Malarkey Roofing Products and the Roofing Industry Bids Farewell to a Friend

On behalf of his family, friends and business associates around the world, the roofing industry is sad to announce the passing of Joe Russo.

Joe’s journey with cancer started one year ago when it was first detected in his brain. He fought through every turn as the disease spread. During this time, Joe continued his work on projects with Malarkey Roofing Products and maintained his unique brand of humor with friends and colleagues. After a courageous fight, Joe’s journey ended in the company of his family.

Joe Russo’s story in the roofing industry would take pages to document. His career started on the roof, first as a shingler, then hot crew, foreman, superintendent, estimator, consultant, technical manager, and sales manager. All of his experiences knit together to apply to any given circumstance in a roofing conversation.

Joe enjoyed travel and was able to visit all contents of the world, including a jaunt to Antarctica to cross off the final continent. His wife Jackie was able to join him on many of the experiences and was by his side through many spirited Russo dinner table debates.

We will miss our friend but remember his courage and appreciate his joy for life.

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.

The NRCA ProForeman Certificate Program Helps Roofing Contractors Invest in Their Foremen

High Life Speedboats was experiencing a problem with its newest model speedboat engine, which, when hitting top speeds, would frequently cut out. This resulted in boats that were traveling 60 mph to be almost dead in the water within seconds. More than once, someone had been seriously injured by being thrown off balance, crashing into onboard components or being thrown overboard.

Panache Speedboats also was trying to improve its engines. The company had been in business for two decades and was known for building reliable boats. With operations systematized and production running in turnkey mode, company engineers wanted to explore the possibilities of building a higher-performance engine and securing Panache a spot in the elite racing market.

There are two equal and opposite drives for improvement in both of these cases. High Life needs to improve; its product is unreliable and the company will ultimately go out of business—not to mention people may be hurt and killed if steps are not taken. Panache wants to improve; it has a reliable product but it’s not as good as it could be.

So, now you may be asking, “How does this relate to the roofing industry?”

Most reputable roofing contractors are not like High Life. Their roof systems don’t fail outright, causing damage and ruining companies’ reputations. Most roofing contractors are Panache engines. They are reliable and their roof systems serve customers well.

But if you have the itch, like Panache, to increase performance, then you have a drive to improve for the best reason— because you want to be better. You are not panicking. You are planning. You want to see whether you can shape your company to become an elite contracting company, known for its excellence.

Thoughtful contractors will consider what investments will yield the most significant returns for their companies. New equipment? A better facility? Increasing the types of systems they install?

Consider the following statement from Ethan Cowles of Raleigh, N.C.-based management consultant FMI: “World-class contractors all have incredible talent at the foremen level. That is not to say company leadership, business strategy, project management, etc., are not important, but operations without great foremen always struggle to achieve anything but mediocrity.”

HIGH-PERFORMANCE FOREMEN

Cowles’ quote resonates with what the Rosemont, Ill.-based National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has heard from its contractor members, as well. Tom Shanahan, NRCA’s associate executive director of risk management, states that after asking hundreds of contractors over the years how much of each dollar flowing through a company is affected directly by foremen, he has safely landed on 85 cents. Eighty-five cents of every dollar.

Foremen drive your trucks, use your equipment, manage your labor, direct quality control, affect insurance rates and often are the face of your company for customers.

EIGHTY-FIVE CENTS OF EVERY DOLLAR.

It makes you want to ensure your foremen are high-performance engines, doesn’t it?

NRCA has been focused for years on providing education for roofing foremen. Recognizing that most foremen are promoted into their positions because of their roofing skills and work ethic, rather than for their leadership prowess, For Foremen Only has provided a venue for training thousands of foremen about leadership and communication during the past 15 years. Now, packaged within this larger ProForeman initiative, the classes provide a cornerstone for a well-rounded experience aimed at helping roofing-contractor operations to achieve world-class excellence.

Foremen need to be leaders, not just crew managers; therefore, they need to understand the whole picture—the process of selling and installing roof systems, their role in keeping employees safe, outside forces that necessitate compliance and more—if they are to understand the importance of their role.

The ProForeman program is designed to help roofing foremen shift their perspectives of their role from being roofing installation managers to company leaders. As leaders, the burden of responsibility is greater and, when understood, frees them to think differently about how to work with their crews and their supervisors.

The ProForeman program comprises six main topics:

    • General education
    • Roofing technology
    • Construction/business practices
    • Leadership
    • Safety
    • Training others

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