What is your position within your company?
I am director of consulting services for Don Kennedy Roofing Co. Inc., Nashville, Tenn.
What is the most unusual roofing project of which you have been a part?
Anyone who works in project management knows there are too many weird roof systems to count, but one unusual project I was involved with was the 800 Tower City Club Apartments remodel in Louisville, Ky. The building is 29 stories high, and a swimming pool and gourmet kitchen were to be included on the roof. It was one of the last projects I worked on before moving, but I remember how complicated it was only halfway through.
Why did you become involved in the roofing industry?
After graduate school, I applied for a variety of jobs but received few interviews. When I was two months behind on my rent and had sold many of my belongings, I started to panic. A friend told me I could get plenty of hours with limited construction experience. I figured construction work was an invaluable trade worth learning, so I applied for a sheet metal installation position.
What was your first roofing experience?
My first professional roofing experience was a copper roof system tear-off at the University of Louisville where I had recently received my master’s degree. The most memorable moment was being taught how to put on a harness by a co-worker. Having a seasoned roofing professional I’d known for only five minutes reach between my legs to fasten the harness straps added a whole new dynamic to the experience.
What is your roofing industry involvement?
I currently represent Don Kennedy Roofing as a member of the International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants. Our company is hoping to host next year’s continuing education hours meetings at our office in Nashville. Don Kennedy Roofing is all about making the industry better any way we can, which usually involves education and transparency.
Big city or small town?
Small town, hands down
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?
Saskatchewan, Canada. I’m an avid hunter, and I’d welcome the challenge of an extended deep-country bow hunt.
People would be surprised to know ...
I traveled to Azerbaijan last spring to speak at a conference commemorating the 100-year anniversary of World War I. I was invited because I had written a book about unconventional warfare. I visited the countryside and met some incredible people. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
What’s the most exciting/adventurous thing you’ve done?
It’s a toss-up between skydiving in honor of military veterans and scuba diving at a World War II shipwreck in Indonesia.
What was your first job?
I had a job cutting and framing artwork for all the Commonwealth hotels on the East Coast. The art gallery I worked for was contracted to supply the artwork for a remodeling initiative. My job was to measure, cut, frame, clean, package and seal every aspect of every print. It was a ton of fun. I’ve framed most of the pictures hanging on my walls at home.
What is your favorite stress reliever?
Enjoying a glass of bourbon by a fire
What quality do you most admire in a person?
Adaptability—it is rare to find people who welcome and thrive on change. Most people strive to keep things familiar, but I believe change is good for everyone. It forces us to get comfortable with discomfort.