Roofing association to discuss industry during San Diego convention

Look up "San Diego" in most travel guides and one of the first things you'll read about is the city's nearly perfect year-round weather: Temperatures average 70

Bill O’Reilly, host of “The O’Reilly Factor” on the Fox News Channel, will speak at the NRCA’s opening luncheon.

Leading the way

At 8 a.m. Feb. 23, the NRCA will open its seminar program with a three-hour discussion on leadership. Professors George R. Bateman and Selwyn W. Becker, from the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business, will tell roofing contractors how they can develop these skills. Bateman and Becker have worked with roofing contractors to install quality-control programs and improve customer service.

Three other seminars are also scheduled at 8 a.m. the same day:

  • Members of NRCA's Performance Criteria Council will discuss the group's efforts to create a roof-system performance standard during "Overview of Roof System Performance Criteria."

  • During "Facing a Crisis," John Nicoletti, Ph.D., will talk about how to deal with violence and injuries in the workplace. Nicoletti, a partner with Nicoletti-Flater Associates in Lakewood Colo., will give tips on ensuring employees' psychological health after a violent incident and how to prevent them from happening.

  • Ray Martin, director of fleet services for Chicago-based insurance company CNA, will host "Construction Fleet Best Practices." The session will delve into the issues that cause fleets to be a drain on the bottom line and how to reduce a contracting company's exposure to such losses.

At 9 a.m., communications expert Karen Cortell Reisman will host "Speak to Sell... with Power and Presence." Reisman is president of Speak for Yourself in Dallas, and a frequent advisor to roofing contractors. The program will teach residential contractors the best way to talk to homeowners to increase sales and trust.

Marketing skills

A panel discussion on marketing metal roofing will also take place at 9 a.m. Attendees will learn how they can become a part of the burgeoning metal-roofing market, and what the trends are for this expanding industry. Todd Miller, president of Classic Products Inc. in Piqua, Ohio, will moderate the discussion.

According to NRCA officials, a lot of members are unaware of just how many services the association offers. That's why they're holding, "This is NRCA - Did You Know?" at 9:45 a.m. Feb. 23 at this year's convention. NRCA executive staff will explain how the NRCA operates and what's available to members.

Also at 9:45 a.m.: The president and economists say the U.S. economy is getting better, but many contractors have yet to experience this recovery. Jeff Wolf, president of Wolf Management Consultants in Skokie, Ill., will offer suggestions for surviving - and maybe thriving - in a down economy.

A discussion on phase two of the National Roofing Foundation's spray-foam research will also take place at this time.

The San Diego skyline.

‘Industry Day'

The NRCA is calling Feb. 24 "Industry Day." The association has scheduled concurrent morning seminars aimed at residential contractors, designers, commercial contractors, metal-roofing contractors, consultants and building owners, and distributors.

These seminars start at 9:45 a.m.:

  • For those interested or involved in metal roofing, Rob Haddock, director of the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Metal Roof Advisory Group, will give his popular presentation on "Understanding Metal Roofing." Sometimes billed as "Metal Roofing 101," Haddock has given this presentation at Metalcon, the metal-construction show, for many years. Haddock will discuss the history of metal roofing, coatings, slope requirements, material selection and more.

  • For commercial contractors, association officials have scheduled a seminar on understanding how the NRCA and other industry groups were able to settle lawsuits related to California's Proposition 65, also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. According to NRCA officials, the roofing industry has spent more than $500,000 defending the hundreds of contractors who received notice that they were being sued.

    The program will explain California's law, how it affects contractors, why it's easy to be sued and how companies can protect themselves. Speakers will include William T. Callahan, Ph.D., executive director of the Associated Roofing Contractors of the Bay Area Counties; Stanley Landfair, a partner in the San Francisco law firm of McKenna, Long & Aldridge LLP; and Tom Shanahan, NRCA executive director of risk management and education.

  • Completing a roofing project is seldom easy, but there are ways to make the process easier. That's what a panel of contractors, consultants and building owners will discuss during "Understanding the Construction Process: The Role of Contractors, Consultants and Owners." Panelists will talk about how everyone can work together more efficiently to ensure projects are completed on time.

  • Distributors are invited to "Distributors, Manufacturers and Contractors - Partnering for Progress." Michael Marks of the Indian River Consulting Group in Melbourne, Fla., will discuss new opportunities available to all sectors of the roofing industry.

  • Designers are encouraged to attend "Fallingwater (Doing it Better than Wright)," a discussion of the restoration of a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in western Pennsylvania. John Robinson, president of J.L. Robinson Roofing Inc., will describe his work.

  • Residential contractors are invited to a new-product forum, also scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Feb. 24. Representatives from the Metal Construction Association, the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, and the Roof Tile Manufacturers Association will discuss their equipment and how they relate to building codes and uses. A discussion will follow.

At 11 a.m., commercial contractors have two seminars to choose from: "What is Your Company's Financial Statement Telling You?" and "Understanding the Complicated World of FM Data Sheets."

Many contractors do not fully understand the financial aspects of their businesses, according to many experts. If you have trouble adding up all the zeros on your company's ledgers, then the financial seminar hosted by Harry H. Esbenshade III and Robert McNamara may be for you. Esbenshade is chairman and CEO of the Mountain Co. in Vienna, W.Va.; McNamara is president of FJA Christiansen Roofing Co. Inc. in Milwaukee. Together they'll tell you why it's important to know the average return on investment for a roofing contractor and whether your overhead costs are too high.

For "Understanding the Complicated World of FM Data Sheets," a representative from the commercial and industrial insurance provider will help clear up some of the most commonly asked questions about FM's requirements.

Also at 11 a.m.: Thomas L. Smith, president of TLSmith Consulting Inc. in Rockton, Ill., will lead a seminar on wind loads.

At 11:30 a.m., William Croucher, director of engineering for Lancaster, Pa., manufacturer Fabral, will moderate a question-and-answer session entitled, "The Technical End of Metal Roofing." The discussion will center on what contractors need to know when bidding on and installing projects.

At 10:15 a.m. Feb. 25, the last day of the convention, NRCA officials are inviting everyone to "Mold and Moisture in the Building Envelope," the topic of the group's general session. Joseph Lstiburek of Building Sciences Corp. in Westford, Mass., will tell contractors how mold concerns have changed building habits forever. Attendees will learn where to place vapor- and air-retardants and why roofs and crawl spaces should not be ventilated in certain climates.

The final afternoon and evening of the convention will include a luncheon cruise aboard a 151-foot yacht, sponsored by CertainTeed Corp. The final night's banquet will include performances by The Passing Zone, a juggling team, and the soul band Tyn Tymes.

(For more information about the NRCA's annual convention, write to 10255 W. Higgins Road, Suite 600, Rosemont, IL 60018. Also call (847) 299-9070; fax (847) 299-1183; see on the Internet.)