Full steam ahead

As NRCA and the roofing industry emerge from the worst of the pandemic, a brighter future awaits

It seems impossible that June is here already! June 1 marks the beginning of NRCA’s fiscal year, and usually, we are saying a farewell to an outgoing chairman of the board and welcoming a new one. But because of COVID-19, everything is different. NRCA’s board of directors approved the 2020-21 board of directors and officers to continue serving for 2021-22. The COVID-19 disruption was so much longer than anticipated, and in-person meetings simply could not happen. NRCA’s action is similar to hundreds of other associations throughout the U.S.

And normalcy remains just out of reach. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expressed doubt the U.S. will ever fully reach herd immunity. There is too much resistance to vaccines to have society reach the numbers needed to vanquish the disease. People refuse the vaccine for all kinds of reasons, mostly personal. But those decisions affect civil society in ways that make us all uncomfortable.

Regardless, NRCA is doing everything in its power to resume normal activities, including the resumption of some in-person meetings as travel restrictions lift, vaccines are administered and members become increasingly confident in meeting.

We did learn there is an efficiency quotient that happened by using video conferencing during this time. We were able to deliver training and engage volunteers at a much lower cost of time and money for NRCA and members. Air travel, hotel and meal expenses were saved and looking back, we did so without a drop in quality.

So though some things like our typical board of directors and committee meetings will return to their previous schedules, other meetings will continue to meet remotely.

We also learned though we had a challenging year financially (about 50% of NRCA revenue comes from non-dues-related activity, such as training materials, manuals and educational conferences), we were able to operate in the black during what was arguably the most challenging time in my 35 years in the industry.

There are a lot of people to thank for this. First, thank you to our members who joined or renewed their memberships. Without your support, there is no NRCA. We also are grateful for our hundreds of volunteers, each of whom continued to meet and contribute time to the industry—albeit remotely. Thousands of hours were logged in video conference meetings, and each verified our members’ commitment to the industry.

And Chairman of the Board Rod Petrick, president of Ridgeworth Roofing Co. Inc., Frankfort, Ill., was called to sit in front of his computer for more hours than is reasonable to ask anyone. But he wasn’t alone. He often was joined by board members; Executive Committee members; Chairman of the Board-Elect Kyle Thomas, vice president of Thomas Roofing Co. Inc., Mobile, Ala.; and Immediate Past Chairman of the Board Nick Sabino, president of Deer Park Roofing Inc., Cincinnati. Nick also chairs NRCA’s Budget and Finance Committee. This committee typically meets two times per year, but during the past 12 months, the committee offered its advice quarterly, helping staff navigate these difficult times, which was no easy task.

Finally, to all who work for NRCA, the 2020-21 year was one for the record books. Your work simply amazed me. Each department excelled in a totally new environment with a too demanding boss who never really seemed able to say thank you enough. I am honored to work alongside such a committed team of professionals!

Now, on to a better tomorrow. NRCA: We are the industry.

Reid Ribble is NRCA's CEO.

This column is part of News + Views. Click here to read additional stories from this section.


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