Industry Q & A: Kelly Van Winkle Becomes President of the Roofing Alliance

Kelly Van Winkle is president of King of Texas Roofing Company, a commercial roofing contractor headquartered in Grand Prairie, Texas. She was also recently named the new president of the Roofing Alliance, the foundation of the NRCA. She shared her insights with Roofing on the roofing industry and the goals of the Roofing Alliance as she begins her term as president.

Q: You grew up in a roofing family. Tell us a little bit about your background. When did you decide to make roofing a career?

A: My maternal grandfather, R.W. King, entered the construction industry after graduating high school in 1931 during the Great Depression. At the conclusion of World War II, the original King Roofing was born in Erie, Pennsylvania.

The modern-day King of Texas Roofing Company’s roots started in Pennsylvania in the 1970s, when my father, Nelson Braddy Jr., went to work for my grandfather. However, soon my father recognized opportunities of the expanding southern market, where single-ply roofing was just beginning to take hold. He founded the King of Texas Roofing Company in North Texas in 1982. 

I entered the family business in 2011, beginning the third generation of my family in commercial construction. I was named President/CEO in December 2019 and have been co-owner of King of Texas Roofing Company, LP since 2013. Prior to the joining King of Texas, I owned and operated for seven years a successful generator and welding tool distributorship and repair business, whose clients were commercial construction companies.

Q: What are your priorities as you lead the company into the future?

A: As president and CEO of King of Texas, one of my goals is to continue finding new ways to strengthen our community through our philanthropic and service efforts. Another is to diversify our portfolio. King of Texas continues to grow our sheet metal division and repair services department. I am also excited to expand our reach through a partnership with Meta Team, the first and only national women-owned commercial roofing company.

Additionally, we have always been a family-oriented company. I want to continue cultivating that culture within our organization.

And lastly, as the third generation of leadership, I will continue to focus on successfully advancing King’s vision of providing value driven, innovative, quality roofing systems for commercial and industrial markets.

Q: How did you first become aware the Roofing Alliance? What led you to get involved with the organization?

A: I watched attentively in 1996, when my father and several other accomplished contractors and manufacturers came together to form the Alliance. I began attending events in 2010, when it became apparent I was interested in transitioning from my first business to the family business. I immediately fell in love with the organization and never looked back!

Q: How did you participate with the Roofing Alliance over the years? Are there some key experiences with the Alliance you can recall?

A: I worked with the Roofing Alliance on several committees and programs, including:

  • Planned Giving Committee Member and Planned Gift Donor
  • Clemson Roofing Curriculum Development Committee
  • Heat Stress Research Committee with Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Arizona State Committee
  • Board of Trustees, then Vice President
  • Ronald McDonald house adopter for the Dallas, Texas house on Bengal Street

I am honored to be a Roofing Alliance member because of the way that the organization gives back to the community and to the roofing industry. Through a program called Helping Our Own, one of our employees received emergency funding from the Alliance that paid for live-saving experimental medical treatment for his wife. She is still alive today, over 15 years later, and owes her life to the treatment funded by the Alliance. I am so proud of the way our members joined forces and stepped up to the plate to assist a roofing professional in need when his family was at its lowest, saddest point in life. I always experience a wave of gratefulness every time I think of this miracle.

Q: The Roofing Alliance just celebrated its 25th anniversary. What are some of the key initiatives and projects it is working on now?

A: During the past 25 years, the Roofing Alliance’s mission has never wavered. As the foundation of NRCA, the Roofing Alliance focuses on four core values: education and training; technology and research; sustainability; and philanthropy. As the Roofing Alliance’s 2022-23 president, I look forward to building on that foundation and moving our initiatives forward.

Since the Roofing Alliance’s inception, our organization also has worked to enhance the professional image of the industry through positive branding and philanthropic outreach.

Additionally, exciting work is being performed by Clemson University, Arizona State University, and Florida Gulf Coast Universities in the arenas of roofing course curriculum development; research on the effects of Heat Stress on workers and companies; and the cultivation of Ph.D. candidates focusing on roofing industry research. Additionally, philanthropic work continues to support our communities and scholarships are available for students studying construction-related matters.

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