The 2018 International Roofing Expo [IRE] is seeking researchers, educators, consultants, technical experts and industry leaders to share their knowledge and business expertise as presenters for the educational conference program.
Taking place Feb. 6-8, 2018, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, the educational program conference presents trends in the roofing industry designed to help attendees increase their bottom line and expand their technical knowledge.
Seeking expert speakers with proven presentation skills and in-depth knowledge, sessions are 90 minutes in length and should contain information that can be immediately implemented in the workplace.
“We are looking for presentations across a variety of roofing topics to fill the three-day program,” says Brandi McElhaney, senior conference manager. “We encourage industry experts to submit a proposal that offers material on relevant topics and issues facing roofing professionals today.”
Topic submissions should focus on applications-oriented, real world, problem-solving topics and be free of promotional materials to sell a product or service.
The multi-track educational program includes technical and workplace safety classes, as well as business-related sessions including leadership/management, green building, legal/HR, money matters, sales/service and general business.
The primary audience of the educational conference program includes commercial and residential roofing contractors, architects, designers, consultants, building owners, facility managers, manufacturers, suppliers, owners, CEOs, general managers, sales professionals, estimators, superintendents and foremen.
“The IRE is an opportunity for experts from the roofing industry to share their knowledge of roofing industry trends with fellow roofing professionals,” says Reid Ribble, CEO of NRCA, the show’s official sponsor. “NRCA members and other roofing industry experts are urged to take advantage of this opportunity and submit their proposals as soon as possible.”
The deadline for submitting Call for Presentations proposals is April 3, 2017. Session proposals should be submitted via the automated submission form. Questions should be directed to Brandi McElhaney, senior conference manager, at Brandi.McElhaney@informa.com or (972) 536-6392.
The 2018 International Roofing Expo [IRE] is seeking researchers, educators, consultants, technical experts and industry leaders to share their knowledge and business expertise as presenters for the educational conference program.
A roofing contractor by trade, Ribble joined Kaukauna, Wis.-based The Ribble Group Inc., a family business, in 1975 and became company president in 1980. Ribble served as NRCA chairman of the board from 2005-06 and NRCA’s senior vice chairman from 2004-05. He also was president of The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress’ Board of Trustees from 2008-10. Ribble also has served as a member or chairman of several NRCA committees.
In 2010, Ribble was elected to the U.S. Congress serving Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District and was re-elected twice. Ribble earned the reputation of being honest and able to work with representatives from both sides of the aisle.
“I am looking forward to service and representing those who set the standard for professionalism in the roofing industry and working with NRCA’s staff on initiatives that will help add even more to that value,” Ribble says.
Good will remain with NRCA in a part-time capacity during a five month transition period. He officially will retire May 31.
William Good, CEO, National Roofing Contractors Association, has released a statement about the 2016 elections.
We are pleased a majority of candidates supported by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) and ROOFPAC, our political action committee, prevailed in the 2016 elections. We congratulate President-elect Donald Trump and all winning candidates on their victories and look forward to working with the incoming Trump administration and new and returning lawmakers to advance NRCA’s policy agenda. This includes pro-growth tax policies, relief from some regulations, legislation that addresses the workforce needs of our industry, and replacement of the Affordable Care Act with market-based reforms to our health care system.
ROOFPAC, the voice of the roofing industry in Washington, D.C., actively supported pro-growth candidates in the elections. ROOFPAC invested more than $340,000 in support of 67 candidates during the 2015-16 election cycle and achieved a winning percentage of nearly 90 percent of candidates supported.
NRCA and ROOFPAC will continue to support members of Congress and other candidates who support government policies that enable roofing industry entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses.
NRCA has released its 2015-16 market survey, providing information about overall sales-volume trends in the roofing industry, roofing experiences, material usage and regional breakdowns. It is an important tool to measure the scope of the U.S. roofing industry, and the data provides a glimpse into which roof systems are trending in the low- and steep-slope roofing markets.
This year’s survey reports sales volumes for 2015 and 2016 projections averaged between $8 million and almost $9 million, respectively, and revealed a near-steady ratio of low- to steep-slope sales of 74 percent to 26 percent.
For low-slope roofs, TPO remains the market leader with a 40 percent share of the new construction market and 30 percent of the reroofing market for 2015. Asphalt shingles continue to dominate the steep-slope roofing market with a 47 percent market share for new construction and a 59 percent share for reroofing.
Polyisocyanurate insulation continues to lead its sector of the market with 80 percent of new construction and 73 percent of reroofing work. In addition, roof cover board installation for 2015 was reported as 22 percent in new construction, 42 percent in reroofing tear-offs and 36 percent in re-cover projects.
NRCA’s market survey enables roofing contractors to compare their material usage with contractors in other regions and provides manufacturers and distributors with data to analyze, which can affect future business decisions.
You worked hard all summer and made a lot of money. But now summer is over and winter is quickly approaching. With winter comes downtime.
When you’re young, temporary lay-offs can be fun: Parties, travel, music and sporting events make layoffs easier to handle. When you’re older, with bills to pay and mouths to feed, layoffs can be very worrisome. There are a few basic steps you can take to help deal with temporary layoffs.
If you’ve been laid off, you should file for unemployment insurance as soon as possible. The sooner you file, the sooner you can be deemed eligible and the sooner you can start receiving funds. The unemployment agency will verify with your employer the reason for you losing your job.
If you are not happy in the roofing industry you might be interested in retraining, not only to learn new job skills but also to keep your mind sharp. Consider the following:
- Take some community college courses. Community colleges are relatively inexpensive and offer a wide variety of courses to improve work skills while earning valuable college credits that may lead to a possible degree.
- Visit your local unemployment office. It will have lists of apprenticeship and training opportunities that can lead to a more secure position.
- Select courses at a location vocational/technical school. These schools offer a wide variety of hands-on training at reasonable costs.
- Purchase books or software to use on your own. There are many free and reasonably priced online training and education classes available.
See “Training Resources” below for some additional ideas.
If you love roofing and want to remain in the trade, there are steps you can take to keep your head above water—financially speaking.
John M. Grohol, Psy.D., writes in “7 Ways to Cope with a Layoff” that you need to take a realistic look at your finances and budget. Do not put this off longer than a week after you are laid off. Although we may not enjoy dealing with our finances, failure to do so could result in a far worse situation down the road (which always arrives sooner than you think). Dr. Grohol suggests: “Be creative in analyzing your budget for places to cut.” Most of us assume we need things like digital television and unlimited mobile calling plans. But most of us don’t. He adds, “Now’s the time to put aside your wants temporarily and focus exclusively on your and your family’s needs.”
Your savings, rainy-day fund and even your 401(k) may offer you some temporary financial relief. Borrowing from your 401(k), for instance, is usually less expensive than adding to your credit-card debt because you are paying back the loan with interest to yourself (not a credit card company). However, borrowing from your 401(k) and other retirement accounts is usually recommended only as a last resort.
Take care of your insurance. We often don’t think about insurance until we’re faced with a layoff and find out just how expensive insurance really is. Your employer will likely offer you COBRA, which allows you to continue your employer’s health benefits with one catch: You now have to pay what your employer was paying for your benefits. Be prepared for sticker shock. Most people are amazed that a family of four’s health insurance on COBRA might be as high as $1,000 or even $1,500 a month; for a single person or couple, it can be anywhere from $500 to $800 per month. When paying bills is already going to be a challenge, COBRA might be out of reach.
Shop around. With the Affordable Care Act, there are a lot more health-insurance plans available at a wide range of costs. You may find other health insurance coverage for your family that is less expensive and won’t cut your benefits in any significant way. Weigh the costs with what you can afford. For example, you may have to pay a higher deductible for inpatient hospital stays to achieve a lower monthly premium.
If you want or need to keep working, hit the classifieds. Nearly all classified sections now are online, so searching through them is far easier than it was 10 years ago. Although it might seem like nobody is hiring (and in the construction profession, that may very well be true), you should keep an eye out anyway. Jobs sometimes become available as people retire or a company’s focus changes. Extend your search somewhat outside your trade, as well, just to see what else might be available. Check out your “dream job”, too. Some people use a layoff as an opening for a new opportunity.
Use the unemployment resources available to you, whether through your ex-employer or through your local government. Libraries, too, often offer a great set of employment and career resources (such as résumé writing services). Don’t be afraid to network. Make your situation known, build connections and, soon, unemployment will be a thing of the past!
The following are examples of free or low-cost training opportunities you may want to consider when you are laid off:
College courses from American Standard University
Solar training in New Jersey from Information & Technology Management
Your state may offer free training, like New York
Penn Foster Career School
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration provides information and services to assist workers who have been or will be laid off.
Search for apprenticeships and youth education/training programs, like one in New York.
Tropical Roofing Products announces the addition of two new regional sales managers to cover the Central and West Coast regions. Steve Del’ Nero, appointed as West Coast regional sales manager, comes to Tropical Roofing Products with over 15 years of experience in the building and roofing industry, having previously worked as a regional sales manager for InterWrap Inc., and a territory manager for ACH Foam Technologies. Covering the Central Region as new regional sales manager is Christopher Arriaga. Christopher has spent the last decade in the roofing industry as regional and territory manager as well.
In addition, the West Coast Region has brought onboard three new sales managers to cover Southern and Northern California territories. Gabriel Gonzalez, district sales manager for Southern California, comes to Tropical Roofing Products with 14 plus years in the building and roofing industry, several as an outside sales rep for Allied Building Products. Matt DiSantis, district sales manager for Northern California, brings over 10 years of experience in the roofing industry primarily with Roofing Supply Group to Tropical Roofing Products. Jordan Stones, comes to Tropical Roofing Products with several years of experience in the building and roofing industry as well, having previously worked as a contractor sales specialist for InterWrap Inc. is covering Southern California as territory manager.
“We are excited about the new additions of Steve, Christopher, Gabriel, Matt and Jordan who bring a combined 60 plus years of roofing industry experience to allow Tropical Roofing Products to better service these regions,” said Michael King, vice president of sales.
“Tropical Roofing Products views these appointments as a sign of our supplier commitment to the industry. The growth of our Fluid Applied Restoration Systems and the demands of our customers led us to look for additions to our team who will fit in with our ethos of innovation and service.”
For more information on Tropical Roofing Products, or to find your closest representative, call (800)432-2855 or visit the website. Download the Tropical Roofing Products mobile app by texting “ROOFING” to 94502 or visit the app store for your mobile device.
The following statement was made by William A. Good, CAE, NRCA’s CEO:
“The National Roofing Contractors Association believes the new rules issued by the Federal Aviation Administration on the commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems [UAS], commonly referred to as drones, will provide significant new opportunities for the use of such aircraft in the roofing industry.
“The new rule, which goes into effect in late August, will allow people with a ‘remote pilot in command’ certification to operate drones for commercial and educational purposes, provided the drones weigh less than 55 pounds, do not exceed 100-mph groundspeed and don’t fly more than 400-feet above ground level.
“NRCA believes the final rule is a reasonable one and is especially pleased the FAA listened to some of the concerns NRCA expressed during the rulemaking process.
“The FAA rule contains a provision for waivers to some of its rules that, for example, should allow drones to be flown at night in situations where they don’t pose any danger.
“NRCA believes drone use can be of enormous benefit to the roofing industry over time. Drones can be used to evaluate existing roofs, help prepare estimates for new roofs, conduct thermal imaging and even measure reflectivity performance. And the use of drones will mean fewer people will need to be exposed to rooftop hazards to conduct routine inspections.”
For more information on the rule, contact Harry Dietz, NRCA’s director of enterprise risk management.
I used to love storms. I was never one to cower at the sound of thunder. I often found storms a good excuse to turn off the TV and lights, open the blinds and marvel at the sheer power of nature. If you read my January/February “Raise the Roof”, however, you know I have had a love-hate relationship with rain since moving in with my husband (we married in August 2015). I found myself awake on rainy nights, counting the seconds between pumps of our sump
pump. If less than 20 seconds passed, I knew the basement was flooding and dreaded the morning’s cleanup. (I work from home and my office is in the basement.)
In March, a waterproofing company spent two days installing its patented drain- age system and a new sump pump inside our basement. We monitored the system throughout the month of April, which was rainy, to ensure there were no leaks in the system. It worked like a charm! During April, we also hired contractors to create my new home office, a guestroom and walk-in closet within the basement. So far, we have new windows, lighting and insulation; the contractors are finishing up drywall and ceiling installation as I type.
I know what it’s like when you can’t trust your house to weather a storm. There’s nothing worse than feeling powerless, and seeing your belongings destroyed is gut-wrenching. As the nation braces against another summer of intense weather, it’s comforting to know the construction industry—specifically roofing—is researching and innovating to protect people’s homes and businesses from Mother Nature’s wrath.
For example, in “Business Sense”, Jared O. Blum, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association, writes about initiatives to improve the resiliency of our building stock and infrastructure through codes, standards and proactive design.
The Clinton, Ohio-based Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues Inc., better known as RICOWI, recently sent 30 researchers to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex after an April hailstorm. According to Joan Cook, RICOWI’s executive director, the 10 teams of three inspected 3 million square feet of low and steep-slope roofing during the investigation. The teams’ findings will result in a report to help the industry better understand what causes roofs to perform or fail in severe hail events, leading to overall improvements in roof system durability. Learn how RICOWI mobilizes and studies roofs in “Special Report”.
There are many other stories within this issue about roof systems working along- side other building components to create durable, sustainable and energy-efficient buildings. Humans have a long history of innovating and evolving to meet the needs of their current situation. I have no doubt that in my lifetime our buildings will be built to withstand nearly any catastrophic event. Meanwhile, I’m happy to report we received 4 1/2 inches of rain in three hours last week and our basement remained bone dry. Thanks to innovations in basement waterproofing, I may start to enjoy storms just a bit again!
Industry professionals full of energy and excitement filled the halls of the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans to take part in three days of education, networking and a bustling trade-show floor at the 2015 International Roofing Expo. Taking place from Feb. 24-26, the annual trade show and conference drew a total attendance of 9,337 roofing construction professionals.
“The trade show floor was the largest since the 2000 show,” says Tracy Garcia, CEM, IRE show director. “Exhibitors enjoyed steady traffic as they introduced hundreds of new and innovative products to high-caliber decision-makers.”
Attendees represented all 50 states with the bulk of attendees from Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. The largest number of international attendees came from Canada; Mexico; and Seoul, Korea.
First-time registrants made up 42 percent of all attendees. “We had an awesome first year at the IRE. There were a lot of great vendors, great products and great people,” notes Cody Taylor of SupplyHog. “This is an exciting time to be in the industry, and we look forward to coming back next year!”
“This was my seventh year attending and I feel the IRE continues to improve yearly,” adds Robert Andreu of Hunter Warfield. “The location, vendors and show management each exceeded my expectations.”
The trade-show floor was comprised of 1,178 booths, a 13 percent increase compared to the 2014 show. New, value-added services and innovative ideas in roofing materials and related products were displayed on the show floor, including metal, shingles, coatings/sealants/adhesives, flashing, waterproofing, underlayment, modified bitumen, bitumen/asphalt, gutters/roof drains and fasteners.
Exhibitors were pleased with the number of leads and inquiries generated during the show. “The IRE is the most important show of the year for us to engage our customers in person and showcase our new products and technologies,” observes Karen Edwards of EagleView Technologies. “We expect to see a great return on investment.”
Of the 465 exhibiting companies, 87 companies were first-time exhibitors. “We have attended many construction trade shows in the past and by far the IRE has been the most productive in terms of high attendance, which has generated a great source of leads to grow future business,” says Eric Velliquette of Lakeside Construction Fasteners. “If you haven’t attended or exhibited at the IRE, you should!”
“Business is strong within the roofing industry,” notes Bill Good, executive vice president of the Rosemont, Ill.-based National Roofing Contractors Association, the show’s official sponsor, which had an 800-square-foot booth at the event. “The enthusiasm was evident throughout the buying and selling activity on the show floor.”
In addition to the show floor’s buying and selling activity, the show’s educational conference offered 44 educational sessions addressing a variety of industry issues. Educational tracks included technical and workplace-safety classes, as well as business-related sessions, including leadership/management, green building, legal/HR, money matters, sales/service and general business.
“I come to the IRE each year to reconnect with friends in the industry while getting the best roofing-specific education from an extensive list of seminars offered each morning,” states Rob Therrien of The Melanson Co. “Each afternoon, I visit the show floor to see the latest new innovations to come into our industry, from materials to safety, to help our team and our customers.”
“The IRE show is extremely valuable to our company because the seminars are packed full of useful information that we can apply immediately and improve our bottom line in 2015,” adds Steve Pike of White Stone 1998. “We are very busy with our business, but this is time well spent; with what we learned, we are positioned to become a market leader.”
On the show floor, attendees found new products and ideas at the Metal Marketplace that featured 70 booths; the Business & Technology Pavilion with 49 booths; and Exhibitor Product Clinics from OMG, Equipter and Tremco.
Education was available on the show floor through The Roofing Institute. Sponsored by Johns Manville, these condensed classes covered topics from business strategies and leadership to increasing profits and more.
At the Product Showcase, attendees were able to see, try and compare the latest products in the following categories: new, sustainable and Made in the USA. Based on innovation, productivity and cost-effectiveness, a panel of industry experts awarded Leister Technologies’ UNIROOF E 40 MM – 120V/15A as “Best New Product,” while Tie Down Engineering’s Roof Zone – RZ Guardrail was awarded “Best Sustainable Product.”
Attendees had the opportunity to find new products and meet new exhibitors by playing the Treasure Quest game. Wesley Stienecker of Nitro Roofing & Construction was the winner of $2,000 after his name was drawn from a pool of attendees who visited each of the 10 participating Treasure Quest sponsors.
Giving back to the New Orleans community, a pre-show Community Service Day took place on Feb. 23, where 50 attendees and exhibitors enthusiastically volunteered to help renovate the homes of two families in need.
The show’s opening day featured a motivating Keynote Address by Ken Schmidt, the former brand visionary at Harley-Davidson, who shared his expertise on brand-building, corporate positioning and customer relations.
Attendees and exhibitors networked while enjoying complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks at the opening night Welcome Party on Tuesday, Feb. 24, at Generations Hall.
The 2016 International Roofing Expo will be held Feb. 17-19 at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla. Housing reservations can be made online beginning in May 2015 and online attendee registration will open in September. For more information, visit the expo’s website or call (800) 684-5761.
I attended the recent International Roofing Expo where I was reminded of what I love about the roofing industry. The people are so real! Manufacturers and contractors alike shared with me how their businesses are doing, the mistakes they made this past year, their plans for the coming years and how they really feel about where business is headed. I must say this was one of the most optimistic shows I have attended in quite awhile. (Read a post-show wrap-up about IRE in “New & Notable”.) Everyone I spoke to during the show was positive and full of energy for what’s to come—a welcome change from previous years when the construction industry struggled.
Gaining perspectives like these is a huge reason we structured the magazine as we have. Our tagline, “The Industry’s Voice”, is meant to clarify what types of articles you’ll find within the issue: Our authors are part of this industry and are willing to be honest with you—their peers—about their successes and failures in the hopes that you’ll learn from them just as you would if you were networking at IRE or another industry event.
For example, in “Business Sense” you’ll hear from Iain Fergusson, owner of Highland Roofing Co., Wilmington, N.C., who recently purchased the assets of his competitor, a 133-year-old roofing contracting company with almost 30 full-time roofers. Fergusson admits he made some mistakes during the merger but, he says, “You will learn way more from one mistake than you will from 10 good decisions.”
Meanwhile, Kaney O’Neill, who overcame a spinal-cord injury that ended her military career but launched her roofing profession, shares how she perseveres in a tough business climate. In “Business Sense”, O’Neill describes how she embraces lifelong learning for herself and her employees. “No matter where you are in business, you have to keep learning and growing to persevere,” she says.
O’Neill notes her military training has helped her stay “mission focused” and committed to excellence. Seeking employees with that sort of work ethic drew Chad Muth, president of Muth & Co. Roofing, Westerville, Ohio, to the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program. The program, which is covered in “Special Report”, helps veterans, active service members and their spouses transition back into the workforce through nationwide hiring fairs and an online process. Muth successfully hired and has since promoted Grant Smith, a former Marine, and hopes to hire more veterans. “We’re hoping we can … showcase what we have to offer [veterans] for the long-term future,” Muth notes.
Helping prospective employees recognize there is a long-term future in roofing is one of many goals of The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress, a 501(c)3 organization that was established by the National Roofing Contractors Association, Rosemont, Ill. In “Education”, Alison L. LaValley, CAE, NRCA’s associate executive director of Member Services, highlights the partnerships, training initiatives, technical and educational programs, and awards the Alliance funds as part of its mission. According to Tom Saeli, CEO of Duro-Last Roofing Inc., Saginaw, Mich., everyone should consider supporting the Alliance: “The organization funds important scholarships, sponsors innovative research to advance the roofing industry and partners with members from all walks of the industry who really care about what the future holds. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”