Alliance Awards $55,000 in Scholarships Through Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Program 

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress has announced the recipients of its 2017 Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarships, which include five new recipients and the renewal of six scholarships for the 2017-18 academic year.

The Alliance awarded two new general scholarships to Nicolas Calvert, son of Edward Calvert, senior engineer, Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc., Wheeling, W.Va., and Sophia McGuire, daughter of Mark McGuire, project manager, AAA Roofing Co., Indianapolis.

In addition, a new Firestone Scholarship has been awarded to Alyssa Merna, sales coordinator, Bloom Roofing System Inc., Brighton, Mich.

A new Beacon Roofing Supply Scholarship has also been awarded to Salvador Flores Garcia, son of Jose Flores Estrada, roofer, Alcal Arcade Contracting, Fremont, Calif.

A new OMG Roofing Products Inc. Scholarship has been awarded to Lillian McKenzie, daughter of Christopher McKenzie, salesman, Watts & Associates Roofing, Columbia, S.C.

The Alliance also renewed six Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarships, including three general scholarships to Jonah Manson, Solon, Iowa, attending Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa; Dannelly McKenzie, Columbia, S.C., attending Clemson University, Clemson, S.C.; and Drury Poston, Thomson, Ga., attending Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Ga.

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

A Dan Cohen Scholarship was renewed for Christian Cole, attending Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Ga.

A Fred Good Scholarship also was renewed for Ivy Rivas, Tujunga, Calif., attending University of California Davis, Davis, Calif.

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 $55,000 in scholarships was awarded for the 2017-18 school year—$30,000 for renewals and $25,000 for new recipients. To date, 122 students have received $735,000 in scholarship awards.

Reid Ribble in Talks to Become New NRCA CEO

I just returned from what easily could be described as the best International Roofing Expo in recent memory. Attendance at the 2016 IRE, held Feb. 17-19 in Orlando, Fla., was up, exhibitors were happy and conversations centered around very positive business conditions.

The show’s energy was not lost on me, especially because I’ve written many editor’s columns since 2010 wondering whether it’s yet the year the construction industry returns to positivity after the housing crisis. Instead of searching for economists to support a rebound this year, every meeting I had at IRE assured me roofing—and construction in general—is on an upswing.

This momentum was further underscored by an announcement made during the show by the Rosemont, Ill.-based National Roofing Contractors Association: Reid Ribble, a U.S. Congressman for Wisconsin’s 8th District, currently is in negotiations to take over for William A. Good, CAE, NRCA’s CEO, who will retire Dec. 31, 2016. Good has faithfully served NRCA and the industry, and he has a very loyal following. I personally am grateful to Good and members of his staff—Ambika Puniani Bailey and Carl Good. They gave me my first job in publishing back in 2000 and were integral in making me the editor I am today. Therefore, I certainly don’t want to take away from what Good has done for roofing, but I can’t help but be excited about the possibilities his successor could bring.

Ribble is a roofing contractor by trade. He joined his family’s business—Kaukauna, Wis.-based The Ribble Group—in 1975 and became its president in 1980. Ribble served as NRCA president in 2005-06 and NRCA senior vice president from 2004-05, as well as held a number of other leadership roles within the organization. He also was president of the Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress’ Board of Trustees from 2008-10.

Ribble was elected to Congress in 2010 and has been re-elected twice. It may be a bit difficult to see why I’m excited about a politician taking NRCA’s helm—especially when I would describe our country’s current presidential race as wackadoo. However, I can’t help but focus on the positive traits of (some) politicians and Ribble’s in particular: He obviously is a leader. He is dedicated to public service. He knows how to build a constituency. And, in January, when he announced he would resign from Congress, Ribble noted his commitment to his family. In addition, according to NRCA’s “RoofScoop” blog post, “In Congress, Ribble has earned the reputation of being honest and able to work with representatives from both sides of the aisle.”

I hope he brings these traits to his new role with NRCA. I hope he surrounds himself with construction experts—even those he disagrees with—who will provide new levels of insight about the issues facing the construction industry as a whole: durability, energy efficiency, materials transparency, renewable energy, resilience and sustainability. I think Ribble has a wonderful opportunity to make the roofing industry the leading construction voice on these matters. After all, we know a roof is a building’s first line of defense. Shouldn’t roofing be the first industry called upon to assist in meeting the current and future needs of our buildings?