ROSEMONT, Ill. -- The NRCA is encouraging everyone in the roofing industry to attend the group's 116th annual convention.

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- The National Roofing Contractors Association is encouraging everyone in the roofing industry to attend the group's 116th annual convention and exhibit, to be held Feb. 11-14 in New Orleans.

Known as the largest roofing convention in the U.S., the event is expected to attract more than 7,500 attendees and 350 exhibitors.

Beginning with NRCA's Mardi Gras celebration, the trade show at the Ernest L. Morial Convention Center will open Tuesday, Feb. 11.

The opening luncheon will feature an address by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

In addition to the usual golf and tennis tournaments, shooters are invited to participate in the Sporting Clays Tournament. Participants will shoot 50 targets with instructions from a certified instructor, and the complex will furnish guns, ammunition and eye and ear protection.

Educational sessions

During the event, which has the theme "Succeeding Through Change," a variety of education sessions will be conducted, including the following.

The Construction Industry's Newest Nightmare: How Mold and Other Environmental Issues can Destroy Your Bottom Line:

Mold and other environmental issues are at the forefront of the construction industry. The costs associated with these issues can be massive and destroy a company's bottom line. Attendees will be provided with practical advice and strategies to combat the ramifications that environmental problems pose for the construction community and individual companies.

The program will address the following major points: identifying who is liable for environmental problems; sources, health effects, and remediation of mold; overview of Occupational Safety and Health Administration compliance; strategies for handling environmental claims; reasons for having an environmental-compliance policy; using technology to resolve environmental problems; methods for handling unforeseen environmental emergencies; and ways to handle litigation before and after a lawsuit has commenced.

Program panelists will include Perry R. Safran, attorney with Safran Law Offices, Raleigh, N.C.; Stephen Phillips, a partner with the law firm Hendrick, Phillips, Salzman & Flatt, Atlanta; Kyle B. Dotson, The Dotson Group LLC, Houston, and a representative from CNA Insurance Cos., Chicago.

Current Issues in Roofing Technology:

Members of NRCA's Technical Operations Committee will provide information about technical issues affecting the industry and the group's technical research activity. Issues to be discussed include polyisocyanurate insulation, asphalt shingles, and NRCA's initiative to develop performance standards for roof systems.

Safety in the Big Easy - Ergonomics and Other Industry Issues:

Attendees will learn how to prepare workers' bodies for the rigors of roofing work, how to make the most use out of the ergonomic features of roofing equipment and materials; how to deliver meaningful toolbox talks; and participate in a discussion of industry issues such as asphalt fume exposure and fall protection.

Commercial contractor track

A Survival Guide for Government Construction Contractors:

Government contracting has been a competitive business with small profit margins. A single disastrous government project can erase all gains and place a business in bankruptcy.

This session, presented by Hal D. Callaway Jr., will discuss how to increase profit margins and survive potential disasters. Complimentary copies of Callaway's book, "The Government Construction Consultant," will be given to the first 100 attendees.

Super Service! Seven Keys to Delivering Great Customer Service

Jeff Gee, president of McNeil & Johnson Learning Co., Lake Bluff, Ill., will discuss how to bring energy and enthusiasm to every customer encounter, turn service problems into opportunities, and end each day with a sense of personal accomplishment and fulfillment.

Residential contractor track

How to Get the Job at Your Price:

Monroe Porter, president of Proof Management Consultants, Midlothian, Va., will instruct on how to sell a company's value rather than the price of the work. The program will emphasize professional sales and marketing strategies that avoid the price-shopping rat race. The program is designed for owners, estimators, salespeople, service and office managers, and anyone who represents your company to customers.

Metal contractor track

Installing Metal Roofing: Benefits to Contractors:

A panel of metal roofing experts will focus on core business issues that are the foundation of success for metal roofing contractors. Panelists will discuss exclusivity, profits, recognition, referral rates, and the value of training and equipment investments.

Understanding Metal Roofing

This seminar takes a comprehensive look at the technology and practical application of metal roofing products. Rob Haddock, president of the Metal Advisory Group, Colorado Springs, Colo., will explain the principals of sound metal roof system design and reveal common design and installation errors and how to avoid them.

The presentation will review the range and characteristics of metal roofing materials and address construction details for steep- and low-slope roof systems. Also included in the seminar will be information about slope conversions and other reroofing issues and important details about seams, sealants and coatings.

Distributor track

Improving the Manufacturer-Distributor-Contractor Rela-tionship: A Teamwork Approach:

Michael Marks, managing partner of Indian River Consulting Group, Melbourne, Fla., will identify strategies for improving efficiency and driving out costs and present ways manufacturers, distributors, and contractors can work together on an ongoing basis to decrease unnecessary activities and costs to continually improve processes.

Designer/roof consultant track

Common Problems with Roof System Design:

A panel of designers and roofing contractors will discuss common problems and issues to be considered during roof system design. Issues include building codes, FM Global, Underwriters Laboratories, and ASTM International.

Building owner track

Seven Deadly Sins: Common Mistakes That Lead to Construc-tion Claims and How to Avoid Them:

Judson A. Taylor, staff architect with Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc., Arlington, Mass., will provide an overview of common pitfalls faced by building owners, managers, and designers that contribute to construction claims.

These pitfalls include failure to verify existing conditions, using an inappropriate contract and inadequate construction documents, selecting the wrong contractor, unrealistic scheduling, making excessive changes, and inconsistent construction administration. The presentation will offer specific recommendations to avoid these problems.

Roofs, Energy, and the Environment:

Dane Bradford, president of Bradford Roof Management, Billings, Mont., and Charles Griffiths Jr., president of Binghamton Slag Roofing Co. Inc., Binghamton, N.Y., will show building owners how to work with professional contractors to determine the optimum amount of insulation for their buildings using NRCA's RoofWise: The Digital Energy Workbench, Version 2.0, which provides the minimum thermal insulation requirements established by ASHRAE Std. 90.1-1999.

The session also will include a discussion about the importance of roof systems to overall energy conservation programs and suggest ways for owners to look at their roof systems as long-term assets.

Building code official track

How to Perform Roof System Inspections:

This program is designed to instruct building inspectors about effectively performing all roof system inspections required by Florida's building code. The session will be presented by Lorraine A. Ross, president of Intech Consulting Inc., Seminole, Fla.

NRCA convention management programs

Stressed for Success: Coping with pressure and Change During Turbulent Times:

0.3 CEU, $175 for members; $195 nonmembers

This presentation delivers tools for turning negative stressors into positive, energizing forces.

How to Build Repeat and Referral Business:

0.3 CEU, $175 for members; $195 nonmembers

This program shows how to obtain word-of-mouth advertising and referrals by customers. Topics include: finding out what a customer expects before, during, and after a sale; realizing the important differences between customer perceptions and expectations; and how to use customer surveys and focus groups to get crucial feedback.

For Foremen Only:

0.8 CEU, $295 for members; $345 nonmembers

Participants learn how different roofing companies from around the U.S. conduct business. The program lays the groundwork for professional development by addressing a foreman's unique set of responsibilities and skills.

Metal Systems of the New Millennium: Metal Shingle Installations:

0.65 CEU, $295 for members; $345 nonmembers

This hands-on program provides a close look at the application, and technical and marketing challenges of metal shingle systems. Instruction will include the pros and cons of various metal shingles, common metal shingle installation problems, metal shingle types, the nature and functions of metal shingle flashings, basic application techniques, and the advantages and limitations of existing products.For more information about the event, contact NRCA's Meetings and Convention Department: (847) 299-9070; (800) 323-9545; fax (847) 299-113; or visit