Don’t Miss the Roofing Alliance Construction Management Student Competition at the 2020 IRE

The Roofing Alliance, the foundation of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), proudly announced its 2020 Construction Management Student Competition participating schools. Celebrating its sixth year, the competition had nine schools submit their intent to participate. The finalist teams will be selected and announced in January and will give their oral presentations (the final component in the competition) on February 5 at the 2020 International Roofing Expo (IRE) in Dallas, Texas. The winning team will be recognized on February 5 at the NRCA Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception.

The student competition is part of the overall Roofing Alliance Construction Management Schools Initiative, which is focused on the mentorship of young construction management students, sharing with them the opportunities and challenges of a roofing career.

A tremendous amount of planning goes into the competition with the selection of the project, and then working with the universities, students, mentors and judges. The competition is designed to test the students on their roofing knowledge, project management capabilities and presentation skills. For 2020, the teams are tasked with submitting a qualified bid package for a new roof system on the Ford Center, the indoor practice facility of the Dallas Cowboys. The Ford Center is part of the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters in Frisco, Texas. The project was originally roofed by KPost Roofing & Waterproofing, Dallas, who has been working with the Roofing Alliance to prepare documents for the competition.

The teams must research the project, review the plans and specifications, and assemble a full estimate and proposal to submit a qualified bid package. They submit proposal packages which in turn are reviewed by the team of judges. The finalist teams then travel to the IRE, where they will present their proposals as if they were presenting to the general contractor for the project.

The construction management initiative was the brainchild of Dennis Conway, Commercial Roofers Inc. in Las Vegas. Now under the leadership of Kyle Thomas of Thomas Roofing Co. Inc., in Mobile, Alabama, and Rod Petrick, Ridgeworth Roofing Co. Inc., Frankfort, Illinois, the current co-chairmen of the Roofing Alliance Construction Management Schools Initiative Committee, the competition is more visible than ever before among construction management students and faculty. Understanding the long-term goal to expose construction management students and faculty to the roofing industry, Roofing Alliance members work to enhance the overall roofing knowledge of faculty and students in hopes of encouraging students to consider the roofing industry as a viable career option.

Thomas sees the competition as an open door to introduce roofing to a new generation. “We’ve known for years that the students graduating out of these construction management programs often have limited exposure and education related to roofing,” he explained. “This program provides an opportunity for these students to learn about the many facets of the roofing business. We certainly hope that some of the students become interested enough to pursue a career in the roofing industry. But even for those that go the more traditional route and go to work for a general contractor, they will have a much better understanding of the roofing portion of the projects that they will be working on.”

According to Nick Rubino, faculty coach for the Colorado State University team, “We have been involved with the Roofing Alliance Student Competition from the beginning and it is a very popular construction management competition amongst our students. Every year, the students come back from the competition very happy they participated. They love the focus on roofing in the competition and the fact that they get to attend the convention and see what the industry is like up close. The opportunity to interact with senior management level people in the roofing industry is a great benefit.”

The schools who have indicated their intent to participate are:

  • Auburn University, The McWhorter School of Building Science, Auburn, Alabama, with Rachel Nemecek (team captain), Samuel Short, Oliver Reinwald, Davis Hambrick and Walker Lott (alternate). Faculty advisor is Lauren Redden. Team Mentor is Kyle Thomas, Thomas Roofing Co. Inc., Mobile, Alabama.
  • Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois, with Jacob Settles (team captain), Chance Emanuels, Benjamim Maust and Caden Lansford. Faculty advisor is Dr. Souhail Elhour. Team mentor is Laurie Moore, Kreiling Roofing Co., Peoria, Illinois.
  • Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, with Brad Smith (team captain), David Compton, Patrick McLeod (alternate), Hallie Bowers and Hendrix Smith. Faculty advisor is Dr. Dhaval Gajjar. Team mentor is Nicholas Hotze, Guy Roofing Inc., Spartanburg, South Carolina.
  • Colorado State University, Department of Construction Management, Fort Collins, Colorado, with Brendan Phelan (team captain), Paul Cheever, Christopher Vargas, Jake Peckham and Mahoney Bajwa (alternate). Faculty advisor is Nick Rubino. Team mentor is Kent Nelson, Front Range Roofing Systems LLC, Greeley, Colorado.
  • Kennesaw State University, Marietta, Georgia, with Jazzmin Evans (team captain), Maxim Downs, Cynia Gardner and Biancha Clarritt. Faculty advisor is Ali Keyvanfar. Team mentor is Candace Klein, Klein Contracting Corp., Doraville, Georgia.
  • Minnesota State University – Mankato, Department of Construction, Mankato, Minnesota, with Hunter Koesters (team captain), Seth Hander, Dylan Keck (alternate), Benjamin Meyer and Cory Erickson. Faculty advisor is Brian Wasserman. Team Mentor is Kevin Palmer, Schwickert’s Tecta America of Mankato LLC, Mankato, Minnesota.
  • Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, with David Swain (team captain), Mackenzie Langer, Brady Jackson (alternate), Matt Korzenko and Kin Sanders-Evans. Faculty advisor is Michael Brown. Team mentor is Joseph Sanderlin, Chemcote, Inc., Dublin, Ohio.
  • Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas with Tyler Stivers (team captain), Austin Davis (alternate), Erbey Hernandez, Collin Rosser and Kyler Hardison. Faculty advisor is Lance Simms. Team Mentor is Mark Standifer, King of Texas Roofing Company, LP, Grand Prairie, Texas.
  • University of Florida, M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction, Gainesville, Florida, with Tony Centro (team captain), Ricardo Madero, Eric Biggs, Palmer Collins and Collin Galinas (alternate). Faculty advisor is Jim Sullivan. Team Mentor is Rob Springer of Springer-Peterson Roofing + Sheet Metal Inc., Eaton Park, Florida.

The Roofing Alliance invites you to attend these exciting events and support the future workforce of our industry.

Roofing Alliance Construction Management Student Competition

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 | 7:45 am – 11:15 am – Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, Dallas, TX

NRCA Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 | 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm – Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, Dallas, TX

To learn more about the Roofing Alliance Construction Management Student Competition and how to attend, visit or contact Bennett Judson, the Roofing Alliance’s executive director, at To register for the 2020 International Roofing Expo visit

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