Josh Kelly

  • Kelly with his wife, Rebecca; son, Jacob; and daughters, Sarah and Lucy, in Cape Hatteras, N.C.

What is your position within your company?
I am vice president and general manager of OMG Roofing Products, Agawam, Mass.

What is the most unusual roofing project of which you have been a part?
A few years ago, I visited a retail distribution center in east Texas that was severely damaged by hail. The building was filled with valuable merchandise, such as flat-screen televisions and iPods, and rain was coming through the roof. The building itself was unusual, but the picture of more than 200 people walking on the roof at the same time trying to stop the water by finding and caulking all the damage definitely was memorable.

Why did you become involved in the roofing industry?
After graduating from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and working in a bike shop in northern Virginia for a while, a friend told me about a company in New England that was growing quickly, hiring and was a great place to work. During the interview process, I met Art Jacobson, owner and founder of OMG Roofing Products. I also met a lot of other people who were working for the company and clearly happy to be part of the business. I didn't know much about roofing, but I knew I found a great opportunity so I took the job.

What was your first roofing experience?
The first project I worked was on a Sheraton hotel in Boston, right next to Fenway Park. It really gave me an appreciation for the view from the top.

What was your first job?
During high school, I worked summers for the department of public works as a garbage collector. I worked on the back of a truck with one other laborer, and we would load more than 56,000 pounds of trash into the truck every day by hand. I learned a lot about hard work, a little about recycling and an important lesson about how good it feels when a customer appreciates a laborer, even if it is as simple as offering a cold soda or saying thank you.

What is your favorite item on your desk?
My Dilbert calendar; it's always good to start your day with a laugh.

What do you consider your most rewarding experiences?
The births of my three children, Jacob, Sarah and Lucy

What is your favorite vacation?
Every summer, we travel to North Carolina's outer banks for family fun in the sun.

What do you consider a waste of time?
Waiting. Waiting for an answer, waiting in line, waiting for something to happen; I'd always rather be doing than waiting.

What is your best habit, and what is your worst habit?
My best habit is waking up early. My worst habit is going to bed late.

If you could invite any three people (dead or alive) to dinner, whom would you invite and why?
I would invite Tom Waits (one of my favorite musicians) and my mother and father but when they were all in their 20s. It would be interesting to get all three together at earlier stages in their careers and lives to hear their perspectives and understand their roots. And I'm pretty sure we'd have a good time!

What is your favorite stress reliever?
Playing guitar loudly!

What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
Finding the right people and identifying and maximizing their strengths are the most important aspects of my job. I believe people have the desire to help, the ability to contribute and the potential to succeed and that it is my responsibility to help make it happen.

What is your roofing industry involvement?
I recently was added to the board of trustees for The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress.

People would be surprised to know …
I surf. I don't surf well, but I keep trying.


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