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.”

Roofing Alliance Seeks Nine More Roofing Companies to Adopt Ronald McDonald House Roofs

The Roofing Alliance is looking to complete their mission of adopting 165 stand-alone Ronald McDonald Houses throughout the U.S. Lead by Rod Petrick, chairperson of the Roofing Alliance, the goal of inspecting, repairing, maintaining and replacing these roofs is within reach and will impact families with sick children across the country by keeping them together when they need it most.  Numerous roofing professionals have already risen to the challenge by adopting 156 of the roofs.

In April of 2017, the Roofing Alliance began working with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) by supporting their efforts to help families with critically ill children stay together and 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 stand-alone Ronald McDonald Houses in the U.S., the Roofing Alliance has brought together roofing professionals and companies who donate their time and talents to provide regular roof system inspections, maintenance, repairs and replacements.

 “We’re asking our partners to inspect the roofs and report back to us on the condition of the roof, the roofing system currently in place, the estimated life expectancy, anticipated and actual work to be done, and the dollar value of the in-kind labor and materials provided or available. Once we receive the information, we enter it into our database.    We want to maintain as much history as possible on the roofing systems for each house,” said Petrick, owner of Ridgeworth Roofing, Frankfort, Ill.

For more information, visit www.roofingalliance.net.  

Roofing Alliance President Challenges Industry to Adopt 165 Ronald McDonald House Roofs

Roofing Alliance president Rod Petrick has issued a challenge to all Roofing Alliance and NRCA members: to adopt the remaining 53 roofs of the 165 stand-alone Ronald McDonald Houses throughout the United States by November 30. Petrick’s goal of inspecting, repairing, maintaining and replacing these roofs is within reach and will impact families with sick children across the country by keeping them together when they need it most. Numerous roofing professionals have already risen to the challenge by adopting 112 of the roofs.

At 166 members strong, the Roofing Alliance serves as the foundation for the National Roofing Contractors Association and is a dedicated forum of roofing contractors, manufacturers, distributors, service providers and industry professionals who promote and fund the advancement of roofing through research, education, technology and philanthropic initiatives to help the roofing industry and their greater communities.

In April of 2017, the Roofing Alliance began working with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) by supporting their efforts to help families with critically ill children stay together and 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 stand-alone Ronald McDonald Houses in the U.S., the Roofing Alliance has brought together roofing professionals and companies who donate their time and talents to provide regular roof system inspections, maintenance, repairs and replacements.

“This fall we have been reaching out to our Roofing Alliance and NRCA member to collect data, so we can help the Ronald McDonald Houses with their roof replacement plans,” said Petrick, owner of Ridgeworth Roofing, Frankfort, Illinois. “We’re asking our contractors to inspect the roofs and report back to us on the condition of the roof, the roofing system currently in place, the estimated life expectancy, anticipated and actual work to be done, and the dollar value of the in-kind labor and materials provided or available. Once we receive the information, we enter it into our database and establish a baseline of roof conditions, so we can begin helping RMHC develop roof maintenance and replacement plans.”

Alliance members take pride in knowing that their work truly makes a difference. Petrick put his words into action this summer when his company, along with Bennett & Brosseau Roofing of Romeoville, Illinois, collaborated on steep-slope repairs, the reroof of a four-story flat roof section and a skylight restoration at the Ronald McDonald House near Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois. “During the experience, I found out that a member of my crew utilized a Ronald McDonald House when his child was sick; this really hit home for us,” Petrick added.

Another Roofing Alliance and NRCA member, Charles Antis, CEO and founder of Antis Roofing and Waterproofing in Irvine, California, was the member who initially brought the RMHC initiative to the Roofing Alliance’s attention. He is proud of Petrick’s continued work and mission to make the initiative such a success. “Rod envisions comfortable and dry Ronald McDonald Houses available for families with sick children across this country,” Antis stated. “We want to be sure that we get roofing companies connected to all 165 Houses. It is an amazing opportunity for the roofing industry to give back on such a large scale.”

Susan E. Kenny, development director for the Orange County (California) Ronald McDonald House, worked with Antis Roofing and Waterproofing to repair the roof on her location. Kenny said if Antis would not have made the roof repairs, the organization would have never known there was something wrong; she’s very grateful for their work. “What started as a simple conversation about how we could work together to support our Orange County families soon developed into a national partnership to support RMHC families across the country,” Kenny added. “I love how Charles and his team think big! It’s not just about our neighbors; it’s about what they can do to make our world a better place. The engagement of the Roofing Alliance at all levels has created incredible momentum.”

To learn more, visit www.roofingindustryalliance.net or contact Bennett Judson, the Roofing Alliance’s executive director, at bjudson@nrca.net.

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress Is Advancing its Mission on Multiple Fronts

As part of The Alliance’s partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities, Alliance and NRCA members adopt houses in their areas to ensure the roofs are properly maintained. Pictured here is the Ronald McDonald House in Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos: The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress

In 1970, the National Roofing Foundation (Foundation) was formed as the National Roofing Contractors Association’s (NRCA’s) educational and research foundation. In 1996 the Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress (The Alliance) was created within the Foundation as a forum for leaders from all segments of the industry to address current and future issues and to create a permanent endowment fund. The Alliance continues to be a diverse, thoughtful and dedicated forum of roofing contractors, manufacturers, distributors, service providers and industry professionals united to shape, improve and advance the roofing industry.

The Alliance meets twice a year to conduct member business; hear updates on current projects and programs; analyze and select new projects that are proposed for funding; hear speakers from within and outside the industry; and to network with fellow Alliance members.

The Alliance currently has 165 members. This group of committed leaders has contributed over $13 million to the Alliance’s endowment fund to help preserve and enhance the U.S. roofing industry’s success by funding industry research, providing timely and forward-thinking industry responses to major economic and technological issues, and helping to promote professionalism and increasing awareness about career opportunities within the roofing industry.

To date, the Alliance has allocated a little over $5.3 million in funding to 46 different projects, programs and studies to help better the industry.

The Alliance has four areas of focus: philanthropy; education; workforce and training; and technology and research.

Philanthropy

The Alliance’s philanthropic efforts include:

  • The Helping Our Own Program, which includes reaching out to the roofing community and its members and helping fund efforts dedicated to good works and charitable giving. Through a nomination process, The Alliance can recognize and

    The Most Valuable Player Awards (MVP) Program honors outstanding roofing field workers and warehouse workers who not only excel within their companies but go above and beyond to make a difference in their communities. This year’s nomination process begins in September. Photos: The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress

    identify the challenges associated with these life-changing events and help create sustainable solutions for individuals or families in need. Although The Alliance may not be able to solve all the problems rendered during a time of crisis, collectively, we can make a real difference in the lives of families who may fall victim to tragedy.

  • The Most Valuable Player Awards (MVP) Program provides an opportunity for companies to nominate their most outstanding roofing field workers or warehouse workers who not only excel within their companies but go above and beyond to make a difference in their communities. Since the program’s inception, 632 employees have been nominated and 234 winners and finalists have been selected. A maximum of 10 winners are selected by members of the Alliance’s MVP Task Force. The winners receive an expense-paid trip to NRCA’s annual convention and are recognized at NRCA’s Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception. Details for the 2018-19 MVP Program will be available in September 2018.
  • The Gold Circle Awards program recognizes Alliance and NRCA member firms for their outstanding contributions to the roofing industry through outstanding workmanship, innovative solutions and safety preparedness and performance. Winners, selected by the Alliance’s Gold Circle Awards Committee, are also recognized at NRCA’s Industry Awards Ceremony.
  • The Alliance’s newest initiative is a partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). RMHC is operated with the support of McDonald’s Corp., headquartered in Chicago. Each of their 165 stand-alone houses is independently owned and operated, and all are established as 501(c)(3) corporations. The core purpose of each house is to provide a home for family members of children who are being treated at a hospital. The houses provide private sleeping rooms, food and pride themselves on offering opportunities for families to interact as they go through their difficult times.

In addition to providing roof and building maintenance, volunteers help Ronald McDonald House Charities in a variety of ways. Pictured here are volunteers at Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, Mountain Center, California. Photos: The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress

Alliance and NRCA members adopting houses in their areas are asked to conduct annual roof inspections, ensure the roofs are properly maintained and perform emergency roof repairs when needed. Roof replacements will be managed as individual projects, and, when appropriate, several contractors may be asked to participate. We’ll reach out to our manufacturer and distributor members to see if they can assist with donated products and materials. In addition to providing roof maintenance, there are a number of volunteer opportunities for the members’ employees. Volunteers are welcome to prepare meals, bake special treats, clean, paint, etc.

Currently 90 out of the 165 stand-alone houses have been adopted. Alliance President Rod Petrick issued a challenge to Alliance and NRCA members that he would like to see all 165 houses adopted by the Fall, 2018 Alliance meeting.

Education

On the education front, the Alliance partners with Construction Management Schools, provides scholarships and is a Diamond sponsor of National Women in Roofing.

We’re working with construction management schools across the country to (1) raise awareness of our industry among students and faculty; (2) encourage the schools to integrate more roofing-specific materials into their course curricula; and (3) encourage students to consider our industry as a viable career option.

The Alliance sponsors design competitions for construction management students. Pictured here is the first-place team from Auburn University’s McWhorter School of Building Sciences at the. 2018 International Roofing Expo in New Orleans. Photos: The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress

A great way to reach construction management students is through design competitions. We’ve had four so far and we’re currently working on our fifth. The competition challenges the students’ roofing knowledge, construction management skills, time management, organizational and presentation skills. The finalist teams and faculty come to the convention to give their oral presentations. While there, they also opportunities to meet members and to learn more about our industry by attending the educational sessions and the expo.

The next step in our partnership with construction management schools is to find ways to connect with faculty. Our plan is to do this through a research project recently approved at the April, 2018 Alliance member meeting, “A Study of the U.S. Roofing Industry and Its Workforce.” This demographic study will quantify the economic impact of the roofing industry and measure the size, age, racial background and gender of the workforce. It also will identify the number of roof contracting, manufacturing and distribution companies that exist in the U.S. market and the type of work they do. This comprehensive study will provide real data for us as we plan our future.

The Alliance awards $55,000 annually in scholarship funds through the Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Program, which is open to employees and family members of NRCA member firms who are pursuing careers in the roofing or building construction industries. Since the program’s inception, a total of $790,000 has been awarded to 125 students.

The Alliance is also a Diamond sponsor for National Women in Roofing, which is dedicated to educating, mentoring and supporting women in the various roles they fill within the roofing industry.

Workforce and Training

The Alliance continues its efforts to elevate the roofing industry under the current leadership team that includes (from left) Alliance Vice President Josh Kelly of OMG Roofing Products, Agawam, Massachusetts; Alliance President Rod Petrick of Ridgeworth Roofing Co. Inc., Frankfort, Illinois; Immediate Former Alliance President Thomas Saeli of Duro-Last Inc., Saginaw, Michigan. Photos: The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress

The Alliance supports several workforce and training initiatives. Previously the Alliance partnered with Bilingual America on a cultural and leadership training program for Alliance-member firms that employee Latino workers. And, more recently, the Alliance provided funding to help with the development of NRCA’s ProCertification Series.

Technology and Research

On the technology and research front, the Alliance funded:

  • NRCA’s EnergyWise online calculator. Originally funding was provided to help develop the program; later funding was approved to provide program updates.
  • A study to better understand the moisture release in concrete roof decks. A final report will be available this fall.
  • NRCA’s Silica Objective Data Collection Study.

Over the next 12 months, The Alliance will be working with an outside marketing and communications firm to ramp up marketing efforts, making the sure the industry knows who The Alliance is and is aware of all that the Alliance is doing. Hopefully as we create more awareness, more project funding requests will be generated. And, of course, we work to continue to grow the Alliance with new members, but equally important — we want to make sure our current members stay actively engaged and involved.

Member involvement is key. The Alliance can only continue in its efforts if members remain actively involved every step of the way. It will be exciting to see what the new year brings under the leadership of Alliance President Rod Petrick. Rod’s passion, energy and drive are contagious. As president, he will see to it that The Alliance continues to be imaginative, intelligent and bold so that working together we can help The Alliance reach its full potential!

For more information on The Alliance, visit www.roofingindustryalliance.net.