All in the Family

Chris King

Chris King

As I attended the 2017 International Roofing Expo with the team at Roofing, I thought back to my first roofing trade show. I had covered plumbing and HVAC for six years, but I had just joined a roofing publication and was looking to make a good first impression. Just a few minutes into my time on the trade show floor, I found myself talking with a group that included an NRCA executive officer, a regional sales director for a national distributor, and a marketing manager with a major manufacturer. After I introduced myself, they asked if I had any experience covering roofing, and I was forced to admit that I was new to the industry.

They could not have been more helpful. They all welcomed me warmly, asked about my previous experience, and told me how they entered the field. They all gave me their business cards and told me to feel free to call them any time if I had any questions.

As the conversation began to break up, the distributor shook my hand. “Welcome to the roofing industry,” he said. “You see, people enter the roofing industry, but they never leave it. There’s something about it that keeps people hanging around. It’s like a family. You might see someone with a different color shirt at a different booth at the next trade show. People might move around, but they almost never leave the roofing industry—and when they do, they usually come back.”

The roofing industry is amazingly close-knit, and it has been an honor to be a small part of it for the past 12 years. It has been inspiring to share stories about people, companies, products and services that have improved the lives of families and building owners. It has been a pleasure to document the improvements in an industry that continues to raise the bar on professionalism and safety.

It’s rare in the business world to encounter genuine feel-good stories, but they are easy to find in the roofing industry. How about products that are better for the environment, provide a better value to the building owner, and a bigger profit margin for the installing contractor—a true win-win. In this issue, we share the story of a manufacturer and contractors who teamed up to help people in need and profile a contractor who makes philanthropic work the cornerstone of his company’s mission.

When I was in college, I had no idea about the world of business-to-business publishing. I thought journalists just covered politics or sports. At that time, I never dreamed I’d cover the construction industry for 18 years, and that I’d hope to cover it for many more. As the reputations of politicians and athletes have declined over the last couple of decades, the reputation of roofing contractors has been elevated, one roof at a time. There is something so elemental, so important in the concept of the roof—what is the goal of working, after all, but to “put a roof over your head.”

I know what an excellent job my predecessor, Christina Koch, has done here because I watched her do it. I’ll do my best to live up to her expectations. After all, she’s still in the family as editor in chief of retrofit. Like me, she’ll just be wearing a different color shirt.

IRE Trade Show Floor Is Sold Out

The 2017 International Roofing Expo (IRE) trade show floor has completely sold out, topping out over 131,000 square feet and 465 exhibitors.
 
Taking place March 1-3, 2017, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, the International Roofing Expo is a roofing construction and maintenance event where roofing professionals gather to experience face-to-face interaction, product review, education and networking.
 
“The commitment from so many industry manufacturers and suppliers demonstrates trust in the International Roofing Expo brand and its ability to deliver qualified buyers from every segment of the industry,” says Tracy Garcia, CEM, IRE show director. “The IRE has experienced a 41.6 percent growth in net square feet since 2012.”
 
Exhibiting companies will feature products and services spanning 40 categories, including adhesives, built-up roofing, coatings, fasteners, gutters, metal roofing, modified bitumen, roof/ decking materials, roof pavers, shingles, skylights, slate, spray polyurethane foam, tile, vapor retarders, ventilation, walkways/ballast, waterproofing, and much more.
 
“The U.S. roofing industry is in a strong position this year, and that’s reflected in the banner support we see for the IRE in terms of attendance and exhibit space sold,” says Reid Ribble, NRCA’s CEO. “NRCA is excited to again hold its annual convention in conjunction with the IRE.”
 
The trade show floor is just one aspect of the three-day event. Other highlights include an educational conference program consisting of 122 education hours and 44 sessions, a variety of special events and show floor education, as well as networking opportunities and more.
 
The show was founded in 1955 by the National Roofing Contractors Association as the NRCA Convention and Trade Show. On May 18, 2004, Hanley Wood Exhibitions acquired the show and rebranded it as the International Roofing Expo [IRE]. The IRE is now owned and produced by Informa Global Exhibitions, who acquired Hanley Wood Exhibitions in December 2014. 

Register for 2016 IRE; Dr. Beck Weathers to Keynote

Online registration is now open for the 2016 International Roofing Expo (IRE), taking place Feb. 17-19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

“By registering early for the International Roofing Expo, attendees receive discounted registration rates and a better chance at securing availability in their preferred conference sessions,” says Tracy Garcia, CEM, IRE’s director. “In addition, attendees save time by not having to wait in long onsite registration lines.”

The Super Pass includes conference sessions on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, as well as admission to the expo, keynote and welcome party at Cuba Libre.

The Day Pass includes conference sessions on Wednesday only, Thursday only or Friday only, as well as admission to the expo, keynote and welcome party.

The Spouse Pass includes conference sessions on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, as well as admission to the expo, keynote and welcome party.

The Expo Only option includes expo admission on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, as well as admission to the keynote. Admission to the welcome party may be purchased separately in advance.

Taking place prior to the show, additional educational opportunities are available from NRCA. Details and prices can be found on IRE’s website.

Serving as keynote speaker is Dr. Beck Weathers, survivor of the 1996 Mount Everest tragedy. The keynote address will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 17, from 9:45 to 10:50 a.m.; it is sponsored by Malarkey Roofing Products, exhibiting in booth 1537.

The accomplished pathologist and amateur mountain climber will share how he was one of more than 30 climbers descending from Mount Everest’s summit in May 1996 when a violent storm hit the mountain with heavy snow, subzero temperatures and hurricane-force winds.

Universal Pictures has turned Weathers’ story into a biographical disaster drama and adventure thriller film, “Everest”, starring Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, Robin Wright and Keira Knightley.

“Dr. Beck Weathers’ incredible story of survival has all the elements of a great adventure: heroism, bravery, human struggle against the forces of nature, physical and psychological challenges, and a triumph of the human spirit,” says Bill Good, CEO of the Rosemont, Ill.-based National Roofing Contractors Association, the show’s official sponsor. “Attendees and exhibitors will be so inspired by his harrowing tale of survival.”

The keynote is included free of charge in all registration packages but advance registration is required.

RCI Recognizes Winners of Its Document Competition

RCI Inc., recognized the winners of its 2015 Document Competition at its annual awards luncheon during the 30th RCI International Convention and Trade Show in San Antonio.

The RCI Document Competition is an annual event organized to recognize members’ excellence in roofing, waterproofing, and exterior wall construction project documentation. All entries were on display at the RCI International Trade Show.

The following individuals received first-place honors:

  • For excellence in the Report writing category, Jeffrey Levine, for his entry on the Bradford County Courthouse, Towanda, Penn.
  • For excellence in the Small Roofing/Waterproofing/Exterior Wall Project Documents category for construction valued less than $750,000, Rocco Romero, for his entry on Lane County Administration, Eugene, Ore.
  • For excellence in the Large Roofing/Waterproofing/Exterior Wall Project Documents category for construction valued greater than $750,000, Jeffrey Levine, for his entry on the Cornell University McGraw Hall, Ithaca, N.Y.

All winning entries will be recognized in the June issue of Interface, RCI’s monthly technical journal.

RCI International Convention & Trade Show Features More than 25 Hours of Educational Seminars and Live Product Demonstrations

The 30th RCI International Convention & Trade Show will be held March 20‐25, 2015, at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio and San Antonio Convention Center in San Antonio.

The annual event will feature more than 25 hours of educational seminars, live product demonstrations and a two‐day trade show with more than 130 exhibitors. Educational programs are approved to yield continuing education credits for members of RCI and the American Institute of Architects. “It’s a great opportunity to earn a full year’s worth of continuing education credit at one event,” says William Myers, RCI’s marketing director. “RCI’s consultant members will visit the trade show to discover the latest products for designing and repairing today’s building envelopes.”

RCI is an international association of building envelope consultants whose members specialize in design, investigation, repair and management of roofing, exterior wall and waterproofing systems. More than 1,300 attendees are expected at this year’s event.
In addition, RCI regularly hosts education programs designed to demystify and explain the application of roofing, waterproofing and exterior wall technologies.

2014 IRE Achieves Highest Attendance in the History of the Show

Hanley Wood Exhibitions has announced that the 2014 International Roofing Expo (IRE) welcomed a record-setting audience to Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Feb. 26-28, reinforcing its position as the industry’s largest and most innovative roofing construction and maintenance trade show.

As the IRE returned to the glitz and glamour of its longtime host city, Las Vegas, the annual trade show and conference drew a total attendance of 9,568, a 13 percent increase over the 2013 show in San Antonio, and a staggering 20 percent increase in verified attendees over 2013.

“With a fresh sense of optimism and excitement, the 2014 International Roofing Expo drew the largest attendance in the show’s history,” says Tracy Garcia, CEM, IRE show director. “In addition, the trade-show floor was the largest since 2008.”

Participants came from all segments of the roofing industry, including commercial and residential contractors, builders, remodelers, building owners, facility managers, manufacturers, architects, engineers and other related industry professionals.

In attendance were representatives from the industry’s leading roofing and construction companies, including CentiMark, Tecta America, Baker Roofing, Best Contracting Services, Nations Roof, Kalkreuth Roofing & Sheet Metal, Douglass Colony Group, United States Roofing, Interstate Roofing, Insulated Roofing Contractors, Collis Roofing, Lon Smith Roofing & Construction, KPost and Target Corp.

Attendees represented all 50 states with the bulk of attendees hailing from California, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Ohio, Georgia, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Michigan. The largest number of international attendees came from Canada, Mexico, Japan, Denmark, Australia, Columbia, China, United Kingdom, Belgium, Ecuador, France and Trinidad and Tobago.

First-time registrants made up 35 percent of all attendees. “I thought the overall quality of the show and the courses offered were very good, while the exhibitors were very helpful and informative,” says Phillip M. Conroy, project manager at Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal. “This was my first year attending the show and the trip was definitely worth my while.”

Exhibit Hall
The trade-show floor was comprised of 1,045 booths, a 6 percent increase over the 2013 show. New, value-added services and innovative ideas in roofing materials and related products were displayed on the show floor, including shingles, gutters, insulation, coatings/adhesives, fasteners, and much more.

Exhibitors were pleased with the number of leads and inquiries generated during the show. “The 2014 IRE offered the perfect venue for us to reconnect with existing customers and engage with new ones,” says Karen Edwards, marketing director at EagleView Technologies. “Our booth was busy from show open to close and the attendees were the decision-makers that we wanted to reach.”

“This was an outstanding show,” adds Nicholas Bryditzki of Sentinel Solar Roof Pumps. “For a small manufacturing company it gave us great exposure and we were able to make some significant contacts.”

“We were very happy to be a part of the 2014 IRE,” notes Karyn Slifka, marketing coordinator at Novagard Solutions. “The number of attendees surpassed our expectations and we made some great contacts.”

Of the 426 exhibiting companies, 84 companies were first-time exhibitors, including Certex USA, CUPA USA, Epilay, Kemper System America, National Gypsum Company and VELUX America, just to name a few.

“This was our first year exhibiting at the IRE and it exceeded our expectations,” says Brett D. Steinberg, national sales manager, Kemper System America. “The foot traffic and the attendees were the right people we wanted to connect with.”

“The 2014 IRE was the busiest and most successful show in recent history,” adds Bill Good, executive vice president of the National Roofing Contractors Association, the show’s official sponsor, who had an 800-square-foot booth at the event. “The roofing industry continues on its path of economic recovery with a positive buzz in the air like hasn’t been felt in several years.”

Educational Conference
In addition to the show floor’s buying and selling activity, the show’s educational conference offered 42 educational sessions addressing a variety of industry issues. A total of 5,807 sessions were sold over the three-day conference, a 45% increase over the 2013 show.

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 thought this year’s event was outstanding and especially found the educational offerings to be strong in content,” notes Chad Collins, president at Bone Dry Roofing Company. “The attendance alone in the educational sessions spoke volumes towards the overall participation at this years’ show.”

“All of the classes I attended were very informative and we have already started implementing some of the information that we learned in class,” adds Brian Moore, residential project manager at Roofmasters Roofing and Sheet Metal. “In my opinion this show surpassed my expectation.”

Show-floor Highlights and Special Events
On the show floor, attendees found new products and ideas at the Metal Marketplace that featured 83 booths, the Technology & Business Services Pavilion with 44 booths, the Live Demonstrations with five sessions from FCS Control, Kemper System America and NRCA, and Exhibitor Product Clinics from OMG and Equipter.

At the Product Showcase, attendees were able to see, try and compare the latest products in the following categories: new, sustainable, safety and Made in the USA. Based on innovation, productivity and cost-effectiveness, a panel of industry experts awarded Carlisle SynTec Systems “Best New Product” for its Sure-Flex KEE HP PVC Membrane, while ERSystems & Elastek were awarded “Best Sustainable Product” for its ER OneStep.

“The 2014 IRE was successful,” says Ryan Blad, technical service and support for ERSystems and Elastek. “The biggest highlight would be OneStep winning the Best Sustainable Product award.”

New in 2014, attendees had the opportunity to find new products and meet new exhibitors by participating in the Treasure Quest game. Participants followed a treasure map to each of the participating treasured exhibitors to collect a stamp or a code to plug in the mobile app. Dora Fong of Honolulu Roofing Co., was the winner of $3,500 cash for visiting all seven exhibitors.

Giving back to the Las Vegas community, a pre-show Community Service Day took place on Tuesday, February 25, where 65 attendees and exhibitors enthusiastically volunteered to help renovate the homes of three families in need.

The show’s opening day featured an inspirational Keynote Address by Frank Abagnale, subject of the blockbuster book and movie, “Catch Me if You Can,” to a standing-room only audience of more than 1,300. After recounting tales from his incredible youth as a master forger and imposter, Abagnale said becoming a father and husband is what really changed his life. While he now works with the FBI, he maintains that family is the driving force behind his success.

Attendees and exhibitors networked while enjoying complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks at the opening night Welcome Party on Wednesday, February 26, at LIGHT Nightclub at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino.

Save the Date for 2015
The 2015 International Roofing Expo will be held Feb. 24-26, at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Online housing reservations can be made immediately and online registration will open in September.

Frank Abagnale Will Present Keynote at International Roofing Expo

Frank Abagnale, subject of the blockbuster book and movie, “Catch Me if You Can,” will provide the Keynote Address during the International Roofing Expo, Feb. 26-28, 2014, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Frank Abagnale is one of the world’s most respected authorities on the subjects of forgery, embezzlement and secure documents. For more than 25 years he has lectured to and consulted with hundreds of financial institutions, corporations and government agencies around the world.

Held immediately prior to the opening of the show, the Keynote Address will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 26, from 9:45 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. in South Pacific E. The Keynote is sponsored by Malarkey Roofing Products, exhibiting in booth #949.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to hear Frank Abagnale discuss his incredible life story,” says Lindsay Roberts, group director of the International Roofing Expo. “As one of the world’s most respected authorities on preventing fraudulent business practices, his message is compelling, motivating and entertaining.”

His bestselling book, Catch Me if You Can, was released as a major motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg and featured an all-star cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken and Martin Sheen.

His rare blend of knowledge and expertise began as a teenager. More than 30 ago, he was known as the “Great Imposter”, one of the world’s most famous professional check writers. He cashed $2.5 million in fraudulent checks in every state and 26 foreign countries over a five-year period. Between the ages of 16 and 21, he successfully posed as an airline pilot, an attorney, a college professor and a pediatrician. Apprehended by the French police when he was 21 years old, he served time in the French, Swedish and U.S. prison systems. After five years he was released on the condition that he would help the federal government, without remuneration, by teaching and assisting federal law enforcement agencies.

Abagnale now lectures extensively at the FBI Academy and for the field offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He is a past faculty member of the American Bankers Association’s Security Officers School. More than 14,000 financial institutions, corporations and law enforcement agencies use his fraud prevention programs.

In his second book, The Art of the Steal, Abagnale advises individuals and businesses how to prevent fraud, identity theft, credit card crimes, theft in the workplace, on-line scams, and street crime.

“Frank Abagnale is a truly special speaker to have at our event,” says Bill Good, executive vice president of NRCA, the show’s official sponsor. “I have no doubt that our members will learn a great lesson from his story, as well as be greatly entertained.”

In Abagnale’s third book, Stealing Your Life: The Ultimate Identity Theft Prevention Plan, he exposed the astonishing tactics of today’s identity theft criminals and offered powerful strategies to thwart them.

The Keynote is included free of charge in all registration packages, but advance registration is required.

For information about the Int’l Roofing Expo, please visit or call 972.536.6415 or 800.684.5761. Additional show information can be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RoofingExpo, LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1963938, Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/RoofingExpo, Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/RoofingExpo, and YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/RoofingExpo. Twitter users can follow the show using #RoofingExpo or @RoofingExpo.