Brian Baker

What is your position within your company?
I am vice president of marketing for Brava Roof Tile, Washington, Iowa.

What is the most unusual roofing project you have worked on?
I currently am working on a fun project: a large church complex with domes, multiple buildings, and a mix of Spanish tile and slate in Oklahoma City. I love culturally significant roofing projects and creative uses of roofing materials.

Why did you become involved in the roofing industry?
I was working with a women’s business networking group when a friend mentioned he would be leaving his role at ElkCorp, a shingle manufacturer based in Dallas that later was acquired by GAF, Parsippany, N.J. After about 15 years at GAF and 18 years in the roofing business, here I am.

What was your first roofing experience?
When I was 13, I helped a neighbor reroof his home. I helped with the tear off and loaded the roof with new shingles for the installer.

What is your roofing industry involvement?
Brava Roof Tile is a member of NRCA, and I serve on two NRCA committees. The Membership Steering Committee helps drive membership for NRCA, and the Industry Image and Outreach Committee creates an industry image that helps draw young people into the roofing business. I also work to educate contractor businesses in sales and marketing.

What songs are you listening to over and over?
While I am working, I listen to techno, trance and dance music—it helps me focus.

What was your first job?
I bagged groceries and helped customers load their cars at a grocery store in Texas.

What qualities do you most admire in a person?
Intrinsic motivation and lifelong learning. No matter where you are in life, keep moving, making things and learning.

What are your favorite foods?
A raw bar and a Hendrick’s martini

My favorite part about working in the roofing industry is …
In my previous role at GAF, we built one of the industry’s first social media networks for roofing contractors. I had the privilege of seeing the details of some roofing professionals’ lives, including business struggles and achievements. I felt a responsibility to protect and care for these people and businesses.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?
A cruise to Antarctica, the last land unchanged by people. During the summer, it’s a surreal landscape of icebergs where the sun never sets and the animals are not afraid of people.

What’s the most exciting/ adventurous thing you’ve done?
In elementary school, I would go fossil hunting with friends at a creek in our neighborhood. We would bring things to the Dallas Museum of Natural History, and the workers would identify them. When I grew up, I built the first website for the museum and saw some of its real treasures, one of which was a rare book of butterflies.

What is your favorite stress reliever?
Alone time spent in nature

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Art and engineering were my main interests though if I’m totally honest I wanted to be an engineer who drove a train.

What’s your favorite roofing material to work with? Why?
Brava roof tiles—they make homes and even buildings at Disney World look like a fairytale and inspire creativity and fun.

What is the most high-tech item in your house?
My home is a little bit of a technological wonderland. We always want to try out the latest Apple device.

Big city or small town?
Big city amenities with a small-town vibe—Austin, Texas, and Boulder, Colo., are places I love.

What do you consider your most rewarding experience?
In the mid 1990s I worked on a project called CompuServe Wow, the first online service for Windows 95. Although it didn’t succeed, I met many people who created modern internet technologies, and I turned their work into webpages. It was a magical time.


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