Elsewhere in this issue of Roofing Contractor (pages 44-49, to be exact) you will find an invitation to attend our third annual Best of Success conference, which will be held in Phoenix Sept. 21-22, 2006.

Elsewhere in this issue ofRoofing Contractor(pages 44-49, to be exact) you will find an invitation to attend our third annual Best of Success conference, which will be held in Phoenix Sept. 21-22, 2006. Those of you willing to invest a few bucks and a couple of days of your valuable time to come and join us can count on receiving tons of great and useful information. It will soon be too late to sign up, so please do it today.

We will claim that the information you will receive (not to mention the opportunity to rub elbows with some of the roofing industry's finest contractors, manufacturers, distributors and consultants) may improve your business and your bottom line. Past attendees have told us it has improved their lives, as they have learned ways to better manage their time to enjoy the fruits of their labors.

I can now add that attending Best of Success II may have saved someone's life. Mine.

That is a strong claim to get you to attend a seminar. While I really do want to see you at BoS III, the point of this claim is to offer some practical advice about a potential health hazard that all of us who work outside share.

Here is how Best of Success may have saved my life:

BoS II was held last November and it was fantastic - great speakers and a really lively group of contractors all blended together well for a day and a half of learning and fellowship. On the evening when we did "fellowship" out by the pool, some of our BoS staff folks took a lot of pictures, which were published along with a feature article by our editor, Chris King, in our January 2006 issue.

Yours truly had a particularly good time during the evening's festivities and managed to get in some of the photos. In March of this year I veered into some archives that included some of the photos taken that evening. I noticed on one of the photos there was a small red patch over my right eyebrow. The event was in November - this was March and the mark was still there. In fact it looked roughly the same, but had turned a bit darker. I made an appointment with a dermatologist that day.

Fast-forward to today. I will not bore you with all the details, but I am now the proud owner of an upside-down T-shaped scar left following the surgery to remove a basal cell carcinoma from that spot over my eyebrow. I call it that because calling it a malignant cancer is just creepy. But that is what it was (past tense ... all gone now, so they tell me).

All of us in the roofing industry, especially those of you who make your living primarily on the roofing job, really need to protect ourselves from the sun. I claim no medical expertise, so do not take my word for it. Speak with your physician about this on your next visit. Find out what your risk factors are. Look into what you should be doing to protect yourself and your workers from damage due to exposure to the sun.

Not just your skin, but your eyes as well.

Protecting your eyes from prolonged exposure to sunlight is as important as protecting your skin. Ask your eye doctor to recommend the right eye protection for you and your situation.

Look for me at the Best of Success conference in September. I will be the guy with the scar behind the Foster Grants.