Giving Back to Healthcare Heroes

USA Roof Masters provided free roof repairs to area healthcare workers in need of assistance.

“Showing up” and “giving back” have always been part of how Tom Kovack, owner of USA Roof Masters, approaches the business of roofing. When Superstorm Sandy struck the Philadelphia area in 2012, Kovack had just entered the roofing industry. He was heartened by how the community came together to support homeowners affected by the storm. Flash forward nearly eight years to the global pandemic, and Kovack felt compelled to help those essential workers providing healthcare and in-home care services.

He turned to Facebook and posted an offer to provide free roof repairs to any healthcare workers needing a roof repair. The community’s response was overwhelming. Within days, the USA Roof Masters team completed more than 80 repairs free of charge. And while USA Roof Masters team members declined to accept any tips, they were overwhelmed by homeowners’ gratitude.

Kovack and his team honored requests for a variety of roofing repairs. One roof simply could not be repaired and demanded a replacement. A comment from Charity Hundeyin, in Levittown, Pennsylvania, noted, “Thank you for being the hands and feet of goodness in this world, especially at this time.”

When it was determined Charity Hundeyin’s roof could not be repaired, the team at USA Roof Masters replaced her roof at no charge.

Until COVID-19 struck, Hundeyin was working two jobs as a homecare aide and worker at an adult day care center. When the virus resulted in the daycare business closing, Charity’s primary source of income was disrupted. She was also struggling to keep water from infiltrating her home whenever directional rains occurred. The intersection of her home’s siding and first level roof was leaking and she hoped USA Roof Masters could help.

After inspecting her home, it was determined that a replacement was the only option to address the issue. “The roof simply couldn’t be repaired, but we wanted to do the right thing for the homeowner,” says Kovack. The USA Roof Masters team replaced her roof at no charge. Charity selected Pacific Wave, the 2020 Owens Corning Shingle Color of the Year, and her new roof was installed on May 16.

Kovack says when it comes to safety at home, the roof is the great equalizer. “People don’t realize how important a roof is until they have an issue,” he says. “The roof is essential to protecting the home and the family and it’s very rewarding to be able to help people feel secure during uncertain times.” Kovack noted that during the pandemic, his company made repairs on homes sheltering people in a variety of life circumstances and positions – from a Senator’s house to a home that offers shelter to women leaving abusive environments. “Everyone has problems, and it’s wonderful to be part of an industry that can help make a difference,” he says.

About the author: Farasha Polk is the social media and marketing manager for Owens Corning Roofing. For more information, visit www.owenscorning.com/roofing.

Helping Make a Little Girl’s Dream Come True

Isabella Tadlock recently received a Hero Arm, a lightweight bionic hand. Through the Helping Our Own Program, the Roofing Alliance donated $5,000 to the Tadlock family to help with expenses that were not covered by insurance.

A $5,000 donation to the Tadlock family will help their daughter get the second hand she needs to climb the monkey bars and ride a bike.

This past holiday season, the Roofing Alliance helped to make a little girl’s dream come true. They donated $5,000 to the Tadlock family to help pay for their daughter’s new Hero Arm and related medical expenses.

Dale Tadlock, the president of Tadlock Roofing in Tallahassee, Florida, wrote in an email about his daughter’s unique story and her holiday wish. He starts with, “I would like to tell you a story. It is about a special little girl. It didn’t start out to be happy ever after, but it will be.” Isabella came into the world eleven years ago with multiple birth defects. Her birth parents were unable to care for her, so they gave her to the Children’s Home Society.

“This tiny baby would have a lot to overcome because she had a gaping cleft in her lip and palate. Her tiny right leg was turned in; the doctors called it clubbed. And then there was the problem with her hands. Her left arm was shorter than her right with a little nub on the end. And her right hand, well, it didn’t have any fingers at all,” Dale explains.

He and his wife had been wanting to adopt a girl for five years. When they heard about Isabella, they knew she was the special little girl they had been waiting for. Dale shares, “We brought her home to three sisters and two brothers who couldn’t wait to shower her with love and show her how special she really is.”

Throughout her eleven years, Isabella has had ten surgeries and nine casts. The Tadlocks were able to find a doctor who created fingers on her right hand by taking bones out of her toes. These bones were placed in her right hand, as well as pins and rods that had to be turned and cleaned three times a day. She now has three fingers and a thumb on her right hand. While the fingers don’t look or bend like her brothers and sisters do, they work!

However, Isabella became self-conscious about her hands and began to hide them because they weren’t like her friends. Dale says, “It is heartbreaking to watch a school production when all the other children wave their hands in the air, but never Isabella.”

To be more like her friends and do the things she’s been dreaming of, Isabella needs a second hand. This hand will give her the ability to ride a bike, tie her shoes, hold a brush while she dries her hair, and most importantly, climb on the monkey bars, which is “something that she has always wanted to do,” according to Dale.

Luckily, they found a solution. Isabella was approved for a Hero Arm, which is a lightweight bionic hand with a posable wrist and thumb. It has customizable plates to fit each person’s unique style and personality. While it is the most affordable bionic hand available, it still costs approximately $20,000. The Tadlock’s insurance agreed to cover $8,900 of the hand, but they still needed $11,100 to pay for the rest.

Tadlock Roofing gives so much to the community in Tallahassee and the roofing community as a whole. Earlier this year, Tadlock was recognized by Leon County Schools for donating $2,000 and 2,000 food items to the high school’s food bank. The company also helped facilitate free roof replacements for those in dire need, such as an Army veteran whose numerous medical bills inhibited him from replacing his 20-year-old roof.

Tadlock Roofing is the first privately owned business to join with Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and the Children’s Home Society to support the first Leon County Schools Community Partnership program in Tallahassee. In 2018, Tadlock was the title sponsor for Children’s Home Society Gala helping raise over $80,000 for that organization. During “Giving Tuesday,” Tadlock Roofing committed matching funds up to $10,000 each year for the last three years for Boystown, an organization that provides healing and hope to children and families who find themselves facing adversity. Tadlock Roofing has adopted the roof of the Ronald McDonald House of Tallahassee.

The Roofing Alliance recognizes everything Tadlock Roofing has done and wanted to help. Through the Helping Our Own Program, The Roofing Alliance donated $5,000 to the Tadlock family for Isabella’s arm. While the Roofing Alliance originally worked to help advance the roofing industry by funding technical, educational, and safety-related studies, it has since expanded its outreach to encompass so much more. The Roofing Alliance’s outreach also helps “fund efforts dedicated to good works and charitable giving.” The Roofing Alliance recognizes that sometimes there are circumstances outside of people’s control that impact them significantly, and they want to do what they can to take care of their own by easing the financial burden.

Through this generous donation, the Tadlock family is so much closer to raising all the money they need for Isabella’s Hero Arm. Soon Isabella will be climbing on the monkey bars and waving her hands in the next school production.

For more information about the Roofing Alliance, visit www.roofingalliance.net.

About the author: Lauren White is a reporter for RoofersCoffeeShop and a freelance writer covering the roofing industry.

Upstate Roofing and Painting and the Roofing Alliance Team Up to Help Ronald McDonald House Charities

CEO Bob Morgan challenged his team to raise enough money to have a room named after the entire Upstate team. They succeeded, and raised enough money to name a second room in memory of Bob’s parents, Robert and Deanna Morgan. Photo: Upstate Roofing and Painting

In April of 2017, the Roofing Alliance, with the focused efforts of Roofing Alliance members, NRCA members and staff, began working with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) to create a partnership that would connect the roofing industry with the standalone Ronald McDonald Houses to provide ongoing roof maintenance. The Roofing Alliance is the foundation of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) and at 169 members strong, it is a dedicated forum of roofing contractors, manufacturers, distributors, service providers and industry professionals. These roofing men and women promote and fund the advancement of roofing through research, education, technology and philanthropic initiatives to help shape the future of the industry.

A Roofing Alliance member since 2014, Bob Morgan, C.E.O. of Upstate Roofing and Painting, was very intrigued by the partnership with RMHC and was one of the first roofing companies in the country to adopt their local House, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester, NY Inc. In fact, the roofing industry as a whole has enthusiastically embraced the efforts of RMHC to help families with critically ill or injured children stay together, near the hospitals providing them medical care. Ronald McDonald Houses provide private sleeping rooms, meals, and opportunities for families to interact as they go through difficult times. Through sponsorship funds and the adoption of the roofs of the 165 standalone Ronald McDonald Houses in the United States, the Roofing Alliance has brought together roofing professionals and companies who donate their time and talents to provide regular roof system inspections, maintenance and repairs.

After signing up in October of 2017, Morgan shared the initiative with his company’s team. Upstate’s roof inspectors went out to look at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester, NY Inc. roof and performed an assessment. The House was broken up into several sections with steep sloped roofs that featured asphalt shingles. On their initial visit they performed a thorough inspection and provided a detailed report. (All contractors who adopt Houses share their inspection reports, maintenance work and any re-roofing with the Roofing Alliance, which maintains a national database with information on all of the Houses.) After the assessment, the Upstate team performed some pro-bono maintenance to ensure that there were no leaks.

Now knowing that the roof was in good shape, Morgan and his team started looking around for other opportunities to help the House. Upstate, founded in 1974, added commercial painting services for their clients in 2006 so they offered to “freshen up” a few rooms with a new coat of paint from time to time if needed.

With the help of Sherwin-Williams material donations, the Upstate team ended up re-painting the entire interior of the House. The combination of material and labor saved their Ronald McDonald House about $15,000 while providing a fresh look for all the rooms and common areas. Upstate was so committed that not only did they offer to donate the labor, they paid their painting team for their normal 40-hour week. Upstate’s teammates saw this and really took Morgan’s gift of giving back to heart.

Meeting a Challenge

Every March, Upstate Roofing and Painting has their annual kickoff for the upcoming season of work. It is a full day of safety training, award presentations, guest speakers and is capped off with a profit-sharing celebration. Morgan always recaps which charities the company donated to in the previous year. He lets the team know that it’s not just the company writing a check. It’s a result of everyone’s hard work that allows Upstate to be able to make those donations. At the spring 2018 meeting, Morgan really wanted to share the excitement he and many of his team had for their latest philanthropic effort with their local Ronald McDonald House. He reached out to fellow Roofing Alliance member, Charles Antis of Antis Roofing and Waterproofing out of Orange County, California, to talk about what his company had been doing with their philanthropic programs. Antis made a video of his team thanking the Upstate team for all their work and donations. The video was played on the big screen for all to see during the meeting. It was the inspiration that really got the Upstate team rocking.

Upstate Roofing and Painting adopted Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester, NY Inc. as part of the Roofing Alliance’s effort to create partnerships between the roofing industry and standalone Ronald McDonald Houses to provide ongoing maintenance. Photo: Ronald McDonald House Charities

Upstate was already working with the United Way on an annual basis and remains very proud of the nonprofit, which was founded in Rochester by George Eastman, founder of Kodak. In 2018, when the Upstate employees found out that they could donate directly to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester, NY Inc. through United Way, a challenge was initiated.

In 2019, representatives from R.M.H.C. and the United Way visited the Upstate employees and thanked them for all the work they had done and the pledges they had made to the House through United Way. After the guests departed, Morgan issued a challenge to his teammates that he and his wife Kim would personally match every dollar that they donated to the RMHC during the campaign. The goal was to raise $5,000 and have a room named after the entire Upstate team. The enthusiasm from everyone showed right away. Some even donated a second time to help increase the matched dollar amount. In total, over $13,000 was raised.

Morgan was amazed at the generosity of his team, but he was not surprised. “Our team has one of the toughest jobs on earth,” stated Morgan. “They work extremely hard, often in less than desirable conditions on a daily basis. For them to give their hard-earned dollars to a local charity speaks volumes to the character of our team.”

Because the naming rights for a room was set at $5,000, the House later named a second room in memory of Bob Morgan’s parents: Robert and Deanna Morgan. Deanna had passed away the day after Morgan challenged his team to donate.

Morgan’s dad owned a painting company at the time of his death after a battle with cancer 13 years ago (2006). Upstate hired a few key people from the painting company immediately in an effort to start offering painting services. Morgan’s brother Don was one of the hires in 2006 and serves an important role today in the business. “In construction we see the strength of family, and this is a beautiful example of how family continues to be the strength behind many companies,” said Morgan.

As a result of those hires in 2006, today Upstate is one of the most respected painting companies in the Rochester market with 35 painting teammates and growing. They offer commercial services for both interior and exterior painting, high-end office spaces, multi-family residences, hospitals and commercial roof coatings. Many of their contracts are a combination of roofing and painting working with general contractors. With all the success of their business, the true success is apparent in the culture of the company and the enthusiasm of all teammates. They know that the greatest strength of the company is the people who work there. They really care about what they do, and it shows.

To learn more about the Roofing Alliance and RHMC partnership, visit www.roofingalliance.net or contact Bennett Judson, the Roofing Alliance’s executive director, at bjudson@nrca.net.

About the Author:Heidi J. Ellsworth is partner and owner of RoofersCoffeeShop and HJE Consulting where she provides marketing and business strategies, initiatives for sales success and overall content development for companies and associations within the roofing industry. Along with Karen L Edwards, she has co-authored two books: “Sales and Marketing for Roofing Contractors” and “Building a Marketing Plan for Roofing Contractors.”