Dave Lawlor


What is your position within your company?
I am North American sales manager—roofing for ROCKWOOL in North America, Milton, Ontario.

What is the most unusual roofing project of which you have been a part?
We currently are supplying materials for a 3.3 million-square-foot roof complex project for tire manufacturer Michelin in South Carolina. People often ask me to repeat myself when they hear the size of the project because it's unusually large.

Why did you become involved in the roofing industry?
In 1986, I had finished my third year in college studying architectural technology and wanted to find a job that allowed me to stay in construction and the city. I took the first job I saw on an employment board at my school—a site laborer with a waterproofing company installing polymer-modified bitumen membrane on concrete decks. From there, I was offered a permanent position as a technical representative with the membrane manufacturing company.

What was your first roofing experience?
I have a vivid memory from a major project supplying roof and waterproofing membranes for Scotia Plaza, a commercial office complex in Toronto. The roof was high along the city skyline, which was great, but the project also involved waterproofing three-story water tanks below ground level. I have a deep scar on my left shin from losing my footing in the dimly lit basement of that building during an early site visit.

What is your roofing industry involvement?
ROCKWOOL representatives are active members of many associations, including NRCA. My company also supports The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress, and I am a proud member of the Alliance's board of trustees.

What was your first job?
When I was 15 years old, I worked for a company that tore up rail beds throughout my northern Ontario hometown. The creosote-soaked rail ties were sold for landscaping. The job was hard labor and offered valuable perspective.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?
Although I love my work and the extensive travel opportunities my career provides, I get most excited about my return trips home to spend time with my family.

People would be surprised to know …
I'm a huge Walt Disney World fan! Never having gone there as a kid, my family now is making up for lost time. We have visited the parks during seven magical vacations.

If you could meet any historical figure, whom would you meet? Why?
I would meet American blues musician Robert Johnson at the Crossroads in Mississippi. I would like to know what kind of negotiator he was and hear him play.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An architect or a hockey player

My favorite part about working in the roofing industry is …
The high-quality people I interact with on a regular basis, including through the Alliance.

What songs are you listening to over and over?
With two teenagers in the house, I often have no choice but to listen to the latest pop hits repeatedly. I prefer guitar-based blues and rock music.

What do you consider your most rewarding experience?
Building a family with my wife, Michelle, has been my most rewarding experience, and it's one I continue to enjoy more and more.

What's the most adventurous thing you've done?
I arrived in Mexico City for business 20 minutes before an earthquake struck on Sept. 19, 2017. I went to my hotel not realizing the scope of the damage. Upon arrival, I realized there was no electricity and an adjacent building had partially crumbled into the street. A businessman joined me in my cab when he realized I was returning to the airport. We made the long, chaotic journey out of the city together and still keep in touch.


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