event learned business strategies; shared their secrets to success; and attended presentations about career development, mentoring and roofing technology. Attendees also networked and experienced hands-on product demonstrations.
On Sunday, Feb. 2, Informa partnered with Rebuilding Together® North Texas to host the IRE’s 11th annual Community Service Day sponsored by Canton, Mass.-based Sika® Sarnafil. During the event, more than 65 volunteers helped repair two local houses and performed improvement projects at a local elementary school.
Gary and Betty Collins have lived in their Dallas home for 10 years. Gary is disabled and receives Social Security benefits, and Betty currently cannot work while she receives cancer treatments. The Collins’ house was built in 1982 and had a leaking roof system. KPost Roofing & Waterproofing, Dallas, and CertainTeed Corp., Malvern, Pa., donated materials and labor to install a new roof system, and volunteers repaired water-damaged ceilings.
Veronica Trevino is a single mother who always has worked hard to support her disabled son, Jesus. However, recent medical conditions have made it difficult for Veronica to work. Volunteers repaired and replaced the siding on the family’s home to ensure it is sealed and secure for years to come.
And at John Quincy Adams Elementary School in Pleasant Grove, a low-income neighborhood populated by many Hispanic families, volunteers helped provide necessary upgrades for the school, which is known for its caring staff and flourishing community garden. Excited students and staff watched from their classroom windows as volunteers built a new outdoor classroom, stage, garden shed and chicken coop.
At the end of Community Service Day, Sika Sarnafil presented a $15,000 donation to Rebuilding Together North Texas.
“The IRE Community Service Day was a huge success!” says Garrett Jones, executive director of Rebuilding Together North Texas. “It was a big day with lots of moving parts, and the volunteers jumped in and worked incredibly hard to get everything done. Lives were changed that day, and there will be a lasting impact from the work completed. It was a beautiful day.”
Additional Community Service Day sponsors included Carlisle Construction Materials, Carlisle, Pa.; CentiMark Innovative Roofing and Flooring Solutions, Canonsburg, Pa.; ICP Building Solutions Group, Andover, Mass.; and OMG® Roofing Products, Agawam, Mass.
On Tuesday, Feb. 4, the IRE kicked off with a keynote address delivered by Charlotte Jones, executive vice president and chief brand officer for the Dallas Cowboys. Speaking to a packed room of IRE attendees, Jones shared her insights about setting high expectations and succeeding under pressure in the context of building one of the most valuable sports brands in the world. Attendees also learned about new fan engagement initiatives and innovations spearheaded by the Dallas Cowboys Football Club.
During the evening, a welcome party sponsored by Tremco Roofing & Building Maintenance, Beachwood, Ohio, was held at The Bomb Factory, a state-of-the-art entertainment facility in Dallas’ historical Deep Ellum area. Attendees at the lively party enjoyed dancing, food, drinks and a performance by local Hall & Oates cover band The Rich Girls.
On Wednesday, Feb. 5, NRCA’s Emerging Professionals Task Force held its Overcoming Common Hurdles to Growth roundtable discussion. Brad Sutter, an NRCA vice chairman and executive vice president of Sutter Roofing Co. of Florida, Sarasota, emceed the session for more than 80 attendees. Program participants discussed IT and technology trends, worker recruitment and labor, and communications.
Nearly 1,300 roofing professionals visited NRCA’s booth to learn about the benefits of NRCA membership and speak with NRCA experts about NRCA ProCertification,® Training for Roof Application Careers, technical topics and risk management matters. Information about the 2020 edition of The NRCA Roofing Manual, Professional Roofing magazine and other resources also was available. Visitors tried their luck at the NRCA “Spin to Win” wheel, where lucky winners received prizes such as a Yeti cooler, free NRCA ProCertification registration and free NRCA membership for one year. Thirty-three companies joined NRCA during the IRE.
NRCA’s educational programs offered during the IRE were attended by dozens of enthusiastic industry professionals. Thirty-eight people attended NRCA’s CERTA Train-the-trainer Program Feb. 3 at KPost Roofing & Waterproofing in Dallas; 25 participants attended an NRCA Roofing Industry Fall Protection from A to Z class the same day; and 21 foremen, field managers and superintendents attended NRCA’s Foreman Leadership Training, Level 1, program Feb. 6.
For the first time, NRCA offered NRCA ProCertification hands-on performance exams during the IRE. Sponsored by Beacon Roofing Supply, Herndon, Va., and the North Texas Roofing Contractors Association, the event was held in a secure area in the parking lot of the convention center. From Feb. 4-6, more than 30 asphalt shingle systems and thermoplastic systems installer candidates completed the hands-on exam at no cost. Each candidate received a free expo pass for his or her participation. Plans are underway for the second annual NRCA ProCertification hands-on performance exam event to be held Feb. 24-26, 2021, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas in conjunction with the 2021 IRE.
NRCA University’s Future Executives Institute—Class 9 met twice during the week to study leadership theory and develop management and communication skills. FEI-9 students are in their second year of the three-year program. In addition, more than 100 people attended NRCA’s FEI Info Session Feb. 4. Current FEI students and FEI graduates were present to answer attendees’ questions about the program.
ROOFPAC, NRCA’s political action committee, hosted nearly 300 industry professionals during “An Evening in the Lone Star State,” a fundraising event at Gilley’s Dallas Feb. 3. Attendees enjoyed refreshments, a reception, a live auction and a comedy show featuring comedian William Lee Martin. The event raised more than $46,000 to benefit ROOFPAC.
In addition, ROOFPAC held its annual silent auction in NRCA’s booth Feb. 4-5. On Wednesday afternoon, participants enjoyed an open bar while bidding against their peers for jewelry, vacations, electronics, advertising and consulting services, and other items. The silent auction raised more than $41,000.
The talent of future industry professionals was on display during the IRE as five finalist teams of college students competed in the Roofing Alliance’s sixth annual Alliance Construction Management Student Competition.
Student teams from Auburn University’s McWhorter School of Building Science, Auburn, Ala.; Clemson University, Clemson, S.C.; Colorado State University’s Department of Construction Management, Fort Collins; Texas A&M University, College Station; and University of Florida’s M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Building Construction, Gainesville, were presented with a problem statement: create a company bid for installing a new roof system on the Ford Center, the indoor practice facility of the Dallas Cowboys. Each team was required to research the project, review plans and specifications, and assemble a full estimate and proposal to submit a qualified bid package. The teams each delivered oral presentations before a panel of judges Feb. 5.
Later that evening during NRCA’s Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception, the student team from Texas A&M University was announced the winner of the competition. The team received a trophy and a $5,000 L.B. Conway scholarship for its school, and team members received individual trophies.
The student team from Colorado State University placed second. Colorado State University team members received a team trophy, a $2,500 scholarship for their school and individual awards. In addition, Samuel Short from Auburn University was named Best Individual Student Presenter and received a $500 American Express gift card.
NRCA’s Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception also honored established, top roofing professionals. During the ceremony, NRCA’s 2020-21 slate of officers and directors was presented (see “NRCA’s 2020-21 Board of Directors” below) as well as the industry’s most prestigious awards: the J.A. Piper Award; CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award; the Roofing Alliance’s Gold Circle Awards and Most Valuable Player Awards; and NRCA’s Charlie Raymond Award.
J.A. Piper Award
Mark Gaulin, founder of MAGCO Inc., Jessup, Md., and founding member of Tecta® America Corp., Rosemont, Ill., received NRCA’s 73rd annual J.A. Piper Award. Named for former NRCA President Joseph A. Piper, whose extraordinary efforts kept NRCA alive during the Great Depression, the J.A. Piper Award is the industry’s most prestigious honor. The award annually is presented to a roofing professional who has demonstrated constant, outstanding service to the association and the roofing industry.
An industry professional since 1978, Gaulin was elected to NRCA’s board of directors in 1993 and served three terms, including two terms as vice president from 1998-2000 and 2003-05. He served as NRCA senior vice president from 2005-06 and NRCA president from 2006-07. Gaulin also served on several NRCA committees, including chairing the Architectural Sheet Metal, Internet/Electronics Communications and NRCA Retirement committees. In addition, he served as president of the Associated Roofing Contractors of Maryland in the early 1990s. In 2000, Gaulin was a key leader in the consolidation and formation of Tecta America. He served as chief operating officer from 2007-10 and interim CEO from 2013-14 and currently serves on Tecta America’s board of directors.
“I am truly flattered and honored to be recognized by my peers and the industry with this award, and I am proud to be a part of this great industry,” Gaulin said as he accepted the award.
CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award
NRCA and CNA, Chicago, presented the eighth annual CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award to Artisan Construction Co. Inc., Centennial, Colo. The award honors charitable works performed by NRCA contractor members between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2019. Artisan Construction staff volunteered to play baseball with the children at Miracle League of Metro Denver, an organization that provides children and adults who are living with various mental and/or physical challenges an opportunity to play baseball as a team member in an organized league. Artisan Construction also donates $250 to the Miracle League of Metro Denver for every reroofing project completed in Colorado; to date, the company has donated $18,000. In addition, Artisan Construction recently replaced a lock with a more secure locking mechanism on an equipment trailer that had been vandalized. CNA awarded Artisan Construction with $7,500 for its charity.
Weatherproofing Technologies Inc., Beachwood, Ohio, a subsidiary of Tremco Inc., was chosen as the second-place winner for its charitable efforts to WomenSafe Inc., a domestic violence shelter serving northeastern Ohio. Weatherproofing Technologies has supported WomenSafe for more than a decade, including financial support, sponsorships and in-kind donations (food, clothing, hygiene products, household items, etc.). During 2019, Weatherproofing Technologies donated $5,000 to WomenSafe, provided several meals as part of annual year-end celebrations and contributed $400 to the organization’s annual fall luncheon fundraiser. Weatherproofing Technologies also held a toilet paper drive and adopted a WomenSafe family in need for the holidays by fulfilling the family’s wish list. CNA awarded Weatherproofing Technologies with $5,000 for its charity.
KPost Roofing & Waterproofing was chosen as the third-place winner for its work with The Salvation Army.® KPost Roofing & Waterproofing held a school supply drive and donated 1,050 backpacks full of supplies to children of The Salvation Army employees. All leftover backpacks were donated to the organization, which distributed the supplies throughout the community. In addition to the backpacks, KPost Roofing & Waterproofing hosted a canned food drive on behalf of The Salvation Army. CNA awarded KPost Roofing & Waterproofing with $2,500 for its charity.
In addition, the winner of the People’s Choice category was chosen via online voting. Locklear Roofing Inc., Holly Springs, N.C., won the People’s Choice Award for donating a roof system removal and installation on the Frankie Lemmon School and Development Center in Raleigh, N.C. The school serves special needs children ages 3 to 6. CNA awarded Locklear Roofing with $1,500 for its charity.
Gold Circle Awards
The Roofing Alliance’s 2020 Gold Circle Awards were presented to Roofing Alliance and NRCA members for their significant contributions to the roofing industry. The following received Gold Circle Awards:
The following received honorable mentions:
The Roofing Alliance also announced the winners of its 20th annual MVP Awards during the ceremony. The awards recognize exceptional roofing workers for outstanding on-the-job performance/workmanship and outstanding performance/other noteworthy contributions outside the workplace. Award winners are chosen by a panel of roofing industry representatives.
The following were announced as 2020 MVP Awards winners: Chris Bower, superintendent for Exterior Solutions of Georgia, d/b/a Bone Dry Roofing Co., Bogart, Ga.; Jimmy Cobb, superintendent for Graham Roofing Inc., West Point, Miss.; Todd Dunlap, superintendent, warehouse foreman and equipment operator for Frost Roofing Inc., Wapakoneta, Ohio; Piotr Lis, superintendent for KPost Roofing & Waterproofing; Corey Morris, foreman for Spann Roofing & Sheet Metal, Conway, S.C.; Heriberto Rodriguez, superintendent for Bone Dry Roofing Co.; and Michael Ryan, equipment operator for OMG Inc., Agawam, Mass. Dunlap also was named the Best of the Best, a special honor co-sponsored by Professional Roofing and OMG Roofing Products (see “Leading from within”).
Charlie Raymond Award
NRCA presented the 2020 Charlie Raymond Award, its prestigious membership recruitment award, to GAF, Parsippany, N.J. Named for former NRCA President and J.A. Piper Award recipient Charlie Raymond, the Charlie Raymond Award honors members for their efforts to recruit new members into NRCA.
With the largest trade show space to date and record-shattering attendance and exhibitor numbers, NRCA’s 133rd Annual Convention and the 2020 IRE did not disappoint in the state where everything is bigger. Roofing professionals demonstrated their enthusiasm while taking advantage of numerous opportunities to enhance their industry insight and expertise.
Next year, NRCA’s 134th Annual Convention and the 2021 IRE return to Las Vegas, an always-popular destination. Booth space on the exhibit floor already is 80% sold for what promises to be another hugely successful show.
“The 2020 IRE once again exceeded attendees’ expectations. With a record crowd, record number of exhibitors and record attendance at the education classes, the IRE has become the ‘must-attend’ event of the year!” Ribble says. “Plan now to attend the 2021 IRE in Las Vegas. You won’t want to miss it!”
NRCA’S 2020-21 board of directors
Rod Petrick, president of Ridgeworth Roofing Co. Inc., Frankfort, Ill., was named NRCA chairman of the board, and Kyle Thomas, vice president of Thomas Roofing, Mobile, Ala., was named chairman of the board-elect. Bryan Karel, vice president of operations for Garlock-French Corp., Minneapolis; Sherri Miles, vice president of J.D. Miles & Sons Inc., Chesapeake, Va.; and Lisa Sprick, president of Sprick Roofing Co. Inc., Corvallis, Ore., were named vice chairpersons.
Additionally, the following were named as new NRCA directors: