Mark DeFreitas

WHAT IS YOUR POSITION WITHIN YOUR COMPANY? I am vice president of national and strategic accounts for SOPREMA® Inc., Wadsworth, Ohio. I am based in Dallas.

WHAT IS THE MOST UNUSUAL PROJECT OF WHICH YOU HAVE BEEN A PART? I worked on the Cincinnati Music Hall early in my career. Built in 1878, the music hall is a national historical landmark and has Victorian gothic architecture. It houses the Cincinnati Opera, the second-oldest opera company in the U.S. We torch-applied a copper-faced polymer-modified bitumen roof system. I attended the final inspection, and the foreman said we had a problem with streaks on the slope. I wanted to show I knew what I was doing, so I knelt in the area, rubbed my finger in the substance and prepared to taste it to see whether it was oil or residue. The foreman stopped me and explained what it was, laughing. If you know, you know! I still laugh about it to this day.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST ROOFING EXPERIENCE? Climbing 30 feet up a bouncy wooden ladder on a windy day to get to a rooftop so I could learn the art of roof system installation. As a newbie, I must have looked quite shaken when I reached the top!

WHAT IS YOUR ROOFING INDUSTRY INVOLVEMENT? I take industry involvement seriously and believe we all need to volunteer. You get back way more than you give. I am on NRCA’s Diversity + Inclusion, Future Executives Institute and Global Strategy committees. I also am on the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association’s Communication, Marketing and Education Committee. And I am a board member for SPRI and served as SPRI’s president from 2007-08.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB? Bouncer at my dad’s discotheque in Trinidad. Back then, it was cash only, so my dad put me at the door to collect money and my brother in the bar to watch the cash!

WHAT QUALITY DO YOU MOST ADMIRE IN A PERSON? Honesty. Without honesty, trust and respect can be difficult.

IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY SUPERPOWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE? The power to heal all sickness, suffering and hate in this world.

PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO KNOW ... I played four years of rugby at Xavier University in Cincinnati when I was lighter and faster than I am now!

WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR MOST REWARDING EXPERIENCE? I have lived in many countries, met so many wonderful people and experienced different cultures. I am blessed to live a wonderful life with a wonderful family. Experiencing life with all the good and bad things has been and will continue to be the most rewarding experience.

WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER A WASTE OF TIME? Regret is wasted energy and can take you to a dark place. The wonderful thing about life is every experience is part of what makes us who we are. I make the best decisions I can at the time, and I carry on.

WHAT’S THE MOST EXCITING/ADVENTUROUS THING YOU’VE DONE? Flipping a Boston whaler boat while trying to do a trick in the Caribbean Sea. I was knocked unconscious and picked up by a nearby fishing boat. My first of many concussions!

WHAT THREE CONDIMENTS ALWAYS ARE IN YOUR FRIDGE? Skyline Chili hot sauce, mango chutney and Yamaroku shoyu soy sauce

WHAT SONG ARE YOU LISTENING TO OVER AND OVER? “Sideways” by ILLENIUM, Nurko and Valerie Broussard

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE STRESS RELIEVERS? Playing with my Jack Russell Terrier, Oliver, and going to music festivals with my family


MY FAVORITE PART ABOUT WORKING IN THE ROOFING INDUSTRY IS ... The people. Our industry is full of good people, opportunity and the desire to make things better. It is a macrocosm of America. If you work hard and are willing to learn, you can accomplish anything.


Be the first to comment. Please log in to leave a comment.