• Richard Nugent, Chief executive officer of Nations Roof LLC, Bridgeport, Conn.

DHS sweeps construction sites

During a sweep by the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) June 14, 55 illegal immigrants were arrested at Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. The arrests involved workers from two construction firms: The Lane Construction Corp., Meriden, Conn., and an unnamed company. Arrests were made at a checkpoint along an access road where construction workers are transported by bus from parking areas to job sites.

The arrests are part of an ongoing effort by ICE to target work sites. Between October 2005 and May 31, ICE initiated 592 investigations at critical infrastructure work sites, including construction work sites, which led to 360 arrests.

Time killers

In his book The 26 Hour Day—How to Gain at Least 2 Hours a Day with Time Control, author Vince Panella cites the biggest time killers at work. Limit the following activities to make the most of your work day:

  1. Telephone/e-mail
  2. Surfing the Internet
  3. Interruptions
  4. Socializing with co-workers
  5. Procrastinating
  6. Personal disorganization
  7. Cleaning your desk or work area
  8. Inability to say no
  9. Lack of delegation
  10. Indecisiveness
  11. Disorganized meetings
  12. Watching television or playing video games

Source: Adapted from Priority as cited by First Draft, August 2003 issue

Defuse angry customers

Although most customers are pleasant, some can be abusive and rude, using foul language and condescending tones or taking out their personal frustrations on you.

Instead of snapping, remain calm. Remind yourself abusive customers often are so involved with their anger they forget you are a human being. Calm an upset customer by using statements such as: "Have I personally done something to upset you? I only want to help. Please give me a chance."

These statements will help the customer focus on the issue at hand and remind him you are there to help.

Source: Adapted from Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service as cited by Communication Briefings, September 2003 issue

Tecta America provides new services

Tecta America Corp., Skokie, Ill., has acquired three companies, including B&H Coatings Inc., Salisbury, Md., a specialty coating and waterproofing company; CRL of Maryland Inc., Baltimore, a brick and concrete restoration company; and Davco Contracting Inc., Miami, a waterproofing company. The acquisitions will allow Tecta America to expand its services.

B&H Coatings will operate in the Potteiger-Raintree Inc., Glen Rock, Pa., division of Tecta America; CRL of Maryland will operate as Magco Restoration, part of Tecta America's Jessup, Md.-based Magco division; and Davco Contracting Inc. will operate in Tecta America's Miami-based Murton Roofing Corp. division, now Davco/Murton Waterproofing LLC.

"These investments are part of our strategy to provide more complete building services to our customers," says Mark Santacrose, Tecta America's president and chief executive officer. "Our expanded service offerings allow us to provide the right solution for our customers' unique needs."

Rohm and Haas increases prices

Rohm and Haas Co., Philadelphia, has increased its prices in North America for certain architectural and functional coatings. The increase took effect July 1.

The price for acrylic and styrene-acrylic emulsions and all additives increased 3 cents per wet pound, and the price for solution and solid grade resins and colorants increased 5 percent per pound.

James Swanson, vice president and general manager of architectural and functional coatings for Rohm and Haas, says Rohm and Haas' price increases are a result of price increases for raw-material, energy and freight costs.


Richard Nugent
Chief executive officer of Nations Roof LLC, Bridgeport, Conn.

What is the most unusual roofing project you've performed?
Most of my career has been in New York, so I have completed many unusual projects in New York City. The one I remember best is a 22,000-square-foot project with 2,200 penetrations. We tore off 11 inches of old roofing materials. I also was fortunate enough to install a roof on IBM's world headquarters, which was a metal roof with no 90-degree angles. I had to brush up on my geometry for that one.

Why did you become a roofing contractor?
I became involved through a family construction company, a metal shop that specialized in slate, metal and tile residential roofing. My brother and I quickly learned we wanted to work with the commercial side of the business.

What was your first roofing experience?
Installing shingles as a teenager. But the most memorable is my first coal-tar-pitch tear-off; anyone in our industry will understand why I cannot forget that one.

What was your first job?
I was a dishwasher in a pancake house at age 15 and, eventually, a waiter, cook and manager. There always was an element of heat involved—those hot grills prepared me for the roofing industry.

What is your favorite vacation?
My favorite vacation was a private cruise. My wife and I, along with a few close friends, chartered an 80-foot sailing yacht with captain and crew in the British Virgin Islands.

What are your favorite items on your desk?
Items that remind me of other aspects of my life. I have a small marble otter from a cruise my family took to Alaska and a few special sailing trophies. There also is a leather paperweight from my daughter.

What do you consider a waste of time?
Dealing with people who have dishonest or selfish agendas.

What are your best and worst habits?
I work too many hours and I work too many hours.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Disorganization annoys me. Cluttered desks are distracting. Also, seeing message lights on employees' desk telephones for long periods of time makes me jittery because it means our clients are not receiving the service they deserve.

What do you consider your most rewarding experiences?
I have experienced many things in the commercial roofing industry. My affiliation with the former roll-up General Roofing Services did not turn out the way I planned, but it was the most educational and challenging aspect of my career. That experience has allowed me to be far more effective and think nationally about our industry.

If you could invite any three people to dinner (dead or alive), whom would you invite and why?
Ronald Reagan because I admire everything about him; Jim Nugent, my brother and partner, because I know he would love to be in the company of Ronald Reagan; and Larry Nugent, my brother who passed away when he was young. I miss him every day.

What is your favorite stress reliever?
I race sailboats as a hobby. It's an intense sport that requires tremendous concentration. I am so focused during a race that I can't think of anything else.

What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
Clear, concise communication between all parties is a constant concern. I think the pace of business and e-mail discourages effective communication.

What is your roofing industry involvement?
I am a member of the NRCA board of directors, which I find gratifying. I try to stay involved and support the terrific job NRCA does in Washington, D.C., to represent our industry. I would like to take a more active role with NRCA in the future.

People would be surprised to know ...
I am a Jimmy Buffett fan.

Recognize employees daily

A great manager takes the time to recognize and motivate employees every day. Following are some methods to ensure praising employees becomes part of your routine:

  • Make employees part of your "to do" list. Make a list of employees and cross their names off as you praise them.
  • Leave voice-mail messages thanking employees for their hard work.
  • Keep note cards on your desk. At the end of each day, take a few minutes to write thank-you notes to employees who did an exemplary job that day.
  • At the beginning of every day, put five coins in your pocket. During the day, each time you praise an employee, transfer one coin to your other pocket. This will get you in the habit of praising your employees daily.

Source: Adapted from Inc. magazine as cited by The Motivational Manager, sample issue

Let employee surveys be your guide

For managers looking to improve their leadership skills, feedback from staff can be informative and helpful, and surveys are an effective means of receiving honest feedback. Anonymous surveys especially can be effective because employees won't feel obligated to sugarcoat responses. Following are some sample questions to include in staff surveys:

  1. How well do I communicate what I expect from you?
  2. Am I too involved with your work, or am I not involved enough?
  3. Are you comfortable asking me questions and airing work-related concerns?
  4. Do I demonstrate an interest in your success at this company?
  5. Do I listen to new ideas?
  6. Do I treat everyone with respect and fairness?
  7. Do I understand our industry and how our company fits into it?
  8. What would you like me to do differently?

Source: Adapted from The Only Thing That Matters as cited by The Manager's Intelligence Report, sample issue

States support Helmets to Hardhats program

Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle signed a resolution for the Helmets to Hardhats program May 30; Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle signed a resolution June 8; and New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine signed a resolution June 12. The national Helmets to Hardhats program connects National Guard, reserve and transitioning active-duty military members with quality career training and employment opportunities in the construction industry.

Signing the resolution was a show of support for the program's efforts to link former and active military personnel with civilian employment opportunities. Because the proclamation was signed, former military personnel now will have easier access to apprenticeship programs.

Hawaii, Wisconsin and New Jersey are the 19th, 20th and 21st states to adopt the Helmets to Hardhats program.


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