Get Involved as the Alliance Celebrates 20 Years of Elevating the Roofing Industry

As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, the Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress remains steadfast in its mission. Its goals include supporting high-quality education programs, ensuring forward-thinking responses to major economic and technological issues, and enhancing the long-term viability and attractiveness of the roofing industry to current and future workers.

As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, the Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress remains steadfast in its mission. Its goals include supporting high-quality education programs, ensuring forward-thinking responses to major economic and technological issues, and enhancing the long-term viability and attractiveness of the roofing industry to current and future workers.

“If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” This simple statement by Steve Jobs reflects the sentiments of The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress’ diverse and dedicated forum of members, who have united to carry out the Alliance’s vision to influence, shape and advance the future of the U.S. roofing industry.

At 157 members strong, including 10 new members within the last year, the Rosemont, Ill.-based Alliance is in a unique position to unite roofing contractors, material manufacturers, distributors, service providers and industry professionals. To date, the group has committed more than $12.4 million to its endowment fund to help preserve and enhance the U.S. roofing industry’s success and performance.

As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, the Alliance remains steadfast in its mission and vision to serve as a valuable, effective and influential organization focused on three primary objectives:
1. Supporting high-quality education programs.
2. Ensuring timely and forward-thinking industry responses to major economic and technological issues.
3. Enhancing the long-term viability and attractiveness of the roofing industry to current and future workers.

PARTNERING WITH SCHOOLS

With a keen focus on enhancing college students’ experiences by exposing them academically and experientially to roofing as a career choice, the Alliance Board of Trustees approved ongoing project funding to continue advancing educational initiatives with three of the most well-known construction management schools in the United States: the Department of Construction Management at Colorado State University, Fort Collins; McWhorter School of Building Science at Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.; and M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Construction Management at the University of Florida, Gainesville.

The Alliance is focused on fostering its relationships with construction management schools by developing a faculty research program that includes identifying topics of interest and direct benefit to the roofing industry, as well as a systematic approach for connecting member companies with construction management schools nationwide.

“When a school needs a roofing expert to meet with students either in the classroom or on a job site, we want the Alliance to serve as that resource,” says Dennis Conway, NRCA chairman of the board and principal and vice president of Commercial Roofers Inc., Las Vegas. “Talking with students one-on-one about roofing fundamentals and career opportunities, in addition to exposing them to all the different roofing products, materials and systems, is invaluable.”

Former Alliance President Jim MacKimm, president of Beacon Roofing Supply, Peabody, Mass., says such partnerships are invaluable. “These partnerships are crucial for the roofing industry,” he says. “We know we need to do a much better job telling students about career opportunities in roofing and making sure they understand the importance of roofing even if they pursue other construction-related careers.”

During the International Roofing Expo in March, the Alliance also sponsored its third Construction Management Student Competition, a hallmark competition to promote careers in roofing industry management. In addition to providing a significant learning opportunity, the six-team competition fostered camaraderie, dialogue and team spirit among the students as they met the challenges of demonstrating their roofing knowledge of estimating, project management, safety and related areas for the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Teams represented were from the McWhorter School of Building Science at Auburn University; Department of Construction Management at Colorado State University; Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge; Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Ala.; University of Cincinnati; and the M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Construction Management at the University of Florida.

“As technology advances, government regulation grows, sustainability increases in importance and roof systems become more complex, it is imperative for us to attract professional, knowledgeable students to the roofing industry,” says Suzan Boyd, vice president of Academy Roofing, Colorado Springs, Colo. “The exposure our industry receives through our construction management school partnerships is invaluable because the future of our workforce is at stake.”

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The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress: Committed to Securing the Future Excellence of the Roofing Industry

Margaret Mead was quoted as saying, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
And years later, her words ring true for the members of the Rosemont, Ill.-based Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress.

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress holds two member meetings each year, including its annual meeting and another held during NRCA’s Fall Committee Meetings.

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress holds two member meetings each year, including its annual meeting and another held during NRCA’s Fall Committee Meetings.

This diverse, thoughtful and dedicated forum of 148 roofing contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, service providers and industry professionals have united together to change the course of the roofing industry by committing more than $12.3 million to help preserve and enhance the U.S. roofing industry’s success.

On the cusp of its 20th anniversary, the alliance is growing at a rapid pace in members and projects and proving itself to be stronger than ever. Since its inception in 1996, the alliance continues to unite leaders throughout the roofing industry while funding high-quality re- search, providing forward-thinking responses to major economic and techno- logical issues, and advancing education and training to enhance the long-term viability of the roofing industry to current and future workers.

“The advances the alliance has made, particularly in the last few years, are a testimonial to how successful we can be when everyone commits to work together to improve and shape this great industry,” says Robert McNamara, president of F.J.A. Christiansen Roofing Co. Inc., a Tecta America company based in Milwaukee. “We have made some remarkable progress, and I encourage those who are not a part of the alliance to seriously consider getting involved.”

EFFECTING CHANGE

With a keen focus on raising awareness about careers in the roofing industry, the alliance approved substantial project funding to advance ongoing educational initiatives with three well-known construction management schools in the U.S.: The Department of Construction Management at Colorado State University, Fort Collins; the McWhorter School of Building Science at Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.; and the M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Construction Management at the University of Florida, Gainesville.

In February, the alliance also sponsored its second annual Construction Management Student Design Competition, a hallmark competition to promote careers in roofing industry management. The competition featured teams from Auburn University; Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La.; and the University of Florida. In addition to providing a significant learning opportunity, the competition fostered camaraderie, dialogue among the students and team spirit. Students were challenged to demonstrate their roofing knowledge in the areas of estimating, project management, safety and related areas for their project on the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, which also was the site for the 2016 International Roofing Expo (IRE).

Their final portion of the project, an oral presentation, was judged by a panel of five roofing professionals during IRE. The winning team from the University of Florida, which included members Eddie San Juan, Nick Loewenthal, Caleb Strauss and Drew Winant, received a school trophy and individual trophies during NRCA’s Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception on Feb. 18.

The alliance also awarded its second Construction Management Faculty Scholarship to James Sullivan, director of undergraduate programs, M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Construction Management at the University of Florida. With the $15,000 scholarship, Sullivan developed a detailed intern program guide- line that can be customized to meet the requirements of various construction management schools and fulfill students required credits. A pilot program is expected to be launched by the summer of 2017.

“It’s important we are visible as an organization, as well as an industry, and in front of as many students as possible,” says Dennis Conway, principal and vice president of Commercial Roofers Inc., Las Vegas. “We all need good, well-trained people and this exposure is invaluable.”

ADVANCING EDUCATION AND TRAINING

The alliance continued to support educational efforts and offer students financial aid through the Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Program by approving funding to renew five scholar- ships totaling $25,000, as well as five new ones at $5,000 each. The new 2015-16 recipients included Brittany Beldon, San Antonio; Christian Bole, Dallas, Ga.; Jonah Manson, Solon, Iowa; Ivy Rivas, Tujunga, Calif.; and Adam Stackpole, Saginaw, Mich.

Named for Melvin Kruger, NRCA former president and chief executive officer of L.E. Schwartz & Son Inc., Macon, Ga., the alliance’s first scholarship was awarded in 1986. Since its inception, the program has distributed $630,000 in scholarship funds to 115 students. The program is open to NRCA contractor and supplier members, their families and their employees who plan to pursue careers in the roofing industry or building construction.

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Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress Announces Recipients of Scholarships

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress has announced the recipients of its 2015 Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarships, which include five new recipients and the renewal of five scholarships for the 2015-16 academic year.

The alliance awarded two new general scholarships to Jonah Manson, Solon, Iowa son of Rodney Manson, president/owner of Tri-County Enterprises Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Adam Stackpole, Perry, Mich., son of Peter Stackpole, assistant director of accounting for Duro-Last Inc., Saginaw, Mich.

In addition, a new Firestone Scholarship has been awarded to Brittany Beldon, San Antonio, Texas, daughter of Brad Beldon, president and CEO of Beldon Roofing Co., San Antonio.

A new Dan Cohen Scholarship has been awarded to Christian Cole, Dallas, Ga., son of Christie Cole, accountant at Ben Hill Roofing and Siding, Douglasville, Ga.

Ivy Rivas, Tujunga, Calif., daughter of Cruz Rivas, superintendent for Rey-Crest Roofing, Los Angeles, has been awarded a new Fred Good Scholarship.

The Alliance also renewed five Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarships, including four general scholarships to Shoshanna Lee, Livermore, Calif., attending California State University: East Bay, Hayward, Calif.; Josiah Martin, Richmond, Va., attending Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Va.; Dannelly McKenzie, Columbia, S.C., attending Clemson University, Clemson, S.C.; and Kara Sosinski, Hudson, Ohio, attending Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio.

One Firestone Scholarship was renewed for Jaclyn Harris, Mooresville, Ind., attending Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.

Each recipient will receive a $5,000 award. Awards are renewable for up to three years of undergraduate study or until a bachelor’s degree is earned provided recipients renew annually and maintain a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or the equivalent).

A total of $50,000 in scholarships was awarded for the 2015-16 school year—$25,000 for renewals and $25,000 for new recipients. To date, 115 students have received $630,000 in scholarship awards.