Pravin "Paul" Shah

  • Shah at Machu Picchu in Peru

What is your position within your company?
I am president of Anderson & Shah Roofing Inc., Joliet, Ill.

What is the most unusual roofing project you've performed?
Reroofing Chicago's Jardine Water Purification Plant. An awareness of the building's location—next to Lake Michigan—was critical. Knowing the building was one of the largest freshwater filtration plants in the world required special care when handling the debris and material so as not to disturb the delicate operation of supplying fresh water daily to more than 5 million people. Also, the pump house roof system at the facility's north end was about 12 feet lower than the larger administration and penthouse roof system to the south. However, tear-off only was allowed on the north side because of weight restrictions on the ground along the east and west sides. A wooden bridge with rails was built to facilitate the project, and a temporary wooden north wall was built to contain dirt and debris lowered to the ground and into the trash bin.

Why did you become a part of the roofing industry?
To realize my dream of being an entrepreneur

What was your first roofing experience?
Organizing the estimates for Crowther Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., Romeoville, Ill. I wrote a detailed report with forms and charts as part of my master's degree in business administration assignment at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. Only an analytical engineer would find the time and interest to do such a report while eliminating routine errors made by my assistants in the 1970s.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a comedian. I bet people who know me will LOL.

What are the most high-tech items in your house?
All the Apple® gadgets

List three words that best describe you.
I am loyal, have a dry sense of humor and am learning to be humble.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I was born and raised in India, and, fortunately, I have traveled a lot around the world. Next on the agenda are an African safari and Alaskan cruise. However, my real dream is to travel to every national park in our great country; I'm more than halfway there.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Dishonesty. Tell me the truth; I can deal with it.

What three condiments always are in your fridge?
Mango pickles; my wife's great chutney made from coriander and jalapeños; and delicious Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce made by Palo Alto, Calif., firefighters using homegrown peppers—we bought it from Hook and Ladder winery in Santa Rosa, Calif.

What qualities do you most like in a person?
Loyalty and hard working

If you could invite any three people (dead or alive) to dinner, whom would you invite and why?
Mahatma Gandhi—to learn the real meaning of nonviolence. Abraham Lincoln—to learn how he bore so many national and personal tragedies. And former Chicago Tribune columnist Bob Greene—to hear about child abuse.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
To render myself useless as far as my business is concerned. I think with the help of my good friend and great people person, Dave Wehrle, operations manager at Anderson & Shah Roofing, I am succeeding.

What is your roofing industry involvement?
I serve on NRCA's board of directors, and I'm a member of the Chicago Roofing Contractors Association.

People would be surprised to know …
How happy and content I am becoming. Please don't tell my wife.


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