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NRCA's 137th Annual Convention and the 2024 International Roofing Expo® break records

The roofing industry united once again in Las Vegas Feb. 6-9 during NRCA’s 137th Annual Convention and Sarasota, Fla.-based Informa’s 2024 IRE. An impressive, record-breaking 15,000 industry professionals attended—a 7% increase from the 2023 show in Dallas—to learn about the latest industry trends. Nearly 600 companies displayed technology, products and services over 200,000 square feet of exhibition space with 167 companies making a debut appearance.

“This year’s record-breaking IRE was a success,” says McKay Daniels, NRCA’s CEO. “There was an excellent turnout and plenty of excitement for all the events. I am looking forward to seeing everyone in San Antonio next year!”

The seventh annual National Women in Roofing Days, a two-day conference for female roofing professionals, was held Feb. 4-5 in advance of the IRE. Nearly 450 participants learned about the latest business strategies and shared tactics and secrets to success before attending an evening reception.

The convention kicked off Monday, Feb. 5, with NRCA’s Executive Committee and board of directors meetings at the Westgate Resort & Casino. NRCA’s affiliate executives meeting was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center the following day.

Community service

On Monday, Feb. 6, Informa partnered with Rebuilding Together® Southern Nevada to host the IRE’s 15th annual Community Service Day sponsored by Sika® Sarnafil, Canton, Mass. During the event, volunteers renovated homes for low-income seniors.

Primary sponsor Sika Sarnafil donated $15,000 for the event. Additional sponsors included GAF, Parsippany, N.J., which donated roofing materials for roof system replacements; Carlisle Construction Materials, Carlisle, Pa.; CentiMark Corp., Canonsburg, Pa.; OMG® Roofing Products Inc., Agawam, Mass.; and The Original Roofing Co., Las Vegas.

Expo events

On Tuesday, Feb. 6, the IRE kicked off with a keynote address delivered by Josey Parks, CEO of Total Home Roofing, Rockledge, Fla., and sponsored by Malarkey Roofing Products, Portland, Ore. Parks discussed the latest technology in the roofing industry and how roofing contractors can use artificial intelligence in real-world scenarios to help their businesses. On Wednesday, Feb. 7, Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing at Houzz, Palo Alto, Calif., delivered a second keynote address by sharing consumer trends driving home improvement and her latest research about macrotrends.

NRCA PROCertification demo booth

On the evening of Feb. 6, Informa held a welcome party at Beer Park. Attendees enjoyed food, drinks, live music and an opportunity to meet BMX rider Ricardo Laguna.

Roofing professionals visited NRCA’s booth to learn about the benefits of NRCA membership and speak with NRCA experts about NRCA PROCertification,® Qualified Trainer Conferences, Training for Roof Application Careers, LEGALCon Virtual and LEGALCon Live, Roofing Day in D.C. 2024, and technical topics and risk management issues. Information about the 2024 edition of The NRCA Roofing Manual, Professional Roofing magazine, the Roofing Alliance and other resources also was available. Visitors tried their luck at the NRCA “Spin to Win” wheel, where winners received prizes such as a Traegar Grill,® Yeti Roadie® Cooler, Milwaukee® Heated Jacket and other items.

NRCA’s training programs offered during the IRE were well-attended. NRCA held a Safety Leadership Workshop Feb. 6 and a Foreman Leadership Training, Level 1, program Feb. 8 for foremen, superintendents and field managers. NRCA staff also served as speakers for educational sessions and NRCA committee members moderated a roundtable discussion, “Industry Image and Outreach Roundtable 2024: There is More to Roofing Than the Roof.”

NRCA also conducted NRCA PROCertification performance exam demonstrations on the trade show floor. Industry professionals were able to see what a hands-on skills assessment looks like and speak with NRCA Qualified Assessors about the PROCertification process.

NRCA University’s Future Executives Institute—Class 10 and FEI—Class 11 met separately twice during the week to study leadership theory and develop management and communication skills. FEI-10 students completed their three-year program and graduated Feb. 7.

Benefiting ROOFPAC

ROOFPAC, NRCA’s political action committee, hosted industry professionals during “An Elegant Extravaganza on the Strip,” an NRCA/ROOFPAC fundraising event held in conjunction with National Women in Roofing at Eight Lounge Feb. 5. Attendees enjoyed a cocktail reception and live auction with opportunities to bid on vacations, artwork and more. The event raised $46,500.

Attendees enjoy the live auction during ROOFPAC’s fundraising event.

In addition, ROOFPAC held its annual silent auction Feb. 6-7. On Wednesday afternoon, participants enjoyed an open bar during the final two hours of the event while bidding on jewelry, vacations and electronics. The silent auction raised $26,023.

NRCA appreciates the support of the sponsors who helped underwrite these successful ROOFPAC events. The funds raised will be used to support NRCA’s ongoing efforts to advocate for the roofing industry in Washington, D.C.

Student competition

The talent of future industry professionals was on display as five finalist teams of college students competed in the Roofing Alliance’s 10th annual Construction Management Student Competition. Student teams from the following schools were tasked with submitting a qualified bid package for a new roof system on the Formula 1 Paddock Building in Las Vegas:

  • Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.
  • Bradley University, Peoria, Ill.
  • Colorado State University, Fort Collins
  • Texas A&M University, College Station
  • University of Florida, Gainesville
University of Florida’s team took first place in the student competition.

The team from University of Florida was selected as the first-place winner after the finalists completed oral presentations. The team received a trophy and a $5,000 L.B. Conway scholarship for its school; teams members received individual awards.

The team from Colorado State University placed second and received a team trophy, a $2,500 Fred Good scholarship for its school and individual awards. The teams from Auburn University and Bradley University tied for third place in the competition and received team trophies, $1,000 scholarships for their schools as well as individual awards.

In addition, Nick Hanson from University of Florida was named Best Individual Student Presenter, and John Falavolito from Texas A&M University received secondplace Best Individual Student Presenter.

Industry awards

Several roofing professionals were honored during NRCA’s Industry Awards and Celebration Wednesday evening. NRCA’s 2024-25 slate of officers and directors was presented (see “NRCA’s 2024-25 leadership”), as well as the industry’s most prestigious awards: NRCA’s J.A. Piper Award; NRCA’s John Bradford Volunteer Award; NRCA’s Gold Circle Awards; the CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award; the Roofing Alliance’s Most Valuable Player Awards; and NRCA’s Charlie Raymond Award.

Jim Barr, president of Barr Roofing, receives NRCA’s J.A. Piper Award.

J.A. Piper Award

Jim Barr, president of Barr Roofing Co., Abilene, Texas, received NRCA’s 77th annual J.A. Piper Award. Named for former NRCA president Joseph A. Piper, whose extraordinary efforts kept NRCA alive during the Great Depression, the J.A. Piper Award is the industry’s most prestigious honor. The award is presented to an individual who has devoted constant, outstanding service to NRCA and the roofing industry.

NRCA's 2024-25 leadership

NRCA announced its 2024-25 slate of officers and directors during NRCA’s Industry Awards and Celebration Feb. 7 in Las Vegas. All 2024-25 officers and directors will assume their roles June 1.

Doug Duncan, president of Nations Roof of Illinois, Villa Park, was elected chairman of the board, and Alex Hernandez, president of Clark Roofing Co., Broadview, Ill., was elected chairman of the board-elect. Chad Collins, president of Bone Dry Roofing Co., Bogart, Ga.; David Hesse, executive vice president of Kalkreuth Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., Wheeling, W.Va.; and Tim Stephens, vice president of operations at Architectural Sheet Metal Inc., Orlando, Fla., were elected vice chairmen for two-year terms. Tupac de la Cruz, operations director and partner for Roofing Solutions LLC, Prairieville, La., was elected vice chairman for a one-year term.

Additionally, the following were elected as new NRCA directors:

  • Chris Bowman, president of Collins Roofing Inc., Lehi, Utah
  • Michelle Boykin, chief operating officer of Rackley Roofing Co. Inc., Nashville, Tenn.
  • Chad Cron, senior vice president and general counsel of Tecta America Corp., Rosemont, Ill.
  • Susan DeGrassi, president and COO of Antis Roofing & Waterproofing, Irvine, Calif.
  • Jeff Embow, vice president of client services for Grove Roofing Services, Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Rudy Gutierrez, president and CEO of Shell Roofing Solutions, Chino, Calif.
  • Dean Jagusch, president of Wagner Roofing Company, Hyattsville, Md.
  • Michelle Lane, vice president of marketing, Elevate commercial roofing systems & lining, for Holcim Building Envelope, Nashville, Tenn.
  • Dave Lawlor, national sales manager of roofing for Canada/Mexico for ROCKWOOL, Milton, Ontario, Canada
  • Steve Little, head coach of KPost Roofing & Waterproofing, Dallas
  • Geoff Mitchell, CEO of Mid-South Roof Systems, Forest Park, Ga.
  • RJ Radobenko, CEO of Global Roofing Group, Phoenix
  • Jason Tetterton, project manager for Curtis Construction Co., Kinston, N.C.
  • John Yuko, president of GSM Roofing, Ephrata, Pa.

In 1964, Barr’s father established Barr Roofing, and three years later, Barr was working on roofs and in the sheet metal department during summer breaks from high school. He attended the University of Texas at Austin for a few years but then returned home and started working full time at his father’s roofing company. In 1993, he became a minority shareholder in the business.

In 2001, he was elected president of the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association. After his presidential term, he remained an active volunteer and continued to serve as chairman of the organization’s Technical and Research Committee for eight years, acting as MRCA’s representative to NRCA’s Technical Operations Committee.

In 2009, Barr was elected to NRCA’s board of directors and served on NRCA’s Technical Operations and Manual Update committees.

In 2011, MRCA honored Barr with the James Q. McCawley Award, which is presented annually to an individual in recognition for outstanding service to the roofing industry. In 2012, he was elected to NRCA’s Executive Committee, where he served as a vice chairman from 2012-14. The Roofing Alliance also recruited Barr and elected him as secretary-treasurer while he served as NRCA’s chairman of the board-elect and then NRCA’s chairman of the board in 2017.

To help develop a qualified workforce, Barr oversaw efforts to produce a training program where field roofing workers can receive certificates of completion upon successful training in topic-specific areas; the first two modules launched under his leadership and eventually morphed into NRCA PROCertification.

Barr also has contributed to his community and had the idea to put on a Key City Rhythm and Blues Festival while helping a roofing customer who runs the local United Way in Abilene. It became the three-day Key City Rhythm and Blues Festival, which raised $25,000 for United Way of Abilene. The next year, the festival grew and doubled its proceeds. Barr regularly helps numerous other local communities and even participated in a Dancing with the Abilene Stars, a local event where he and 11 dancers helped fundraise $300,000 for Hendrick Home for Children.

Hap Esbenshade, chairman and CEO of The Mountain Company, Laurel Management Group and Tri-State/ Service Roofing & Sheet Metal Company, receives the John Bradford Volunteer Award.

John Bradford Volunteer Award

Hap Esbenshade, chairman and CEO of The Mountain Company, Vienna, W.Va.; Laurel Management Group, Vienna; and Tri-State/Service Roofing & Sheet Metal Company, Vienna, received the John Bradford Volunteer Award, which is presented to an individual who has consistently demonstrated outstanding acts of volunteerism.

A graduate of Duke University, Esbenshade has been actively involved with NRCA and the Roofing Alliance for more than 40 years, including serving on 25 committees and NRCA’s board of directors. His company recently celebrated 100 years of service to communities in the mid-Atlantic, Midwest and southeastern U.S.

Esbenshade’s company was one of the first contractors to join the Roofing Alliance and has contributed more financially to the Roofing Alliance than any other contractor member. In addition, it was his vision to create the Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Fund, which has provided scholarships to 149 students totaling more than $1 million.

Esbenshade’s company has adopted the roofs of 11 Ronald McDonald Houses in the communities he serves through the Roofing Alliance’s program, providing free labor to keep families in need safe and dry. He also serves on the board of Marietta College in Ohio; oversees the Spartan Kids Foundation, which provides extraordinary experiences to underserved and challenged kids; and has been president of his local Boys and Girls Club. He donated an auditorium to the business school at West Virginia University that is dedicated to his father, and two years ago, he was inducted into the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame.

The John Bradford Volunteer Award is named after John Bradford, who served as NRCA’s president from 1982-83 and was a past president of the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association. He was instrumental in the development of the Montana Roofing Contractors Association, served on many boards throughout his roofing career and enjoyed civic involvements.

Gold Circle Awards

NRCA’s 2024 Gold Circle Awards were presented to NRCA members for their significant contributions to the roofing industry.

The following companies received NRCA 2024 Gold Circle Awards:

  • Innovative Solutions: Nations Roof—East, Yonkers, N.Y., for Lionsgate Studios
  • Outstanding Workmanship: Steep-slope—Huber + Associates, Lake City, Fla., for a private residence in Silver Lake, Ohio
  • Outstanding Workmanship: Low-slope—KPost Company, Dallas, for the American Airlines Center, Dallas

Additionally, two companies were selected as honorable mentions:

  • CFE Inc., Elmira, N.Y., for Arconic Cast House, Lancaster, Pa.
  • Renaissance Roofing Inc., Belvidere, Ill., for Tower Grove Park, St. Louis

CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award

NRCA and CNA, Chicago, presented the CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award to Turner Roofing Services, Broken Arrow, Okla., for its charitable efforts with Green Country Habitat for Humanity. The award honors charitable works performed by NRCA contractor members between Jan. 1, 2023, and Nov. 24, 2023.

Turner Roofing Services has supported Green Country Habitat for Humanity for more than 14 years by donating materials and labor for 25 roofs—including three in 2023—to help low-income communities and families in the greater Tulsa, Okla., and Joplin, Mo., areas. CNA awarded Turner Roofing Services with $7,500 to be presented to Green Country Habitat for Humanity.

The second-place winner was Academy Roofing Inc., Aurora, Colo., for its charitable efforts with Mile High Behavioral Healthcare. Academy Roofing came together with other roofing companies to provide a complete reroof for the Mile High Behavioral Healthcare Family Preservation Center. The project was completed Aug. 7, 2023, with an estimated value of $123,000 and helped the organization continue to provide essential mental health services to individuals in need. CNA awarded Academy Roofing with $5,000 for its charity.

The third-place winner was Watkins Construction & Roofing, Ridgeland, Miss., for its work with First Ridgeland Baptist Church’s Central Food Pantry. Watkins Construction & Roofing team members continuously volunteer at the Central Food Pantry in Ridgeland, where they unload trucks, separate produce, pack boxes and more. Since Watkins Construction & Roofing started volunteering, the number of families the food pantry feeds has grown from 80 to 150. CNA awarded Watkins Construction & Roofing with $2,500 for its charity.

Luis Villalta (center), field worker for Antis Roofing and Waterproofing, wins the Best of the Best Award.

MVP Awards

The Roofing Alliance announced the winners of its 24th annual MVP Awards during the ceremony. The awards recognize outstanding roofing workers who achieve work-related and personal goals to which others aspire. Award winners are chosen by a panel of roofing industry representatives.

The winner in the outstanding community involvement category was Daniel Gochenauer, foreman for GSM Roofing, Ephrata, Pa.

The winner in the outstanding performance and leadership category was Obed Hernandez, foreman for Wagner Roofing Company, Hyattsville, Md.

The Best of the Best Award winner also was announced. Luis Villalta, field worker for Antis Roofing and Waterproofing, Irvine, Calif., won the Best of the Best Award. Villalta won the award for his extraordinary contributions to the roofing industry. The Best of the Best Award is sponsored by Professional Roofing and OMG Roofing Products Inc., Agawam, Mass.

Charlie Raymond Award

NRCA presented the Charlie Raymond Award, its prestigious membership recruitment award, to GAF, Parsippany, N.J. Named for former NRCA president and J.A. Piper Award winner Charlie Raymond, the award honors members for their efforts to recruit new members into NRCA.

On to Texas

Following this year’s success, it is never too early to plan for next year’s annual convention and IRE scheduled for Feb. 19-21 in San Antonio. You won’t want to miss it!

AVERY TIMMONS is Professional Roofing’s editorial assistant.



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