Tom Gernetzke, RBEC

  • Gernetzke

What is your position within your company?
I am a roofing and waterproofing consultant and project manager for Facility Engineering Inc., Madison, Wis.

What is the most unusual roofing project of which you have been a part?
My company was the architect, engineer and consultant for a multiyear plaza deck and below-grade horizontal surfaces rehabilitation project. We were able to use full-size bulldozers, dump trucks and other heavy equipment on the roof over structures; I have pictures of my truck parked on the roof as I often was able to drive right onto the project.

What is your roofing industry involvement?
I currently serve as RCI Inc.'s president.

Why did you become involved in the roofing industry?
A friend asked me to help his dad's roofing company; they offered me a job managing their low-slope roofing division.

What was your first roofing experience?
Before entering the industry, I tore off and reroofed my house—three layers of asphalt shingles over wood shake.

What do you consider your most rewarding experiences?
Being with my family, working with great colleagues and clients, and serving on RCI Inc.'s board of directors

What are your favorite items on your desk?
Pictures of my family and the "easy" button my son gave me

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

What are your best and worst habits?
My best habit is returning correspondence promptly, and my worst habit is overeating.

What are your biggest pet peeves?
Arrogance and inflexibility

What are your favorite stress relievers?
Hunting and being on the beach with my family

What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
Balancing the best design principles with the realities of construction; writing reports; and knowing what to wear to work every day—I have found myself in a muddy hole inspecting foundation waterproofing, taking core samples of built-up roofing, and then meeting with clients and design teams

What are your favorite movies?
Both versions of "True Grit," and one of my favorite bad movies is "Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man"

What foods do you dislike?
Raw bananas, anything with goat cheese and liver

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Flight or super wisdom

My favorite part about working in the roofing industry is …
The people

Do you have any mottos you live by?
Professionally: "A material installed well will always outperform an excellent material installed poorly." Personally, I have two: "Walk softly and carry a big stick" and a quote by Plato, "Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

People would be surprised to know …
I am a "closet" Trekkie.


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