Dallas Roofing Contractor Partners with Habitat for Humanity to Repair and Replace Roofs for Deserving Homeowners

Chris Zazo, CEO of Aspenmark Roofing & Solar, Dallas, established the non-profit Roof Angels, which repairs and/or replaces up to 30 roofs per year through Habitat for Humanity’s A Brush with Kindness program.

Chris Zazo, CEO of Aspenmark Roofing & Solar, Dallas, established the non-profit Roof Angels, which repairs and/or replaces up to 30 roofs per year through Habitat for Humanity’s A Brush with Kindness program.

Chris Zazo is a CEO who sees opportunity everywhere. When he needed a corporate gift idea to give to hail-restoration customers of his commercial roofing business, Dallas-based Aspenmark Roofing & Solar, he established Hailstone Vineyards in Napa Valley, Calif., and now makes his own cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay.

While considering how to differentiate Aspenmark Roofing & Solar from its competitors in a market that has no licensing, Zazo embraced community service. “I wanted to find a way to better our industry and really take the sting off the title of ‘roofing contractor,’” he says. “We were getting asked every year by this charity and that organization to support their causes‚ which we were happy to do. Then we got involved doing the new-build roofs for Dallas Habitat for Humanity and really rallied around that organization.”

To differentiate his firm’s charitable work from its for-profit work, Zazo officially established the non-profit Roof Angels in 2013, but he couldn’t quiet his entrepreneurial spirit. He wondered how he could involve the entire roofing industry in community service. “I really wanted to put together a program for the industry,” he explains. “I wanted to get the manufacturers and distributors involved, get our employees involved and create a model in which if we took it to a national organization it could be replicated anywhere in the United States. I dug a little further and found out Habitat has a program called A Brush with Kindness, which is perfect for this idea.”

Although the homes chosen for restoration are usually small, Zazo says they often have extensive damage and four or five layers of shingles.

Although the homes chosen for restoration are usually small, Zazo says they often have extensive damage and four or five layers of shingles.

A Brush with Kindness is Habitat for Humanity’s home-repair program for owners who are struggling to maintain their homes. The program seeks $10,000 donations to support one family’s home repairs. “When we found out about this program, we jumped in and asked, ‘What if we [Aspenmark Roofing & Solar] took the roof off of your hands?’” Zazo recalls. “The roof is usually about 50 to 70 percent of the budget for the home repairs, so, without it in the budget, A Brush with Kindness could do much more to a deserving family’s home. I reached out to GAF to see if they’d donate the shingles. I called SRS Distribution to see if they’d donate the accessory items and delivery. Then all we had to do was raise money for the labor. We proposed this model to Habitat and they said, ‘We love it. When can you start?’”

FUNDRAISING

A Brush with Kindness’ representatives asked Roof Angels and its partners, Parsippany, N.J.-based GAF and McKinney, Texas-based SRS Distribution, to repair and/or replace up to 30 roofs per year. In the beginning, Zazo hadn’t thought through the fundraising part of Roof Angels, so he was often paying his crews for these roof installations out of his own pocket. He started holding Happy Hours and other small events in which he could quickly raise a few thousand dollars.

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Life Choices

I have a younger brother who makes choices I don’t always understand. I’m quite a bit older than he is, so I like to share my experiences in the hopes of guiding him toward more productive options. Meanwhile, I wondered why my parents weren’t doing more to steer their youngest child and, in a moment of exasperation, I asked them. My mom responded that she and my dad believe we need to figure our lives out on our own. If we ask for help, they are willing to give it but they don’t want to micromanage our lives and decisions.

I started thinking about what she said in relation to my own life choices. I remember when I decided to double major in English and history in college, my dad asked: “What are you going to do with that? Teach?” I said: “No. I’m going to write.” I knew, based on the look on his face, he was certain I’d never find gainful employment but he never said another word about it—not even on graduation day when I didn’t have a job or a place to live.

It was the roofing industry that gave me my first opportunity. After applying for a job I found online, I moved from my home state of Iowa to the Chicago suburbs to begin writing for Professional Roofing magazine in late 2000. Writing about roofing wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when I dreamt of my career but, here I am, almost 17 years later and couldn’t be more grateful to this industry for all it has given me.

Unfortunately, at this point in my career, I’m faced with another life choice. Those of you who have worked directly with me probably have noticed I rarely return phone calls or emails the same week, much less the same day! During the past five years, I’ve not only edited Roofing but also have been editing retrofit, a nationally circulated trade publication that focuses on the renovation of existing commercial, industrial and institutional buildings. Within the past year, both magazines have grown so much (a fantastic problem) that I’ve been having trouble keeping up.

To make matters worse, I never have time to think through new ideas or accomplish the aspirations on my list that I know would make the magazines better. I suddenly realized I was doing a disservice to these magazines and to you, the readers. (Not to mention, having recently gotten married, I’m trying to establish a better work-life balance than I had while I was building my career.)

Therefore, this is my last issue as editor in chief of Roofing. I’m thrilled my successor is Christopher K. King, a well-known writer in this industry who previously served as editor of Roofing Contractor magazine and has been writing articles for Roofing since 2015. (Read his “Special Report”, page 58, about how a community came together at the prompting of a roofing contractor to help a deserving couple restore their home.) I know Chris will do an excellent job taking Roofing to the next level and giving it the undivided attention it deserves.

Again, I’m so thankful for the opportunities the roofing industry has given me. Consequently, I’ve decided to dedicate my final issue to the wonderful people and initiatives that make this industry so special. Enjoy!

Roofing Contractor Brings Community Together to Help Homeowners in Need

Gwen Maechling

Gwen Maechling of Professional Restoration and APEX Home Solutions rallied members of the greater St. Louis community to help a family in desperate need of a new roof.

There is an old saying that goes, “A good deed is its own reward.” Sometimes one good deed can lead to another with amazing results. This is one of those stories. In the end, members of the greater St. Louis community came together to achieve something that once looked almost impossible: helping neighbors restore their home.

The community service project was spearheaded by Gwen Maechling. Maechling has been passionate about construction since her first project, a custom home she helped build in the St. Louis area when she was just 20 years old. “I was out there every single second during construction,” she recalls. “It was so exciting. It was different than any job I’d ever done. It just lit a fire in me. I’d been searching for that passion, and I found it.”

She later moved to Florida, earned her real-estate license and worked on several residential development projects. When she returned to the St. Louis area, she took a job selling residential roofing, siding and gutters for a company specializing in storm restoration work. She now manages production and sales training for another storm restoration company, Professional Restoration in St. Charles, Mo. She also is the owner and founder of St. Louis-based APEX Home Solutions, which handles residential roofing and remodeling projects.

A CHANCE ENCOUNTER

Maechling has overseen so many roofing projects in Glendale, Mo., that one realtor jokingly refers to it as “Gwendale.” In February 2014, she was working on a roofing project there and saw an elderly couple taking advantage of a break in the winter weather to rake leaves. She noticed the gutters were overflowing with leaves and debris, and she brought over a ladder and offered to clean the gutters out.

AFTER: Professional Restoration donated the labor to install the new roofing and siding.

AFTER: Professional Restoration donated the labor to install the new roofing and siding.

As she spoke with the couple, Charles and Jennie Blank, she realized they were both hearing impaired. At first, communicating was a bit difficult, but Maechling realized they could read lips very well, and they indicated they did not want any help. Maechling persisted, and while cleaning the gutters she noticed the home was in need of several repairs. The roof was old and leaking in several places, and the soffits, fascia board and window sills were rotting. The old three-tab shingles and siding showed evidence of extensive hail damage. “It was one of the worst homes I’ve seen,” she remembers.

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EDCO Products Celebrates 70th Anniversary, Partners with ICA Food Shelf

EDCO Partners with ICA Food Shelf

EDCO Products announced a partnership with ICA Food Shelf to commemorate EDCO’s 70th anniversary. Pictured are Chris Doucet, EDCO’s director of sales, and Peg Keenan of ICA Food Shelf.

In conjunction with the company’s 70th anniversary, EDCO Products Inc. announced a long-term partnership with ICA Food Shelf that will provide financial support, as well as additional employee involvement with future ICA initiatives. EDCO Products, a manufacturer of residential and commercial exterior building products, is located in Hopkins, Minn. The company’s current commitment with Minnetonka, Minn.-based ICA Food Shelf runs through 2020, with the potential to expand and/or extend the partnership into the future.

“Philanthropy and community involvement have been hallmarks at EDCO since the company was founded back in 1946,” said Eric Lindquist, EDCO president and CEO.  “Having been located in Hopkins since our company began, we wanted to find a meaningful way to give back to the community that has been so good to us.  We are honored to be partnering with the ICA Food Shelf and to support the vital services they provide within Hopkins and the surrounding communities.”

“EDCO’s commitment to our food shelf will provide significant resources that will allow us to better serve the more than 2400 individuals who currently depend on ICA on a monthly basis,” said Peg Keenan, ICA Food Shelf Executive Director.  “We are delighted to have EDCO join our team and look forward to their support for many years to come.”

According to the company, EDCO officially incorporated in 1946 and began a 70-year journey with a laser-focused commitment to innovation, quality and service. The entrepreneurial spirit of Arthur Edwards Sr. and his son, Arthur Edwards Jr., led to the creation of an award-winning residential and commercial building products manufacturer which established its headquarters in Hopkins, where the company’s main offices and manufacturing still exist today.  Arthur Edwards, Jr. continued to work at EDCO each day until his passing in 2012 at the age of 92.  His inspirational legacy lives on today through his two daughters, Jan Edwards and Danae Kasbi, as well as his grandson Kavon Kasbi, who are now the third- and fourth-generation owners of the company, respectively.

In 2015, the company appointed a new President and CEO, Eric Lindquist, to lead EDCO into the future.  “I am honored to have been chosen to lead this incredible company and look forward to expanding on the rich tradition of innovation, quality, and service we are renowned for while at the same time capitalizing on the significant growth opportunities we see before us,” said Lindquist.  “We are confident that the next 70 years will be just as impressive as the first 70.”

Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress is Accepting Nominations for MVP Award

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress announces it is accepting nominations for its 2016-17 Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award program. In its 18th year, the MVP Award Program honors a maximum of 10 outstanding roofing workers. One winner will be chosen as Professional Roofing’s Best of the Best, an honor co-sponsored by OMG Roofing Products.

The MVP Award Program recognizes leadership in the field. Roofing contractor firms can nominate any field roofing worker, foreman or superintendent. No more than three nominations per company branch will be accepted. Distributors and supplier firms may nominate up to five warehouse employees, warehouse foremen, drivers or equipment operators. Self-nominations are not accepted.

Criteria by which nominees will be evaluated include outstanding on-the-job performance; on-the-job safety performance; contributions to a team effort; community service and volunteerism; and other noteworthy contributions and activities.

Entries may be submitted by completing an official entry form, providing detailed descriptions of specific attributes, activities and other factors that make individuals noteworthy or unique. All entries must be submitted by Nov. 18, 2016.

MVP winners will receive two complimentary airfares and two nights’ hotel accommodations during NRCA’s 130th Annual Convention in Las Vegas; one complimentary conference registration and exhibit hall pass to the 2017 International Roofing Expo; two complimentary tickets to the NRCA Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception where winners and their companies will be formally honored; a $100 American Express gift card; recognition in Professional Roofing magazine, NRCA’s For Members Only newsletter and on The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress website; and recognition in a press release sent to local media and industry trade press.

National Roofing Week: July 6-12

To increase recognition of the significance of roofs to every home and business across the U.S., promote the good deeds of the roofing industry and stress the value of professional roofing contractors, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) announces National Roofing Week will take place July 6-12.

The roof is one of the most important components of a home or business’ structure, yet it is often taken for granted until it falls into disrepair. During National Roofing Week, NRCA encourages its members to participate by engaging in their communities and informing the public about the essential role roofs and professional roofing contractors plan in every community.

“Professional roofing contractors provide a vital service to their communities. Many NRCA members donate resources and time to charitable events and support organizations in cities and towns across America,” says NRCA President Nelson R. Braddy Jr. “National Roofing Week will enable NRCA members to highlight their community involvement and educate consumers regarding the importance of hiring a professional roofing contractor when a roofing need arises.”

NRCA contractor members are encouraged to promote the importance of having a roof to children by having them participate in the “Everybody Needs a Roof” Children’s Art Contest. The contest is part of National Roofing Week and is open to children in grades 1-8 who are relatives of NRCA contractor members or their employees. Entries are now being accepted.

Contest winners will have their artwork featured on all 2014 National Roofing Week material and additional promotional material to be displayed at industry events throughout the year, including the 2015 International Roofing Expo and NRCA’s 128th Annual Convention in New Orleans.

In addition, NRCA will host a community service day during NRCA’s Midyear Meetings in Chicago, where members will volunteer their services on a roof system repair in the Chicago area. Contractor members throughout the U.S. are encouraged to give back to their communities in a similar way during National Roofing Week.

Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress Names MVP Award Winners

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress has announced the winners of its 14th Annual Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, recognizing outstanding roofing workers from Dallas; Aurora, Colo.; Quakertown, Pa.; and Canonsburg, Pa.

The MVP Awards program honors roofing professionals based on their significant contributions in one or more of the following areas: outstanding on-the-job performance, on-the-job safety performance, contributions to a team effort, community service and volunteerism, and other noteworthy contributions.

The 2014 MVP Award winners are:

  • Javier Contreras, foreman for Chamberlin Roofing & Waterproofing, Dallas
  • Jim Dieckmen, superintendent for Academy Roofing, Inc., Aurora, Colo.
  • Roberto Valdez, superintendent for Supreme Roofing Systems, Inc., Dallas
  • Ryan Watts, foreman for Jurin Roofing Services Inc., Quakertown, Pa.
  • Coy Wilson, foreman for CentiMark Corp., Canonsburg, Pa.

Additionally, the Alliance named the following MVP Award finalists:

  • Jose Martinez, foreman for AAA Roofing Co. Inc., Indianapolis
  • Joel Portillo, foreman for Star Roofing Inc., Phoenix

The Alliance also named Valdez as a finalist for outstanding on-the-job performance, on-the-job safety performance and other noteworthy contributions, respectively, and Watts as a finalist for on-the-job safety performance.

For more information about the MVP Awards program or next year’s nominations, contact Bennett Judson, the Alliance’s executive director, at (800) 323-9545, ext. 7513, or email her.

Oklahoma Roofing and Sheet Metal Receives NRCA/CNA Community Involvement Award

In recognition of its efforts to help children of deployed members of the U.S. military, Oklahoma City-based Oklahoma Roofing and Sheet Metal LLC has been presented with the second annual NRCA/CNA Community Involvement Award, which is sponsored by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), CNA and the CNA Foundation.

The award honors charitable works performed by NRCA contractor members.

Oklahoma Roofing and Sheet Metal was selected for its involvement with “Horseback Heroes,” an annual event to honor the children of Oklahoma soldiers, by giving them the rare opportunity to spend the day on a working farm, taking part in activities that included horseback riding, cattle roping and tack and grooming.

The event took place on the ranch of Oklahoma Roofing and Sheet Metal President and Chief Executive Officer Gerry Shepherd and was offered free of charge to more than 80 children between the ages of 5 and 16, and their families.

The CNA Foundation will award Oklahoma Roofing and Sheet Metal with $5,000 for the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation, who co-sponsored Horseback Heroes. View the video highlighting the Horseback Heroes program.

Additionally, this year’s honorable mentions each will receive $1,000 from the CNA Foundation; they are Commercial Roofers Inc., Las Vegas, for its work with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ scholarship program and Showalter Roofing Service Inc., Naperville, Ill., for its support of the Willow Creek Community Church’s Camp Paradise.

The awards were presented on Feb. 27 at NRCA’s Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception held during NRCA’s 127th Annual Convention held in conjunction with the International Roofing Expo in Las Vegas.

IRE to Hold ‘Community Service Day’ Feb. 25 in Las Vegas

Roofing professionals participating in the 2014 International Roofing Expo (IRE) are encouraged to arrive in Las Vegas a day early and roll up their sleeves to give back to the Las Vegas community.

Taking place on Tuesday, Feb. 25, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Community Service Day is a home renovation and revitalization project that will be performed on homes of families that are elderly, disabled or financially unable to support the renovation.

“Helping make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate is such a rewarding experience,” says Tracy Garcia, CEM, Director of the IRE. “The International Roofing Expo is pleased to once again partner with Rebuilding Together in the spirit of community service.”

The International Roofing Expo has partnered with Rebuilding Together Southern Nevada, a non-profit, volunteer-based program that repairs and rehabilitates homes and non-profit community facilities, as well as NRCA’s Disaster Relief Committee.

Community Service Day is sponsored by Canton, Mass.-based Sika Corp. – Roofing, a leading manufacturer of single-ply vinyl roofing and waterproofing systems known for superior performance with minimal environmental impact, who will be exhibiting in booth #1721.

Skilled and unskilled volunteers are needed to help with the renovations. Skilled volunteers will perform a variety of construction disciplines including roofing, interior/exterior painting, flooring and minor carpentry. Unskilled volunteers will help with set up, cleanup and other miscellaneous projects. Working under the direction of a crew chief, all volunteers must be 18 years of age or older and will be asked to sign a Waiver of Liability Form.

“This is a great opportunity to support the roofing industry, while giving back to the Las Vegas community,” says Bill Good, executive vice president of NRCA, the show’s official sponsor. “I hope to see many of our members participating in this great cause.”

Show participants can register for this event at the same time they register to attend the show. Tax-deductible monetary donations can also be made during registration. There is a $25 fee that includes transportation, beverages and snacks. Lunch is provided by Agawam, Mass.-based OMG Roofing Products.

The 2014 International Roofing Expo will be held Feb. 26-28, 2014, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.