Bigger than ever

NRCA's 131st Annual Convention and the 2018 International Roofing Expo® host industry professionals at the largest exhibit yet

  • Volunteers help renovate three houses in New Orleans.
  • Community Service Day volunteers build porch handrails for one of the houses.
  •  Julius "Dr. J" Erving delivers the keynote address.
  • Participants attend NRCA's CERTA program.
  • More than 100 NRCA members golfed at TPC Louisiana.
  • Participants in ROOFPAC's sporting clays tournament at the High Point Shooting Grounds
  • Auburn University won The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress' student competition.
  • J.A. Piper Award winner Robert McNamara (right)
  • CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award winners Linda and Michael O'Lyn of O'LYN Roofing, Norwood, Mass., with CNA Insurance representative Rick Childs (left) and NRCA CEO Reid Ribble (right)
  • 2018 MVP Award winners

Drawn by warm southern weather and the opportunity to gain new roofing industry insight, 10,076 roofing professionals from 62 countries attended NRCA's 131st Annual Convention and Irving, Texas-based Informa's 2018 International Roofing Expo (IRE) in New Orleans Feb. 4-8. Held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, the IRE was the largest in the show's history, encompassing 137,480 square feet of space. During the event, attendees mingled on the expo floor where 467 companies were exhibiting and learned about the most recent industry trends and technology during a variety of educational sessions.

"It was an incredibly successful week in New Orleans," says Reid Ribble, NRCA's CEO. "NRCA couldn't be more proud to collaborate with Informa to produce a compelling, informative and thriving convention and trade show."

The convention kicked off Sunday, Feb. 4, with NRCA's Executive Committee Meeting, NRCA's Affiliate Executives Council Meeting and NRCA's board of directors meeting at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.

Giving back

On Monday, Feb. 5, Informa partnered with Rebuilding Together® New Orleans to host the IRE's ninth annual Community Service Day. More than 60 volunteers helped renovate three houses in New Orleans for homeowners in need.

Volunteers showed up ready to complete a variety of tasks, including interior and exterior painting, fence repairs, and flooring, carpentry and landscaping work. The first home received a new roof system using shingles donated by CertainTeed Corp., Valley Forge, Pa., and labor donated by Roofing Solutions LLC, Prairieville, La. Volunteers also painted the house, built handrails for its porches, installed fencing and completed landscaping work.

Before receiving assistance, elderly homeowner Betty Johnson feared she may have to leave her home. She is grateful for the new roof and the volunteers' hard work.

"I love it, I love it, I love it!" she says. "I don't know how to show my appreciation to you for the gifts you have given me. With the roof leaking and the mold, I was worried I was going to have to move, but now I'm so relieved I'll be able to get my life back to normal."

The second house volunteers worked on still was uninhabitable from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and underwent much-needed repairs. Volunteers completed sheetrock and siding installation, bringing the homeowners one step closer to moving back into their home.

At the third house, volunteers demolished an existing fence, water-sealed another fence, and completed landscaping work and general clean-up tasks.

Community Service Day is sponsored by Canton, Mass.-based Sika® Sarnafil. Carlisle Construction Materials, Carlisle, Pa., and CentiMark Corp., Canonsburg, Pa., provided tools and equipment. Volunteers received breakfast courtesy of ICP Adhesives & Sealants Inc., Norton, Ohio, and lunch was provided by OMG® Roofing Products, Agawam, Mass. Damato Enterprises, Duluth, Ga., provided shuttle transportation.

The expo begins

NRCA's Young Contractors Committee held its Emerging Business Technology in the Roofing Industry roundtable discussion Tuesday, Feb. 6. Designed to benefit those new to the industry or with new management responsibilities within their companies, the event attracted more than 100 participants who discussed the latest technology trends in the industry. Attendees also engaged in a Q & A session addressing a variety of technology topics led by Erica Jackson, president of CYE Enterprises, Jacksonville, Fla.; Chase Lecklider, president of Chase Restoration LLC, Indianapolis; Geoff Mitchell, CEO of Mid-South Roof Systems, Forest Park, Ga.; J.J. Smithey, president of Frost Roofing Inc., Wapakoneta, Ohio; and Brad Sutter, executive vice president of Sutter Roofing Co. of Florida, Sarasota. Participants left the discussion with ideas that could be implemented upon their return to their companies (see "Talking tech").

Later the same morning, the keynote address was delivered by legendary National Basketball Association (NBA) Hall of Famer Julius "Dr. J" Erving. The former NBA star shared the insights he gained during 16 years of professional basketball and 30 years since his retirement from the sport. Attendees heard Erving explain his personal tactics for overcoming challenges and gained a deeper understanding of how grace, humility, hard work and collaboration can cultivate success.

During the evening, a welcome party sponsored by Tremco Inc., Beachwood, Ohio, was held at historical Generations Hall. Guests mingled with peers and enjoyed food, drinks and live music in the uniquely converted sugar refinery.

Nearly 800 roofing professionals visited NRCA's booth to learn about the benefits of NRCA membership, ask questions and explore the latest NRCA offerings. Many roofing professionals who stopped by the booth expressed interest in NRCA's ProCertification program, scheduled to launch later this year, and excitement for Roofing Day in D.C. 2018, which was held March 6-7. Visitors tried their luck with the NRCA "Spin to Win" prize wheel, and a few lucky players received iPads and one-year NRCA memberships. Twenty-seven companies joined NRCA during the IRE.

Educational programs offered during the IRE also were well-attended by enthusiastic audiences. During the week, roofing professionals attended NRCA's CERTA Train-the-trainer Authorization Program; NRCA Roofing Industry Fall Protection from A to Z; Recruiting, Training and Retaining Roof Technicians and Leaders of Tomorrow; and NRCA's For Foremen Only, Level 1 program.

NRCA University's Future Executives Institute—Class 8 (FEI-8) met twice during the week to study the leadership of teams, generational awareness, strategic planning and legal matters affecting roofing companies. FEI-8 students are in their second year of the three-year program.

NRLRC luncheon

Following Erving's keynote address, the National Roofing Legal Resource Center (NRLRC) hosted its annual luncheon program. The event attracted more than 200 roofing contractors who gathered to hear about tax, technical and legal updates affecting the roofing industry.

Attendees heard from James M. Rosa, principal for tax advisory group HBK CPAs and Consultants, Youngstown, Ohio, who explained the nuances of the tax policies aimed at strengthening small-sized businesses, including the tax challenges faced by pass-through entities such as S corporations. Two technical experts also shared their insights with the audience: Rene Dupuis, principal at Structural Research Inc., Middleton, Wis., shared his perspectives from 50 years in commercial roofing, and Mark Graham, NRCA's vice president of technical services, provided updates regarding moisture-related problems with low-slope membrane roof systems applied to lightweight structural concrete roof decks.

Benefiting ROOFPAC

ROOFPAC, NRCA's political action committee, hosted four fundraising events during the convention and IRE.

On Feb. 5, more than 100 NRCA members enjoyed a day of golf and a scoring reception at TPC Louisiana during ROOFPAC's annual golf tournament sponsored by Johns Manville, Denver. The same day, ROOFPAC also held a sporting clays tournament, sponsored by Polyglass U.S.A. Inc., Deerfield Beach, Fla., at the High Point Shooting Grounds. Nearly 30 participants had the opportunity to test their shooting skills in woods and open fields before enjoying a lunch of locally caught fried fish, chicken and sausage jambalaya.

From Feb. 6-7, ROOFPAC held its annual silent auction in NRCA's booth. Sponsored by GAF, Parsippany, N.J., participants also enjoyed an open bar Wednesday afternoon while bidding against their peers for jewelry, tickets to sporting events, vacations and other exciting items.

And more than 120 people attended an NRCA/ROOFPAC Reception sponsored by ABC Supply Co. Inc., Beloit, Wis., at Pat O's on the River Feb. 7. Guests enjoyed food and drinks while taking in stunning views of the Mississippi River. ROOFPAC's four events raised $48,000 to help support pro-business federal congressional candidates.

Alliance student competition

The ingenuity of future industry professionals was on display during the IRE as four finalist teams of college students competed in The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress' fourth annual Construction Management Student Competition.

Student teams from Auburn University's McWhorter School of Building Science, Auburn, Ala.; Colorado State University, Fort Collins; Louisiana State University's Bert S. Turner Department of Construction Management, Baton Rouge; and University of Florida's M.E. Rinker School of Building Construction, Gainesville, conducted research, reviewed plans and specifications, and assembled a full estimate proposal to submit a qualified bid package for a roof system installation on the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans. The teams each delivered the final portion of their projects in the form of oral presentations before a panel of judges Feb. 7.

The student team from Auburn University won the competition. The team received a trophy and a $5,000 L.B. Conway scholarship for its school, and team members Alex Gomez, Jason McCay (team captain), Hannah Redifer and Matthew Youngblood received individual trophies presented during NRCA's Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception. Redifer also received the award for Best Individual Student Presenter. The student team from Colorado State University placed second in the competition. Colorado State University team members received a team trophy, a $2,500 scholarship for their school and individual awards.

Industry awards

On Feb. 7, NRCA honored top roofing industry professionals during NRCA's Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception. The ceremony involved the presentation of the industry's most prestigious awards, including the J.A. Piper Award; CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award; The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress' Gold Circle Awards and Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards; and NRCA's Charlie Raymond Award.

J.A. Piper Award

Robert McNamara, president of F.J.A. Christiansen Roofing Co. Inc., a Tecta America company, Milwaukee, Wis., received NRCA's 71st 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. Each year, the award is presented to a roofing professional who has demonstrated constant, outstanding service to NRCA and the industry.

McNamara served as NRCA's president from 2009-10 and most recently was chairman of NRCA's Long-term Investment Committee during 2016-17. He has served as NRCA's senior vice president from 2008-09, vice president from 2006-08, and as an NRCA director from 1996-99 and 2002-06. McNamara also has served as chairman of NRCA's Budget and Finance and Contractor Management Committees, as well as president of the Awards Committee, Industry Advisory Board and NRLRC.

CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award

NRCA and CNA Insurance Cos., Chicago, presented the sixth annual CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award to Double D Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., York, Pa. The award honors charitable works performed by NRCA contractor members during the course of a year.

Double D Roofing & Sheet Metal was selected as the first-place winner in recognition of its 19 years of work with Shadowfax, York, an organization that provides services to developmentally disabled adults and helps them gain skills to find meaningful work. Double D Roofing & Sheet Metal ships Firestone Building Products' screws and metal insulation plates to Shadowfax, and Shadowfax workers pre-assemble the screws and plates to be installed on roof systems. Some workers enjoy the task so much, they eagerly wait for trucks to arrive so they can begin their work for the day. CNA awarded Double D Roofing & Sheet Metal $7,500 to be presented to Shadowfax.

Action Roofing Hawaii LLC, Kapolei, was chosen as the second-place winner for donating materials and labor to install new standing-seam metal roof systems for Kahauiki Village, Honolulu, an ongoing project intended to help homeless families settle into affordable long-term housing. CNA awarded Action Roofing Hawaii $5,000 for the Kahauiki Village project.

O'LYN Roofing, Norwood, Mass., was selected as the third-place winner for its work with The Home for Little Wanderers, Boston, a nonprofit agency whose mission is to ensure the healthy behavioral, emotional, social and educational development and physical well-being of at-risk children and families. CNA awarded O'LYN Roofing $2,500 to be presented to The Home for Little Wanderers.

This year, CNA and NRCA also presented a People's Choice Award for the first time. Tecta America, Cumming, Ga., won the People's Choice Award via public online voting for its work with Special Kneads and Treats Inc., Lawrenceville, Ga., a nonprofit company that provides special needs adults with training in catering and provides catered food to local food ministries, elderly care facilities, and women and children's shelters. CNA awarded Tecta America $1,500 to be presented to Special Kneads and Treats.

Gold Circle Awards

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress' 2018 Gold Circle Awards were presented to Alliance and NRCA members for their outstanding contributions to the roofing industry in various categories. The following received Gold Circle Awards:

  • Outstanding Workmanship: Low-slope—Klein Contracting Corp., Doraville, Ga., for AT&T Midtown Center, Atlanta (see "Mobilizing the roofing world")
  • Outstanding Workmanship: Steep-slope—American Roofing & Metal Co. Inc., Louisville, Ky., and Steinrock Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., Louisville, for Fayette County Courthouse, Lexington, Ky.
  • Innovative Solutions: New Construction—Flynn Southwest LP, Commerce City, Colo., for University of Denver's Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science
  • Innovative Solutions: Reroofing—Wagner Roofing Co., Hyattsville, Md., for Bethesda Metro Center, Bethesda, Md.
  • Safety Preparedness and Performance—Wagner Roofing for Bethesda Metro Center

The following received honorable mentions:

  • Outstanding Workmanship: Steep-slope—Flynn Southwest LP for University of Denver's Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science
  • Innovative Solutions: New Construction—Roofing Solutions LLC for St. George Catholic Church, Baton Rouge, La.
  • Innovative Solutions: Reroofing—American Roofing & Metal and Steinrock Roofing & Sheet Metal for Fayette County Courthouse

MVP Awards

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress also announced the winners of its 18th annual MVP Awards during the ceremony. The awards honor roofing workers 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.

The following were announced as 2018 MVP Award winners: Alan Baird, lead foreman for Core Contractors Inc., Denver; Roman Graham, foreman for Baker Roofing Co., Wilmington, N.C.; Bryan Howard, superintendent for CentiMark Corp.; and Douglas Woods, driver for OMG Roofing Products. Baird also was named the Best of the Best, a special honor co-sponsored by Professional Roofing and OMG Roofing Products (see "Changing the world").

Charlie Raymond Award

NRCA presented the 2018 Charlie Raymond Award, the most prestigious membership recruitment award bestowed by the association, to GAF. Named for former NRCA President and J.A. Piper Award recipient Charlie Raymond, the Charlie Raymond Award honors members for their efforts to recruit NRCA members.

Continuing the momentum

With numerous chances to network with peers and gain industry insight during the largest trade show to date, roofing professionals undoubtedly left the event with valuable knowledge, new ideas and excitement for the year ahead.

"Roofing professionals are enthusiastic and optimistic about the upcoming 2018 roofing season," Ribble says. "It clearly showed by their attendance at this year's IRE."

NRCA looks forward to helping maintain industry professionals' enthusiasm by continuing its educational, advocacy and member support efforts throughout the year before hosting NRCA's 132nd Annual Convention and the 2019 IRE Feb. 11-13, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.

Sara Baldwin is Professional Roofing's editorial assistant.


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